Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Great All Year Round

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Great All Year Round

Article excerpt

Byline: By Hywel Trewyn

Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest is the perfect winter destination, as HYWEL TREWYN discovered

IMAGES of Robin Hood, Maid Marion and arrows whizzing through the air filled our heads as we arrived at Center Parcs in Nottingham's Sherwood Forest. This was our first time here ( having enjoyed previous visits to Whinfell Forest, Cumbria and Longleat Forest, Wiltshire.

From these stays, we had soon realised you have to be organised if you're planning a break at any of the Center Parcs villages. To the uninitiated it is a kind of posh holiday camp with plenty of things to do ( from cycling to relaxing in a spa ( but it always pays to book the more popular activities in advance.

For many families, Center Parcs is the destination of choice for their second annual holiday, and many spread the cost by staying off-peak or sharing villas with in-laws or friends.

Center Parks offers up to 20% discounts if you stay a full week, and cheaper winter breaks of around pounds 199 for a two-bedroomed villa sleeping a maximum of four between January 6 and 13, for example.

We arrived early on our first day to make the most of the facilities. Cars are excluded from the site except at arrival and departure times, and cycling is the best way of getting around. You can bring your own bikes, but we opted to hire.

They were fitted with dynamo lights, which meant we could cycle back to the villa after dark. But I forgot to take locks, so had to hire these, plus hats and gloves ( which were also available to buy.

My two young sons quickly settled into the villa, which was clean and warm. They had a twin room, their own TV and bathroom and especially liked having a DVD and a hydrobath.

After unpacking our pre-booked groceries ( including bacon, eggs, beans and lots more ( which had been delivered ready for our arrival, we cycled over to Hugo's, a relaxing country club overlooking a golf driving range. …

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