Last weekend we had a family getaway to Centerparcs Longleat and were blessed with wonderful weather and beautiful company.
Between two lodges we had myself and Raj with my brother and his girlfriend. The other lodge was for my Mum, Step-Dad, and two youngest sisters.
I have been looking forward to this long weekend away for over a month and it exactly the relaxation we needed.
We arrived on the Friday at 12 noon so that we were just ahead of the crowds at check-in time. This meant we were able to park up and have a leisurely lunch before checking into our lodges at 3.
The first thing that strikes you is the abundance of trees. Is it just me or does being around so much natural beauty feel incredibly energising?
Once unpacked we drove the vehicles back to the car park where they have to stay for the entire weekend. That’s one of my favourite things about Centerparcs, no cars are allowed on the site. We picked up our bikes from the rental area and off we went cycling as a large group! It was rad.
You know that advert for Centerparcs where the family is cycling through the forest and the sun is shining down, dabbled through the trees, and they are smiling and so happy …? Yeah, well that was my main aim for the weekend. I wanted, bikes, sunshine, trees and happy faces … mission accomplished!
In some ways it is incredibly idyllic.
Our first activity was swimming. My Mum had booked a cabana which was a great idea because the pool is more adventure pool than swimming with slides, wave machine and a rapids that throws you around and down these mini slides and pools. The cabana means you can catch your breath in private, have a drink and just a little rest in between. We had three hours of fun playing in the pool, and playing was exactly what we needed. It was so much fun.
Buzzing, we cycled back to the lodge where dished out our massive picnic spread for dinner and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to my sister Charlotte.
On Saturday the girls did an aerial adventure ending in a massive zip wire jump over the lake. We brought a picnic lunch to eat by the lake. The boys went off to do field archery which involved shooting fake animals. Lovely. And the rest of us enjoyed just chilling out, chatting and cycling around the park.
For dinner we enjoyed a magic show at the Pancake House. The entertainer was hilarious and my sister loved it. The food was atrocious, so I don’t want to recommend that at all. But as a group we made the evening fun and concentrated on the entertainment. I just had to wait until gone 9pm before eating a bacon sarnie back at my lodge.
On Sunday we took my sisters to the kids falconry session. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, me or them! The birds of prey were stunning! We learned loads about the different birds – falcon, kestrel, hawk – and the history of falconry. The girls were given special gloves and were able to fly and hold the birds. I’m not sure if they knew what to make of it. It was so different.
After that we cycled back down the hill to the lake area for a spot of adventure golf. A game I am spectacularly bad at. Again, we had good fun, even if we did get lapped by several other groups of people. Ha!
That afternoon we enjoyed the blazing sunshine! It was incredibly hot. We took my youngest sister up to the adventure playground, drank iced coffees, sunbathed, ate ice creams, drank cider, and enjoyed a spot of people-watching.
In the evening we did a quick barbecue back at the lodge before everyone else went home.
Raj and I checked out of the lodge on Monday morning before driving around the other side of the park to visit the spa. It was such a lovely way to end the weekend. It was a three-hour time slot where you can enjoyed loads of different steam rooms, a pool, heated loungers, a zen garden and zonk out on water beds. I think our favourites were the Japanese, Moroccan and Balinese steam rooms. The plunge pool is located in the centre of the spa area, is super-heated and outdoors. Loved it!
Unfortunately the park was suffering with some water issues and the entire park’s water was shut off at 2pm. That meant no steam for the steam room! We chilled for a little bit in the zen garden. Those things sure do work! And then had spot to eat in the cafe, which wasn’t great (but then none of the food served at Centreparcs was any good). After waiting a while longer it didn’t look like the water was coming back on which was a bit of a pain as we needed to shower. We weren’t even allowed to use the toilets! Darn it. So we packed up and jumped back in Deborah the van for the journey home.
One of the best things about Centerparcs Longleat is it just under two hours away, not too much of a trek at all.
All in all, despite a few mishaps, it was super fun and relaxing family holiday. I loved spending time with everyone, particularly my siblings. The little ones are at such a fun age.
If you want to see more I vlogged the weekend as well. Watch on my YouTube channel or below.