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When it comes to planning a family holiday, many consider the United Kingdom as a top destination. However, the cost of UK holidays can be quite expensive, with accommodation, activities, and dining quickly adding up.
Fortunately, there’s a fantastic alternative just a short drive away in Belgium. Center Parcs in Belgium, operated by Center Parcs Europe, offers a range of options that cater to families seeking memorable holidays without the high costs associated with UK getaways.
Center Parcs in Belgium: A Convenient Alternative
Before we dive into the details of the best Center Parcs in Belgium, let’s explore why this European option makes for a great alternative to its UK counterpart.
The cost of UK holidays can often be prohibitive for families. The expense of accommodation, dining, and entertainment can quickly mount up, making it challenging to find an affordable family holiday that doesn’t compromise on quality. However, Center Parcs in Belgium provides a cost-effective alternative for family holidays in Belgium and Europe. With a variety of options, you can choose the one that suits your budget and preferences.
Center Parcs Europe operates as a separate company from Center Parcs UK, but they share many similarities. In fact, Center Parcs Belgium is just one of several European locations, including Germany, the Netherlands, and France, offering a similar family-focused holiday experience. However, we’ll focus on the five Center Parcs locations in Belgium.
Center Parcs Belgium: A Variety of Options
Belgium may not be the first country that comes to mind when planning a family holiday, but it offers a range of attractions and natural beauty that make it an appealing destination. With five Center Parcs locations in Belgium to choose from, you’ll have plenty of options for your family getaway. Plus, these Belgian Center Parcs are relatively easy to reach by car from the UK.
Proximity to the UK
Belgium is easily accessible from the UK by ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge, which takes approximately 12 hours, or via the Eurotunnel at Folkestone in Kent, a more manageable journey of just 35 minutes. After reaching the mainland, you can conveniently drive to your chosen Center Parcs location. Here’s a breakdown of the driving times from Calais to the various Belgian Center Parcs:
- Center Parcs Park de Haan: 1 hour 15 minutes from Calais
- Center Parcs Vossemeren: 3 hours 30 minutes from Calais
- Center Parcs Erperheide: 3 hours 30 minutes from Calais
- Center Parcs Terhills Resort: 3 hours 30 minutes from Calais
- Center Parcs Les Ardennes: 4 hours from Calais
If you’re travelling from the South East of England, you could potentially get from the edge of the M25 to Center Parcs Park de Haan in about three hours. In fact, Center Parcs Park de Haan is nearer to Calais than all of the other Center Parcs locations across Europe, including those in France.
Best Customer Reviews
When considering the best Center Parcs in Belgium, customer reviews play a crucial role in making an informed decision. Based on the most recent data, three Center Parcs locations in Belgium are vying for the top spot in terms of customer satisfaction:
- Center Parcs Vossemeren: With a 4/5 rating on TripAdvisor and a 4.1/5 rating on Google Reviews.
- Center Parcs Erperheide: Boasting a 4/5 rating on TripAdvisor and an impressive 4.2/5 rating on Google Reviews.
- Center Parcs Terhills Resort: Earning a solid 4/5 rating on TripAdvisor and an even higher 4.4/5 rating on Google Reviews.
These three parks offer similar reviews to their UK counterparts, which typically score around 4/5 on TripAdvisor and 4.5/5 to 4.6/5 on Google Reviews.
On the other hand, Center Parcs Les Ardennes scored slightly lower, with a 3.5/5 rating on TripAdvisor and a 3.7/5 rating on Google. Center Parcs Park de Haan, while unique, received a score of 3/5 on TripAdvisor and 3.7/5 on Google reviews.
Aqua Mundo Waterparks
For many visitors, the waterparks (‘Aqua Mundo’) are the highlight of a Center Parcs holiday. Here’s how the waterparks at the Belgian Center Parcs locations stack up based on Google Reviews:
- Center Parcs Vossemeren: Impressive with a 4.4/5 rating.
- Center Parcs Erperheide: Not far behind with a solid 4.3/5 rating.
- Center Parcs Les Ardennes: With a rating of 3.5/5, it provides a decent aquatic experience.
- Center Parcs Park de Haan: Though operating under a different name, it still scores a respectable 3.7/5.
Unfortunately, separate reviews for the Aqua Mundo at Center Parcs Terhills Resort, the newest resort, were not available. However, it’s worth noting that some reviewers mention the pool at Terhills Resort is smaller than typical Center Parcs Aqua Mundo facilities.
Affordability is a significant consideration when choosing the best Center Parcs in Belgium for your family holiday. We conducted a thorough analysis of pricing for a week-long trip designed for a family comprising two adults and two children. While prices can vary during different times of the year, it soon became apparent that certain resorts were more expensive than others.
Center Parcs Les Ardennes consistently emerges as the most budget-friendly option among the available choices. On the other hand, Center Parcs Terhills Resort consistently positions itself at the upper end of the price range. It’s important to note that European Center Parcs locations often offer a wider range of discounts and special promotions compared to their UK counterparts. Therefore, for savvy travellers, exploring these enticing deals and packages can be instrumental in securing excellent value for your family’s holiday experience.
Onsite Facilities and Activities
One of the primary attractions of a Center Parcs holiday is the range of onsite activities and facilities. Most people spend the entire time on site, taking advantage of the numerous entertainment options available. Here’s a breakdown of the number of activities offered at each Belgian Center Parcs location, from most to least:
- Center Parcs Vossemeren: An impressive array of 107 activities.
- Center Parcs Erperheide: Offers 75 different activities to keep you engaged.
- Center Parcs Park de Haan: Provides a respectable selection of 65 activities.
