Are you looking for an alternative to Center Parcs?
A fun, family-oriented activity holiday, or a short break at one of Center Parc UK and Ireland’s (formerly Center Parcs UK) five woodland locations is always an understandably popular option.
However, the cost of a stay at Center Parcs can be well beyond the reach of many families, especially during the school holidays when the locations tend to be extremely busy.
The good news is that there are a variety of more affordable options for a relaxing, action-packed family holiday, some close to award winning beaches or set in beautiful countryside, all offering a range of comfortable accommodation, a host of indoor and outdoor activities, combined with excellent facilities to suit your budget.
Sandy Balls Holiday Village
(New Forest – family and dog friendly)
Set in 120 glorious acres of secluded wood and parklands, surrounded by the outstanding beauty of the New Forest in Hampshire, everything about Sandy Balls breathes tranquillity.
This five-star park provides the perfect holiday escape where you can relax and unwind in a cottage style lodge or a caravan and enjoy a host of activities.
- Enjoy a new adventure every day with the resident alpacas, a bush-craft school and forest laser tag.
- Walking or cycling in the New Forest will take you to one beautiful location after another, the ponies will surprise and delight you and the traditional pub gardens and villages will invite you.
- As well as action activities, the retreat spa and swimming pool will help you relax and unwind.
- Evening Entertainment
- Outdoor cinema
- Fitness Centre with Gym/Workout Room
- Bicycle rental
- Indoor play area for children
- Public wifi
- Heated indoor and outdoor pools
- Fitness classes
- Outdoor dining area
- Games room
- Pets Allowed
- Convenience store
- Self-serve laundry
This five-star, award-winning national park resort is set in 500 acres of beautiful countryside in the heart of rolling green hills of Pembrokeshire.
With 300 lodges, fully equipped accommodation at Bluestone ranges from a cosy 1-bedroom apartment, perfect for a spa break to Pembroke lodge which sleeps 12.
The 300 contemporary lodges offer luxurious accommodation for your self-catering holiday. Bluestone is built around a purpose built but traditionally designed village with restaurants, shops, a pub, and a holistic spa providing all you could need for a comfortable stay.
With over 100 different activities on offer, this is an ideal family holiday location within the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
- Nature trails, woodlands, and open spaces to explore
- Over 50 beaches along the coast
- Tenby´s beautiful sandy beach only 12 miles away
- Luxurious spa
- Sub-tropical water park
- Spectacular serendome, which in case you were wondering is a word of adventure and entertainment under a giant transparent roof
- Steep Ravine zipwire through the trees
- Tournament Field
Tattershall Lakes Country Park
(Lakes – Glamping)
Set among woodlands in Lincolnshire, 24 miles from historic Lincoln with its magnificent cathedral, Tattershall Lakes Country Park is an idyllic choice for relaxation, fun and excitement for all the family.
Award- winning Skegness beaches are a short drive away.
Accommodation reflects Tattershall Lakes´ belief in a touch of luxury. From glamping tents to cosy lodges, you are guaranteed a comfortable stay.
The abundance of beautiful lakes makes this superb holiday park particularly special in the heart of the countryside, this is the perfect location for a range of water sports and activities such as water-skiing, jet skiing, angling, wakeboarding and fishing.
Another surprise is the new man-made beach with an entertainment area. Besides water sports and a swimming pool, Tattershall Lakes Park activities include:
- Swimming pool
- Daytime/evening entertainment/bars
- Adventure golf course
- Splash zone
- Spa, gym, sauna
- Hot tubs available
- Dog friendly accommodation
(Back to nature – Glamping)
Operating exclusively within the Public Forest Estate, Forest Holidays offer short breaks and holidays in 9 stunning forest locations across England and Scotland:
Accommodation ranges from one bed cabins to luxurious treehouses for up to 10 guests. All cabins are fully equipped with traditional board games, TVs with entertainment packages, access to wi-fi, films and TV shows.
Most cabins have private hot tubs for perfect relaxation and in-cabin spa treatments can be arranged.
Every Forest Holidays location has a dedicated Forest Ranger who provides a programme of lively, informative activities around the forest including Night Vision and Bush Skills for guests of all ages. Pony trekking, canoeing and archery can also be booked.
The Forest Retreat forms the hub of each Forest Holiday location serving locally sourced food, snacks, and meals.
Enjoy a Forest Holiday deep in nature at:
• Deerpark, Cornwall
• Keldy, North Yorkshire
• Cropton, North Yorkshire
• The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
• Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire Blackwood Forest, Hampshire
• Thorpe Forest, Norfolk
• Ardgartan Argyll, Argyll & Bute
• Strathyre, Stirlingshire
(close to Alton Towers – pet friendly)
Located in a beautiful nature reserve on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Landel Sandybrook is perfectly placed for touring one of the most naturally beautiful areas of England. Landal Sandybrook is close to the market town of Ashbourne, 40 minutes’ drive from Alton Towers, Chatsworth farmyard and adventure playground, and Carsington Water.
- Close to the scenic Tissington Trail for off-road cycling and walking
- A range of luxury self-catering lodges for a comfortable, relaxing break
- Luxury lodges accommodate from 2 -8 people. Some have a hot tub on the veranda
- Wheelchair access
- Paradise for walkers cyclists and climbers
- Go Active offers a range of fun activities delivered by qualified instructors
Landal Darwin Forest
(Glamping – Children friendly)
Set in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District, Darwin Forest is one of the UK’s top holiday parks and provides luxury self-catering holiday accommodation.
A 44-acre holiday resort near Matlock in Derbyshire, the park has recently won ‘Gold’ in the Visit England Awards for Excellence and was named ‘Best in Britain’ at the 2019 Hoseasons Awards and ‘Best Holiday Park’ at the 2020 Derbyshire & Peak District Awards.
Luxury lodges nestle into the 47-acre woodland paradise, so you can really get back to nature and enjoy the stunning, picturesque environment. Lodges sleep from 2-8 and each has a woodland or parkland view with a comfortably furnished veranda.
A number of spa lodges have a hot tub on the veranda.
- Evolution Health & Fitness swimming pool
- Spa/gym/beauty rooms
- Little Monkeys indoor soft play centre for younger children
- Activity Den with pool tables, air hockey and arcade games
- A wide range of sporting activities for the whole family
- Explorers café
- Foresters bar and restaurant with locally sourced ingredients.