A Family Break at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest

We booked a week long break in a four bedroom Executive Lodge at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest (Cumbria, UK) for my parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary in August…  we were a party of 8, ranging in age from 9-76! The summer had been beautiful so far so we were hoping for more of the same for our week away, but unfortunately it was not to be!  Thankfully there are plenty of activities to keep everyone occupied at Center Parcs even if the weather is bad…

Our group for the week!

The check-in at Whinfell Forest was fast and efficient and we were in our lodge in no time… it was spacious, clean and tidy and had everything we needed (including a sauna, which was a bonus!). We chose our rooms – all of which had lovely views into the forest – and unpacked, before returning the car to the car park and heading out to explore… and Whinfell Forest is a lovely site to wander around, watching the wildlife and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Our 4-Bed Executive Lodge

Center Parcs Whinfell Forest is a spacious resort and even though there were clearly lots of people on-site it never felt crowded.  The lake around which the site is set offers lots of watersports, including tuition, and the massive pool complex is great fun, with slides, jacuzzis and even cabañas for hire! There are also plenty of places to eat and drink and the takeaway service is a great option if you don’t fancy going out (or if everyone fancies eating something different which we often did!).

The Lake and Village Centre

We had already booked some activities before we arrived – largely the ones we really wanted to do (tree trekking, kayaking, pottery painting, etc), as we knew it would be busy in the middle of the school holidays.  But, actually, we managed to book a number of other things when we were there without too much trouble, which was great as the weather meant we did more activities than we might have done if it had been warm and sunny!

Enjoying the pottery painting

Having been to Center Parcs before, we knew how pricey things were on site so had taken a fair amount of food/drink with us.  But we still planned to eat out at least once a day and during the week managed to check out The Pancake House (yummy pancakes and waffles), Cafe Rouge (French-style food), Starbucks, The Lakeside Inn (typical pub food) and the Sports Bar (bar snacks and meals). We enjoyed the food and drink everywhere we went but overall I think the meal at cafe Rouge was our favourite meal of the week, even though the service there was pretty slow! And if you have any special dietary requirements or allergies, Center Parcs has options available, all of which are clearly marked and, in some places, we were even given a separate menu!

Freya enjoyed the Pancake House

One of the reasons we love Center Parcs so much is that, because the accommodation is all spread out throughout the forest, you can sit and watch the wildlife from the comfort of your sofa… we sat watching red squirrels, deer, pheasants, nuthatches, tree creepers, coal tits as well as many other birds right outside our lodge!

Red Squirrel outside the lodge

There was plenty to keep us all entertained for a week at Whinfell Forest, although I don’t think I would want to stay any longer than that… The only downside was that the weather was pretty poor all week – grey and wet – but in the UK that’s a chance you take, even in summer!!

The miserable weather didn’t stop everyone enjoying themselves!

The only other unfortunate thing about the trip (aside from the weather) was that my Mum had a fall on the first day and injured her foot and leg. The staff both in the swimming complex and at the medical centre were fantastic and couldn’t do enough to help… they even gave my parents a gift of a bottle of prosecco and two glasses when they found out it was their anniversary. In fact, all the staff we came into contact with during our break were so helpful. The fantastic staff are definitely one of the other things that I love about Center Parcs – in all my visits I have never encountered a member of staff who didn’t provide great customer service!

So, all too soon it was Monday again and our break was over… so we packed up our cars and headed home, having made some great memories.

Look out for my next post all about the activities we did at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest, coming soon….

Happy Travelling!


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30 thoughts on “A Family Break at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest

  1. This sounds like such an awesome vacation. We went on a trip with my parents this summer and stayed in a 3 bedroom cabin in the middle of nowhere, Utah, and it was gorgeous! It’s always great to be able to unwind, disconnect, and enjoy time with those you love.

    1. Thank you – it’s a lovely place for taking photos. It’s great family destination, I can definitely recommend it!
      Kate x

    1. It was – we actually went for my parents 40th wedding anniversary 10 years ago too! There is just so much to do there, you could never get bored!
      Kate x

  2. I totally want to do something like this when we get to go back and visit family. Bringing everyone to one location and enjoying things together makes it so much fun! Looks like you guys had a blast!

  3. Sounds like you had a terrific few days away, Center Parcs is such a great place for family breaks. We’ve been to their parks so many times and there are so many all over Europe which are even better.

    1. Great aren’t they – there’s so much for all ages to do! We once went to one in Belgium but found it a lot more basic than the ones in the UK – although that was reflected in the price!
      Kate x

    1. It was great – we all enjoyed it! My daughter loves pottery painting too… she’s done it several times so far this summer.
      Kate x

  4. I enjoy finding new places for my family to enjoy each other. Center Parcs Whinfell Forest sounds like a perfect place to bond with my family.

    1. Center Parcs Whinfell Forest is a great destination for a family break – there’s so much to do for all ages and in a beautiful setting too!
      Kate x

  5. This looks like it would be such an amazing trip! I would absolutely love to go somewhere like this with my family.

    1. It’s a great place to go for a family holiday – it’s a beautiful location and there is so much to do!
      Kate x

  6. While I’m sure you would have preferred the weather had been better for your stay, it’s wonderful they had so many great activities. It looks like a fantastic place to stay and that your family had a great stay.

    1. Exactly… it’s one of those things in the UK – you just have to get on with it whatever the weather as even in summer you can’t guarantee sunshine!! Center Parcs is a great place to stay for families…
      Kate x

  7. the place look perfect for a family, so many fun things to do! You seem to have had a really good time, and congratulations to your parents on their Anniversary! That’s such a huge milestone!!

    1. It is a perfect family holiday resort – we had a great time! Thank you – 50 years is certainly a long time!
      Kate x

    1. We had a great time! Thank you… you should if you get chance, it’s a very family-friendly place!
      Kate x

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