Physical exertion at Center Parcs

I love long weekends; the change of scenery helps me to get away from my routine and really relax.

This weekend, for a change, we headed for a short break at Center Parcs. Last year we stayed at the Center Parcs in Nottingham, but this year we decided to go to the one at Elveden on the Norfolk/Suffolk border – it’s quick to get to from Norwich and there’s no getting to the airport two hours in advance.

Remarkably, the parks are almost identical, so I did kind of wish I hadn’t gone all the way to Nottingham just to experience the same thing!

We stayed in an Executive Lodge this time, which is comfortable, with a bathroom for each bedroom and a sauna out back. The living area is a nice sized space too, with a small kitchen and table, which is ideal if you want to keep costs down and go self catering.

Unfortunately, when we got there at just after 3pm, the lodge wasn’t finished – one of the bedrooms didn’t have any linen on the bed or in the room, and we had to call Housekeeping three times to get it sorted too. It was a little disappointing, all things considered.

Eating out

We had breakfast and lunch back at the lodge each day, but went out for meals in the evenings. There is a wide choice of restaurants, including Huck’s (an American diner), Cafe Rouge (French), Rajinda Pradesh (Indian) and a Bella Italia.

We only went to Huck’s and Cafe Rouge this weekend and enjoyed both, although I have to say that Huck’s was our favourite (the Texan BBQ burger is delicious). The only thing that we found was that Cafe Rouge is slightly overpriced for what it is.

On your bike

While at Center Parcs, we went swimming several times, flying down the water slides, swimming in the wave pool and luxuriating in the jacuzzis. It was really good fun. Alas, it is the only activity that is included in the price of the break, which is a shame, but you can spend a couple of hours running around the slides.

We also hired bikes this time, which worked out at about £24 all weekend, but it was worth it when the weather was good. We were also quite a long way from the centre of the park too, so they helped us to get about. The forest is a great place to cycle too – we saw loads of squirrels, ducks and deer. It was very peaceful.

Because I’m not overly sporty, I booked into a Pilates class but unfortunately it was ridiculously expensive. Normally I pay around the £4 mark, but this was £10.50 for 55 minutes, which I feel is excessive, but I did enjoy the class and had fun.

If you want to get away from it all for a few days, check the Center Parcs website for rates.


Hi, I'm Lucy. I've lived in Norfolk since 2001 and in that time I've grown to love this fine county. From the city of Norwich, to the countryside villages and sweeping coastline, there's so much to explore and hope to share my experiences with you here.

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