- Center Parcs Les Ardennes: Offers 60 activities to choose from.
- Center Parcs Terhills Resort: Though fewer in number, it still boasts 49 activities to enjoy.
For families looking to enjoy free activities included in their stay, here’s how the parks compare:
- Center Parcs Vossemeren: Leads the way with 29 free activities.
- Center Parcs Park de Haan: Offers 26 free activities to enhance your stay.
- Center Parcs Erperheide: Provides 24 free activities to keep you entertained.
- Center Parcs Les Ardennes: Offers 20 free activities as part of your package.
- Center Parcs Terhills Resort: Includes 18 free activities for guests.
Center Parcs Vossemeren stands out with the most activities and a substantial number of free options.
Each Center Parcs location in Belgium boasts its own distinct charm and standout features that cater to varying tastes and preferences:
Center Parcs Vossemeren and Center Parcs Erperheide (1980s Origins): These two Center Parcs locations have been delighting families since the 1980s. What sets them apart is their extensive array of activities designed to cater to families with diverse interests. Whether you’re an adventurous soul seeking thrilling experiences or prefer a more relaxed holiday, Vossemeren and Erperheide offer something for everyone.
Center Parcs Erperheide’s ‘Pony Cottage’: For families with horse-loving kids, Center Parcs Erperheide introduces a unique offering—an enchanting ‘pony cottage.’ This extraordinary accommodation option provides families with their very own pony for the entire duration of their stay. Children’s dreams of bonding with a pony and living next to the riding school become a reality, making for an unforgettable holiday experience.
Center Parcs Park de Haan’s Beach Proximity: Among the various Center Parcs locations, Center Parcs Park de Haan stands out for its exceptional proximity to the beach. This distinctive feature allows guests to combine the tranquillity of a forest retreat with the pleasures of a seaside holiday. Whether you’re longing for refreshing coastal walks or simply wish to enjoy the soothing sounds of the waves, Park de Haan offers a unique blend of woodland and beachfront relaxation.
Center Parcs Terhills Resort (Opened in 2021): As one of the newer additions to the Center Parcs family, Terhills Resort brings a touch of modern luxury to the mix. Opened in 2021, this resort offers a more premium experience, appealing to those seeking a serene and tranquil holiday. While it provides fewer activities compared to some of the older Center Parcs locations, it compensates with an intimate and peaceful ambience. Additionally, the resort features a smaller swimming pool, perfect for a more relaxed and unhurried aquatic experience.
Each of these Center Parcs locations in Belgium presents its unique character and offerings, ensuring that families can choose the one that best aligns with their holiday desires and preferences.
Saving Money on Center Parcs Belgium Holidays
To make the most of your Center Parcs Belgium holiday, consider these money-saving tips:
Book through CenterParcs.fr: Booking through the French-language website is often cheaper than the English-language version, potentially saving you a significant amount on your stay.
Be Flexible with Dates: Look for deals and discounts by being flexible with your travel dates and taking advantage of special offers that may apply to specific times of the year.
Explore Free Activities: Many parks offer a range of free activities for guests. Take advantage of these options to reduce your overall spending while still enjoying a fantastic holiday experience.
Our Top Picks of Center Parcs Belgium
While any of the Center Parcs in Belgium make for a great family holiday, we have our two favourites. Let’s take a closer look at our top two picks for Center Parcs resorts in Belgium: Center Parcs Vossemeren and Center Parcs Erperheide.
Center Parcs Vossemeren Belgium:
Center Parcs Vossemeren is located in the Limburg province of Belgium, near the town of Lommel. It is the largest Center Parcs resort in Belgium and has a wide variety of activities and amenities to offer guests.
The Aqua Mundo water park is one of the main attractions at Center Parcs Vossemeren, with a variety of slides, pools, and a wave machine. There is also a Discovery Bay indoor play area for younger children, as well as a range of other activities such as archery, bowling, and horse riding.
In addition to the activities, Center Parcs Vossemeren also has a number of restaurants and bars, as well as a supermarket. The cottages at Center Parcs Vossemeren are all spacious and comfortable, and many have their own private hot tub.
Center Parcs Erperheide Belgium:
Center Parcs Erperheide is located in the province of Limburg, near the town of Peer. It is a smaller resort than Center Parcs Vossemeren, but it still has a wide range of activities and amenities to offer guests. The Aqua Mundo water park is smaller than the one at Center Parcs Vossemeren, but it still has a good selection of slides and pools. There is also a Playvillage indoor play area for younger children, as well as a range of other activities such as tennis, golf, and cycling.
In addition to the activities, Center Parcs Erperheide also has a number of restaurants and bars, as well as a supermarket. The cottages at Center Parcs Erperheide are all spacious and comfortable, and many have their own private terrace.
Both Center Parcs Vossemeren and Center Parcs Erperheide are great choices for families looking for a fun and relaxing holiday in Belgium. Center Parcs Vossemeren is the larger resort and has a wider range of activities, while Center Parcs Erperheide is a smaller, more intimate resort. Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your family’s needs and preferences.
Choosing the best Center Parcs in Belgium ultimately depends on your family’s preferences, budget, and priorities. Center Parcs Vossemeren and Center Parcs Erperheide consistently receive positive reviews and offer a plethora of activities, making them excellent options for family holidays. Center Parcs Les Ardennes is usually the most affordable, while Center Parcs Terhills Resort offers a more premium experience.
Consider your family’s needs, review the options, and explore the best deals to ensure you have a memorable and budget-friendly holiday at Center Parcs in Belgium. Regardless of your choice, you’re in for a fantastic family getaway in the heart of Europe, where memories are waiting to be made.