Center Parcs Elveden Forest celebrating 25 successful years

Elveden Lake with boats on it and water fountain and forest in the distance

28 July 2014

Center Parcs Elveden Forest celebrating 25 successful years

4th August is a very special date for Center Parcs Elveden Forest, it marks 25 years since the village opened to guests for the first time.

As the second of the Center Parcs villages to be built in the UK, Elveden Forest became an instant hit with guests and has become one of the most popular short break destinations in the UK.

Since it opened in 1989, Elveden Forest has welcomed over 10 million guests. During that period;

  • Bikes from the Cycle Centre have travelled 22 million miles, which is the same as 899 times around the Earth
  • 2 million pancakes have been flipped in The Pancake House
  • 185 million skittles have been knocked down in the bowling lanes
  • Families have hit 4 million golf balls on the Adventure Golf course

In the 25 years Elveden Forest has been open, the forest has also been transformed from a commercial woodland with very little ecological value to a thriving forest with a wide variety of plants and animals. Center Parcs has successfully demonstrated how a commercial business can work with the environment and, as a result, Elveden Forest has become a biodiversity hot spot with regular sightings of muntjac deer, reptiles, birds, squirrels, insects and even a rare type of moth.

Elveden Forest is also an area of significant historical interest. The British Museum and Time Team held an archaeological dig at the site uncovering rare evidence of human activity that dated back 400,000 years.

Having suffered a fire in 2002, Elveden Forest was temporarily closed. Just 14 months later, after a £60m rebuild, Elveden Forest opened the doors again and continued to delight families who have come to visit since.

As one of the largest tourist destinations in Suffolk, Center Parcs Elveden Forest has attracted thousands of families to the area as one of the UK’s favourite short break destinations. Elveden Forest currently employs 1,400 staff, the majority of whom live in the local areas of Brandon and Thetford, and 18 of whom have been working there since day one.

Over the last 25 years, Elveden Forest has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative sports and activities. In November 2008, Elveden Forest was the first of the Center Parcs villages to open the Water Cable Ski and, in 2012, a unique water ride, Tropical Cyclone, was opened.

Elveden Forest’s General Manager James Barrett praised the staff for making it an enjoyable place to be, saying: “We are proud to have offered excellent service over the past 25 years, and at this exciting milestone it is a real joy to be a part of the Elveden Forest team”.