So two weeks ago we have a lovely weekend at Center Parcs in Longford. I had been dying to go since it’s launch in July of this year. I had heard so many great things about it so I kind of had a high expectation of it.
For anyone that doesn’t know, Center Parcs is an award-winning network of premium family holiday resorts in the UK, opened its newest resort in Longford Forest in summer 2019. The Center Parcs concept is to provide short breaks in the forest, bringing families together and getting back to nature with high quality accommodation, a range of outstanding leisure facilities and more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities, all set within a protected and enhanced woodland environment.
Center Parcs Longford Forest is set within 400 acres of natural woodland, with trees, streams and wildlife surrounding each apartment and lodge accommodation. At the heart of the village is the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, Ireland’s largest waterpark, a large range of restaurants, cafés and retail outlets, as well as the Aqua Sana Spa.
At Center Parcs Longford Forest you can:
- Explore the stunning woodland and keep your eyes open for wildlife
- Try your hand at something new with more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities to choose from, including children’s creative crafts and adrenaline-fuelled activities
- Enjoy hours of fun in Ireland’s biggest waterpark, the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, which is heated to a balmy 29.5C all year round
- Relax in a range of accommodation sizes and styles from two-, three- and four-bedroom lodges across the Woodland, Executive and Exclusive Lodge ranges to one-bedroom Lakeside Apartments
- Indulge in some me-time at Ireland’s biggest spa, Aqua Sana, which offers 21 hot, cold, sensory and meditative experiences across four unique zones – Nordic Forest, Hot Springs, Volcanic Forest and Treetop Nesting – as well as 14 treatment rooms where spa therapists deliver Elemis and VOYA treatments
- Sample the range of restaurants on site from everyone’s favourite, The Pancake House to Cara’s Kitchen and Bar, Bella Italia and many more.
We went to Center Parcs for the launch of their Winter Wonderland. It started on the 8th of November and runs all the way through until 3rd of January. Center Parcs is done up fabulously with full festive decor and festive activities for all the family to enjoy, no matter what age. We went to visit Santa’s workshop and we took festive carriage ride also. Lily’s face was priceless and it was so worth it. She really loved every minute of it.
Also during Winter Wonderland, you can do range of other seasonal activities which include include pottery painting and a festive roller disco. There is spectacular light and sound show over the lake on a Sunday which is a 9 minute animation projected onto a wall of water and brings you on a magical adventure from Longford Forest to the North Pole however it was lashing rain and we didn’t want to take Lily out in it so we stayed in.
If you’re thinking of booking Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs, breaks at Center Parcs Longford Forest start from €459. There are also specific Christmas breaks (23rd to 27th December) at Center Parcs Longford Forest start from €999 and then the New Year breaks (30th Dec to 3rd Jan) at Center Parcs Longford Forest start from also €999.
So what did I think?
Overall we had a fabulous experience and you know me, I would tell you if it wasn’t good but we all very much enjoyed it. We stayed in a 4 bedroom Woodland Lodge. We cycled everywhere and Lily loved being on the bike and in her carriage.
A lot of people asked about the food. We loved the food everywhere we went. We went to The Pancake House, Bella Italia, we had a takeaway from the Indian and also went to The Coffee House. They have the best hot chocolate ever!!!! Also in The Pancake House, there was a baby station. Vegan options everywhere we went.
Can you bring your car to the lodge?
Yes you can drive to the lodge after check in, unload your car and drive it back to the car park. They don’t want you driving around the resort so it’s bike or foot everywhere. This was our lodge below.
Can you go as a couple or all boys/girls group?
Absolutely. People think you need to have children but you actually don’t. There are so many activities to do down there.
Is it worth the money? What is included in the price?
Yes I do think it is worth the money however for us, we will go back mid week as I found the weekend quite busy. It’s the lodge, parking and the sub tropical paradise is included. You do need to pay for activities separately.
Can you go for the day?
Yes if you know someone staying there, they can get you a day pass however you can’t just go for the day. You can however visit the spa for the day only.
Top tips when going?
When you go to Sub Tropical Paradise, go out to the pool, grab your towels and put them in your locker with your bits. This way you aren’t waiting around freezing after the pool. Also bring a 1euro coin for the human dryer after the swimming pool
Bring your own bikes if you can. You obviously can rent them too when you’re there. You don’t need bikes however it’s great to have them. We had a carriage for Lily and she loved it.
Book everything in advance. Spa treatments, activities, dinners etc. Even a takeaway needs to really be booked at 3pm that day to get a dinner time slot for delivery.
It’s so casual and comfy down there so make sure you stay warm. Boots, hats, scarves, thermal knickers are needed.
Is there a bar/pub?
There’s a bar in the sports plaza.
Can you bring your dog?
Yes there are special lodges suited to bring your dog.
Would I go back?
Absolutely. We will definitely go back when Lily is slightly older. The rest of our party came and they just loved it too. We can’t wait to go back again.
So that’s it guys. I hope you found the post informative & you enjoyed following us over the few days. I said I would do this post as I know I’ll be inundated with questions about it. I did a Q&A on Instagram stories which is saved to my Center Parcs highlight for any more questions, see there.
NOTE: This stay was a Press Trip for the launch of their Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs Longford. My views and opinion in this blog post of the trip are all my own. I was not paid to write this blog post, I said I would write it as an informative piece about my stay at Center Parcs.
Love Aoibhe xxx