That’s what they say isn’t it? Once you have kids you don’t have proper holidays anymore.
Instead you take a whole day packing, leave on the verge of a mental breakdown and spend the entire time furiously churning out activities to keep them from kicking off.
Different location – same old shit.
When you have kids you plan your destination, your travel, what you do, where you eat, everything – around them.
Gone are the days of sipping rum cocktails at a swim up bar in the Jamaica, taking motorbike rides through the night markets in Phnom Pneh or driving ‘top down’ along the sunny coast of California in a Mustang. But hey, I’m not bitter.
So with the above in mind (along with a considerable drop in disposable income) we finally popped our Center Parcs cherry with a visit to Longleat – and do you know what we had a pretty lovely time!
Stuff we liked
- The pool – it was perfect for the littlies as it was so much warmer than most pools. There were also lots of splash pools and the free floats were brilliant so no need to bring your armbands.
- The accommodation – we stayed in a 2 bed new style executive wotsit and it was lovely – , nice and cosy with all the mod cons including TV in the lounge and both bedrooms, DVD player, dishwasher, ooooh and most importantly a wine cooler!
- The setting – just stunning, the weather at the time made the forest misty which kinda added to the atmosphere.
- The land train – if nothing else a good way to kill 40 minutes with a trip to nowhere and back :)
- Lovely people – everyone was super friendly from the staff to other holidayers. Plus i lost my handbag (major panic – money, cards, phone, keys etc) and it was handed in.
Stuff we didn’t like quite so much
- The rain – it rained quite heavily for most of the time. Although not quite sure we can blame CP for this?!
- Not much free stuff to do for littlies when it’s raining – it could have done with a (dreaded) soft play centre or such….or maybe not.
- Umm sorry running out of ideas of what to put here – it was pretty fab.
- Oh i know – i didn’t like the massive meltdown Little F had in Strada because he didn’t like his meatballs. I definitely blame the Strada meatballs not the complete lack of consistency from a 3 year old.
On one of the days we were there we took a visit out to Longleat Safari Park – it was pissing it down but hey ho – who cares! Not the 3 year old that’s for sure.
If you have visited this year you will know they have a new Postman Pat world – hurrah! This is where we spent most of our day. It is small and it gets pretty boring after 10 minutes, although not for Little F. He bloody loved it.
You can collect a bunch of letters from the shop and help the good for nothing useless excuse for a postman deliver them around Greendale – a really sweet idea perfect for pre-schoolers.
We did try and drag Little F around the rest of the park but he was not really interested in the animals – ‘but they don’t have wheels mummy?’ – true.
The actual safari bit was great though, especially as we were able to keep warm and dry inside the car. F loved the monkeys climbing on the car and we got to see Lions closer than i had ever seen them before. Amazing.
It was a nice day out made even better by using our Tesco club card points for the tickets – £8.50 worth of points vs. a whopping £31.50 if you pay full price at the gate – ouch.
So despite the rain and the sporadic tantrums it wasn’t such a Helliday after all – and the best thing about a Center Parcs? They have a pretty epic wine selection. So when the kids were in bed it was PJB’s on, glass of red in hand and back to back Breaking Bad courtesy of the free wifi :)
**************P.S. I have TWO books out now! You can nab them on Amazon here or in all good bookshops and supermarkets :)