We’ve been to Center Parcs Longleat lots of times, with family, with friends and on our own. As you drive through the entrance your shoulders sink 3 inches and you feel like you are coming home, to the woodland, to your lodge, to the amazing swimming pool.  Spend a weekend, or even a week, where you get to enjoy life’s more simple pleasures, watching the wildlife, warming up in a sauna, walking through the forest and feeling the wind in your hair on your bicycle.


Not just any pool … this is the best pool we’ve been to in the UK. Which is just as well as my kids will spend many hours in there every day.  Inside the huge clear dome is a tropical wonderland of water activities. In the inside area a pool with waves – listen out for the Tarzan call, a lazy river, two water pistes guaranteed to make your stomach jump and 2 water tube slides. There are plenty of areas to sit around the pool and chill out if you have non swimmers in the group or want to take a breather. Outside, as well as the free form open air pool, are 2 of my kids’ favourites. First up are the Rapids which hurl you down a river of water – quite simply the most fun you can have in a swimming costume. Second are the cold plunge pool, which my children spend many minutes in (competitive much? that’s twins for you!), and the outdoor hot tub. Swimming outside at night with the lights twinkling in the trees is one of the real pleasures of Center Parcs. I’ve never been there in the snow but I’ve heard that being in the outside pool surrounded by snow is a great experience.


My favourite spa. I like it so much that I go there for the day every year, separate to going to Center Parcs. From 9am – 6pm my friend and I spend a full 9 hours of bliss in the spa. If I am there for the weekend, I book a 3 hour session. The array of steam rooms, saunas, relaxation rooms, salt rooms, relaxing areas is the best I have come across. Water beds that make you fall asleep, log burners, zen gardens, an outdoor relaxation pool, you can tour around the various rooms all day, breaking for a treatment, lunch or a drink. Do not miss this.

Squirrel, Center Parcs
Photo: TonyParkin67 CC


Deer on the patio, squirrels, ducks, birds, rabbits, there is wildlife everywhere. Take some bird or wild animal food with you or buy it there, sprinkle it on the patio and in the morning open the curtains to find deer having a nibble. Or that it’s all been scoffed by hungry wildlife in the night and you need to put more out! When my nieces were young we used to like feeding the ducks outside the villa. This year we crept out in our dressing gowns to watch the deer outside. If you live in the city, you will particularly love this.


This picture of deer was taken from inside the lodge!  Enjoy your morning cuppa whilst watching the visiting wildlife.


We book the Executive 2 bedroom lodge in the Pine zone and we prefer one that backs onto a lake for extra wildlife spotting opportunities. The lodges are well equipped with all the basics plus a brick bbq outside and a log burner indoors. My kids like the luxury of an ensuite bathroom and a TV in the bedroom.



My kids cycle everywhere in Center Parcs, which gives them more freedom and independence than they would have at home. If you don’t want to cycle it’s easy walking or you can take the land train.

Center Parcs, Longleat
Photo: Neil Thompson CC


The lake is one of Longleat’s most attractive features. Fringed by a man made beach with woodland all the way round, it has water-sports and water fowl and it’s lovely to cycle round.


This is my children’s favourite activity. I have no head for heights so I personally don’t join them! You traverse across the tree tops, extremely high up, using various walkways, nets, planks and ropes. Many wobble and move when you are on them. When you reach the end you take a 200m zipwire across the lake. They love it.


There is a huge range of activities, both indoors and outdoors. It’s the chance to pick up old favourites or try something new. Height and age restrictions do apply to some activities and it’s wise to book in advance. We’ve most recently done kids’ segway, indoor climbing, roller skating, badminton, table tennis and all of them have been a big hit. There are plenty of kids’ playgrounds as well, dotted around the parc.


The forest here includes Redwood trees that are over a hundred years old.  If your children love exploring woodlands they can do that to their heart’s content here. Step outside your lodge and you are in the midst of the forest.

Center Parcs Longleat
Photo Neil Thompson CC


At night, walking around the village, take a torch! This is real darkness where you can see the stars.


Center Parcs Longleat is like an annual pilgrimage for us.  It’s not too far from home but it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Last year as we were leaving my daughter offered to sleep on a bench if she could stay longer. I think that says it all!



Where Jo Goes other Wiltshire reviews

Lacock Village (National Trust)/Castle Combe


Linking up with


Country Kids
Suitcases and Sandcastles
This post is in no way endorsed or sponsored by any of the organisations mentioned.


  1. April 19, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    I have to confess that I have never heard of Center Parts Longleat, but I would love to spend a few days there. From what you are describing this is the perfect place to relax and forget about your daily chores. I would especially enjoy the Redwood forest. We have some Redwood trees in California as well. #WeekendTravelInspiration

  2. April 22, 2017 / 11:19 am

    This sounds like a fab family holiday, you all clearly find your element whilst exploring. It’s great that you get to experience the wildlife coming right up to your door, I bet the kids love watching the deer explore your back garden. It’s great how many activities there are to keep you busy whilst exploring the grounds.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

  3. April 22, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    I love Center Parcs. I’ve not been to Longleat but they mostly have the same ideals. I love the wildlife right on your doorstep and the fact that there are no cars. And the spa is fabulous. I really need to book a CP break soon.

