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“Nice holiday but not as good as Sherwood Centre Parcs!”

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Center Parcs Longleat Forest
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 August 2009

We stayed for a 5 day midweek break, and it was chaos on arrival. What drives people to sit for over an hour in a queue through the car park with their engines running waiting for the barrier to go up to drive in...... scary! We unpacked our bikes and then returned later for the car as the 3pm barrier rise is mad. The site is very hilly and spread out, so if you have young children and buggies i would imagine its hard work. We got very fed up with the trek from the Jardin de sports and the plaza. The village square is a let down too, as all the shops/market etc in is in the plaza with the pool complex.
The pool is great, as all centre parcs are, shame the changing area is so crowded and cramped. We had an executive villa, which was spacious and well stocked in the kitchen but a bit grubby and tired looking, we wished we had gone for a woodland lodge as they seemed much cleaner and tidier having been re-vamped.
The activities are on the expensive side and we stuck to hiring badminton courts on wet days although be warned you really do need to book before you go. Even getting a restaurant table in the evenings was hard work, as you really should pre-book. There's not alot of room for impulsiveness at centre parcs.
However the site was spotlessly clean, and well maintained. We really enjoyed walking around through the park and some of the cycle paths are lovely, built up onto wooden boardwalks.
Take lots of things to do with the kids if it rains, take lots of food as the supermarket is not open after 8pm and is pricey with not a great selection of food, few snack bars are open after coming out of the swimming pool late at night, and book the newer accomodation.
Still a great holiday though despite the price. Will go back to Sherwood Forest next time as its better laid out.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank julesvee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7,900 - 7,906 of 8,035 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2009

Stayed in Woodland Lodge which was very comfortable and well equiped. Weather was pretty bad most days ( par for the course for British Summer Hol though!)

Travelled with 15 year old and 2 year old both had a brilliant time. Particularly enjoyed swimming pool both inside and out...lovely and warm and very clean. Changing cubicles were a good size and also cleaned regularly - quite impressive given the volume of people passing through.

On site shop fairly expensive but very handy and well stocked with good brands.

All Center parcs staff very friendly helpful and (mostly) efficient

Onsite restaurants were a little pricey but all were good with Spanish Tapas restaurant (Ortega?) being the best by far

Is costly but worth it and would definitely go again

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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Thank NicandIan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2009

I love Center Parcs so much that I go year after year. The Villas are of excellent quality (even the basic one) and its great being amongst nature and the trees at Longleat. The more of you that share the cheaper it becomes. The kitchen facilities are good and upgraded villas have dishwashers. Very good for self catering. There is a mini market where you can buy basics mostly at an average or just above average price. The alcohol is slightly more expensive. There are endless activities to do - I would recommend the falconry and also the teddy bears picnic for children and soft play time. The spa is the best spa I have been to with lots of treatments or for just relaxing in the large spa area. There are many restaurants to choose from and I love the pancake house. Longleat is spread over a large area however for most of the year a train runs from various pick up locations and takes you where you need to go. The swimming pool is as they say a tropical paradise with a wave machine, slides and an outdoor rapid slide. There is also a separate kiddies pool and slide. The pool is open till late which means in the winter you can swim under the stars outside as its all heated and then head back to the villa for a cosy fire and glass of wine. Perfect!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank jennyluan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2009

We took the plunge and decided to stay at Longleat. I was unsure at first what this was going to be like as the opinions on Trip advisor were either 'excellent' or 'don't bother'. We arrived just after 3pm and managed to get half way down the drive before we met the queue of traffic. However much to my surprise this moved quickly as there were 6 checking in points. We were there for under a minute before they let us loose to find our accommodation.

Longleat is, by my standards, large and we actually drove past our cabin twice!!!!! Once unloaded we drove back to the car park and went to pick up our bikes. Best £84 I spent. (This is cheap for 4 bikes as we had a day in the New Forest a week later and that cost us £54 for the days hire).

The remainder of the afternoon we cycled to get our bearings and finished of by going to the swimming pool. This place was fantastic and the kids loved it especially the rapid ride which is very strong and can play havoc with you as you try to get to the next bend. Great fun.

