Center Parcs, Longleat : our second visit

Hello my lovelies!

Ohhhh, where to start?!

The past week seems to have flown by. I really didn't want to leave our amazing villa yesterday. Everything about it was pretty much perfect and we will definitely be staying in the same villa next time, if we can!

I chose a 1 bedroom executive villa in the more central part of the resort for this visit. We were lucky enough to have a little lake right at the back of our garden - as did everyone in our little cluster of villas! It looked spectacular and the sound of the running water was just pure bliss. I'm a total water baby and find it very calming, so it really added something extra to the whole stay.

candyfloss_011's Center Parcs Executive Villa album on Photobucket

We definitely had the same visitors during the week: a group of 3 ducks that went everywhere together; a couple of lone ducks; a few squirrels including one exceptionally greedy critter; a robin and a few other birds I don't know the names of!

On our first day we spent a couple of hours in the Aqua Sana during the 'twilight' spa session. It's the perfect way to relax after a manic day of loading and un-loading the car, dealing with a very noisy Lily and the general knackeredness that comes with travelling.

We have access to all the experience rooms in the spa from 6pm to 9pm. I love that you get a complimentary robe and towel in your locker, which doesn't need that annoying £1 coin anymore! You can just bring your swimwear and your make-up kit; there are even soaps and shampoos in the showers for you to use.

I couldn't possibly choose my favourite experience room, but I think my top 3 would be the lovely pool which sits outside; the aqua meditation room with it's gorgeous lights and the sound of water, while having snuggly soft blankets to curl up under and lovely pillows to prop yourself up on; and the meditation room which has incredible warm stone loungers to lay on - in your gown -  and just listen to the very calming music. The room is rather dark and it's very hard to stay awake!

That being said I do also like the foot spa; when the 'bubbles' come on the force of them is great for my terrible circulation and is almost like a massage for your calf muscles! I love having warm feet for once! Sadly, because I am on such a high dose of beta-blocker, I am unable to go into the steam rooms anymore. I've never liked saunas, they feel too claustrophobic, but I did miss them. I've always felt that the steam does wonders for your skin and as gross as it sounds, a good sweat does wonders for you. But I didn't fancy being scooped up off the floor having passed out, so I just hung out in the other rooms.

I will say that I was very disappointed by these 'experience showers'. They were cold, boring and broken. Another slight annoyance was a group of women who obviously didn't get the memo that spa time is quiet time, and the other visitors don't want to hear your inane, loud chatter. I had to get up and leave one room because they were making me so angry. I figured that was the better option rather than my urge to just tell them to shut up.

There are seminars held at certain times throughout the day by an 'Elemis' trained beautician. Annoyingly, I noticed this too late and missed the skincare talk and demonstration at 7pm. But I know to keep an eye out for next time!

We left at about 8pm as we were both finding ourselves falling asleep, but it was a lovely couple of hours and is definitely something we will continue to do on our arrival evening. We had a 10 minute walk back to our villa, which post-spa was pretty spectacular as the birds were all singing and the sun was starting to dim. I can't describe eloquently enough just how beautiful it is at Center Parcs!!

You may have seen this picture, it's from my instagram, but it pretty much sums up the rest of Monday night! I made the fire and didn't really leave the sofa. The boyfriend made my dinner after asking for very clear instructions - I only wanted a jacket potato! Bless him. I believe the only other thing I did that night was shower and curl my hair with socks. Oh, and I ate an entire 200g bar of the new Cadbury chocolate. I couldn't stop!!!! It's frikking amazing!!!!! Review coming ;)

Tuesday was our anniversary and we got off to a good start by making the most of not having Lily wake us up! The bed was so comfy and I absolutely loved the big snuggly duvet. I always bring my own pillow when I travel so I can't really comment on those, but the boyfriend didn't complain so they must have been at least 'ok'. We weren't cold at any point either.

I was awake first, and spent a little while with the animals! :)

candyfloss_011's Center Parcs Animals album on Photobucket

We went to Longleat Safari Park for the day, which was absolutely fantastic. I'll do a separate post on that trip or this will be the longest, most video and picture heavy post in history.

For dinner we went to Strada for the first time, and it was pretty darn fantastic! We both had 3 courses and he had 2 beers, but our total bill was £60! Amazing! The food was really lovely, but the portions for the main course were frikking ridiculous in my opinion. I ordered the chicken milanese, which turned out to be two entire chicken breasts from my observation.! But it was eye-catching enough to attract the attention of the family sat next to us and ask what it was. I think 3 people ordered it in the end, and also had no issue finishing their plates.... Hm. Anyway, I'd totally recommend them and we will absolutely be going again back in Brighton. Our waitress was called Sammy and she was awesome in every way!

candyfloss_011's Strada album on Photobucket

Wednesday we were lucky enough to see deer!! I heard a group of them running past the lake and immediately grabbed the boyfriends arm in excitement. He thought something was wrong!! There were two deer practically in our garden. One got startled away having caught sight of me, but his friend didn't notice or react to me moving closer to the window when he put his focus on the grass he was eating. I got loads of pictures and a few videos. It was an amazing experience that totally made the holiday and created a memory I hope to keep for a very long time!

candyfloss_011's Bambi album on Photobucket

We needed to have a 'quiet' day after the past 2 days, so we decided to stay on-site and have a BBQ! It was challenging and frustrating because we had very limited supplies and I seriously missed having my spices and herbs, but we did the best we could and it was fun which was the most important thing.

candyfloss_011's bbq album on Photobucket

Thursday, our final full day, came way too quickly! We hadn't been to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise yet so that was on our to-do list! It's so fun!!!! I love that the boyfriend and I enjoy the same things.

