19 November 2012

Elveden Forest

I am struggling to get back to normality today. We've just got back from a lovely little trip with the family to Center Parcs. We set off last Monday morning with bikes on the back of the car, a Christmas music playlist at the ready and lots of snacks.  Although it is still November, they had lots of Christmas decorations out so we decided it would be a very christmassy trip!

Ian & I stayed in the hotel whilst the rest of my family had a villa. This particular villa had a games room, a Wood Burner, an outdoor Jacuzzi (it was such a relaxing yet weird feeling sitting in the Jacuzzi at night whilst looking out into a forest), a Sauna and Steam room. We made sure we made the most of their facilities..heehee!

The Villa had a Chalk Board which was great fun
The view from the back door

The Games Room

In the morning Ian & I would be woken up by the sound of ducks Think Donald Duck! It was always fairly early but it is much nicer than being woken up by an alarm. We'd get up and walk over to the villa and would be welcomed by the smell of a fry up. Sooo good!

We kept ourselves busy in the day time with Walks, Badminton, Swimming, Bowling and Bike Riding. I ended up with blisters on my feet and a sore bottom from day one (probably not the best day to wear newish shoes!) but I powered through. 

In between all this physical exercise were hot chocolates, lazing in front of the fire, stopping off for a cold drink at the Sports Cafe, eating and shopping. I'd like to think i've lost some weight but I think the hot chocolates didn't do me any favours! 

They have some great shops there. Along with a Starbucks, a gorgeous clothes shop (which was a tad out of my price range!), a sweetie shop and a fun toy shop there was probably one of the best gift shops i've ever been too.

It was filled with Cath Kidston, Emma Bridgewater, lovely scandi style Christmas decorations, candles and other gorgeous homewares. I went in there a few times and took it all in. We only came away with one Christmas decoration but i'm really happy with it (the red star hanging decoration below).

The two grey wooden hearts were from a Christmas market they had on whilst we were there. The candle stick holders were from Elveden Estate, a farm shop outside of Center Parcs. 
In the evening Ian & I would cook our own meal using the villa kitchen. It saved us a lot of money to eat in plus the restaurants there couldn't guarantee the food was nut free. After we ate we'd then go out with the rest of my family for their dinner (we'd just have a drink).

I have been to Center Parcs a few times before and would recommend for anyone to go in November. It's quiet and they make a huge effort getting ready for Christmas. At night time there are lights everywhere in the plaza area. You will come away feeling truly festive.

Overall we all had a fantastic time. It's a great place to get away from everything and try new things. 

Gemma xXx

A few tips from my time there -

  • Bring your own bikes. To hire them it is £25 each.
  • Bring your own rackets, that way you only have to pay for court hire.
  • Split the cost of the bigger villas with your party. The bigger villas have more facilities to keep you busy!
  • Try eating in or alternating between eating in and out to save money.
  • Bring food from normal supermarkets. Center Parcs have their own supermarket which has almost everything you'd need, but it was fairly pricey!
  • If you have children, bring torches or glow sticks for them to hold whilst your out in the evening.


  1. I;ve never been to centerparcs but this post makes me really wnt to go! looks like you had a lovely time :)

  2. Sounds like the perfect trip! I have never been to centerparcs..I'll have to put it on my places to go to list :) I quite enjoy going on holidays during the winter time, most of my holidays/getaways here have been in December. I love the whole Christmassy feel though.
    I like the Christmas decorations you bought.
    It's definitely the time of year to enjoy the hot chocolates...I always like to think of them as 100% calorie free..haha.
    Magie x

  3. It sounds like you had a wonderful time!! I love the reindeer photo, bet you're in a super Christmassy mood now!! Started following you pinterest too... love finding new people to follow. Hazel x

  4. What a lovely place! Glad to hear you had a great time. Your pics are awesome! xx


I'd love to hear from you, even if you are just passing by! Leave a comment below and I will always reply to it using the 'reply' button...so be sure to check back!

Gemma x


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