We booked our activities before we went. However this is not essential as not everything was fully booked. One of our activities was postponed because of rain but we were reimbursed straight away at reception.

The supermarket on sight is not overly expensive in between Morrisons and Spar for price and does stock most well known brands the only thing I did find expensive was the wine.

Our comfort lodge did the job well. it's just straight forward accommodation. It did not have manicured lawns or anything posh like that but hey your in the middle of a forest and the whole point is to blend in. We even had a squirrel which popped into our house every day along with a rabbit who munched away quite happily at the back of our lodge.

We did horse riding, Off site, wife and kids loved it as I would have done had Garfield not decided to take me through some low lying branches. Give me golf any day!! Also did Geo caching, orienteering with a sat nav. This was good as it took you around center parcs in a lazy sort of way.

Also did paint balling off site. If you are planning to do this it may work out cheaper if you phone the paintballing centre (Skirmish) and our last was an adventure thingy down by the Lake.

What I enjoyed most was the pool, rapids and the cycling. The latter being a joy as there were no cars and it was safe for the kids. My son loved cycling down the board walk as he liked skidding around the corners but did not like cycling back up. Come to think of it neither did I!!!

The things I would recommend for people is only take a small amount of food if any. Do hire bikes as it is the easiest way to get around. But most important of all please don't think your going to have beautiful manicured lawns, you not but do enjoy it as a forest with cabins. If you do you will relax quicker as all the stresses disappear and you will have a fab time at Center Parcs.

As for eating out, Ortega the Spanish retuarant was the best.

On the only day it rained we could have done with a tumble dryer!!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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7  Thank Grahame R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2009

We have just returned from a 7 day break at Longleat Center Parcs but feel slightly ripped off, if that is possible. My partner and I booked an executive 4 bed lodge to accommodate ourselves and 5 young adults (we have two each and my daughter's boyfriend) - cost £2,190. Last year we had two weeks all inclusive abroad but thought we would try and cut costs and spend a week in the UK. We have visited all of the CP sites and thought we would try Longleat and also take advantage of a visit to the safari park.

I research holidays quite thoroughly and this is the thing that I feel most annoyed about. Our lodge does not appear anywhere on the CP website. The park is celebrating its 15th anniversary and I am assuming this lodge was built and decorated at that time and has never been refurbished. It was very dark with dated pine furniture and a small TV in the corner. In one of the bedrooms the TV was positoned on a shelf in the corner like something from a seaside B & B. This is the only time I have visited CP and wished I had taken utensils from my own kitchen as the kitchen was so poorly equipped.

Anyway, I am sure that is enough of my moaning and we did have a good time and made full use of the pool, Jardin de Sports and had a morning in the Aqua Sana along with treatments.

Definitely won't return to Longleat again as it is very hilly and the Jardin and Plaza are so far apart. There was always a scramble for the land train but that may be something to do with the terrible weather we had. I am looking forward to a short break at Sherwood some time in the near future.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank Caz1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2009

Our first trip to Centre Parcs, on this occasion a convenient location as our teenage children were desperate to visit Longleat House. Knowing we would only be there for a couple of days we paid a supplement for an apartment in Pinewoods literally a couple of minutes walk from the Plaza.

Generally had a great time. The apartment was comfortably furnished with TV's in the sitting room and master bedroom and we could sit and look out on the forest wildlife each evening with rabbits and deer visiting our apartment. Booked a couple of "new" activities for the kids but generally lazed around the site when not at Longleat.

You could quite easily never leave the site on your entire break. Being able to use the facilities on both the day of your arrival and departure must be a real bonus for many customers (OK maybe not so much if you are driving there from Aberdeen). The swimming pool complex is fantastic and there are a variety of eating places on site. The shop is well-stocked and would put some small supermarkets to shame. It is a big site though and bikes are recommended.

