Center Parcs Longleat Forest

Reviews (6)
Location:

Warminster BA12 7PU, UK

Ratings:
  • Staff Helpfulness
  • Ease of Access

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Features:
  • Accessible parking spaces
  • Accessible toilets
  • Changing Places
  • Help points
  • Lifts
  • Personal assistance
  • Step-free access

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Reviews (6)

BenSmith2 BenSmith2

There’s lots of good accessibility here but in my opinion there’s some absolute howlers to be found. When you pay top dollar you do expect a premium ‘top notch’ experience so it is fair to identify the shortfalls. Overall we had a great break, but not sure this quite as accessible as they make it out to be.

Firstly, the good things. On the whole the site is very accessible with accessible parking in the right places and a space right outside of your lodge. The adapted lodge is as expected, accessible, with excellent wet room and adapted bedroom if required.

I do lots of cycling and the site is set up for this so we were delighted. On the whole 99% of staff were brilliant and went out of their way to respectfully assist. The one exception will be explained later. Everywhere we went to eat was fine for access and toilets were accessible. We also managed to do an escape room which was accessible to a point.

The swimming area is surprisingly well set up for disabled access. However this is where things start to unravel. The disable changing rooms are impossible to get in. This is because the signage just encourages people to not use them. So guess what? Everyone uses them for family changing or as a general toilet (nice) leaving me to have to wait outside. We ended up in argument with someone at one point. Again this is repeated across the site with the public WC’s. I don’t normally insist on RADAR keys but if they don’t bring them in here, I would find it confusing. For some reason it is obviously a thing for so many guests here to feel the need to use disabled toilets and just say ‘oops, sorry’ when they come out.

We booked activities in advance but there was no indication if they were accessible other then ‘suitable for all’. Turns out , it wasn’t suitable. The accessible escape room we moved to was great fun, but ideally you need to be in a wheelchair about 5 foot tall 🙂 To be fair, with the family it was fine.

The lodge is good, but has some drawbacks. The kitchen is bizarre. The fridge and kitchen units are almost impossible to open or access. It seems like there was some assumption that disabled people don’t cook! As an accessible kitchen the units are probably good examples of the type of handles that couldn’t be worse. There’s also lots of big lips around on the floors in the lodge – be aware. No attempt has been made to make Sauna area accessible even though we had to pay for this to get an adapted lodge.

Finally the train. If you are relying on this be very careful before you book. The driver seemed incredibly annoyed when I tried to get on. Not only did he try to drive off without us (!), before other guests and my wife told him to hold on, he was very grumpy getting the ramp down and just said “go on”. Anyway, when on he was fine and very nice and remembered when we wanted to get off though. It was very tight so not sure if there is room for larger chairs – I have quite a small manual chair. I would not want to rely on this transport for the whole stay that’s all I’m saying. The customer experience was alien to everything else on site.

Rob Trent Rob Trent

At last, some positive information!!

“I have been informed that the accessible carriage on the land trains at Longleat Forest will be able to accommodate both electric and manual wheelchairs, however, a maximum weight limit of 300kg does apply.

We are keen to communicate as clearly as possible with our guests and our Accessibility Statement available on our website is in the process of being updated so that this information is available to guests prior to booking.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to investigate your queries and I genuinely hope this information helps you and others in the future”.

Rob Trent Rob Trent

Quite an incredible response from Center Parcs:

“I understand that you are awaiting a further response from us and I’m fully aware of the ongoing correspondence via Twitter.

I do appreciate that this is an important issue for you and assure you we are not deliberately trying to be difficult. That said, I cannot provide you with information that I do not have and would not like to make a guess on this.

As soon as we have an update, I will email you direct and I assure you this will be very soon.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.”

Rob Trent Rob Trent

Latest response below from Center Parcs. Very disappointing. The Mobility service they offer is clearly not an acceptable alternative as it does not afford powered wheelchair users the same flexibility of service as that provided by the land trains. Center Parcs Longleat seemingly in no rush to fix this issue.

“I would explain that this is not something that we are currently advising when booking as we do have alternative transport in place with the mobility service. We do recommend however, that guests book this service in advance with Guest Services or Security to avoid disappointment during their stay. Details are available in the Guest Services Directory available in each unit of accommodation.

With regards to the replacement land trains, again, I have no specific dates for this and apologise I cannot advise further on this”

Rob Trent Rob Trent

Since my last update, I have had a response regarding the land trains at Center Pars:

“I am informed that we are in the process of getting new land trains at Longleat Forest with wheelchair access on both, however, I have no specific dates for this at the moment”.

I have replied asking more more specific timescales, and will update with any replies on here.

Rob Trent Rob Trent

It’s a shame that, when an adventure is 99% brilliant, it’s the 1% where things go wrong that stick in the memory. It can be an incident with a room, travel or a simply less-than-courteous member of staff.

I’ve just returned from an absolutely brilliant family weekend at Center Parcs, Longleat. We stayed at an accessible Lodge with a car-parking space right outside. The Lodge was perfect, plenty of room to move around. The bedroom had height adjustable beds, and the bathroom had a wheel in shower and grab rails in all the right places.

The dining areas were equally accessible, and each had toilets that were an ample size.

But… the disappointment came when we tried to use the accessible train ride to get from our Lodge to the Sports Bar. Although there was an accessible compartment at the rear of the train, the driver showed no interest in helping. Then when we approached him to ask for assistance, he was quite blunt in saying that we couldn’t get on, and that a decision had been made two days ago, not to take electric chairs on the train.

We went to customer services, none of whom were aware of this ruling, but whom confirmed it shortly after. Apparently an incident had occurred and the decision had been taken for (you guessed) ‘Health & Safety’ reasons.

Fair enough, you might think. But I got the feeling this was all being developed ‘on the fly’. There were no signs at any stops, and no-one had advised us of this when checking in. Neither was there any assurance that Center Parcs were working to fix the issue. Simply that the ban was now in place.

We were offered the use of their Mobility Service, but we were told that wasn’t available for 5 hours! Customer services tried to cloud the issue by asking what would we have done if the train had been full ‘Wait for the next in 30 minutes like everyone else’ was the reply.

And there you have it. The first three paragraphs talk of a brilliant weekend (which it was), but the one incident gets four paragraphs, stops Center Parc from getting maximum ratings and sadly will be something we won’t forget and will tell others.

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