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“As good as Center Parcs but half the size and cost!!”

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Whitemead Forest Park
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We stayed here during Feb half term and had a great time. We stayed in an apartment as we took our dog and it was huge!! 2 bedrooms could comfortably fit another double bed in each and the main bedroom having an ensuite was nice! Only downside was as it only had storage heaters it was a little nippy!! Bed was a little uncomfy too and our dvd player didn't work but got another one within an hour. Staff were brilliant and helpful!
The activities for the kids were good but a little pricey for a 45 minute activity. Our 2 did the arts and crafts(£4) and loved it but if you want to use the time to have a treatment or swim 45 minutes is not really long enough to do this!
The evening mini disco was not very well advertised and after speaking with another guest they said they never even knew about it until they heard the music from outside and had a quick nose! The disco is brilliant for the kids and starts early enough and lasts long enough to wear them out! By the end of the week though you will hate the gangham style song lol! Kids loved Sammi Squirrel and Harry hedgehog and they were great with the kids and stayed out a lot longer then some holiday parks do.
Swimming pool is great and clean and pretty warm. Got busy at splash time but then you'd expect it to!
Not sure if the park was fully booked or not but didn't see a great deal of other people (maybe they stayed indoors cos it was cold?) but was nice not to be overcrowded.
Lots of lovely walks around and great outdoor activity for the kids.
We ate at the restaurant once and the food was nice but a little pricey but worth the money and for a snack type place you dont expect a restaurant price. Got lots for your money though.
Shop was pretty well stocked with the essentials if not there is a Tesco 3 miles down the road and a fish and chip shop a mile and half away.
Gym looked well stocked and up to date even though we never used it.
All in all would definately go back as we all loved it. 2nd time here and there will no doubt be a 3rd and 4th! Great value for your money when you think Center Parcs at half term would have cost triple what we paid here!

Room Tip: We stayed in Primrose Walk which was a very short walk to the activities and pool and had a lovely g...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank JuliaT31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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442 - 448 of 517 reviews

Reviewed February 22, 2013

So much potential. Nice staff, nice locals, nice surroundings. Not what it says on the tin. Dated caravan, sorry lodge. Poorly maintained. No hot water for three days. Very cold swimming pool and spa. Poor response to requests for light bulbs etc. Incredibly creaky floors. If you want a decent night's sleep, you will need ear plugs and Zopiclone!! The park shop is somewhat expensive with little or no choice of essentials. If you have been to Centre Parcs, this is cheaper, but not comparable. Thre are two decent pubs for freshly cooked meals - the Fountain and the Woolman. Would not go back.

Room Tip: Do not go anywhere near Clover Way Lodges. Bring ear plugs for the creaky floors. (Staff confirm tha...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank billmonty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013 via mobile

Stayed in upstairs apartment with lovely open view. Very spacious and warm. Great value if you are a csma member. All staff charming and efficient. Daughter loved the pool . Plenty of half term activities on too. Been coming over 10 years now and enjoyed every stay.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank cakecakecake7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We stayed in a delux log cabin ( also known as a lodge). The interior was lovely and clean and the furnishing looked as good as new. The cabins were a good size, nice and warm without being stuffy. The only downsides were a) the shower was luke warm at best, b) the bed was really uncomfy. I have never stayed somewhere before and had a bad nights sleep because of the bed, which shows how bad these were.

The park facilities were great with the pool, hot tubs, gym, sauna, soft play and park. The facilities belong to the park but are open to the public so were busier than expected (we stayed mid week off peak in feb). Because the facilities aren't exclusive for guests it means they are a lot better than what the park could afford to offer exclusively, however I don't know how busy these would be during peak times.

There are public footpaths leading to the forest right next to the park. It would be good if the park could provide a couple of local walks or a brief guide to the local area.

Luckily we were ready to check out early as the cleaning staff arrived half an hour before our check out time!

Overall we really enjoyed our trip, but the uncomfy beds mean we are unlikely to stay again :(

Room Tip: We were in 25 which is on the far edge of the park ie it was quiet but only a 2 min walk from the fa...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mighty_and_Duane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

I have recently returned from a new year break at Whitemead - a place I have stayed many times since 1983 - usually in a tent or a caravan. This trip, staying in an apartment, was booked only a few weeks ago with the expectation that it would be as excellent as a similar new year break four years ago - but sadly this trip did not live up to expectations. To compare and contrast - in 2008 the new years eve live music carried on right up to and past midnight with Auld Lang Syne being played by the band; the atmosphere was fantastic. This year the live music - which was good - ended without warning at 11.45pm leaving just a recorded Auld Lang Syne with an anticlimax to the party atmosphere. In 2008 we saw a brilliant ventriloquist - nothing this year comes even close to the entertainment provided in 2008. In 2008 the new years day quiz was challenging, interesting and hotly contested by a full room of teams. This year the quiz was an appalling and uninteresting mutiple guess effort with just a few teams and no atmosphere. In 2008 the bar was packed on new years eve but this year the much higher prices meant that the bar was very poorly patronised. As for the cafe and restaurant - the prices now are far too high and we did not use these at all.
This park used to be for members of the CSMA and friends/family but the management are now trying unsuccessfully to run this on a more commercial basis. The team running Whitemead now need to understand that a correct price is simply what customers are prepared to pay. Too high prices lead to wastage in resources and staff time if customers vote with their feet.
Whitemead's lovely location and the slower pace of life in the forest is it's redeeming feature but if the park is not run well then the redevelopment over ten years ago was a waste. In many ways I preferred the 'old' Whitemead but sadly this is gone forever.

