10 Family Friendly Alternative to Center Parcs
10 Family Friendly Alternatives to Center Parcs for you to consider
Not everyone loves Center Parcs. It may be out of your price range or it may be too big and too overcrowded, so I regularly get asked for alternatives to Center Parcs and what we might recommend.
In no particular order, here are 10 Family Friendly Alternatives to Center Parcs that you may want to consider – with reviews from me or other family travel bloggers.
1. Ribby Hall, Lancashire
Up in Lancashire, Ribby Hall is a 5* holiday village near Blackpool which offers short breaks and family holidays. We visited a number of years ago, and as Center Parcs fans we weren’t overly impressed and you can read why in my review of Ribby Hall.
However we know lots of families that LOVE it and recommend it as an alternative to Center Parcs. Jo from Kiddie Holidays is one of them. You can read her glowing review of Ribby Hall here in the interests of balance. Jo’s review is also newer than ours.
2. Bluestone, Pembrokeshire
Bluestone National Park Resort is nestled deep in the stunning hills of Pembrokeshire, South Wales and offers families (and singles/couples) what they call “free range” holiday breaks.
Unlike Center Parcs you are free to use Bluestone resort purely as a base to return to in the evening while exploring the surrounding Pembrokeshire countryside or Wales’ famous coastal paths. Alternatively you can make full use of the facilities on site (of which they are plentiful) and not even need to leave until the end of the week.
We have a full post on Bluestone Reviews on Mini Travellers so why not pop over and have a look at everything you would need to know about Bluestone Wales.
3. Tattershall Lakes, Lincoln
Tattershall Lakes in Lincoln is a holiday park run by Away Resorts with a real variety of places to stay. There are small caravans, lodges and even brand new Tribeca style lodge/caravans with hit tubs. You can read more about these style of lodges in this review by Travel Loving Family.
We stayed here at the beginning of the Summer holidays. The downside for me, and the real difference to Center Parcs is the size of the pool. It’s tiny in comparison and not big enough for the size of the park and number of guests. It is however a really well run park and I think trying out some of their other parks would be worth doing if you’re looking for an alternative to Center Parcs.
You can find our review of Tattershall Lakes here and other reviews of Away Resorts Holiday Parks:
- Barmouth Bay Review from Travel Loving Family’s visit last summer
- Tattershall Farm Review by Mum of three Samantha (North East Family Fun)
- Another Tattershall Lakes Review by Travel Loving Family
- Whitecliff Bay Review by mum of two Jo (Kiddie Holidays)
- Whitecliffe Bay Review by mum of one Ting (My Travel Monkey)
4. Trevella Park, Cornwall as a Family Friendly Alternative to Center Parcs
*Photo Credit to Not Another Mummy Blog
Trevella Park is split up into a few different sections – holiday homes (static caravans) in one field, lakeside lodges by the lake and then a couple of fields with safari tents, geodomes and space for you to pitch up your own tent or park your camper van or caravan. Alison from Not Another Mummy Blog visited last year and you can read her full review of Trevella Park.
Trevella Park has an indoor and outdoor pool, adventure playground, two large and popular fishing lakes and mini golf, offering a selection of activities similar to Center Parcs. There’s also a café serving breakfasts, snacks and evening meals and a shop selling local produce, food, toys and gifts.
During school holiday periods their park ranger runs lots of free outdoor sessions introducing children and families to Cornwall’s wildlife. There are fishing lessons, bug hunts and rock pooling among the activities available, making it a great outdoorsy alternative to a family holiday at Center Parcs.
5. Darwin Forest, Peak District
Much smaller than Center Parcs but in a similar vein, at Darwin Forest they have a variety of styles of lodges set within the forest. There are a host of activities that you can book, an indoor swimming pool (albeit a lot smaller) and trails in the woods too. There is an on site pub and shop that you can get food from but it’s much more accessible to leave site (one car being parked outside your lodge) so you are encouraged to discover the beautiful Peak District too.
6. Kelling Heath, Norfolk
There is a big emphasis on people getting around on bikes at Kelling Heath and there is an area for you to park your bikes when using the village facilities. In this way it feels really similar to, and a great alternative to, a family holiday at Center Parcs. They also have a health and fitness club on-site. Whilst complimentary membership is available for those staying at Kelling Heath, it can feel like the fitness club is mainly for members and it is just a standard swimming pool with no slides but there is a sauna and steam room. For the warmer months, there is also an outside pool and lounging area.
Kelling Heath offers you a break away from all of the hustle and bustle and encourages you to enjoy the nature around you. It’s the kind of holiday where the focus is on making your own adventures with your surroundings.
You can read Alex and Hannah’s full review of Kelling Heath here.
7. Hendra Holiday Park, Cornwall
Hendra Holiday Park has been family-run for the past 45 years. You can camp in your own tent, caravan or motorhome, or book into a mobile home or lodge-style luxury caravan.
Claire from Tin Box Traveller visited with her family and tells us that Hendra Holiday Park has two swimming pools: the Oasis indoor fun pool with three slides, water features and family-friendly, clean changing rooms; and a large, heated outdoor pool. For younger kids there’s a warmer splash area and mini slide. The swimming pool complex makes it an attractive alternative to Center Parcs.
There’s also a full daily programme of family entertainment even outside of the school holidays. You can read Claire’s full review of Hendra Holiday Park here.
Claire also has a review on enjoying Hendra Holiday Park whatever the weather.
8. Calvert Trust, Kielder, Northumberland
The 4* Scandinavian style chalets at The Calvert Trust, Kielder are extremely well appointed.
Sam from North East Family Fun has visited and say with less than 12 chalets on site it means you aren’t overlooked and it never feels busy. Each chalet is detached and in their own private plot with individual car parking. Chalets are either situated by the riverside (as ours was) or up a small hill next to the play park with beautiful countryside views.
If you enjoy Center Parcs but want something that feels more private, this could be a great alternative for you.
*Photo Credit to North East Family Fun
9. Clydey Cottages, Pembrokeshire
According to Cathy from Mummy Travels, Clydey Cottages, tucked away in the Pembrokeshire countryside, promises to be the kind of place which takes away the stresses of small people and leaves just the fun. It’s got a reputation for being hugely family-friendly with plenty of facilities, animals on site and enough to keep adults feeling happily relaxed too.
To read Cathy’s full review and recommendation of Clydey Cottages just click here
*Phot0 Credit to Mummy Travels
10. Crieff Hydro, Perthshire
Crieff Hydro in Scotland is often referred to as the Scottish alternative to Center Parcs, but from the reviews I’ve read and the childcare they offer I would say that it’s much, much more. It’s a totally different offering, albeit you can self cater in the grounds as well as stay in the hotel itself, but to me it feels much more like a full service hotel than a lodge-style Center Parcs.
What does make it similar though, or an alternative to Center Parcs, is that it’s so incredibly family friendly and has an amazing amount for kids to do. There is lots of childcare you just need to get it booked!
I hope you enjoyed these family friendly alternatives to Center Parcs!
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