dog-friendly center parcs

Is Center Parcs Dog-Friendly?

Center Parcs is a popular holiday destination, especially during the school holidays. It has plenty to do for the entire family; younger kids can enjoy the soft play area, teenagers can make the most of outdoor activities, and adults can have quality time in restaurants. However, there has been a bit of uncertainty on whether the furry family members can join in on the fun.

There aren’t many dog-friendly holiday parks in the UK, but Center Parcs is one of the few. The holiday village has created dog-safe accommodation and exercise areas to ensure pets have as much fun during the short break as their owners. However, there are some restrictions when bringing dogs along on your holiday.

If you are looking for a holiday that is dog-friendly, then you will want to understand just how dog-friendly Center Parcs is, and that’s exactly what this article aims to uncover.

Are Dogs Allowed in Center Parcs?

Center Parcs has made changes to its parks to ensure dogs are catered for, too, which makes the holiday villages dog-friendly. For example, water bowls have been placed throughout the villages to ensure dogs are well-hydrated when out walking. There are even dog products on sale at ParcMarket, just in case pet owners forget the essentials.

However, dogs must be kept on the lead at all times unless the animal is in one of the exercise areas specifically for dogs; this ensures there is no disruption for other visitors on-site or wildlife in the area. Dogs can enter some of the restaurants in the Center Parcs villages, although the restaurants vary from park to park, and are even allowed on the beaches if kept on the lead. They must not be brought into shops and other indoor facilities, though.

Many of the rules found in British Center Parcs extend to other locations across Europe, although also advertises that pet-friendly accommodation allows cats, dogs, guinea pigs, and rabbits. This is different to the UK locations, which only accept dogs at this time.

If you plan on taking your dogs abroad to an EU Center Parcs location, read this article for advice.

Which Center Parcs Allow Dogs On-Site?

All of the Center Parcs locations in the UK allow dogs, and these locations are:

  • Elveden Forest, Suffolk
  • Longleat Forest, Wiltshire
  • Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
  • Whinfell Forest, Cumbria
  • Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire

Which Accommodation at Center Parcs Allows Dogs?

Understanding that dogs are part of the family, Center Parcs have lodges specifically for those who wish to bring their canine family members on holiday. These dog-friendly lodges are available in all five of the UK holiday villages.

These lodges have been selected from the Woodland and Executive Lodges. These facilities have been designed specifically for families with four-legged companions, including the use of scratch-resistant doors, vertical door handles, and laminate flooring inside. All of these features ensure there is no damage, and the dog-friendly accommodation can be easily cleaned of dog hair and paw prints, as previous guests have stated in online reviews.

Dogs kept in dog-friendly Center Parcs holiday site

On the lodge patio or decking, there will also be a tether ring, which allows dogs to be secured outside when the family enjoy time outdoors. There is also a bath in the lodge that can be used to wash the dog.

With the extra features to keep the dog and the lodge safe, dogs can be left in the lodges unattended if the owner is comfortable doing so. Centre Parcs recommends creating a quieter environment for the dogs by closing bedroom doors and living room curtains if you leave them unattended.

When booking a dog-friendly Center Parcs lodge, you must select the number of dogs you will be bringing as well as the exact number of people. This allows the booking system to check what dog-friendly accommodation is available.

How Many Dogs Can Stay in Center Parcs Dog-Friendly Lodges?

A dog-friendly lodge in Center Parcs can house up to two dogs. Unfortunately, if you have three or more dogs, at least one additional designated dog lodge will need to be booked due to this restriction.

How Much Does It Cost to Book a Center Parcs Dog-Friendly Lodge?

An additional charge is added to your booking when the accommodation is selected. For one dog, the extra cost amounts to £89, while two dogs will cost a total of £109. This charge goes towards staff cleaning the accommodation at the end of the stay so the next occupants experience a fresh and dog-hair-free lodge.

Are Dogs Allowed in Center Parcs Restaurants?

Which restaurants allow dogs differs depending on the specific Center Parcs location, as shown below:

  • Elveden Forest
    • Foresters’ Inn
    • Starbucks
    • Terraced area of all restaurants
  • Longleat Forest
    • Foresters’ Inn
    • Terraced area of The Pancake House; guests are required to book a table
    • Terraced area of The Sports Cafe
  • Sherwood Forest
    • Foresters’ Inn
    • Starbucks
    • Terraced area of The Pancake House
    • Terraced area of The Sports Cafe
  • Whinfell Forest
    • Lakeside Inn
    • Starbucks
  • Woburn Forest
    • Starbucks
    • Terraced area of Cafe Rouge
    • Terraced area of Las Iguanas
    • Terraced area of The Pancake House
    • Terraced area of The Sports Cafe

Most of the restaurants that allow dogs in the terraced areas will have sections that are undercover, but this might be unpleasant if the weather is poor. Thankfully, there are restaurants that offer collection and/or delivery at Center Parcs, which is great when dogs are not permitted and owners do not want to leave their pets alone in the lodge. This takeaway service can be ordered through the guest’s booking on the day they would like the food.

Do Center Parcs Have Dog Exercise Areas?

There are designated dog exercise areas around the park where dogs can run off the lead; these areas will be outlined on the village map and include dog bins. It is essential to remember that these are the only areas where dogs can be off the lead.

The amount of space each location allocates for dog exercise areas might vary, and these enclosed spaces are not as big as some dog owners will expect. Most small to medium dog breeds will have enough room to exercise, but this might not be the same for larger breeds; the dog’s energy levels will also affect how effective these areas are.

Center Parcs dog exercise area sign

Dogs can also be walked on the lead in the acres of forest Center Parcs offers; more information on this can be found here.

Can You Sneak a Dog into Center Parcs?

Sneaking a dog into Center Parcs is not recommended. Most villages require pets to be reported when the family first arrives at the park, and sneaking additional dogs into lodges is against the terms and conditions you agree to when booking the holiday.

This could also cause issues if you were caught, as staff could ask you to leave. Similarly, if the dog were lost or became unwell during your stay, there would be complications since it wasn’t booked to attend in the first place.

To Sum Up

To conclude, Center Parcs is a dog-friendly holiday park, although the restrictions might not suit all dogs and owners. Dogs can be housed in designated dog-friendly accommodations, exercised in enclosed areas, and spend time with their owners in nature, all of which make these parks dog-friendly. Several restaurants also permit dogs indoors or on terraces outside, which can be useful during the warmer months.

However, with only two dogs per lodge and no entry to shops, indoor facilities, and some restaurants, this might be too restrictive for some families. Whether a dog-friendly Center Parcs holiday works for you and your dog will depend on your expectations and lifestyle.

If you are unable to take your dog on holiday with you, it might be worthwhile contacting local boarding kennels to check their availability. This will ensure the owners can enjoy their holiday to the fullest, knowing their dog is being cared for.

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