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Is Centre Parcs Worth the Money Without Kids?

Centre parcs lodge without kids
Centre Parcs is one of those places that brings back nothing but fond memories for me. It's somewhere we visited annually when I was young, and the memories of riding my bike with my Grandad around the woodland make me so happy. I stopped joining the family on their trips when I was about 16. Sadly I just got to that age where it's "sooo uncool" to holiday with your parents and you'd prefer to sulk at home. As a side note, I'd now give anything to holiday with my parents more. Funny how things change!

Roll forward 16 years and I haven't ever been back to Centre Parcs since! It's not because I don't love the place, clearly, but it's because I always ask myself the same question...

Is Centre Parcs Really Worth the Money Without Kids?

In my mind the main plus points for a trip to Centre Parcs are: the safety of no vehicles being around, the fabulous swimming pool included in your stay and huge variety of family-friendly activities on offer. All things that are amazing if you have children, but do you need all that if it's just you and your partner or a group of mates? I've just always felt that I'd rather use that extra cost to stay at a fancy spa resort or swanky hotel for the weekend instead.

Then this year it was my auntie's big 5-0 and she kindly booked for us all to head back to Centre Parcs for the weekend. It was an ideal location for her peaceful birthday break, especially as it was my Grandad's favourite place and we sadly lost him last year. In April, a group of 6 adults headed to Centre Parcs Sherwood Forest for the weekend and I was really looking forward to seeing it again. I was excited to see if it was worth the money without kids - had I been missing out for the last few years?

Is Centre Parcs worth it without kids

Is the lodge at Centre Parcs worth it?

It's amazing how small things come back to you, even after 16 years, and the lodge layout was so familiar to me. It was a decent size with nice, neutral decor, and all the facilities you could need for a long weekend stay. The good thing about going to Centre Parcs as a group of adults is that the cost of a lodge isn't as expensive when shared amongst the group.

It's lovely to have a base for everyone to stay together if you're in a group, and we loved being able to decorate for my auntie's birthday. I noticed that Centre Parcs also have the option to order a party package and have the lodge decorated for your arrival, which is a nice touch for a big birthday or other occasion.

The living area is cosy with plenty of space for everyone to gather round the built in fire.

Is Centre Parcs worth it without kids - living area

The lodge wasn't decorated particularly for children and had a nice, homely feel so I definitely feel that it's worth it for a group of adults to get together. I read that hen parties were banned but we saw a few there, so it may be worth considering for a quiet hen or stag do but make sure you double-check if you are able to wear veils / sashes etc.

I have since had a look at studio apartments for us to visit as a couple since a whole lodge cost split between two can be pricey. An amazing tip I picked up from the Money Saving Expert is to check for last minute deals on the official Centre Parcs site here as some absolutely cracking bargains pop up if you can visit on short notice!

Is Centre Parcs worth it without kids - bedroom

Are the activities at Centre Parcs worth it?

Over the course of the weekend we mainly visited the swimming pool, some of the group hired bikes and we had some nice walks around the grounds. Bikes are pricey so it's best to take your own if you have them. Whilst the pool is mainly aimed at a younger audience there are some decent rides which definitely appealed to the big kids in us and we had a really good laugh there. I wouldn't visit for the pool alone as an adult, but it's definitely worth a look if you like water slides.

We had a game of bowling one night and some of the group played badminton. I sat out of that as I am absolutely shocking at any sports which require hand-eye coordination! There was football on and we sat in the sports bar afterwards which had quite a grown up atmosphere, definitely not all about kids although there were some families around.

There were so many other activities we could've booked and I wish we'd got round to crazy golf. I was surprised to see how many adult-friendly activities there were to book. On reflection I'd say the activities are definitely worth the money without kids in tow, and this would be the reason to book a stay at Centre Parcs rather than somewhere you'd go to just completely relax.

Is Centre Parcs worth it without kids

Is the food at Centre Parcs worth it?

We had a few meals out and the food was nice and varied but definitely not a huge plus point of the stay as a group of adults. The restaurant prices are inflated, taking advantage of the fact you're a captive audience, but you are able to purchase your own food at the on-site supermarket and cook, or bring in a food shop from a cheaper external supermarket as we did.

One main exception to this was the pancake house which we absolutely loved, even though this is probably the one restaurant which is probably aimed at kids. I felt like it hadn't changed a bit since I was younger and I thoroughly enjoyed this plate of salted caramel deliciousness!

Is Centre Parcs worth it without kids - pancake house
I do feel like you are paying a premium for the fact the restaurants are all so child-friendly, easy to access and with simple menus, so I am not sure that the food makes a visit to Centre Parcs worth it if you are child-free. I've heard nothing but positive reviews of the Indian restaurant, which also does takeaway, so this is definitely worth a try if you are visiting Centre Parcs without kids.

Is the spa at Centre Parcs worth it?

Now I've saved the highlight until last, of course. The Aqua Sana spa at Centre Parcs Sherwood might actually be my favourite in the UK. I am hesitant to make that bold statement as I love Brimstone in the Lakes (review coming soon), Rockliffe Hall, Ramside and Seaham Hall (read my review here) plus many more. However, it was truly something else! 

I didn't get photos as it's always difficult in the spa without disturbing others (and I really wanted to switch off) but imagine a tree top sauna looking out over the forest, countless different thermal rooms and a heavenly pool, and you've got it spot on.

This part of the weekend was by far my favourite and this is when I decided that Centre Parcs was definitely worth the money without kids! I'd go back purely for a spa break, and would totally recommend this to anyone visiting. 

Is Centre Parcs worth it without kids
Our lovely terrace and BBQ area - perfect for summer

In summary: Is Centre Parcs worth the money without kids?

If you're looking for a fun-filled weekend of doing different activities, then I'd absolutely say Centre Parcs is worth visiting without children, and is definitely worth the money. It wouldn't be my first choice for a very quiet weekend, but it was fantastic for a group of adults looking for a fun weekend, and I will definitely visit as a couple in future if I manage to bag one of their last minute deals. 

I'd try the Indian restaurant next time, have a full day in the spa and make sure I take a full supermarket shop which I'd pick up outside the complex. I'd love to know your thoughts, do you think Centre Parcs is worth it without kids?

Is Centre Parcs worth it without kids - pinterest

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