In October, I was lucky enough to spend the weekend at Center Parcs in Longleat Forest with a group of fab bloggers. When the morning of the 14th finally arrived, I practically leaped out of bed, I was so excited! It felt like I had been counting down for years and I just couldn't quite believe that the day was finally here.
As a child, I went on a few holidays to Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest and I have also been to the one in Elveden Forest before as well. I used to love going when I was a child and some of my fondest memories are with my siblings and cousin, riding through Sherwood Forest on our bikes and having a blast in the swimming pool and rapids. This however was my first time visiting as an adult, my first time at Longleat and my first ever girl's holiday.
After finding our lodges, dropping off our things and parking the cars for the weekend, we headed to the bicycle centre to grab the bikes we were hiring for the weekend. This was particularly nerve wracking as I hadn't actually ridden a bike since 2010 - when I was last at a Center Parcs. Thankfully a few of the other girls were in similar positions so we could all wobble along together. I'm not gonna lie, the bike ride from the hire centre back to the lodges was painful - not only did the seat bruise my bum but my thighs were burning as well! Luckily, it was a short and downhill ride back to the lodges so my pain was short lived!
After getting back, me and my fellow bloggers in Lodge 2 settled down to make dinner for the night - a personal favourite of mine, fajitas. We then headed over to join the other girls in their lodge where the alcohol started flowing and the games began! I finally got to play Cards of Humanity for the first time and it was just as hilarious as I had expected to be. However, we soon forgot about the cards and the game turned into an even funnier round of "Never Have I Ever." Nothing like divulging incredibly personal information about yourself to really bond with people is there?!
My memories get a little hazy after Never Have I Ever..but I definitely remember dancing along to the Cha Cha Slide...
On Saturday morning, we cooked breakfast together and then it was time to get on the dreaded bikes again for a ride down to the lake for our session on the pedalos. Admittedly I was also a little nervous about this as me and bodies of water have a pretty unfortunate history. However, to my amazement, I did not end up in the water and had a really good time. I was cheeky and managed to get out of doing any pedalling, so I was able to laze about and enjoy the pretty surroundings. It was fun to watch people fly past above us on the zip wires as well. We also had a few Lodge 1 vs Lodge 2 races where, I'd like to point out, both teams were guilty of cheating!
After pedalos it was time for one of the things I had most been looking forward to: swimming! As I mentioned before, I have some seriously fond memories of the swimming pool at Center Parcs. To our horror, upon arrival, the outdoor jacuzzi was out of action but I didn't let this spoil my day - I was there for the water slides and rapids anyway! The rapids were seriously good fun and I even braved some very, very steep and very, very fast slides.
After swimming, we headed back to our lodges to get ready for our evening meal and the disco. We chose Hucks, an American style diner where I decided to have fajitas yet again. We all indulged in some delicious cocktails - I had a Strawberry Daiquiri which was insanely delicious. Unfortunately, our plans for the disco were scuppered - it wasn't actually on that weekend!
Sunday was a relatively chilled day. We had a lovely long lie in and another cooked breakfast before heading to do some bowling in the evening and then some night swimming. After flinging ourselves down the rapids multiple times, we headed back to our lodges for a movie night.
I don't think Center Parcs is the first destination that springs to mind when you start planning a girls holiday, but I think it's actually a really good place to go. There's plenty of activities to do, it's great for your fitness levels and it's set in a really beautiful location.
Sadly, we did have a few issues with our stay. Despite booking together, our lodges weren't next to each other and on the first night, Lodge One actually FLOODED with SEWAGE and they got moved to the other side of the resort. The service was lacking in the restaurant and it was quite frustrating that the disco wasn't on. I also think that Center Parcs is quite expensive.
That being said, I had an absolutely amazing time. Lodge 2 was clean and comfortable, the land train made getting around really easy and convenient when I decided I couldn't hack my bike anymore, I really loved going swimming and bowling and the pedalos were really fun.
Thank you Lauren for organising such a great weekend, and thanks to Justine, Tanya, Jenny, Charlotte, Jess, Robyn, Abi and Fran for being fabulous company.