The Best Cheaper Alternatives To Center Parcs In The UK 2023
Fed up with the Center Parcs price hikes in the school holidays?
We certainly are and so have made it our mission to seek out cheaper alternatives to Center Parcs in the UK.
We love the concept of a Center Parcs holiday. Some of our best family holidays have been in places like Center Parcs. We just don’t like the prices that Center Parcs charge in the school holidays.
Over 50 million people searched for ‘Where else is like Center Parcs in the UK?’ so I know we’re not alone.
This post aims to highlight places like Center Parcs that are cheaper. They are all around the UK so there are plenty of options.
Many of these family-friendly holiday alternatives to Center Parcs are places that we have tried ourselves.
Others have been recommended to us and are on our list to try.
What we do know is that these places are the most similar to Center Parcs in the UK – and they are all cheaper.
I should say that some of them are cheaper than others. Some of them are not a huge amount cheaper than Center Parcs. But every little helps right? And talking of that, you can use Tesco vouchers to pay for some of them!
Here are the reasons that these Center Parcs alternatives made the list:
- Their accomodation similar to Center Parcs (lodges or luxury caravans).
- They all have pools (except one).
- They have a wide range of activities.
We have compared the price of each alternative against the cost for a week in a standard lodge at Center Parcs in Elvedon at the beginning of the school summer holidays.
A 2 bedroom Woodland Lodge at Center Parcs Elvedon costs £2328 (as of today, 18th January 2023).
If you’re looking for somewhere like Center Parcs but cheaper, these are the best Centre Parcs alternatives in the UK.
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These are the best cheaper alternatives to Center Parcs..
Sandyballs Holiday Village
Set in the beautiful New Forest National Park in the South of England, Sandyballs Holiday Village is one of our favourite Center Parcs.
We absolutely loved our stay at Sandyballs for so many reasons.
Sandyballs Holiday Village is part of the Away Resorts group which has 23 locations throughout the UK. We would stay that Sandyballs is their best resort and the closest they have to a Center Parcs alternative.
It has indoor and outdoor pools and a variety of activities, and although there are not quite as many activities as Center Parcs, they are cheaper on the whole.
They have archery, fishing, Alpaca Walking, Laser Combat, arts and crafts and so much more (see here for full list).
During the summer months they have outdoor movie nights. Much like Center Parcs, there is an app for you to book certain activities in advance.
Accommodation is a mix of caravans and lodges, some with hot tubs.
The onsite restaurant had a large menu and a great selection for kids. For us, the only thing that let it down was the indoor pool which was a little dated. It was perfectly adequate though and in good weather you have the lovely outdoor pool.
You are also close to the south coast (Lymington, Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole).
We went to do some paddleboarding in Sandbanks (see EasyRiders for SUP rental) and then spent the afternoon on the beach at Canford Cliffs.
Sandyballs is dog-friendly.
Sandyballs holiday cost
Sandyballs Village deals
Bluestone National Park Resort
Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire in Wales is a great alternative to CenterParcs.
Bluestone is a large resort spread over 500-acres. Thankfully there is an on-site ‘train’ to ferry you between your lodge and the Blue Lagoon or the Village.
There are a variety of lodges to choose from that sleep between 2 and 14 people. Bluestone has one of the largest lodges of all of the Center Parcs alternatives if you’re looking for places like Center Parcs for a group holiday.
There are over 100 indoor and outdoor activities at Bluestone and they are a bit cheaper than the Centre Parcs activities.
Bluestone has a lot to offer families with young children and their swimming pool is really great for little ones. Bluestone is a great toddler friendly alternative to Center Parcs.
Of all of the Center Parc alternatives, the pool at Bluestone is the most like a Center Parcs pool with flumes and rapids rides.
So, if you’re wondering is there anything similar to Centre Parcs in the UK? This is probably the closest you will get.
Bluestone is not dog-friendly.
Bluestone holiday cost
Prices start from £1980. Check here for prices on the Bluestone website.
Check out the last minute Bluestone deals and special offers on their website.
Gwel an Mor
Gwel an Mor is a luxury alternative to Center Parcs in Cornwall.
It is located close to Portreath on Cornwall’s north coast with some of the best beaches in Cornwall nearby. It offers a range of beautiful Scandinavian and eco lodges with hot tubs (or without).
Many of their 5-star luxury lodges have balconies looking out to sea and hot tubs.
There is an onsite spa and restaurant as well as indoor adventure centre and swimming pool, gym and nine hole golf course.
Little ones will love the wildlife centre and older kids may like to try out some surfing. All holidays include free tennis and free soft play.
This is a gorgeous luxury alternative to Centre Parcs.
Pet-friendly lodges are available.
