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Center Parcs Leisure Resort with Andy and Rachel

Center Parcs Leisure Resort
Center Parcs was beautifully decorated in Christmas cheer and we felt like we were in our own winter wonderland. 

We headed to the adventurous crazy golf course. It was decorated with magical fairies, giants and terrifying trolls and after collecting our balls and clubs it was game on! We played all 9 holes, some of which were more difficult than others and there were a few spectacular ‘holes in one’. 

Our group of adventurous men hired some bikes and trikes. With plenty of energy we were soon ready to go. The peaceful pathways took us through the woods, up and down hills, past the lake and we all loved ringing our bells! 

In the woods we stumbled across some funny computerised singing reindeer! They certainly bought some Christmas cheer to us all! 

Our final stop was at the Winter Wonderland in the village where we were able to buy festive gifts and treats. We had certainly clocked up some miles on our bike ride. 

We wrapped up warm for the firework extravaganza display. The night sky lit up in a variety of bright colours, all set in time to music. The LED light show had us watching in amazement with a lot of ‘Oooohing and Ahhhhing’! 

We loved making a splash in the incredible indoor swimming pool. We jumped over the huge waves, braved all the water slides and even whizzed down the outdoor rapids! Finishing off in the relaxing lazy river before the thrill seekers amongst us had one final go on the slides.  

The Sports Bar was the perfect place to end our days. We had our own mini tournament of air hockey and pool.  Everyone played their best and showed great sportsmanship. 

We hit the bowling alley for a nail-biting game of bowling. There were plenty of high scores and we all jumped for joy when someone hit a strike 

London, Sightseeing & Theatre with Netty, Isobel & Duncan

London, Sightseeing & Theatre
 As we arrived at Covent Garden, we were welcomed by a huge Christmas tree, full of twinkly lights and brightly coloured decorations. The whole place had a lovely Christmassy feel to it, and everyone wondered at the sight. We explored the famous undercover market, which full to burst with stalls selling lots of wonderful hand crafted and artisan products. 

It was such a beautiful day as we walked up the Mal to Buckingham Palace to witness the world famous Changing of the Guard’s Ceremony. The Queen was at home as a helpful policeman kindly explained, telling us that when her royal flag is raised above Buckingham Palace she is in residence, We also found out that today was a very important day as the Queen was meeting the new Ambassador!

Once the ceremony was over and we had watched the band, the guards and the beautiful horse and carriages, we walked through St James Park. It was then onto Horse Guard’s Parade where we saw the Queen’s guards in their immaculate red coats and uniforms. 

We took our seats in the Savoy theatre as it was nearly show time! Anticipation grew as we waited for the lights to dim and we were not disappointed! Dolly Parton herself (albeit a recording) narrated the show 9 to 5 staring most notably Brian Connelly and Bonnie Langford as well as a host of amazing singers and dancers. The show kept us all smiling, laughing and clapping the whole way through and the whole gang thoroughly enjoyed the story!  After giving the cast a standing ovation for a fantastic performance.

A full day of sightseeing as we caught a bus to the Tower of London; on the way we saw lots of interesting historical old buildings and landmarks nestled between the more modern. Arriving at our first destination we walked around the Tower and met a Beefeater dressed in his traditional clothing. 

We all gasped when we saw the London Eye. We were blown away by the sheer size of it. We queued to get our tickets before the 4D cinema experience where we watched a short film about the how the Eye was built and what sights to look out for. Before we knew it, we were boarding our own capsule and we took our seats as the door closed.  It was so surreal being inside this glass bubble, you couldn’t feel it moving at all. The best thing was being able to walk around, enabling us to get the best views of the city. We spotted lots of London’s best-known landmarks including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard and The BT Tower.

We headed off to one of the world’s best known and loved toy store Hamley’s. The Christmassy atmosphere was magical with dancing elves to welcome us at the door and more dancing around the store. The place was buzzing with excitement and Christmas cheer. We browsed all four floors and were dazzled by some incredible gadgets and tricks 

As the sun set the night sky twinkled. The whole place lit up like a winter wonderland. 

We visited the iconic Nelson’s Column and the Lions at Trafalgar Square. We also got to chat to a friendly policeman. 

 We sped along the river on the Thame Clipper and it was a great way to see London from a different perspective. Back on dry land we saw the impressive Cutty Sark, which we learnt was the first ship to ever sail around the whole world! 

One afternoon, we stepped back in time at the Old Royal Naval College which is steeped in over 500 years’ worth of history and was the birthplace and residence on King Henry VII. The trust no longer gives guided tours to members of the public but once again the Jolly Days gang were given the VIP treatment and we were lucky to have a full guided tour of the College, its grounds and the breathtakingly beautiful Chapel and Sackler gallery which some say equals the beauty of the Sistine Chapel in Rome! 

For lunch, there was only one thing for it……a traditional London pie and mash. We sat and devoured every last mouthful; it certainly lived up to our expectations. 

We stopped at the Epitaph to look at the wreaths of Poppies that had recently been laid by the Queen and other dignitaries and we all took a moment to remember those who had fallen in service.