Room Tip: Bring a touring caravan and choose a hard standing pitch.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank s w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

This was our second Christmas at Whitemead in 4 years. Our first was in our Tourer so this time we went all out for a "log cabin". The weather wasn't great but our accommodation, on first impressions, was lovely. Cosey and warm and you have access to the timer and thermostat.
After getting unpacked and being able to take in what the accommodation had to offer the "cracks" (only a few) started to show.
Housekeeping: cobwebs throughtout, spent batteries in 2 of the remotes. Hairs in en-suite shower basin.
Decor: In need of an update. Fittings removed and the holes remain. Drawers and wardrobe door edges; plastic finishing split and coming away. Both the literature and the "man on the phone" said the accommodation would be decorated for the Christmas period; well a 2', pre-lite Christmas tree didn't cut it for me I'm afraid.
View: When the booking was made we chose the particular cabin because of the description given by the "lady on the phone". Cabin number 8 was said to be the most sought after because of it's unrestricted view across and down the lake. Lake? Even the cabin address says Pondside. Nope be under no illusion, it's no lake it's 2 ponds one feeding the other from a couple of streams. If it had been spring or summer I would have been even more upset that I couldn't see the "lake" because of the the tree foliage from the half dozen trees in front of the deck.
Food: We took up the Christmas lunch at £45 each and they did us a deal for the kids at £12. Disappointing I'm sad to say. Plentiful but just warm, tatties under cooked. We did eat in the restaurant and both the service and food came up trumps.
Don't get me wrong I'm not using this review to slate the place. We had a really good time. The entertainment staff, although a little disjointed were fun and great with the kids. The swimming pool was a big hit. It was clean and both the air and water were warm. Looking at past reviews my wife wasn't the only one to fall foul of the pool floor, scrapping skin off her elbow.

We enjoyed our stay and it hasn't put us off. The team at Whitemead did all they could to make our stay enjoyable. We definitely recommend but NOT the Christmas lunch.


The head office team need to review their literature as it is a little misleading and contains errors; no ATM on site and the use of the word lake. Also site should provide more information about the local area and the walks that there are in the area.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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3  Thank GKNB-Brown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We booked the quirky-looking glamping pod for a 2 night break over the New Year. There was more room than we expected for a family of 4, with two single beds for the adults and two shorter bunks which amply accommodated our 11 & 3 year olds. The beds are very narrow and the waterproof-covered mattresses quite hard, so we were glad we took our own sleeping bags for the extra padding they provided!

The Pod is well-equipped with lightweight bedding (with covers), 4 pillows, kettle, 4 mugs, tea/coffee/milk/sugar, a cool-bag, 2 outdoor chairs, dustpan & brush, storage chest, table and stand-alone barbecue (bring your own fuel etc.) It is heated by a wall-mounted heater; an extra fan heater was supplied but not needed despite it being December. There is a partially covered decked area to the front and the large pitch is partly sheltered by trees. There is a combined timber table/bench provided but if you want to eat on the deck, bring your own table and extra chairs if more than two of you. It is the closest pitch to the shower block & washing facilities, which are just 30 metres away, and is also close to the Leisure complex, playground, cafe, shop & clubhouse - it's more centrally located than any other pitches or accommodation.

Unfortunately, a leak developed in the roof and as this as this is the only Pod, we were accommodated in an apartment for 6, which was very spacious and well-equipped. I would certainly consider staying in one of these for a future break, but for a low-cost break for a couple of nights without the hassle of setting up a tent, I would recommend the Pod for a fun and 'different' break.

The only downside to our stay was the New Years Eve 'entertainment' in the clubhouse. We were informed the doors opened at 6pm and when we got there at 6.05pm there was a huge queue. By the time we got in, all the tables had gone and there was only the odd seat available around the room - not good for a family of 4 with 2 kids! The bar manager was not interested and just shrugged her shoulders. Luckily, a couple seated nearby spotted some friends at another table and vacated theirs so we then had their table, but plenty more people who had booked two-night breaks with admission included to this event and who came in afterwards were sporadically seated around the periphery of the hall without a table. I don't think this was well-enough organised and Whitemead should re-consider their seating allocation for such popular events in future. It was just too crowded and poorly organised. The entertainment was disappointing too - a kids disco until 8.30, then a local band who did 3 slots until midnight. They were good, but it was all a bit 'same old, same old' and some other form of family entertainment such as a quiz, bingo or comedian as they had advertised on other nights would have helped break up a very long evening.

Room Tip: Glamping Pod is a cheap, fun, 'no hassle' break
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank VOB72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Whitemead Forest Park

Address: Parkend GL15 4LA, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Gloucestershire > Forest of Dean > Parkend
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Parkend
Price Range: $77 - $240 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Whitemead Forest Park 4*
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Whitemead Forest Park is a Leisure Retreat owned by CSMA Club. The Park lies in the heart of the Forest of Dean and offers a perfect base for exploring this stunning area. Our log cabin and apartment accommodation is modern and spacious and you can even bring you tent or caravan to make the most of the great outdoors. Our extensive facilities and program of entertainment offer something for everyone. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whitemead Forest Park Hotel Parkend
Whitemead Forest Park Parkend, Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

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