Gwel and Mor holiday cost
Prices start from £1503 for their Lowena Lodge. Prices are cheaper on the Landal website than the Gwel an Mor website.
Gwel an Mor offers
You can find Gwel an Mor last-minute deals on the their website.
Looking for cheaper alternatives to Center Parcs in the Peak District?
We chose to make Landal Sandybrook our base when visiting the Peak District because of its fantastic location.
They offer 1,2,3 and 4 bedroom lodges – some of them have hot tubs. There’s an on-site restaurant and there are a number of lovely, cosy country pubs nearby (The George at Alstonefield was our favourite).
On-site you will find an indoor pool (with jacuzzi and sauna for age 16+).
There is a large field for the kids to kick a football around with a play area next to it. You can also enjoy a woodland walk.
In case of wet weather, there is a games room and toddler playroom.
Find out more about the activities at Sandybrook (archery, orienteering, mini golf etc).
There may not be quite as much to do here as at Center Parcs but Sandybrook encourage you to get offsite and enjoy the beautiful countryside in the Peak District.
Sandybrook is only 15 minutes from the famous Dovedale Stepping Stones and Thorpe Cloud (which is a really easy walk with kids).
It’s also right next door to the Tissington Trail which is a 13-mile traffic-free trail for cyclists and walkers.
Nearby Landal Darwin Forest is very similar if you can’t find accommodation at Sandybrook and you can also expect more on-site facilities there.
There are 15 Landal sites in the UK now if you’re looking for places like Center Parcs in other areas.
Sandybrook is dog-friendly.
Sandybrook holiday cost
Prices start from £1499.
You can check the Landal site for last-minute deals.
Forest Holidays have a collection of 12 resorts based in and around forests in the UK.
They offer a more natural holiday alternative to Center Parcs. We love that the accommodation blends into the scenery.
There are no swimming pools at the Forest Holidays resorts but many of the lodges have hot tubs.
We still think they’re a great alternative to Center Parcs, especially if you like to get away from crowds.
Forest Holidays activities are all about getting the kids outdoors.
They offer forest ranger adventures (see details here) and nocturnal adventures (for 10 yrs+) and playgrounds for kids.
If you’re looking for family cycling holidays, Forest Holidays could be ideal for you. See details here on the Forest Holidays Cycling Holidays.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Center Parcs in Wales but don’t want to stay at Bluestone, check out the Forest Holidays cabins in Beddgelert.
Forest Holidays holiday cost
Prices start from £1980.
Forest Holidays deals
Check Forest Holidays late availability on their website.
Also take a look at Forest Holidays weekend breaks.
Other cheaper alternatives to Center Parcs in the UK
Ribby Hall Village
Ribby Hall Village is a five star holiday village located close to Blackpool in Lancashire.
There are loads of indoor and outdoor activities available for families that you can book online. See all of the Ribby Hall Village activities here.
There is also a new family entertainment venue, The Hive, offering indoor entertainment and dining.
Accommodation ranges from cottages to pine lodges and even a farmhouse sleeping up to 12 people.
Some of their luxury lodges have hot tubs. They also have an absolutely stunning Lakeside View apartment.
Ribby Hall is dog friendly.
Ribby Hall holiday cost
Prices start from £1542.
Ribby Hall deals
You can check on their special offers page to see if they are running any deals.
Tattershall Lakes Country Park
Tattershall Lakes is another of the AwayResorts properties.
It is located in Lincolnshire on the shores of a lake and offers a huge array of watersports and other activities.
As well as the watersports, there’s an outdoor lido, splash pad and an indoor pool. There is evening entertainment and special events during the school holidays. Take a look at what is on offer here.
Accommodation consists of traditional caravans as well as lodges and luxury lakeside lodges.
Tattershall lakes is dog-friendly.
Comparative holiday cost
Prices start from £1619 for a luxury caravan. You can also take a look on Booking.com to book with private owners as this may be cheaper.
Tattershall Lakes deals
Check out all of the Away Resorts offers here. Currently GETAWAY15 gets you 15% off.
Potters Resorts Hopton-on-Sea
Potters Resorts is the first all-inclusive holiday resort in the UK. It is located on the Norfolk coast between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
One of the big issues with booking a Center Parcs holiday is that so many of the activities are an additional cost. This means that the total cost of your holiday can easily rise. As if it weren’t expensive enough!
You don’t have this issue at Potters Resorts because everything is included. Full-board dining, drinks and activities and entertainment.
And they actually have a HUGE list of activities.
Accommodation ranges from bungalow rooms to hotel rooms. Obviously you don’t need a self-catering option here so there isn’t really a comparable to Center Parcs.
This is a good option if you’re looking for alternatives to Center Parcs in Norfolk. They have also just opened up a new resort in Essex – Five Lakes.
