Having been several times over the past 25 years, I knew it was the place to head with my friends for the perfect weekend away.
Center Parcs Sherwood Forest is less than two hours away from Hull city centre but you feel you have travelled a million miles.
Laden with our last-minute Lidl shop – mainly boxes of wine and gin – we sailed through the entrance of the forest towards our check-in point.
With no need to get out of the car, we were passed the keys to our lodge within minutes and drove round to drop off our luggage.
Our villa was in Birch and contained three bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen/diner/living room, a bathroom and two toilets.
Immaculately clean, the staff had left a lovely message on the blackboard bidding us a wonderful stay, as well as leaving us with a hamper of treats including wine, beer, butter, tea, coffee and other essentials.
We unpacked the car, got the white wine in the fridge and headed back to the main car park where all vehicles are kept throughout the stay.
We headed to the nearby cycle centre and were on some speedy wheels within five minutes, and headed straight for the swimming pool – it was the hottest day of the year and we needed some respite.
The Subtropical Swimming Paradise is heated to a balmy 29.5C all year round. Unlimited entry is included in the cost of your break, and with pools, rides and slides, there is plenty to do.
We went to the outdoor pool, complete with freezing cold plunge pool and in-water loungers, and made our way to the rapids.
The highlight of anyone’s Center Parcs break, the rapids require you to speed down slopes and head down slides meandering around the swimming paradise. There is also the Grand Cascade waterslide, outdoor hot tubs and swimming pool and the almighty wave machine.
Throughout our 4-day stay – with amazingly comfy beds – all manner of woodland creatures were knocking at our patio doors and joining us for dinner, as well as bringing their babies for us to see.
We went on bike rides to the nature reserve and driving range, and the country club and pancake house.
We tried – and some us failed – our hand at the aerial assault course which took us on a tree-top walk complete with a zip-wire ending.
We hired a kayak and went out into the lake to do a spot of sunbathing and competed against each other at a Robin Hood-themed crazy golf.
The lodges at Center Parcs are all fully equipped for you to keep costs down and cook your own family meals, but on Saturday night we headed out to Cafe Rouge in the village square for fantastic steaks, pasta, puddings and cocktails. We even topped off the night with a dance at the Leisure Bowl disco before heading home to our pyjamas and a side-splitting game of Articulate.
On the Sunday we treated ourselves to a laze about, so after a home-cooked full English and a sunbathe on the patio, we went to the Aqua Sana Spa and immersed ourselves in the cooling springs of Norway and the fantastical heat of volcanos, as well as some amazing massages.
Sherwood Forest has the biggest, luxury spa I have ever encountered, and even has saunas with views overlooking the entire park.
We left our lodge on Monday morning full of sadness that our trip was over. It was a perfect adventure for all six of us, and we can’t wait to go back again.