16 Center Parcs Money Saving Tips You Need to Know!

It’s no secret that Center Parcs is expensive. I have visited Center Parcs villages many times and found several ways to save money when visiting.

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to or want to use all of these ideas. However, just a handful of these tips can save you hundreds of pounds.

1. Avoid School Holidays

The cost of Center Parcs lodges increases four to five times during the school holidays. This means lodges that typically cost £500 suddenly cost between £2,000 and £2,500. Don’t get me started on how unfair this is.

As such, visiting Center Parcs in term time will save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds. I appreciate this isn’t possible for all families. However, if you can visit outside the school holidays, I recommend doing so.

2. Stay in a Center Parcs Apartment

Center Parcs offers a wide range of different accommodation options:

  1. Apartments
  2. New Style Lodges
  3. Executive Lodges
  4. Treehouses

However, apartments are often the cheapest. Apartments are available at all Center Parcs villages. However, they are inside a building rather than lodges, which are stand-alone in the woods.

Center Parcs apartments are only one bedroom, so they can only hold up to two adults and one infant (2 and under). The exception to this is Longleat, which has some two-bedroom apartments available.

3. Avoid Weekends

Center Parcs offers three break durations:

  1. Three nights (Fri to Mon)
  2. Four nights (Mon to Fri)
  3. Seven nights (Mon to Mon or Fri to Fri)

While three nights is the shortest Center Parcs break, it’s often more expensive than four nights. That’s because a three night break runs over the weekend.

For example, if I take the same week in November 2024 and compare the same lodge at Whinfell Forest, I can see that:

  • Four nights cost £419
  • Three nights cost £439

That’s £20 extra for one less night. Again, I appreciate that not everyone can visit Center Parcs from Monday to Friday. For personal reasons, you may be restricted to weekends. However, if you can, I highly suggest visiting mid-week.

4. Bring Your Bike

The best way to get around a Center Parcs village is on a bike. You have two options when it comes to cycling at Center Parcs:

  1. Bring your bike
  2. Hire a bike at Center Parcs

However, hiring a bike at Center Parcs is not cheap. Prices vary depending on duration and the type of bike you hire.

On my most recent visit to Center Parcs, I hired an adult standard bike from Monday to Friday for £42. This means a family of four can expect to spend over £100 on bikes!

Therefore, it’s no surprise I suggest bringing your own bike to Center Parcs. At these prices, it is often cheaper to buy a second-hand one just for Center Parcs.

5. Don’t Buy Food On-Site

All Center Parcs villages have an on-site grocery store. However, the prices are often around 30% higher than those of mainstream supermarkets. I therefore highly recommend bringing your own food to Center Parcs to save money.

I always stop at the supermarket on my way to Center Parcs. While Center Parcs villages are in the forest, a supermarket is usually within ten miles.

Plus, you can leave Center Parcs during your stay. Therefore, if you’re staying for a week, it may be worth driving to the nearby supermarket to top up.

6. Avoid Visiting Over Christmas

Visiting Center Parcs at Christmas is a magical experience. However, that magic comes at a price. Center Parcs decorates for Christmas in early November, so breaks in November and December can cost 2x to 5x the usual prices.

Instead, if you want to visit Center Parcs during winter, the cheapest time is the first few weeks of January.

7. Take Part in Some Free Activities

The cost of accommodation at Center Parcs is one thing. However, activities can often double the cost of a Center Parcs break. Luckily, there are several free activities at Center Parcs. These include:

  • Swimming
  • Self-Guided Nature Walks
  • Outdoor Playgrounds

You can also bring your board or outdoor games from home for extra entertainment.

8. Compare All Center Parcs Villages

The cost of visiting Center Parcs can vary between villages. Even when you’re looking at the:

  • Same dates
  • Same duration
  • Same number of guests
  • Same accommodation type

For example, four nights in October in a two-bedroom New Style Woodland Lodge for a family of four cost:

  • Elveden Forest: £499
  • Sherwood Forest: £729

That’s a saving of £230 in one of Center Parcs cheapest types of accommodation.

