Holidaymakers 'stranded' as Center Parcs closes all resorts for Queen's funeral

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Center Parcs have sparked outrage after announcing they will be closing all their parks out of respect for the Queen’s funeral on Monday September 19.

The holiday resort company said this is both as a “mark of respect” and to allow its own staff to be “part of this historic moment”.

However, holidaymakers have been “angry” and “disappointed” over the decision. Some pointed out that they would be left “stranded halfway up the country” as a result of being unable to access Center Parcs’ accommodation. 

According to responses the company has made to concerned holidaymakers in the replies to their message, Center Parcs is asking its visitors to move out of their accommodation on Monday before 10am, and then back in from 10am Tuesday if they are staying over this time.

Center Parcs said: “Following the announcement of the date of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, we have made the decision to close all our UK villages on Monday 19 September at 10am as a mark of respect and to allow as many of our colleagues as possible to be part of this historic moment.

“Guests who were due to arrive on Monday 19 September should not travel, we will reopen on Tuesday 20 September to welcome guests. All impacted guests will receive an email from us today. Please visit our website for additional information.”

One holidaymaker said: “Very angry about this – we are not travelling directly to you, so this has left us stranded halfway up the country without accommodation for a night. 30 percent offered is nowhere near close enough to covering the extra costs.”

Another person typed: “Very disappointed by this, would rather everything be closed and still get our break, it’s self contained accommodation.”

Another frustrated holidayer said they were already at the park and would be for two weeks, asking: “What do you propose we do on Monday as we have nowhere to go, and it’s too far for us to drive home, and then drive back the next day?”

One Twitter user asked if they would be able to leave their belongings in the lodge during the closure, to which Center Parcs responded: “If you are staying with us for seven nights starting Friday you are welcome to leave your belongings in your lodge and access your accommodation again from 10am Tuesday.”

For those worried about the changes a full refund with cancellation is being offered, according the Center Parcs website.

They said: “For a full refund on any prebooked activities and restaurants please cancel these via your Center Parcs account. To cancel your break kindly complete this form and we’ll automatically issue a refund back to the last card you used to pay for your booking.”

Guests who have booked through Monday September 19 have been contacted directly by Center Parcs, with options including a partial or full refund.

The company is also encouraging guests to leave before the funeral, saying in response to a query: “No, our villages will close at 10am on Monday September 19 and we’re asking all guests to depart by this time.”

Twitter user @Frantically2 did see the funny side, however, tweeting: “Good luck removing guests from the parks. You’ve trained them in archery, shooting, swimming, canoeing and swinging through the trees like apes. You’ve basically got 5 village-loads of ninjas to clear out.”

Center Parcs run six parks in the UK and Ireland, with each village having its own distinct character. Locations include Suffolk, Nottinghamshire and Bedfordshire.

Various tourist attractions, sports matches and TV programmes across London and the UK are cancelled, postponed or closed due to the Queen’s funeral.

The Queen’s funeral will take place on Monday 19th September, where her coffin will proceed on a gun carriage to Westminster Abbey. Senior members of the Royal Family, including The King, will follow behind.

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