Potters Resorts is no dog-friendly.
Potters Resorts holiday cost
Prices start from £N/A (there is no comparative cost) – 3 night short break from 28th July. Adult – £509. Child (9-17) – £409, Child (2 – 8) – £379 and Under 2 – £15.00.
Potters Resorts deals
See here for last minute Potters deals.
PGL Family Adventure Holidays
PGL Holidays (aka Parents Get Lost) may not seem like an obvious alternative to Center Parcs but if it’s activities you’re after, it’s activities you’ll get.
OK, the accommodation is not quite up to the standard of Center Parcs, but you will be too busy to notice.
PGL are more well known for running school residential trips but more recently they have opened up to families in the school holidays.
Having loved my own school trip many years ago, I was keen to give it a go.
We stayed at Bawdsey Manor on the Suffolk Coast last summer and honestly loved it! I may have loved the fact that it was all-inclusive (except drinks) the most.
The kids loved the fact that we all got involved in all of the activities (although you don’t have to).
We loved the raft building challenge, Taskmaster, the assault course and climbing wall.
Currently, family holidays are only being offered at Barton Hall in Devon and Caythorpe Court in Lincolnshire.
PGL Holidays holiday costs
For 2023, the prices are being dropped by 25% and you can book from as little as £159 pp for a short break. See here for more info on PGL Family Holidays.
PGL Holidays deals
They sometimes have special offers through the year. You can sign up to hear about them here.
Holiday Park Resorts – a great Center Parcs alternative
Holiday parks are very popular with families and they are generally a lot cheaper than Center Parcs. But there are so many of them across the UK so it’s hard to know which one to choose.
The main holiday park resorts in the UK are Parkdean Resorts and Haven but there are a lot of smaller ones too.
Parkdean resorts have 66 sites in the UK. They offer some of the cheapest holiday accommodation. Whilst some of their parks are not really comparable to Center Parcs, there are some worth pointing out.
Haven Holidays have 40 parks across the UK. They’re geared towards families and many of them are pet-friendly.
Wherever you’re planning to visit in the UK, from a Centre Parcs Scotland alternative down to the south coast of England, there will be a holiday park nearby.
We’ve rounded up the best holiday park resorts for families.
The luxury lodges are set within a separate area of the park, Surf Village.
The site is situated on a hill overlooking the beach so the lodges have great sea views.
Woolacombe Bay has an indoor pool with a fun play area for toddlers and a heated outdoor pool (April to September) with a slide.
Activities at Woolacombe Bay include segway safaris, adventure golf and zorbing. Summer 2023 will see a new outdoor pool with more slides and a lake for watersports.
There’s also daytime and evening entertainment.
There are three sites in the group but the other two (Twitchwell House and Easewell Farm) don’t have lodges, just caravans.
There are some dog-friendly lodges available.
Comparative holiday cost
Prices start from £1310 for a New Wave Silver Caravan. Just as a note…the surf lodges are actually more expensive than Center Parcs.
Woolacombe Bay deals
You can search Woolacombe Bay deals here.
A big reason why this Centre Parcs alternative is a hit with families is because of their 110m all-weather ski slope. It is the only holiday park in the UK with a ski slope.
If you want to know more about one of the best indoor ski slopes in the country, read our review of the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.
They also have an indoor roller rink, archery, crazy golf, ten pin bowling and a high ropes course. The indoor pool has a wave machine and flumes.
There has been a lot of investment into this park recently resulting in more activities at Warmwell and lodge upgrades.
There are a range of lodges available. Some are in a woodland setting. Others have lake views. There are also luxury lodges with hot tubs and on-site bar and restaurant.
They are dog-friendly and even have an agility course for dogs.
Warmwell holiday cost
Prices start from £1219 for a basic lodge (on Parkdean Resorts).
Check out the Parkdean offers here.
Parkdean Nodes Point
Nodes Point is one of the best Parkdean holidays for families and a great cheap alternative to Center Parcs.
It is located near Bembridge on the Isle of Wight and has direct access to the beautiful Priory Bay beach.
Accommodation is in the form of caravans and lodges with some new luxury lodges. In the summer months there are luxury safari tents if you feel like a glamping holiday.
There’s an on-site restaurant, kids’ club, indoor heated pool with water slide and toddler pool. They also have an all-weather multi-sports facility and kids’ playground.
During the summer holidays they run an entertainment programme.
Note that you do need to factor in the price of the ferry to get to the Isle of Wight. Booking in advance is a good idea to keep the cost down.
Portsmouth to Fishbourn is the main route but the quickest sailing is from Lymington to Yarmouth.
You can search for ferries to the Isle of Wight on DirectFerries.
Nodes point is pet friendly.
