Center Parcs coming to Sussex is great news for family staycations

Plans for a new Center Parcs holiday village near Crawley were revealed this week and it will be welcome news for many.

With 1,500 new jobs, a promised boost to the local economy and aims to promote biodiversity, the Center Parc bosses are saying all of the right things. Proposed new Center Parcs near Crawley is ‘great news for local economy and jobs’ | West Sussex County Times (

But it’s also good news for families, especially as we are seeing such a shift towards staycations. This year in particular, while lockdown restrictions are still impacting trips abroad, the demand for holidays closer to home has meant many families finding everything already booked. Of course, it’s a long way off until the Center Parcs idea would become a reality but having another holiday option and somewhere so close would be super handy, particularly for weekend breaks. Plus, when the children ask the dreaded ‘are we there yet’ question, those of us in Sussex can actually reply with ‘yes, we are!’.

As a mum-of-two adventure-seeking, active children, I’m always looking for holidays that will provide plenty to do for the youngsters but also some nice perks for the adults, too.

Editor Nicola Caines at Center Parcs

I was lucky enough to visit Center Parcs Elveden Forest in Suffolk just before lockdown hit last March. My two children and I joined my best friend and her son for a weekend break and we all loved every minute.

The setting was lovely with lots of wildlife around. Then there’s the activities. A lot of them do involve an extra cost but the range of things on offer are pretty impressive with everything from cupcake making and pottery to den building, archery and kayaking.

As we were only there for the weekend, we spent the best part of one of the days in the swimming pool. With several different pools and various slides plus the rapids and a lazy river, there’s so much to do. We even stopped for a break in the café by the pool, which you can go to in your swimwear, and then carried on with more swimming fun.

We also, of course, had to hire some bikes. I had not been on a bike for a very long time but it was a great way to explore.

I could go on about all the things there are to do. It will be really interesting to see what the Sussex Center Parcs would look like and have to offer if it gets the go ahead.