Segway Experience at Center Parcs

posted in: Bucket List, Outdoors, Review, Travel | 12

One of the things I love about Center Parcs, and one of the reasons we keep going back, is the opportunity to have a really adventurous type of holiday in the comfort and safety of an enclosed village style resort. While not cheap, the activities are well organised and lots of fun, making it an ideal place to try something new with your family and friends. For example I don’t think I would ever have tried Cable Ski if I hadn’t seen it at Center Parcs (if you haven’t read my Cable Ski at Center Parcs post you should, it’s one of my favourite bucket list experiences of all time).

Over the years I have ticked several of my bucket list items off when on holiday at Center Parcs, and I plan to do at least one more when we go later this year. I’ve been asked a number of times since my Center Parcs Elveden Hints and Tips post to tell you more about the Quad Bike and Segway experiences I tried; it seems lots of you are interested in having a go, and I would definitely recommend both. I’ll start with the Segways here and you can read about the Quad Bikes here.

Segway Experience

LincsGeek and I have always loved Segways. What a great way to pootle about large places – the staff (sorry, “imagineers”) use them at Disney’s Epcot, and that is just perfect. We first had a go thanks to a birthday present experience voucher at Thoresby Hall way back in 2011 (read about it here), and had a great time weaving through the grounds of this grand stately home. Since then we have wanted to have another go, and as with the Cable Ski we’d seen other people racing around the perimeter fence on them at Elveden Forest during previous short breaks, and so decided to book it.

Segway Experience at Center Parcs Elveden Forest April 2014

Me and LincsGeek playing on the X2 Segways, with LincsGeek’s mum cycling behind.

The Segway Experience is based at the Outdoor Activity Centre which is close to the entrance  and carpark and has (as you would expect) plenty of cycle parking, toilets and changing rooms, and somewhere to sit while you wait. Once you have signed your life away, which seems to be the norm these days for any kind of activity, you get yourself kitted out in required safety gear – a helmet (cycle helmet type), knee and elbow pads (which may or may not match, I don’t think that matters) and of course a high vis vest. The group size is up to five people, and each person gets their own Segway to play with.

After some instructions and a quick demonstration you go around a circular path within the fence surrounding the Outdoor Activity Centre to get used to the machine. Having been on a Segway before LincsGeek and I got used to them quickly, it really doesn’t take much time as they are so simple to use – learn forward on the handlebars to go forward, stand upright to stop, lean back to reverse. The more you lean the faster you go, so it is completely in your hands. Once the instructor was happy the four of us (we were with another couple) had got the hang of things, he lead us out of a gap in the low down fence, along the paths between the really nice villas, and eventually into the woodland areas of Center Parcs proper.

Segway Experience at Center Parcs Elveden Forest April 2014

We followed the perimeter fence around the edge of the village, and pootled along as fast as we wanted, enjoying the varied terrain of the forest floor. We bounced along, through puddles, over tree roots, up and down banks and over ruts. LincsGeek and I raced each other although I swear his Segway was faster than mine… I put it down to him being a bit heavier than be but I have nothing to base that on it just sounds logical, I think!

The four of us in the group were getting on really well with the machines, laughing and joking as we rode the Segways around. The instructor even commented we’d got a lot further along the path than most groups get, which shows they work at the pace of the group rather than following a set speed, a very good thing. We also had time to play on a large mound that was quite close to our villa, going up and down the very steep bank (must have been five to six foot high).

Segway Experience at Center Parcs Elveden Forest April 2014

Segway Experience at Center Parcs Elveden Forest April 2014

Up and down a steep mound – leaning forward to go down the bank was interesting.

Soon our time slot was up and we had to head back to the Outdoor Activity Centre and return our Segways so the next group could go out. It had been a really fun 45 minutes, dare I say a lot better than our first experience of this mode of transport a few years ago at Thoresby Hall. The Segways themselves were brilliant, but the experience was made all the better thanks to the instructor being relaxed and allowing us to have a giggle as we rode along.

Segway Experience at Center Parcs Elveden Forest April 2014

Left enough of a gap between myself and LincsGeek so I didn’t get splashed!

The Segways are great for anyone I reckon – if you can stand up then you can ride one successfully. Center Parcs put a minimum age of 12 years on the activity and there are weight restrictions to check, too. An outdoors activity that’s great for (just about) the whole family, and perfect if you’re there as a couple or group of friends as it’s an activity you can do together. We enjoyed it so much we have booked to do it again this summer, and will be introducing some other family members to it.

Segway Experience at Center Parcs Elveden Forest April 2014

The Segway Experience at Center Parcs Elveden is 45 minutes long in total and currently costs £30 per person (cost for May 2015: note Center Parcs activity pricing sometimes alters depending on the season and time of day).


12 Responses

  1. hannah

    We did segway experience at center parcel whinfell a couple of years ago and it was fab. Was a bit disappointed the second time as health and safety had made them keep the speed limiters on where as the first time they were only on for the initial practice and then changed before we set off to explore. Still lots of fun and would love to have one!

    • Splodz

      Oh I hope our second time is as fun as the first – I’m not sure we went particularly fast but it was lots of fun, and didn’t seem slow! Ugh to health and safety!! Owning one would be completely awesome, yes please!

  2. Ingles94

    I never finished my previous comment! Do they weigh you when there? I want to get this for my dad but I don’t wanna ask him what he weighs! Don’t want to get him it, he gets there and gets turned away if he is over the limit and embarrass him?

    • Splodz

      Hey. They didn’t weigh us when we were there but there is a weight limit. I think it was 7 stone minimum and 17 stone maximum but I’m sure if you call Center Parcs they’ll be able to tell you exactly. It will make a great gift!

  3. Dazzer

    I’m not sure of your comment that larger weight would contribute to better speed (I know you are not either). Logically to me, a lighter weight would get better speed as there is less downforce to pull along, Anyway, sounds like fun and we’ll be trying them at Longleat in Feb. Nice review, thanks.

    • Splodz

      A little extra weight means the pressure on the plate is greater, which moves you forward. Those in the group a little larger got to speed much faster and with less “pushing” effort. Hope you enjoy them when you get to play.

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