One or two reservations or warnings. We arrived late and there was the assumption we had been there before. Look at the car park layout BEFORE you arrive - and remember where your car is. Activities are not cheap and may represent very poor value to what you might find off site (compare the cost of small Centre Parcs tree-top trail to alternatives such as GoApe perhaps). Also whilst the site encourages cycling, we found a basic lack of courtesy from a number of often young cyclists - cycling on "no-cycling" walkways, or cycling across the width of entire paths. Things are even worse on changeover days when the addition of cars means there is competition for space on the previously uncrowded roads - on my final morning I was almost hit twice by children on bikes completely spooked by cars also being on the road.

Our biggest disappointment was eating in one of the site restaurants Cafe Rouge. We prebooked as recommended and arrived to find non-existent service, delays in getting drinks, and food options unavailable – not what we expected on a Saturday night peak season. Had we not been on holiday and already had to pay a £20 deposit we would have gone elsewhere. But this seemed to be a one-off as service in the Pancake House and Sandwich bar good. Maybe we were just unlucky….

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank Jason42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2009

My boyfriend and I (aged 29 and 34) have just returned from a 7 day trip to longleat centreparcs and although we made the best of it both of us were very disappointed. I echo the comments of one other reviewer that this is a glorified overpriced version of Pontins.

We chose this as a change from going abroad as we had always wanted to try it and both being very active (my partner is in the army and I am a keen runner) we thought this was a good option. Mistake. The forest is much smaller than their website implies-I ran through every road in the entire place within 45 minutes, and there is no cycle track, so it was no different to cycling round a very small housing estate. As we had hired bikes (very basic models for £70 in total) we could not venture out further which is a shame as the surrounding countryside had much more to offer.

This accomodation is also incredibly overpriced (we paid 900 pounds for an executive villa which is just a glorified chalet-not the wood lodge that they imply, despite being very well decorated). Furthermore we payed a supliment to be close to the centre, however we were devastated to discover all 'chalets' in this area were terraced, completely exposed (many trees had been chopped down presumably to create logs for their fires) and you can see into each one, definately not the enclosed romantic getaway in the woods that some other reviewers or their site would have you believe. The apartments (which were ironically much cheaper) were much more visually appealing and less exposed.

This place is really aimed at families with small kids rather than couples (or at least that's who it attracted in the thousands - I honestly did not see another young couple there). Perhaps it is different out of season but if you're a couple looking for a 'summer' holiday away learn from our mistake - I would definately suggest looking elsewhere unless you want to be permanently surrounded by screaming children. Despite what some of the other reviews say not recommended as a romantic getaway.

The evening entertainment is almost non existant - was one bar (similar to Wetherspoons) and that was pretty disapointing, and another small bar in the bowling centre. There were many restaurants to choose from, with good customer service however they were jam packed with children all day and night long.

My advice to any couples thinking of booking is go out of season which is much cheaper and hopefully there should be less kids. book for 3-5 days rather than a week. The week was too long as the activites are so expensive it all mounted up, plus we'd had enough by the fifth day. To anyone else, in my opinion it's not worth the extra for an executive villa as they are no different on the outside and the standard ones are adequate - instead save your money for the activities as that is what you are going for.

On the plus side the supermarket was suprisingly cheap-comparable to tesco prices. The pool and rapids were great fun (although crammed packed with kids so I suggest if you do go in summer waiting until after 5.00pm when it's died down a bit)

I want to finish by saying in theory this should have been a great holiday, however the forest is far too small for active adults, the activities and accomodation are overpriced yet you feel obliged to pay once you are there as there is nothing else to do other than swim. Since returning I've heard through the grapevine that the Sherwood forest parc is a lot larger and has much more to offer. However, although Centreparcs may once have been a novelty, competitors such as Haven are catching up in terms of accomodation and the activities they provide, and you can book with these companies for a third of the price. There are also lots of lovely cottage complexes throughout the UK which have the same facilities, sport activities and farm animals for much less money which are great for kids and adults alike. I will be sticking to them in future.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank strim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Center Parcs Longleat Forest

Address: Warminster BA12 7PU, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Wiltshire > Warminster
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Warminster
Hotel Class:5 star — Center Parcs Longleat Forest 5*
Also Known As:
Center Parcs Longleat Forest Village Hotel Warminster
Center Parcs Warminster
Center Parcs Hotel Warminster
Center Parcs Longleat Forest Warminster, UK - Wiltshire

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