This trip had been so long awaited, as I booked it back in September last year, and it was Tom’s 21st birthday present from me. Center Parcs might just be my favourite place ever. I’ve had many amazing family holidays there and it has always been such a relaxing and comforting place for me. There is always so much to do and we have the best time there, so I wanted to share that with Tom, and I managed to keep it a secret from him until his birthday!
We finally packed our bags and drove the short distance to the resort. This was our first holiday together, minus the weekend city trips. We couldn’t get into our room until 3pm, so we decided to take a look around, collect our hired bikes, and take our picnic on to the little beach along the lake.
I had booked a room in the Lakeview Hotel instead of a villa because it was only the two of us staying. I had been worried about this, just because I have always stayed in the villas, and they are most of the fun of the place. But I was so surprised with our hotel room. We were on the ground floor which meant that the doors at the end of the room opened out into the forest, with a table and chairs for us to sit and have breakfast on. It was in a really sunny spot as well, and the weather for the whole time we were there felt like we were abroad. We couldn’t believe the sunshine. We spent the rest of the evening in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise before going to Hucks for dinner.
Saturday morning we had croissants and tea and biscuits for breakfast before heading out to the forest for field archery! We took turns shooting at these fake animals, pretending we were on Game of Thrones or something. I seriously don’t know how people used to fight using these things. It’s so hard to get the arrow in and to not have it fall out or anything. How people ever use them under pressure, or when the enemy is running towards you. But even though I wasn’t quite Katniss Everdeen standard, I still managed to beat Tom, resulting in him buying me a victory drink at the Country Club. We sat in the sun having drinks before it got too hot, so we went back to our room and sat outside in our swim stuff. It was that hot! We were greeted home by Peter the Peacock, who liked to hang around the hotel and near our room. After feeding Peter loads of biscuits and taking tonnes of photos of his impressive feathers, we went for another swim, racing down the rapids and going on the new Cyclone ride, before heading out to Rajinda Pradesh for an Indian.
We had another breakfast in the sunshine the next morning, accompanied by Peter, before heading out into the forest to complete the High Ropes challenge! We had wanted to do another activity and just really wanted to climb in all the trees and enjoy the weather. Once we were geared up with harnesses, we had to climb up ropes and crates, jumping of towers and abseiling down walls. My arms ached so much at the end, but we had such a good time, even though doing the ‘leap of faith’ was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I’m such a wimp.
After climbing we biked to the Country Club for more drinks in the sun before heading to the boat house to hire a canoe. We spent the afternoon paddling around the pond, taking it in turns to race up and down. I had never been on a canoe before and was really scared I was going to fall in, but we managed to stay afloat, and realised that it was the perfect sunbathing spot. We finished the day off by relaxing in the pool again and ordering food to our hotel room, because we were just too lazy after all the activities of the day.
On our final day we had to leave the hotel room by 10, so we took advantage of our early start to stuff our faces with pancakes at The Pancake House. The menu was amazing and it took forever for us to decide what to have. Once we were full up we headed to the sports center, for a session of badminton. I hadn’t played in years, and Tom beat me at every game. Because the weather was still so nice when we got off the court, we decided to take another canoe out on the lake and really make the most of our last day. We rounded our trip off with another huge meal at Hucks, before going down all of the slides and rapids in the pool.
I was so sad to leave, but we loved being there so much that I’m sure we will both go back very soon. It will always be my favourite place.