A few weeks ago we went to Center Parcs Whinfell. We went with Mike’s mate, Julian, and his family and it was great. I was really impressed by the quality of the chalets – the kitchen work tops are granite for gawd sakes! Here are my tips for enjoying it to the full, even with the littlest ones.
10 tips for enjoying Center Parcs Whinfell
1. Pretend your money is monopoly money – otherwise you will get pissed off at the prices and the fact you have to pay for everything, and ruin your holiday.
2. Book activities in advance – Everyone says you need to book your activities in advance and this is definitely true for the kids stuff as we got the last 3 places for the princess and pirate party. However…
3. Don’t do what I did and panic hire a bike in advance – unless you are actually planning to use it! Gabby used her bike a lot but we also hired a bike and trailer for Mike and Reuben (Mike only used his bike once to go to the pub and Reuben didn’t go in the trailer) and I didn’t even pick up the bike and helmet I hired from the shop!
Center Parcs Whinfell in February
4. Hire a buggy – it’s £30 for the week and if you’re anything like us you’ll totally overpack and need all the space you can get in the boot. The buggy was great too – I even went out for a jog with it and it was perfect for Reuben to sleep in, even when we were out at night.
5. Call up if the website says the activity is fully booked – we did this for a few things and found that actually they weren’t fully booked.
6. Take a chance on the treatments – and check out the daily specials while you are there… I booked 2 treatments that I had on different days only to discover that these very same treatments were on the daily special for half the price I’d paid in advance and with a free candle. Very annoying! I managed to get the free candle though so if you are caught out it’s worth asking!
7. Take bedding for the cot – they don’t provide any so I took the waterproof mattress protector (to protect Reuben from the mattress rather than the mattress from Reuben!) as well as a sheet.
8. Don’t overpack – I had no idea what it would be like but what I would say is you don’t need heels or 3 dresses or … etc. Gabby generally wore the same thing every day – jeans, t-shirt and a sweater, and so did the rest of us. All that it meant was that it’s taken me nearly 2 weeks to unpack the 2 suitcases full of clothes we didn’t wear.
9. Always book restaurants the day before – we were caught out by this a few times. You can’t book on the day, it’s just walk up bookings. You either have to be there at 6 on the dot or be willing to wait until 9 for the best restaurants. We wanted to go for a nice Indian while the kids were at their Pjyama party but ended up in Bella Pasta for the second time. The only table without kids.
10. Remember to relax, you’re on holiday! – I got a bit stressed about the bedtime routine. You’re either out at bedtime getting dinner, or if you are back at the house, the noise emanating from 4 and half adults and 3 kids means there ain’t no way babs is going to sleep. Turns out as soon as we got home Reuben slipped straight back into his usual bath and bed by 7 routine so I needn’t have worried.
Center Parcs Whinfell – Charlie, Gabriella and Gabriel after the Pirate and Princess party (Gabby’s looking like a princess pirate… or a pirate princess!)