Our Helliday

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!

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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.

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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 :)

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18 thoughts on “Our Helliday

  1. Caro

    Ooh, I’m glad you had a good time! We’ve just booked a week at the Elveden Forest CP for next spring. I last went to Longleat as an adult for a conference, but also went to a several across Europe as a child. My mum reminded me after we’d booked that every single one of our CP holidays had some sort of disaster including broken arms, broken fingers, broken teeth, illness and a forest fire! Ah well, I remember having great fun, and I’m even more confident after reading your good experiences!

    1. hurrahforgin

      Oh wow sounds like we did pretty well then!! I’m sure you will have a great time. My sister went to one in France this year and said the European ones are even better :)

  2. 3yearsandhome

    We haven’t taken the boys on a proper holiday yet because we use our time to fly back to the UK and stay with my parents. Next year, it’s all change though. We’ve booked a week a Bluestone National Park and have a week in Italy staying with family. I’m reluctant to blow a fortune on a massive holiday just yet because they can be quite temperamental. Hopefully, the year after we’ll venture further a field. Somewhere with a spa always works for me though. Decent food and a shopping centre is also good :-)

    1. hurrahforgin

      Sounds lovely! Yep it’s soul destroying spending money when it blows up in your face! Somewhere with a spa is the best idea although i never even got to ttake advantage of the one at Center Parcs, my own fault for not booking it sooner!

    2. hurrahforgin

      Sounds lovely! Yep it’s soul destroying spending money when it blows up in your face! Somewhere with a spa is the best idea although i never even got to ttake advantage of the one at Center Parcs, my own fault for not booking it sooner!

  3. elliebearbabi

    I was showing hubbs longleat the other day as an idea for next year hols. it looks fab! i just love the way you write your posts they really make me laugh! glad u had a good helliday ;) x

  4. Actually Mummy

    I feel your pain – swim up bars have totally different connotations these days, don’t they? But yes, holidaying with kids can be fun (not relaxing) and Center Parcs is fab

  5. Debra

    Oh I love Longleat. We went this year too and on our tesco vouchers, what a bargain. Postman Pat Land was packed the day we went so I think you kind of lucked in there with the rain, I think William would have stayed there all day in that little rowing boat if we had let him.

  6. Clare waterfall

    We are currently in a lodge at MacDonald Aviemore… Awesome! Still got the stress packing/leaving house lark and everything revolves around Young ‘uns but there is a steam train, soft play, crèche/spa, wave pool, shops, cafes/restaurants, Tesco, play park, red squirrels and bunnies within walking distance. You can also drive easily to a loch with a beach, mountain funicular, sled dogs, reindeer, bike hire, fun park and the Loch Ness monster… The list goes on. It’s amazing, but don’t tell anyone ;)


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