Center Parcs’ broad activity list the holiday star

by James Hendicott
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With international travel less appetising than usual, Center Parcs’ new-ish Longford operation became an appealing early-year holiday, and for anyone with a love of outdoor activities and serenity, it offers more than you can do in a week’s visit.

Accommodation is a range of cabins, from relatively basic to fully-kitted out, but the activities are by a distance the star of the show. Of course, every guest raves about the Tropical Swimming Paradise, that is heated so nicely to an across the board, ‘air and water’ 29.5 degrees, perfect even for young babies, and so they should. With slides, waves, hot tubs, plunge pools and its own rapids, a daily trip is scarcely enough.

Other activities shine, too, though. The challenging Aerial Adventure brings you swinging across a lake on a zipline, and stumbling through challenging tree-woven walkways. You can hold owls, climb indoor climbing walls, visit the excellent and incredibly mellow Aqua Sana spa, or shoot each other in an early morning game of laser combat.

After pancakes or a trip for a fry at the sports bar, there’s also sports like fencing and foot-pool to try, alongside more conventional activities, and for the younger ones, you can make a teddy bear, play the mad scientist, or spend some time producing your own artwork.

The family cred of this place, which really has thought of everything, is definitely its main asset. For a single-location holiday, hosted in a space you can walk across in little more than 30 minutes, it is spectacularly varied, and designed well to provide solitude amid the trees so it feels uncluttered and relaxing. For those who would typically head abroad as a holiday default, in fact, a family might get a week here for the price of your flights. You’ll be stuck with the Irish weather, but you’re more likely to want a few more days than to ever get bored.

Click on link to read more in this weeks Digital Edition

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