Travel: Family stay at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest
THEIR little eyes were full of excitement and fear – this was the moment they had secretly dreaded for weeks.
Carefully, one by one, they walked the ledge, before taking the leap of faith and flying over the lake to the safety of friends and family.
We were participating in the Aerial Adventure at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest, and contrary to what you might think, the individuals (not named) were not the youngest in our group, but scary adult cats.
Our safety was paramount, as during the rest of our stay at Center Parcs. And when you feel safe, you can relax and have fun.
During the weekend we enjoyed some intense activities in the forest, as well as a lot of relaxation and something that we all missed sorely over the past 18 months: spending quality time with friends.
Our exclusive four-bedroom lodge was packed with all the comforts of home, plus some spectacular touches including a pool table in the games room, sauna, steam room, and an eight-person hot tub outside. .
After a Friday night catching up on a few glasses of wine and pizza, we headed to the Cycle Center the next morning to pick up our mountain bikes and helmets.
From there we took the scenic drive around the forest towards the village square and our pre-booked slot at the Subtropical Swimming Paradise.
Most visitors to Sherwood will attest that changing rooms have never been the most enjoyable part of the Center Parcs experience.
However, the new spacious and immaculate cabins, lockers and showers have improved things without end.
After a quick change, we went for tea at the French themed restaurant CafÃ© Rouge.
With the kids now a little older, they were all over the Passion Fruitini and Tropical Fizz mocktails, while the adults were more than thrilled with a glass of Pinot and a beer.
On the food side, we had smoked chili shrimp, chicken liver pÃ¢tÃ©, Giarraffa olives and sourdough flatbread with garlic and cheese to start, before enjoying a succulent Black Angus sirloin steak, confit duck and Evelyn’s favorite from the kids’ menu, sausage and mash.
The next day, Rachel, Isla, Pam and Charlotte were booked for a session at Aqua Sana.
The teens had never been to a full spa before, and their mothers were quick to point out that there wasn’t one as good as the recently named ‘Best Day Spa’ at the 2021 Good Spa Awards.
After relaxing in the Nordic forest, the hot springs, the volcanic forest, the escape in the trees and the immersion in the forest, Rachel was booked for a treatment of the mind, body and soul. .
Starting with a full body brush exfoliation, it was then covered with oil and body lotion, followed by a scalp, neck and shoulder massage, foot exfoliation, and a full body massage. .
Before the girls returned, Steve, Evelyn and I ordered an Indian takeout through the Rajinda Pradesh app.
A delicious selection of tandoori chicken, tikka masala, rogan josh, poppadum, nan breads and rice arrived on point, and after dinner there was still time for some pool frames and a final dip in the illuminated hot tub.
It was the perfect end to an amazing weekend with friends and family.
The familiar sights and sounds of Center Parcs made sure we never felt anxious, Covid or otherwise, in what has become our home away from home over the years.
In fact, the only worry any of us felt over the weekend was that of high-flying vertigo.
* Richard Jones and his family were guests at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest which are offering short stays in an exclusive four bedroom lodge (sleeps 8) with outdoor spa area from Â£ 2,199, based on dates February 2022.
Visit centerparcs.co.uk or call 0344 826 7723