1 June 2018

Center Parcs vs Forest Holidays

Sometimes, you just wanna get away and sometimes, you can't afford to escape the U.K, luckily, the United Kingdom has a lot of things to when you're looking for the perfect staycation. 

In this post, I'll cover the pros and cons of Forest Holidays and Center Parcs and provide some clarity on Britain's much-loved lodge holidays... 

So both places are amazing, but there's good and bad points for both, which should be highlighted, I'll start with Center Parcs as I recently visited their Nottingham site over the March Bank Holiday Weekend. 

Deep in the Nottingham Countryside, Center Parcs is situated in the middle of Sheerwood Forest, famous for being the home of Robin Hood. If you have never been to Center Parcs before, they offer a selection of activities, food and drink as well as log cabins hidden in the wilderness. 

Center Parcs

Credit: Woodland Lodges from www.centerparcs.co.uk

Let's start with the pros:

Center Parcs is a reputable company and is loved by many across the U.K, there are various locations situated across the country, so you're not stuck with just one site, locations include Cumbria, Wiltshire and Ireland. 

There's so much to do - If you're the adventurous type, you can fill your boots with the amazing and exciting activities that are on the site, this includes kayaking, high ropes, and caving. Activities are both inside and outside so you can choose depending on the weather. 

They're Subtropical Paradise is fab - In each location, there is a Subtropical Paradise which is a indoor swimming pool complete with waterslides and is constantly set at 25 degrees. If you want to feel like you're abroad, then going here might make that a possibility, oh and it's completely free of charge to use. 

Various Wildlife to see - Being in the middle of a forest has it's perks, you're likely to be visited by animals including owls, deer and squirrels running around your lodges. 

Bikes - You can hire bikes (totally worth it) for the weekend for £30, Center Parcs has a strict no cars policy to keep the site eco-friendly and peaceful. If you don't like walking, I'd recommend looking into getting a bike for the weekend. 

Bars & Restaurants - Another thing I love is the site has a variety of food and drink options, such as a sports bar, American grill and Italian. Some places may vary depending on the site, so always check on the website. But if you want to escape the lodge for a bit then this is deffo a plus. 

The cons... 

Activities usually get booked up - Unless you're quick, you might not get the chance to do your favourite activity, book well in advance if you fancy doing something to pass the time.

You have to pay for extras - Activities are not included in the price of the stay (which isn't cheap btw) and you may see yourself spending a small fortune if you want to get involved in everything.

Lodges are quite basic - The lodge we stayed in previously has always been a standard cabin, however the Sheerwood lodges are attached to one another and you loose that sense of seclusion. They're also a little small, if you want to enjoy the luxury of a hot tub, then you may have to take out a bank loan.

Forest Holidays 

Credit: Silver Birch Cabin from forestholidays.co.uk 

The Pros 

The lodges are much nicer - The lodges at Forest Holidays are amazing compared to Center Parcs, they are all equipped with a hot tub and included in the price. 

Site is much smaller - This may be a con for some, but there's nothing better than being in the middle of a beautiful forest with no neighbours near by, the lodges are nicely set apart from each other and really give that feeling of 'being at one with nature.' 

On site shop - There's a cute convenience store on site which is open daily, we stayed in  the Sheerwood Forest site and North Yorkshire, both had a shop which sold everything you needed. 

Great Locations - There seem to be more sites for Forest Holidays, which is good for people dotted around the country, places include Scotland, Snowdonia, Hampshire, Cornwall and Norfolk. They have sites in a total of 10 locations.

The Cons

Not much to do -  The only con for these sites are they are very small and secluded, but this can be limited if you're not willing to explore your surroundings, we explored Whitby and went on days out when we stayed at both locations, so it's really up to you how you spend you're time, but compared to the bars and restaurant options at Center Parcs, there's nothing like that here. 


Both places are amazing, but it depends on what you're looking for, for activities galore then Center Parcs is likely for you, however Forest Holidays gives you the option to explore areas outside your lodge and jump into a hot tub after a long day out, Sheerwood Forest also has Go Ape which is £30 and is around 2 hours zip-wiring through tree tops, so bare that in mind if you're stuck between the two!

Please leave a comment below if you've been to either of these places and what you think!


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