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Center Parcs Sherwood Forest

A couple of weekends ago we visited Center Parcs at Sherwood Forest and had a fantastic time. It was actually our first ever Center Parcs holiday so we were unsure what to expect, but we really enjoyed it. I thought that I would put together a review post for anyone that might be considering booking a Center Parcs break…

Center Parcs

If you are unfamiliar with Center Parcs holidays, they offer lodge breaks in a forest setting. There’s six parks across the UK – Whinfell, Longleaf, Woburn, Elveden, Woburn, Longford (opening soon) and Sherwood Forest, which is the one that we went to.

“Whether you’re trying one of the many activities together, eating together at our range of restaurants or relaxing together in your open-plan accommodation, everything at Center Parcs is made for families.”


Center Parcs Sherwood Forest is located in Newark, Nottinghamshire. Just under an hour away from where we live in Sheffield, so it’s perfect for a stress free journey with the kids!

“Set in the heart of Nottinghamshire, take a UK short break holiday at Sherwood Forest for a perfect fusion of woodland and lakeside. It’s the ideal setting for exploring and spending quality time with friends and family. Activities, indoors and outdoors, are spread around the 400 acres of woodland and village life comes together around the leafy terraces of the Village Square, with a range of places to relax, to eat, just watch the world go by, or discover our range of shops.”


We stayed in a two bedroom woodland lodge which was lovely. Our lodge was spacious, modern and equipped with everything we needed during our stay.

Our lodge was located in the Maple area of the park, in the far corner which meant a 10 minute walk to get to the central area. This wasn’t too much of a problem as the kids had brought their scooters with them. But, if your kids don’t like walking it’s not ideal so I would highly recommend taking/hiring scooters or bikes.

One thing I should mention is that we were on holiday with family who were staying in a separate lodge. Despite both lodges being booked at the same time we were located in opposite areas of the park which was really frustrating. So if we wanted to spend time at my parents lodge it was a 20 minute walk. Apparently you can pay an additional fee to choose the location of your accommodation but my dad didn’t see this option at the time of booking and when we arrived on the day we were told they were fully booked and unable to move us. I think this should be made clearer during the booking process as it was a real pain for us.

Things to do 

Our main question before we went to Center Parcs was what is there to do? We had heard that most activities had to be paid for and we were only really interested in free activities. In my opinion, after you’ve paid for the cost of a holiday why should you have to pay to do things while you are there?

The main free activity is of course swimming which didn’t disappoint. The Subtropical Swimming Paradise is huge and features a wave pool, Wild Water Rapids, hot whirlpool and the new raft ride, Tropical Cyclone.

Other free activities include walking, cycling (if you’ve brought your own bikes, otherwise you can hire them on site), the beach and playgrounds.

Activities that carry an extra charge include…

  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Laser combat
  • Adventure golf
  • Dance classes
  • Fitness classes
  • Tennis
  • Shopping
  • Swimming lessons
  • Aqua Sana Spa

The only paid activities that we did were bowling and teddy bear making, both of which we really enjoyed and would recommend.


Restaurants at Center Parcs Sherwood include Bella Italia, The Pancake House and Cafe Rouge. We particularly enjoyed The Pancake House and I would highly recommend the black forest pancake stack, which was incredible!

You can also order takeaway meals straight to your accommodation. Options include pizza, Indian, Asian and more. We had pizza takeaway one night which was really tasty and was delivered quickly.

If you plan to cook and need to pick up some bits, there is a supermarket on site for all the essentials. I had been warned that the shop is expensive, so to try to avoid it but actually I found it to be pretty reasonable.

Our thoughts

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Center Parcs Sherwood and would definitely go back again. There’s nothing quite like getting away for a few days and hiding away in the forest is there? I do find the prices a little expensive, which is why we haven’t been before now and I don’t like that you have to pay for activities when you are there. But that aside, the kids had a blast and particularly enjoyed the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, that and the accommodation definitely won me over.

Have you been to Center Parcs before?

Thank you for reading.