I recently spent a few days at Center Parcs, Longleat with my best friend, Chantelle Treacy and her beautiful family, and honestly it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time!
I had never been to Center Parcs before this, and although so many people at school had said it was great fun, I don’t think I realised just how great a place it is.
The place literally has anything and everything for people of all ages to enjoy a break away in beautiful English air – and I would do anything to go back again.
Whilst there we did the aerial adventure, safe to say before this I didn’t have a fear of heights, started it and suddenly had a fear of heights, but finished it with such determination. While it was, nicely put, shit scary, it was also great fun. The only two things that kept me going was the fact that I was at the back of the queue, and therefore couldn’t chicken out once everyone else had done it, and two, the look of the zip wire at the end across the lake was giving me the strength to carry on.
I also did abseiling whilst there, this was such fun! Before going to Center Parcs I thought about abseiling down the Spinnaker tower in Portsmouth for charity, can’t believe I was going to do this without ever abseiling before! But now I’ve done the challenge at Center Parcs, I’d love to do it again. While I did get rope burn, it was an amazing experience. And surprisingly not scary!? I could honestly do it over and over again! I even got to race Chantelle which was definitely a laugh!
Me and Chantelle also did falconry whilst there, and this is what surprised me more than anything. I honestly, loved every part of it, from hearing about the history, to holding the birds, it was a great experience. And did you know, the reason why women hold a bouquet of flowers on their wedding day is because in the past, they would only wash twice a year, and by the time their wedding came along in the Spring they were beginning to smell a little, so needed the flowers to mask the smell. Bet you didn’t know that little fact of the day!
We also hired out two katakuna’s whilst we were there, and honestly, I did not realise just how soaked I would get! We were in teams of four, and I thought it would be a relaxing paddle through the lake, but no. It was war. It honestly was great fun, and I haven’t laughed that much in years! My only mistake was going in, fully dressed, still wearing trainers which were later dunked into the water – not so smooth!
On top of all this, we also hired out badminton courts which was great fun, I haven’t played since school and forgot how much fun it actually is. And to be honest, I think I surprised myself out how good I was.. Yeah, I wish!
The rapids at Center Parcs were honestly a shock to my system. I honestly thought it would be like a calm, lazy river, little did I know! Honestly the best rapids I’ve been on and it was great fun racing each other, although it did result in a fair few bruises!
We went out for food at the Pancake House as well while we were there. If you ever go, I recommend having the cookie dough pancake it is b-e-a-utiful!
The cabin itself was amazing. So modern and it really did feel like a tardis. It was a great way to spend the weekend, and the company could not have been better! I shared the cabin with Chantelle, her cousin’s Amy and Alden, and his friend Ben, and it really was a great laugh. With most of our time being spent all playing cards or curled up on the sofa, it was a great way to relax and really get to know everyone.
There are so many moments I will remember forever from the weekend, like Carol’s (Chantelle’s aunt) drunken entertainment, the conversations overheard in the garden (never to be repeated again), fighting in the rapids, and just enjoying the whole weekend away.
It honestly was just what I needed. It made me realise just how unhappy I have been lately and really took me back to my childhood. It would be great to go there again, and I cannot thank Chantelle and her family enough for the time I spent with them. Not only did they give me an amazing weekend away, but they also allowed me to be myself, and made me realise that I’ve been fooling myself for way too long on what happiness is, because now, I honestly do feel happy.