Belfast Telegraph

Center Parcs: There are plenty of activities to keep the kids happy

By Steven McAlister

The news that Center Parcs could open its first holiday village in Ireland by 2019 will be music to the ears of those who make the trip across the Irish Sea to one of the company's five resorts in England.

And the fact that travellers from here will now be able to book their holiday without the extra expense of a ferry crossing is a real bonus. My family travelled to the Whinfell Forest resort in the north of England in February - our third visit - and we had to shell out over £300 to travel by boat from Larne to Cairnryan, which fairly bumps up the price of your holiday.

There's no doubt that the Longford resort will prove extremely popular. Center Parcs villages are superb places to take a short break, offering an array of activities for both young and old.

The accommodation is warm, spacious and inviting and has all mod cons, and the wildlife - red squirrels, pheasants, ducks and jays among them - roam freely around the log cabins.

But Center Parcs' real attraction lies in the number of activities available. There's everything from a free swimming pool with slides and wave pool to laser quest, paintballing, quad biking, archery, arts and crafts, high ropes, boating, health spa, climbing walls, roller skating, tennis, biking - the list goes on.

There's also a range of pubs and restaurants, including a pancake house, and a supermarket.

And it's a car-free zone once you have unloaded your belongings, with all travel undertaken either by bike or on foot.

It says a lot for the place that in our three visits we have felt the need to leave the site only once.

Ireland has been crying out for this type of resort for years and the central location of Longford is ideal, meaning it's no more than a couple of hours from Belfast.

The cost of activities can add up but if the kids are happy on holiday, you'll be happy on holiday and that's what counts at the end of the day.

Belfast Telegraph


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