Firstly I would like to say that Centreparcs have not asked me to write this, it’s not a *review*. I am posting purely from a Fragile X family perspective and to highlight why Centreparcs is so very popular with SEN Families.
We are frequent visitors to Centreparcs, normally we go to Sherwood Forest as it so close to home but this time we fancied a change. Hubby and I went to Elveden many many moons ago and we were interested to see how it had changed.
The journey took about three hours but both the kids were really well behaved in the car and despite being rush hour on a Monday morning the traffic wasn’t too bad at all.
When we got there though Sir threw the most almighty hissy fit that carried on nearly all day. I could have quite cheerfully come home. He threw his shoes, he threw his t-shirt, he flopped on the floor and he refused to move. At first we thought well maybe he’s hungry so we got some food. Then he started again. So we got lunch. He had loads to drink – maybe he was thirsty too? He seemed happy enough then bang.. off he went again. Even now I have no idea what caused him to have such a massive meltdown. Was it because although it was Centreparcs it wasn’t Sherwood? Was it the long car journey? Monday is a day best forgotten. But to all the folks who stared at us as Sir, Hubby, Madam and I all had a meltdown – Thank You. It was most helpful. NOT.
Eventually it was as near 3pm as made no difference and we went to fetch the car to unload our stuff. I’d pre ordered two ‘breakfast packs’ so we had a fridge full of food on our arrival. Will definitely do that again. The villa was slightly smaller than at Sherwood but not enough to make a difference and was only a short walk from the restaurants and activities located in and around the Village Square.
Tuesday I decided could only be a better day so we headed off to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, which is for many the main attraction of Centreparcs and I have to say the one at Elveden is the nicest I have been to. There is a big wave pool, a lagoon pool with lights and bubbles, a brilliant children’s area, an outdoor pool, a lazy river, various slides and water rides. Sir however was still in a mood, refusing to move from the steps of the wave pool. Madam wanted to explore so Hubby and I took turns taking her to the various other pools whilst the other tried to persuade Sir to get off the step. He was particularly bothered by a fan in the ceiling of the pool information desk. I asked the nice young man working there if he could turn it off. He said he wasn’t supposed to.. but he did. It made no difference whatsoever though, Sir still refused to budge. It does show though that the staff there will do anything they possibly can to assist you.
The weather was lovely on Tuesday, Hubby and I sat outside long after the kids had gone to bed. Surrounded by trees, wildlife, a big lake, we could have been anywhere and we started to relax at last.
Wednesday we went back to the pool and bingo! Sir moved off the step. Hubby and I had decided to just leave him to his own devices. We also went back to the play area that had been the scene of one the hissy fits on Monday. It was empty so I thought why not. A covered slide had been the subject of a rant from Sir so I told him to stay away from it. Needless to say he took no notice and promptly started sliding down it quite happily. Little Bugger.
By Thursday Sir was back to his normal self and fully explored the activities at the pool. He loved the lagoon pool – it was very sensory, and the play area. On Friday he didn’t want to come home.
We ate out more than we normally would. I must say the Sports Cafe there really impressed me. The kids loved the indoor play area. Also Hucks American Diner. All the restaurants have overhauled their menus and we were most impressed. Each village has more or less the same places to eat and then one that is particular to an individual one. In Elveden’s case it’s the Lakeview restaurant. When Hubby and I last went it was called “La Sapinere” (I think that’s right!) it was the ‘posh’ place to eat, unique because it had a revolving floor and a man playing piano. It was where couples went for a meal on the last night of the holiday. It was very expensive but worth it. Now sadly they only serve breakfast there. It’s not cheap but we really wanted to visit it again for a treat. I don’t think Sir was keen..
I couldn’t help thinking it was very quiet considering it was the school holidays but then I found out some schools didn’t break up until Wednesday which would explain it. The weather as I mentioned was lovely and Elveden itself is really really nice. Lots of accessibility, nothing is too much trouble for the staff – although that goes across the board to be honest.
Despite the fact that Sir wasn’t his normal self we still had a really nice holiday. The kids had great fun taking photos of all the ducks and geese that visited our villa and we even saw a deer! Definitely going to pay Elveden another visit in the future 🙂