9. Swap Out Expensive Activities

I mentioned that Center Parcs activities are expensive. However, you can save money by swapping out activities for cheaper options. For example:

  • Swap a £15 Center Parcs gym pass for running around the village.
  • Swap the £20 to £40 Ten Pin Bowling for American Pool at £5 to £7
  • Swap the £36 Stand Up Paddleboarding for Kayak Hire at £14.50
  • Swap the £45 to £54 Paintballing for Laser Clay Shoot Out at £24 to £39

10. Pay For Activities In Advance

Booking Center Parcs activities in advance doesn’t save you money. However, there are several cost-related benefits to doing so:

  1. It helps you ‘fix’ the cost of your break and keep track of your spending.
  2. Booking one activity a week or month can help spread the cost.
  3. It gives you a chance to plan and compare activities.
  4. Reduces the need for spontaneous spending.
  5. It gives you the best availability, as some of the most popular activities can sell out.

You do have to pay for your Center Parcs activities at the time of booking. However, you can change the date and time of your activity or cancel for a refund online easily.

11. Take Advantage of the ‘Come Back Soon’ Offer

After visiting Center Parcs, you’ll receive an email with a ‘Come Back Soon’ offer. This email will go to the address on file and give you 28 days to book a return visit at a discount.

Center Parcs never runs a sale.

Center Parcs prices are quietly adjusted. However, the ‘Come Back Soon’ offer is the easiest way to get a discount on a return visit. The ‘Come Back Soon’ offer code is unique to you and can be used to book a Center Parcs break up to 18 months in advance.

12. Avoid Going to Restaurants for Dinner

Each Center Parcs village has several restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, dinner is often the most expensive.

If you want to dine out and save money at Center Parcs, consider breakfast or lunch. You’ll typically find the restaurants are quieter and menu items cheaper. Better still, on-site restaurant chains such as Bella Italia and Café Rouge often offer lunchtime discounts or set meals.

13. Visit Center Parcs With Friends or Family

The cost of visiting Center Parcs is calculated based on your lodge rather than the number of people.

For example, the cost of two adults staying in a 4-bedroom New Style Woodland Lodge at Longleat Forest Village in May is £699.

However, the cost for eight adults to stay in a 4-bedroom New Style Woodland Lodge at Longleat Forest Village on those dates is also £699.

As such, the more people you can go to Center Parcs with, the cheaper it is per person. So, if you have friends or family looking to visit Center Parcs, you could split the cost and save 50% on your break.

14. Bring Everything, Including the Kitchen Sink

Since everything at Center Parcs is so expensive, it makes sense to overpack – within reason. 


Free Center Parcs
Printable Packing List

My comprehensive Center Parcs
printable packing list is completely free!

Based on my multiple trips, I’ve compiled an extensive Center Parcs packing guide. This packing list covers clothes to baby items and can be edited based on your circumstances and who you’re travelling with.

15. Don’t Pay Extra to Arrive Early

Early arrival at Center Parcs costs between £20 and £50 and is, in my opinion, a waste of money.

Everyone can arrive at the Center Parcs village from 10 am on arrival day with or without early arrival. From this time, you can use all of the Center Parcs facilities, including the Subtropical Swimming Paradise.

Instead, early arrival only gets you access to your lodge from 2 pm instead of 4 pm. Sure, Center Parcs village traffic will be quieter at this time, and you’ll have longer to settle in. However, the cost of this is so high that I don’t think it’s worth it.

16. Find a Center Parcs Alternative

The concept of forest holidays has grown a lot in the UK over the past decade. As such, many companies have established themselves as an affordable alternative to Center Parcs.

If the cost of a Center Parcs break is currently too much, consider checking out alternatives such as:

  • Bluestone Wales
  • Forest Holidays
  • Parkdean Resorts


For All The Latest Travels
In Your Inbox!

Let’s Chat!

Thanks for stopping by! Do you have experience with this trip or want to share some of your own tips? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below and let’s chat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One Comment

  1. Geraldine Carroll says:

    Hello there
    very interesting it looks amazing cant wait to go mid September 21