The northernmost of the UK’s four acclaimed Center Parcs, Whinfell Forest, set in lovely woodland on the edge of the Lake District, is popular for activity-based, weatherproof family holidays or breaks, whether with young kids with energy to burn or teens keen to do their own thing in a safe, car-free environment. Most activities cost extra, but self-catering facilities and a fairly priced on-site supermarket help you stay within budget. It’s worth investing in one of the higher categories of accommodation, which are fresher, with more modern décor.
See our feature on a family break at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest.
Sample prices for a 4-day midweek break are £199 for a two-bedroom Comfort villa in November and £1299 for a two-bedroom New Style Executive Lodge in the summer holidays.
What to Expect:
Bumblebees Crèche for age 3 months–3 years; extra charge; pre-booking advised.
Ofsted -registered children's Clubs 3–7yrs; extra charge; pre-booking advised.
There are 6 grades of villa, all with kitchens, cots and highchairs. In some categories you need to hire towels (or bring your own). Other extras are a welcome pack of food, fire logs and BBQ packs. Pets are allowed in certain accommodation at extra cost. Note that you choose where you want to stay (by the lake, the shops, the swimming pool and so on) using the online resort map.
Comfort (1–4 bedrooms).
Comfort Plus (1-4 bedrooms; dishwasher).
New Woodland Style Lodge (1-4 bedroom; dishwasher).
Original Style Executive (1-4 bedroom; dishwasher; daily maid service; free WiFi; sauna in some).
New Style Executive Lodge (1-4 bedrooms; dishwasher; daily maid service; free WiFi; sauna in some; games room in 4-bedroom).
Original Style Exclusive (4 bedroom; dishwasher; daily maid service; free WiFi; sauna, steam room and enclosed garden with hot tub).
Most activities subject to extra charge; some can be pre-booked before arrival (advisable where available) and some are age/height dependant.
Childcare (see above).
Subtropical swimming paradise with pools and flumes (all free) plus swimming and scuba-diving lessons.
Restaurants, cafés and bars, some offering takeaway.
Abseiling, high ropes and tree-trekking.
Walking and cycling trails and nature activities.
Bike hire in resort.
Creative activities (ie family photo shoots, photography lessons).
Seasonal activities and events, ie Winter Wonderland, Halloween half-term and Mothers/Fathers Day.
Watersports tuition: sailing, kayaking and windsurfing
Fitness and exercise classes (including cheerleading and line-dancing).
Supermarket, sportswear shop and other outlets.
A short drive from Penrith in Cumbria, easily accessed via major road networks and trains (nearest station is Penrith, with taxis readily available to Whinfell).
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