Center Parcs opens later this summer in Longford: 5 things we've learned 1 year ago

Center Parcs opens later this summer in Longford: 5 things we've learned

The arrival of Center Parcs in Ireland – it opens later this summer – has made plenty of parents pretty giddy.

After all, being able to pack up kids into the car and skip the rigmaroles of airport travel and transfers is mighty tempting.

But while Center Parcs is a well-known entity in the UK (it was actually founded more than 50 years’ ago in The Netherlands) intrigued Irish mums and dads are probably less sure about what to expect.

HerFamily was recently invited to visit Woburn Forest near London; there, we enjoyed three days and nights of family-friendly activities, a bit of relaxation, and some rather impressive food.

So if you’re thinking of trying out Center Parcs Longford this year – here’s a quick-fire round-up of useful things we learned over those 72 hours…


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You can never tire of the Subtropical Swimming Paradise ? #EpicFamilyTime #CenterParcsIreland #mycp

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1) Bring your togs

Woburn Forest has an impressive indoor dome with five separate pool and water areas; that's something of a trademark of Center Parcs. In fact, we reckon that if you pop along to Longford you’ll end up spending a load of time swimming and splashing in what’s being called the site's “subtropical swimming paradise”.

Children of different ages will absolutely love it – and while smallies will enjoy the shallower attractions, bigger folk can get to grips with the water slides. Parents can get stuck in too (or alternatively supervise from the side-lines with a coffee).

2) Prioritise

There are a lot of incredible activities to choose from. At Woburn, we indulged in a spot of falconry, mini-golf, and bowling. Longford will boast the likes of archery, pizza-making, baking, kayaks, fencing, pony-riding, and arts and crafts.

However, be warned: outside of the swimming dome, the on-site playgrounds, and the beach, the activities carry additional charges. These can notch-up quickly, so be smart with what you book and manage expectations with your family before you leave.

3) Don’t forget to self-care

Holidays – especially for mums – are rarely a real, proper break. Sure, there is all that lovely quality bonding time with the fam, however, caring for your little ones 24/7 outside of your comfort zone and normal routine can also be taxing.

Center Parcs very much prides itself as a “home away from home” and we have to say that the set-up is delightfully easy-going and chill.

That and there is a high-end, on-site spa that offers the likes of massages, facials, and body wraps. After your treatment, you can also indulge in a three-hour sensory session which is made-up of a series of saunas, steam-rooms, and pools.


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Don't mind us, we're just admiring the open plan living ? #CenterParcsIreland #EpicFamilyTime #mycp

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4) Food

There will be plenty of restaurants on-site at Longford. On offer are in Woburn are kids’ menus, colouring books and crayons, as well small soft-play areas to keep children occupied in between courses. But while the eateries are family-friendly, they’re pretty sophisticated too; high-quality Italian, Indian, and grill fare along with coffee shops and even a pancake house.

Alternatively (and if you haven’t loaded up the car in advance) there is a supermarket available. Finally – and we really love this option! – take-away can be delivered to your lodge.


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Wake up to a breakfast of dreams at Sports Café ?? #CenterParcsIreland #EpicFamilyTime #mycp

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5) What to leave behind

If you’ve been to campsites in the past, you’ll know well the challenges of packing the likes of towels, sheets, and kitchen essentials.

Center Parcs has a lot of that covered (bed linen, towels, highchairs, cots, cooking utensils, and cutlery) something which definitely makes getting the kids out the door that bit more straightforward.

Otherwise, it’s a time to be gloriously laid-back. So pack plenty of runners, socks, and leggings – as well as outerwear suitable for forest walks.