Where to stay: NW England

Center Parcs Whinfell Forest

Near Penrith, on the edge of the Lake District
Leading self catering holiday village with serious environmental designs


Whinfell Forest - originally built by a rival company - was taken over by Center Parcs in 2001 and maintains the winning formula already established in its three other UK holiday villages. It is situated on the edge of the Lake District on a 400 acre site which is a wildlife haven and home to one of the few remaining colonies of red squirrels.

Its high quality, fully equipped 773 lodges and 79 apartments blend in well with the trees and streams of the forest. Despite the enormous number of guests the accommodation is cleverly designed to give an air of peace and privacy. There are 1 to 4 bedroom options with a choice of Comfort, Comfort Plus, Executive and New Style Woodland Lodges. Each has its own private patio and large windows to bring nature closer.

Center Parcs is renowned for its stupendous range of indoor and outdoor sports and leisure activities. Its signature feature is the glass covered structure in the village centre housing the Sub Tropical swimming paradise with its indoor and outdoor interconnecting rivers and pools, canyon ride, flumes, rapids, wave machine, lagoons and spas. There is also a lake, the Balinese style Aqua Sana spa and live entertainment. The village has 7 shops, bars, and a choice of 12 restaurants for those who don’t fancy cooking. All intended to create the perfect break.

Green features

The Center Parcs concept – short breaks close to nature - was born out of the whole new environmental movement that began in Holland in the late 1960s. The company has since been hailed as a flagship for its environmental philosophy, policy and practice. As a result it has won numerous awards and accolades. In 1999 it became the first in the leisure industry to achieve ISO 14001 accreditation. This is among the world’s most respected environmental standards and helps organisations protect the environment, prevent pollution and improve their performance.

The forest wildlife and its environment are central to the guest’s experience, and so less than 10% of any site is covered with roads and buildings. Like the other villages Whinfell has a biodiversity action plan aimed at protecting and, where practical, enhancing the forest and wildlife. New habitats there have helped increase the diversity of both flora and fauna. All this is independently audited. It also employs a Ranger dedicated to ensure the well being of the red squirrels.

There is a village Energy Group aiming to improve efficiency, reduce consumption, invest in efficient technology and, where feasible, sustainable forms of energy generation, decreasing reliance on fossil fuels.

New villas are constructed from sustainable timber. There is a ban on cars, encouraging guests to walk and cycle around the extensive network of paths and trails.


Center Parcs Whinfell Forest
Cumbria, CA10 2DW
Tel: +44 (0)870 0673030

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