Planning a Holiday At a British Center Parc

TO either receive a color brochure or book a visit to the Center Parcs in the forests of Sherwood, Elveden, or Longleat, call 0623 411 411. (From the United States, dial 011 44 623 411 411). You will need to know date and length of stay, number of guests, and name and address of person making the booking.

Payment is accepted by check, Access, Visa, or American Express. However, no bank machines are available in the Parc, and only cash, Access, Visa, or checks are accepted once there.

Midweek breaks (four nights) are Monday to Friday; weekend breaks (three nights) are Friday to Monday. Week-long holidays (seven nights) all start and finish on Friday. Costs vary depending on type of villa and time of year, from about 149 ($238) for two people for a three-night break in early December, to 285 ($456) in October.

All activities - except swimming, which is included in the price of the villa - are paid for individually. Roller-skating is 2 ($3) per hour per person, bowling 11 ($17) per lane per 45 minutes, horseback riding 17 ($27) per private lesson.

Villas come with all kitchen utensils, including pots, pans, and cutlery. Restaurants are not too pricey and have inexpensive children's menus. Groceries can be bought in the relatively inexpensive ParcMarket, although many people choose to bring their own food.

All bed linen is provided, except that for children's cots. Towels are available for rent, but it is advisable to bring your own.

Visitors should bring clothing appropriate to both the season and the activities in which they wish to participate. Few people dress up, although you may want one nice outfit for a night out at a restaurant. Bicycle locks and helmets can be bought or rented, and sporting wear and swimsuits are available for sale.

For British residents, dogs are allowed (one dog per villa) at an extra charge of 18.50 ($30). Disabled-access villas can be reserved on request.

All Parcs are accessible from London by train and then taxi. If you go by car, you are required to park it in the Parc lot after unloading and not use it during your stay.

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