We brought home the best souvenir ever

Exterior view of the side of the Subtropical Swimming Paradise with lake to the side of it and the Lakeside Inn in the distance at Whinfell Forest

8 March 2022


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Some of you take home Center Parcs chocolate, pressed coins or plush toys as a souvenir from your Center Parcs break. However, the Hope family brought home something that they will treasure forever – their son!

Ten years ago, the Hope family, Laura, her husband Dan and their four and three year old daughters Megan and Grace visited Whinfell Forest in 2012. Laura was heavily pregnant, but they all decided they needed a break before the baby arrived. This is their story:

“We made sure everything was safe for me to be away from home, the doctors and midwives gave me the go-ahead that I would be fine to relax for a few days in a lovely lodge.

We arrived on the Monday with two very excited little girls wanting to do lots of swimming and playing in the park. 

I was enjoying a relaxing time away, the staff on the village were lovely and helpful at all times - I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Then on the Wednesday night, just after putting my girls to bed, I started to get some uncomfortable pains. It was my baby boy - he wanted to join us and enjoy our break with us. My mother-in-law called Guest Services who were amazing - they sent staff with lots of clean towels and to help with anything we needed.

We decided it was best for me to go to hospital. I was taken by ambulance to Carlisle infirmary where my baby boy was born at 6:03am on 2 February 2012. Maximus was a very healthy weight and was doing really well, so we were discharged from hospital around teatime where we returned to our lodge making my son the youngest guest at Whinfell Forest! Grandma gave the girls the news that they had a new baby brother and celebrated at Huck’s American Bar and Grill that evening with the rest of the family. Myself and my husband Dan cuddled up with our new son Maximus with a pizza delivery in the lodge. Maximus slept his very first night with me and the midwife came to see us the next morning. 

The staff at the village were amazing, helping our family and giving us a late check out of the lodge which we were very thankful for. Whinfell Forest will always hold a special place in our hearts, we went for a break and brought home the best souvenir ever” – Laura Hope

Maximus turned 10 this year and his only wish was to return to Whinfell Forest, 10 years after he was born there. He visited earlier this year with his auntie and uncle. Maximus shared his excitement with us:

“I had the best time visiting Whinfell Forest again. My birthday wish came true thanks to my Auntie Shereen and Uncle Cory. We had a great time, I love swimming and going on all the slides. We also played Adventure Golf and rode cycles to explore the forest.”

Laura and the family are planning to visit as a family to celebrate Maximus’ birthday - this time as a family of six as they now have another little boy called Elijah (photographed below). The staff at Whinfell Forest can’t wait to welcome them back.


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This blog post was written by a former colleague of Center Parcs; the content in the post is still relevant for you to keep up to date with all things Center Parcs.

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