On our last visit I was able to tackle the rapids which are outside, but strong enough that I struggled with the current and more than once had to rely on someone coming along and giving me a helpful nudge! I am a very strong swimmer, but my lack of muscle strength really shows in that situation and I didn't feel totally confident in my ability this time around so I let the boyfriend go around on his own. It sucked but it just wasn't worth the risk. We did play on the slides - and my boobs appeared out the bottom of my bikini top twice having hit the water so hard! Embarrassing!!!! We also caught the waves which he seems to really love for some reason. He knows after struggling with the depth I was swimming at last year to stay nearer the shallow end of the pool! It gave me a chance to test my stamina and strength in a somewhat safer situation and definitely know where to draw the line now. I did want to buy and underwater camera but he made me feel retarded about the idea, sorry about that!!

Aaaah, I love swimming!! :) We stayed for about 90 minutes, by which time I was pretty knackered and needed some calories. Enter Starbucks, a grande soya latte and a chocolate chip shortcake! Hey, I'm on holiday so I'm allowed insane calorie food. Haha. Plus I'd decided to pack as much as I could before we went out later so I needed a boost.

For our last dinner at Center Parcs we went to what must be our favourite place: Ortega. I used to be absolutely TERRIFIED of tapas before I came here last year, and now it's just awesome! We chose Thursday because they have a live guitarist playing from 7pm, which really adds something special to the whole experience. The only minor worry I had was about being around so much alcohol, but that was very short-lived once I tried their non-alcoholic cocktails! I have discovered a love of grenadine!! Last year we were putting away a lot of sangria but I honestly didn't miss it with my yummy cocktail.

candyfloss_011's Ortega album on Photobucket

Another delight we had while there was the family sat opposite me, who had 2 young children. Their daughter was happily colouring in pictures of Cinderella and Snow White while their son, who must have been 3 at most was dancing around in a very camp manner to the music! Sooooo cute! His plate was cleared apart from a very neat pile of peas, and then he very promptly passed out on his mums lap. It was about 8.30pm so he did well to get to that point, I think! Kids are so fun.

We were back at our villa by 9.30pm and I don't recall doing much more than packing, tidying and sitting on the sofa enjoying the fire with pots of tea!

Check-out is at 10am, which sucked pretty royally. While the boyfriend went to get the car I did the rest of the packing and said goodbye to the animals who had sauntered up for their breakfast. If I could take one thing away with me from Center Parcs, it would be the sound of where we were staying. The sound of the birds and the water running was just perfection.

We couldn't leave until 2pm as we were booked in to collect Lily at 4pm, so we killed a couple of hours in the sports bar - because they have awesome sofas - and then headed to the plaza in search of food and time killing in the form of shopping. 

That pretty much concludes our time in Center Parcs, sadly! But we fully intend to return for a third visit; and if you haven't been before, you really should! Just avoid the school holiday times and you'll be fine... ;)

Until next time! <3


  1. Aww wow!! Sounds like a fab holiday. I'm glad you guys had an lovely time and I'm so jealous of the deer!!

    I'll have to visit in the future when we can afford it. Always looking for new places to bird watch and do nature photography. We went to Keilder last year and even got to hold birds of prey!! I did a blog post on it too haha.

    Really enjoyed this post.
    Best wishes!

    1. It really was an incredible visit! :) there were soooo many people with big expensive cameras having an absolute blast. On our first visit I did the falconry activity thing and got to have a few amazing birds on my arm! One was so heavy I struggled to keep my arm up! Xx

  2. Sounds like you had a great time! I work at Center Parcs up in Cumbria and I loved nosying at your pics of the villa and the site, ours is very similar except our squirrels are red :) xx

    1. Oh wow!!!! What an amazing place to work!!!!! Cumbria is a bit too much of a trek from here, sadly! I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw a red squirrel :( primary school perhaps... Nice to know they're still around! :) xx

  3. Wow, pictures look amazing!! Glad you had a lovely time. I am off to Longleat tomorrow and SO excited!!!!!!! :)

    Can't wait to read your post on that too.

    Lyndsay xx

    1. How was your visit?! :) My laptop throws a complete hissy fit at the amount of pictures from Longleat at the moment, hoping to have it up by the end of the week. Xx


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