Nodes Point holiday cost
Prices start from £889 for a basic chalet but their Dimbola Lodge is more comparable at £1529.
Nodes Point deals
Parkdean White Cross Bay
White Cross Bay is located on the shores of Lake Windermere in the Lake District.
They offer a mixture of lodges and caravans, some with hot tubs and some newer than others.
There’s a heated indoor pool with sauna and jacuzzi. There’s also an adventure playground for little ones and an entertainment centre.
Whilst there aren’t as many activities available at White Cross Bay as other resorts, there is plenty to do off site.
Afterall, the Lake District has been named the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’. As you would expect, there are plenty of watersports available in the area.
We tried our hand at Ghyll Scrambling (gorge walking) and loved it! We booked with Adventure21 in Coniston who we highly recommend.
White Cross Bay is dog-friendly.
White Cross Bay holiday cost
Prices start from £1139 for one of the lodges but you can get cheaper caravans.
White Cross Bay deals
Check out the Parkdean offers here.
Haven Primrose Valley
Primrose Valley is located in Yorkshire on the stunning Flamborough Heritage Coast. It is one of the biggest Haven parks.
Accommodation is in the form of caravans with their Gold and signature caravans being more like a lodge.
There are loads of on-site food and drink options including Burger King and Papa Johns.
There are two indoor pools with waterslides and splash area and an outdoor heated pool.
Activities on offer include aerial adventure, footgolf, den making, high ropes, boating lake and so much more.
Primrose Valley is dog-friendly.
Primrose Valley holiday cost
Gold Caravan prices start from £1433 for a Haven break (includes access to pool and activities).
Find the most up to date prices and book here on the Haven website.
Primrose Valley deals
You can look at Haven deals here.
Haven Hafan y Mor
Accommodation at Hafan y Mor consists of caravans, apartments and lodges.
There’s an indoor sports zone, indoor pool with wave machine, slides and flumes.
In terms of activities, there is an adventure village where you can have a go at aerial adventure, climbing wall and a big jump. There’s also pedal karts, den building and roller disco.
There are lots of dining options available.
Hafan y Mor is dog-friendly (with an agility course for dogs).
Hafan y Mor holiday cost
Prices start from £1097 (stay & play) for a basic caravan. A more comparable option would be the Gold Caravan at £1556 (stay & play).
Find the most up to date prices and book here on the Haven website.
Hafan y Mor deals
You can look at Haven deals here.
Butlins is the original holiday park but it has come a long way since it first opened in the 1930s.
There are three locations in the UK. Skegness, Minehead and Bognor Regis.
We visited the Minehead Butlins because of its location on the beautiful Somerset coast. It was great for exploring Exmoor National Park.
The big draw-card for Butlins holidays is the entertainment on offer, especially during the school holidays.
Accommodation options very in each resort but they all offer a range from the budget to premium price range.
Lots of the activities at Butlins are included in the cost of your holiday. This includes the entertainment, pool area and unlimited fairground rides.
At Minehead, we took them to the dedicated toddler fairground ride area (Little Stars Fairground) which they loved. They also loved the pool area with slides and lazy river. The biggest hit, however, was the go-kart track. Kids need to be 1m or over to ride.
If you are visiting with young children, you should read more about Just for Tots breaks that are exclusively for families with children under 5.
Butlins is not dog-friendly.
Butlins holiday cost
Prices at Minehead start from £1932 for the Comfort Plus Apartments. Bayside Apartments are from £2313.
Places like Center Parcs (that aren’t necessarily cheaper)…
Whilst this one is more expensive than Center Parcs, you can get it cheaper if you book in advance. There are usually offers in January. I’ve put it on here because it has an absolutely fantastic range of activities.
As you will know, there isn’t a Center Parcs in Scotland. If you’re wondering what is like Center Parcs in Scotland, you could take a look at Crieff Hydro.
Crieff Hydro offers hotel rooms as well as self-catering lodges. The lodges sleep from 2 to 16 people.
It is located in the heart of Perthshire and has a huge range of indoor and outdoor activities on offer.
They have endless walking paths, a football pitch, pitch and putt and a gorgeous children’s playground. There’s also Alpaca trekking, zip wires an indoor pool with slides.
If that’s not enough to tempt you, there’s a gorgeous adult only Victorian Baths which you could book yourself into while the kids are busy with another activity.
Crieff Hydro is dog-friendly.
Crieff Hyrdo holiday cost
Prices start from £2508.
Crieff Hydro deals
You can book Crieff Hydro here.
We hope that you’ve managed to get some inspiration for your next family holiday at one of these cheaper alternatives to Center Parcs.
Do you have any other places like Centre Parcs you would like to recommend? Get in touch. We’d love to hear about them.