The last time we went on a holiday, as a family was back in September 2019. So this was a well needed break, and by golly did we make the most of it! We had a jam packed week of activities and excursions during our holiday at Sherwood Forest Centre Parks. There were many firsts with this holiday. It was our first holiday with four children, it was Seth and Jonas’s first ever holiday, it was our first time going to Sherwood Forest and it did not disappoint we all came back feeling refreshed and thoroughly enjoyed our experience!
We set off first thing, Monday morning, hoping to avoid the traffic, which we did. However we did struggle to find a parking place, as most of the people due to leave that day hadn’t gone by the time we arrived. I would say it took us about 20 minutes to find a spot. You aren’t allowed to drive your car to your lodge until after 4pm but you are allowed into the park to go for a wander around the forest. We arrived around 11am and check-in couldn’t have been easier. All you have to do is drive up (like a McDonald’s drive through) and see the lovely reception staff. I had put all our details in online so that speeded up the process and when we drove in they knew all our details, this is a must do! We were handed a map of the forest and our key fobs for the lodge and lockers at the swimming pool. It was very disorientating when we first walked in and I would say it took us a good 24 hours to get our bearings around the whole site. We had a wander around and ended up at the jardin de sport (a big sports facility) where we played football pool, or at least tried to, LOL. Gavin got very upset because the children wouldn’t stick to the rules. We then grabbed a late lunch and headed to one of the children’s parks whilst we waited for 4 o’clock. Gavin then went to get the car and we met him at the lodge. We immediately commenced unloading and unpacking all of our bags, we were wanting to go swimming in the afternoon but due to timings we decided to skip that and go and hire the bikes instead. When the evening came we ordered a takeaway to be delivered to us. I also did a mini grocery shop whilst we were waiting to get into our lodge and that was delivered to our lodge in time for our arrival. I find the supermarket on site quite reasonable in price and it certainly kept us topped up throughout the week.
The accommodation comprised of a hallway with a cloakroom and a toilet to the side, you then entered into an open plan kitchen, dining room and tv area. Then three bedrooms, 1 double and 2 twins with a bathroom in the middle. The beds are really comfy. The only complaint I have with all Center Parcs lodges are the sofas, there always too hard, but we don’t sit on them that much anyways!
We woke on the Tuesday, had breakfast and we then biked up to Seth‘s activity which was a mini climbing frame, like the treetops climbing course, but a miniature version. We went for lunch at the Foresters Inn, which was some of the best service we received that week, quickly followed by a trip back to the house to get our swimming gear and then we spent the rest of the afternoon at the swimming pool. Let me stop here to say the swimming made the holiday for us. There is a whole space dedicated to children of all our ages and it’s safe for them to play in water. Upto this point Gavin and I didn’t enjoy Sherwood Forest, but the swimming made the holiday. The kids faces were mesmerised the first time that they saw this place! We headed out on a bike ride that evening and ended the day having tea at the lodge, which was a lasagna with garlic bread.
On the Wednesday morning, we had breakfast and it was then Tobias and Hamish’s turn to go on their activity. We had booked the Land Rover car experience for both of them, but when we arrived the leader said it had to be one adult per child, so the boys had to go in the same car. It worked out in the end as Hamish was scared of driving anyways. We had made a packed lunch so headed to a picnic spot near the lake and after that we ventured home, picked up our clothes and went swimming for the second time that week. We had to be out by 4pm however, as we were eating out that night. As a side note, I won’t be doing this again with young kids as they were absolutely knackered and it was a testing meal time. We went to the Hucks Bar for dinner, which was hands down the best food, but we had to rush because the children were so tired.
On the Thursday, we had booked an electric boat for half an hour which all the children enjoyed. Afterwards we headed to the park, whilst we waited for the restaurant to open for lunch. We went to Belle Italia for lunch and it wasn’t a great experience, the customer service was a disappointment and put a downer on the day. We went swimming in the afternoon and Gavin got excited because he wanted to treat us to a second takeaway that night however when we came to book it we couldn’t get a time slot until 9pm which doesn’t work out with young children. So I ended up biking to the shops on my own, picking up a frozen ready meal for us all to enjoy at the lodge.
The Friday came far too quickly and I woke early that morning, so we all got dressed, I packed the bags whilst Gavin went to get the car. We got the car packed and taken back to the car park early so we could take the bikes back to the centre before 10am. We then headed over to our favourite place at all centre parks locations, which is the pancake house, it is becoming a tradition that we go there before we leave each holiday. We wanted to make Friday a longer day at the park so we went bowling at lunchtime, which was thoroughly enjoyed by everybody and then it was time to leave as it fitted in with Jonas‘ naptime. The journey home wasn’t ideal, the A1 had an accident so we were an hour later back than we were expected to be.
We enjoyed Sherwood Forest that much, we talked about where we would like to go on our next holiday the whole journey home and we’ve already got it booked, so I would highly recommend anybody and everybody to have a Center Parcs experience! From my point of view, we had a great time. Traveling abroad on a plane doesn’t appeal to me anymore with young kids so I would prefer to do something like this twice a year with my family. We spent all our time together, exploring and discovering new places and bonding.
Much love Rebecca