What you need to know as Center Parcs closes all its UK resorts on Monday for Queen's funeral

Center Parcs will close its UK villages on Monday 19th September for the Queen's funeral.
Center Parcs will close its UK villages on Monday 19 September for the Queen's funeral. Credit: Center Parcs

Holiday company Center Parcs has announced it will close its UK sites on Monday due to the Queen's funeral, sparking anger from customers who had booked long-awaited breaks with the firm.

Guests who were due to arrive on Monday 19 September have been told not to travel and should arrive on Tuesday instead, when the resorts will re-open.

The announcement has meant hundreds of families being told they must find alternative accommodation at short notice on Monday night, as they are not allowed to remain on the park sites.

Center Parcs runs five holiday villages in England including at Elveden Forest in Suffolk and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire. It also has sites at Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire and Longleat Forest in Wiltshire.

The company said all guests affected by the closures would be contacted on Tuesday, when the decision was made.

People due to arrive on Monday for a four-day break have been offered the option to cancel their entire stay for a full refund, or arrive a day later for a 30% discount.

Those on longer breaks have been emailed to outline their options, but have been told that they may not remain on the site.

The decision has sparked anger online, with many holiday-makers complaining at the short notice and the disruption to their long-held plans.

Center Parcs offers guests a range of accommodation including lakeside cabins. Credit: Center Parcs

What has Center Parcs told its customers?

Center Parcs said in a statement: "We have made the decision to close all our UK villages on Monday 19 September at 10am as a mark of respect and to allow as many of our colleagues as possible to be part of this historic moment.

"Guests who were due to arrive on Monday September 19 should not travel, [and] we will reopen on Tuesday September 20 to welcome guests.

"All impacted guests will receive an email from us today.

"We hope our guests will understand our decision to support our Queen on her final journey."

Center Parcs offers mid-week or long-weekend breaks at its forest locations which all have large swimming pools, a lake and a range of activities.

How have customers reacted?

The news was criticised heavily on Twitter by the firm's customers.

David Tomlinson wrote: "We are at the park now, and are staying for two weeks. What do you propose we do on Monday as we have nowhere to go, and it’s too far for us to drive home, and then drive back the next day?"

Another user, Franki, wrote: "Pretty disgusted at this. Had my week booked since Jan and you're now telling us less than a week before? Not ideal. If you're taking a day off our holiday I would rather be allowed to stay the Friday night than get a 30% discount."

A third customer, by the name of Ersky, posted: "This is ridiculous, how can anyone book with Center Parcs with confidence in the future? Surely people can pay respects at your locations?"

Many affected people expressed their anger on Center Parcs’ Facebook page.

One wrote: “We were five related families getting together for our annual family holiday – with two small children and two dogs, three hours from home! Where the hell are we supposed to go for one night?! It’s that or cancel some or all of the much-anticipated holiday!

“Sorry, but this is an awful, awful decision that has left us devastated. By all means close the restaurants and activities, but let us stay on the park!!”

Another wrote: “Center Parcs have left us in a right mess. Party of six – including one toddler and one adult with special needs. Driving four hours for a Friday to Friday break in (a) four-bedroomed cabin. Get kicked out of our accommodation at 10am Monday and can’t return until the same time on Tuesday. What the hell are we supposed to do???!!!”

What options do Center Parcs customers have?

Customers due to arrive on Monday for a four-day break have been told to come on Tuesday instead, and will receive a 30% discount.

Those coming on Friday for a three-night break have been told they need to leave the park by 10am on Monday, when usually they would be allowed to use the facilities for the rest of the day.

Those who are due to arrive on Friday and stay for a week have been told, according to an email seen by ITV News, that they have three options:

  • They may come as planned on Friday but must leave by 10am on Monday, and not return until the next day to resume their holiday. Anyone on a seven-day break choosing this option receives a 17% refund.

  • They may arrive on Friday and stay only for the weekend, and receive a refund for the Monday to Friday portion of their stay.

  • They may skip the weekend and arrive on Tuesday and stay for three nights. Guests choosing this option will receive a refund for the three-night weekend break and a 30% refund for the midweek element of their stay.

What should customers do if they want a refund?

Anyone who wants to cancel their pre-booked activities and restaurants should cancel them through their Center Parcs account.

To cancel the entire break guests should complete this form and Center Parcs said it would automatically issue a refund to the last card used to pay for the booking.

Center Parcs offers guests a range of different activities including a forest rope course. Credit: Center Parcs
  • Have you been affected by Center Parcs' decision? If so, email anglianews@itv.com with details and a contact number.

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