European Centre Parcs

(13 Posts)
Chopchopbusybusy Tue 02-Apr-13 15:55:38

We went to Les Hautes Bruyeres in France. We liked it. VIP cottage with huge whirlpool bath and small steam room. Much cheaper than in the UK. Extras like bowling were also much cheaper and were half price on Friday and Monday (changeover days).
Most of the staff didn't speak much English but we managed OK. Even the DDs who were very young but trusted to go to the bakery each morning managed with a lot of pointing and smiling.

zipzap Tue 02-Apr-13 15:46:37

We went to het heijderbos a couple of years ago and the dc loved it.

We also did the last week in august and it was less than half the price of the uk ones, even taking ferry, petrol and a couple of overnight stays (Ypres - worked really well) on the way there and back.

The tropical dome was a big hit with all of us, food seemed fine for what it was (especially when the kids ate for free) and ds2(5) still talks about wanting to go back to 'our other little house in the woods'a couple of years on. Swimming was fine too, even if things were a bit tired, they weren't bad and we all had a lot of fun.

We looked into it again for this year - we seem to go back earlier this year so it we missed the really cheap week we got last time but it was still reasonable. Best value seemed to be either booking more than six months in advance so getting lots of freebies and a decent discount or risking it and booking very late.

Yes to English spoken.
My two DSs did various activities - climbing, rafting etc and all was conducted (fluently) in Dutch, German and English.
Restaurants were cheaper as well. If children are still small enough for the child menu, oh those were the days they generally eat free during school holidays.

We went to Vossemeren in Belgium the year before last, at Easter but not during the Belgian Easter holiday (they're different). Once on site, you couldn't tell it wasn't a UK one, except for being surrounded by more people who weren't talking English.

And everyone who spoke to us started speaking perfect English to us before we even opened our mouths ....

Not sure how the activities compare as we tend to just cycle, swim, and use all the play areas. We booked a babysitter one night - middle-aged local lady, perfect English again.

There was a fabulous indoor Pirate themed play area which our children loved.

We had a weekend in Bruges on the way there, and the whole holiday including travel and the B&B in Bruges was still cheaper than going to our local CP (30 minutes from home!) would have been.

Suttonmum1 Mon 01-Apr-13 21:59:29

De kempervennen snowboard package good value. May half term does not ususally coincide with ours so particularly good value, but do reserve bikes in advance (also good value as a package). Have not been in this country since before kids and every time I look the price is ridiculous. Price of activities is much more reasonable abroad. I understand they are run by a completely different company. I have done Duinrell too and that has the best water complex, and you can hire bikes and cycle in to Den Haag (The Hague) along cycle paths and is near the beach.
To me the Dutch places always seem less busy because most people are speaking Dutch/German and you don't tune in to their conversations.

bruffin Mon 01-Apr-13 21:53:47

To the not toothed

bruffin Mon 01-Apr-13 21:51:15

I haven't been toothed UK ones but from what i can gather activities are a lot cheaper.

bruffin Mon 01-Apr-13 20:40:42

Landals isn't better value for money as it doesn't have the same facilities ie tiny swimming pools compared with ones with big slides and rapids or climbing walls or sports.
Have been to Erperheide, Het Meerdal, Het Heijebos, de Huttenheugte and De Eemhof, and Kempervennen. We have had VIP Chalets last couple of times and they were not shabby. Last week of august is really good value as the dutch have gone back to school.
My dcs are teens now and they loved the waterski lake at Kempervennen last year and tropical dome at Het Heijebos (old pictures on profile)
They also really liked Duinrell.

Portofino Mon 01-Apr-13 20:24:55

Also I don't know how it compares to UK but at Eperheide no swimsuits were allowed in the spa bit. Towels/robes only. I was too afeared to enter grin

westwardhee Mon 01-Apr-13 20:17:29

thank you very much portofino.

Portofino Mon 01-Apr-13 19:54:40

Look at www.landal.com. Much cheaper than CP and similar facilities on a lot of their sites. I have been to Eperheide in Belgium which was nice for the pool complex, kids farms etc but the accommodation was pokey. Landal is much better value for money. Or have a look at www.duinrell.nl.

I've been to De Kempervennan and Het Hejderbos.
Layout and facilities very similar to UK, and they are much cheaper. They were rather shabby and in need of refurbishment IMO.
Also whereas the UK ones are, to be blunt, a bit middle class, the ones we went to attracted a more down market German guest.
Still worth a try for the novelty and chance to visit Holland etc.

westwardhee Sun 31-Mar-13 20:46:59

Can anyone recommend any of the European Centre Parcs and how they compare to the ones in this country?

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