A New Branch Of Center Parcs Is Opening 45 Minutes From Central London, And I Want To Go To There

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor

Center Parcs

You’ll be able to hop from Croydon to the new Center Parcs in as little as 20 minutes…

I don’t know about you, but Center Parcs holidays were a huge part of my childhood, so there’s plenty of nostalgia colouring this announcement. The holiday park chain have five sites already nestled in woodlands around England – including one in Woburn Forest, about an hour north of London – and have now identified a sixth site, located in the forest outside of Crawley. So, in theory you could catch a train from London Bridge and be eyeing up the Wild Water Rapids in just under an hour.

The planned park will be set in 553 acres of woodland on the outskirts of Crawley, amongst the tranquil trees and just a stone’s throw away from the gorgeous botanical gardens at Wakehurst, which are managed from London’s own Kew Gardens. Center Parcs have reportedly already purchased the site, and will now embark on planning permission, resident surveys, and further site visits before breaking ground on the village, which is expected to create up to 1000 jobs for the local area.

They’re not expected to stray too far from the formula that has made them popular with holiday makers: up to 900 cosy lodges, bars and restaurants, spas, sport facilities, and a giant Subtropical Swimming Paradise will all likely feature. Given that eleven-year-old me once rode the rapids at Longleat 42 times across a long weekend, that last one is likely to be the big attraction amongst the kids. There’s no word on when the new site will open, but you can bet it’ll be a popular one for Londoners looking to escape into the woods – with all the creature comforts in tow, of course…

Meanwhile, here are the best staycation spots in the UK, as voted by Secret London readers.

Also published on Medium.