  4. April 23, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    I’m loving the idea of that Spa!! After living abroad for nearly 7 months now with no respite help from my trio I think it might rejuvenate me!! It looks a lovely place, and so nice you can see the wildlife up close #countrykidsfun

  5. April 24, 2017 / 10:37 am

    I love that your daughter offered to sleep on a bench if it meant she could stay longer, definitely a sign of an enjoyable holiday! I would love to take my daughter her when she’s a little bit older. #mondayescapes

  6. April 24, 2017 / 2:50 pm

    Really enjoyed reading this. We do Center Parcs every year but haven’t done Longleat in a while and it’s made me want to go back! Thank you. #MondayEscapes

  7. April 24, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    I totally get the feeling of your shoulders sinking and your stress disappearing as soon as you get there. We have never visited Longleat but have done Whinfell about 14 times. So lucky to have seen a deer, as in 11 years we have never seen one. Plenty of rabbits, squirrels and badgers on badger watch though. The swimming pool looks fab at Longleat #MondayEscapes x

    • April 24, 2017 / 7:00 pm

      The only thing is, because Longleat is only an hour away from us we never go to try any of the others!

  8. April 24, 2017 / 6:48 pm

    That sounds like an absolute kid heaven! As a child I loved biking and swimming, so this would’ve been a dream holiday. 🙂

  9. April 25, 2017 / 8:32 am

    Love this! I’ve been there 3 times and love it too… the spa is the best I’ve ever been to, it’s incredible! #mondayescapes

  10. April 25, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    Ah we went a couple of times a year for years and have so many happy memories, but have never been to Longleat. The pools are just great aren’t they ? x

    • April 26, 2017 / 2:43 pm

      Yes they are extending this year to include a new water slide for going down on inner tubes (I think!)

  11. April 25, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    Ooh thanks so much for linking up #MondayEscapes x

  12. April 26, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    This sounds like an ideal family holiday, a nice mix of kids’ activities with plenty of opportunity to explore outdoors. It’s lovely to have that ‘coming home’ feeling when visiting a favourite place, I get that every time I step foot off the ferry to the Isle of Wight.

    • April 26, 2017 / 2:44 pm

      Isle of Wight is on my ‘must go’ places list! I’ve never been!

  13. April 26, 2017 / 10:02 pm

    It’s been a long time since I visited a Center Parcs but I loved the pool and nature. #CountryKids

  14. April 28, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    You’ve made me really excited about our tip in September. I can’t wait. Thanks for linking up to Monday Escapes.

    • April 28, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      The new water slide will be open then! We’re going back in January so will have to wait till then to try it.

  15. May 5, 2017 / 11:10 am

    What a great idea, I might have to investigate it further. thanks! :)#TheListLinky

  16. May 5, 2017 / 11:16 pm

    I love the Centre Parcs at Longleat. You are so right about your shoulders sinking when you get there, it’s like that driveway breathes chilled out air around you as you drive in. We love everything about it, especially the Pancake House. I really want to go back now after reading this. #thelistlinky

  17. May 6, 2017 / 12:06 am

    I love Centre Parcs, we’ve been to the one in Cumbria 3 times now – it’s about 5 miles from where I work but it feels like you could be anywhere, not just down the road. I’m sure we will go back again some time, we might try one somewhere else in the country. #thelistlinky

  18. May 6, 2017 / 10:57 pm

    Sounds like an amazing place to vacation! That pool looks fantastic! #thelistlinky

  19. May 11, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    That spa looks amazing! I feel like the only person on the planet who hasn’t been to Center Parcs! #thelistlinky

  20. May 12, 2017 / 10:32 am

    Huge fan of Centerparcs here! We’ve never tried this one though, I will have to have a look for October when we usually visit! #MarvMondays

  21. June 15, 2017 / 9:18 am

    I;ve never visited a Centre Parc’s but I think this is where I’d want to go first. Longleat isn’t actually too far from where I live and I love being close to nature! #FarawayFiles

  22. June 15, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    I haven’t been to a CenterParks but have many friends who have enjoyed it and say it’s the quintessential British family holiday! Looks lovely from your post! #FarawayFiles

  23. June 15, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    This looks so fantastic, Jo. I went to Center Parcs on a hen weekend but we didn’t really get to experience it from the family angle. I know the area around Longleat really well as my father lives nearby, so I know how beautiful it is around there. You’ve convinced me to stay with the family though – it looks great and I know my kids would love that amazing-looking water slide. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

  24. June 15, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    This looks very similar to a place we go with extended family in Central Oregon… beautiful spa, lots of fun pools, beautiful nature and cycling everyone. An easy slice of heaven for the whole family. Love it! thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

  25. June 15, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    This place looks amazing. Reminds me of a place called Skytop here where we go every year – that perfect combination of adventure and exercise, and relaxation. The lazy river looks awesome. #farawayfiles

  26. June 15, 2017 / 6:12 pm

    What fun activities for kids! And the pool sounds incredible!

  27. June 16, 2017 / 3:10 am

    So, is this pool indoors? If so, it doesn’t look like that and it is actually very impressive. It would be great to visit this place. #FarawayFiles

    • June 16, 2017 / 7:00 pm

      It’s part indoors and part outdoors. It’s lovely at night to be in the warm pool outside.

  28. June 16, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    All those activities sound like such a lot of fun. I think I’d struggle to get my kids out of the pool! But they wouldnt find me as I would be in the spa! Thanks for joining #FarawayFiles

  29. April 2, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    This all looks fab but I especially love their spas #fearlessfamtrav

  30. April 10, 2018 / 3:12 pm

    Centreparcs was one of our first family holidays. Perhaps one of the best places for a holiday in the UK. Life feels so easy here and I have such fond memories of that spa!

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