Like it or loathe it, you can’t deny that there’s something about Center Parcs in the UK. If you haven’t been, then I bet you know someone who has. They’ve tipped up on a Friday night after school and work, cycled morning and night along the tree-lined roads and lived the advertiser’s dream for a weekend or half term break.
We booked our Park last minute in De Kempervennen, The Netherlands. Less than a 2.5 hour drive from our house. I chose it on a whim, and because it had the Center Parcs equivalent of 5 stars.
If you haven’t been to The Netherlands, then just book somewhere and go. But not Amsterdam. That place is seriously overrated. The rest of the country is utterly undersold and it is my absolute jewel on the continent. The food, the people, the countryside, the beauty, the flatness. And the bikes and cycle paths. I love it all. It’s quiet and unobtrusive but the scenery is stunning and everyone speaks English. I know how plebtastic that sounds. But living in Germany, just sometimes, it’s nice to be able to communicate properly in my mother tongue.
We had the best weekend in a really long time. So from that, you can surmise that we normally have really crap weekends (which is quite possible) or that it was a brilliant place to go. It really was an amazing break away and we had such a good time all together.
Because it was last minute we got a great deal so we stayed in an Eden Premium Cottage.
It had everything we needed and more. Two bedrooms, although you can get more, a pretty smart bathroom with a jacuzzi bath, a fully furnished kitchen and an amazing view from the sofa.
I wanted to stay in one of these, but because Joe is under 3, it was a no go. How cool is it?
We hired bikes, because, that’s obviously what you do at a Center Parcs. We cycled, talked, played games, swam a lot, went to the multiple beach playgrounds, hung out with the goats and just took a break from our normal life. They get you with the massive charge for WiFi so I unplugged except for my free 30 minutes per day and that’s unheard of. But I wanted to because we were having such a lovely time. We didn’t leave on our last night until nearly 7pm because none of us wanted to pack up and go. It was that good!
It was such an unmitigated and unexpected success that we’re planning on hitting one each month or so over the summer. We even have 2 within an hour of our house. So for a true lastminute.com break we’re golden.
I highly highly recommend considering a European Center Parcs rather than one of the English five. Eavesdropping on a conversation (there were a load of Brits there), they got a week plus ferry and petrol at this park over the Easter holiday, for less than what they’d been quoted for Longleat!
In my opinion, this one wins hands down.