Skip to content
Ellie Simmonds and children from the local swimming club about to ride Tropical Cyclone.
Ellie Simmonds and children from the local swimming club about to ride Tropical Cyclone.

Press release -

Paralympic Champion Ellie Simmonds opens colossal new water rides at Center Parcs

Five-time Paralympic swimming champion, Ellie Simmonds, has today unveiled the newest addition to Center Parcs Longleat Forest - the largest AV-enabled family raft ride in Europe.

Ellie and a group of excited children from the local swimming club, Warminster and District Amateur Swimming Club, were the first to experience the new ride – which provides riders with a zero-gravity experience within the 15-metre-high cyclone – before it officially opened to short break guests at 10am today.

Tropical Cyclone is one of two new innovative rides coming to Center Parcs Longleat Forest as part of the revamped Subtropical Swimming Paradise. The area opens following the successful launch of Tropical Cyclone and other water play areas at Elveden Forest, which Ellie also opened back in 2012, returning to the pool where she first learnt to swim and ignited the passion that would later make her a Paralympic champion.

Ellie was invited back to help Center Parcs unveil the new water rides Tropical Cyclone and Typhoon at Longleat Forest, both with innovative lighting effects offering each set of riders a bespoke experience.

Ellie Simmonds said: “I am so pleased to be back at Center Parcs, but this time at Longleat Forest with their local swimming club, to try out these new rides opening today. I learnt to swim at Center Parcs when I was little and it’s great to see that the experiences here just keep getting better and better. It’s all about family at Center Parcs and I have no doubt all those families coming to Longleat Forest will have a great time on the new rides and in the water play areas.”

Colin Whaley, Marketing Director at Center Parcs, said: “We are always looking at ways to keep building on the great family experience we offer families and are very proud of the new features that have now opened at Longleat Forest’s Subtropical Swimming Paradise. We believe we have the best water experiences in the UK across all of our five villages and we know, from what guests tell us, that what we have is special. We hope that these additions will thrill families and play a big part in their adventures whilst on a short break at Center Parcs.”

The adrenaline-fuelled waterslide additions are part of the revamped Subtropical Swimming Paradise at Longleat Forest which also includes a new family water play area and a toddler water play area.

Tropical Cyclone

The colossal Tropical Cyclone is the largest interactive family raft ride in Europe. The unique ride features a cyclone with a spectacular diameter of 15 metres, which is the perfect canvas for the projections, lights and sounds displayed from the AV technology. Riders will be given the chance to choose from themes such as thunder, underwater, coral reef and waterfalls before heading into the exhilarating ride.

Lasting an unforgettable 45 seconds and boasting a top speed of 45km/h, the ride offers 142 metres of twists, turns and sways, with the giant cone drop tipping riders at an angle that gives a zero-gravity experience for a second, before propelling them down the tube to a splash pool.


Thrills don’t stop at the Tropical Cyclone, the new Typhoon also offers an exciting light experience which is sure to delight, with riders able to choose from one of eight light experiences including treetops, seasons, Atlantis, rainbow and Aurora Borealis.

A single or two-person ride, Typhoon whips riders through tubes and cones for up to a minute of drops and swings, reaching a top speed of 45km/h along its 140-metre length – giving the rider a truly amazing visual experience which will make the Typhoon an unforgettable ride to try.

Venture Bay and Venture Harbour

There are also two new areas included in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise revamp – a family water play area and a toddler play area and pool. These new areas will see families whizzing down brightly lit tubes, spraying each other with spouts and having fun in the water together.

The Subtropical Swimming Paradise is the most popular place at all Center Parcs villages for families to spend a day of their break, with more than 90% of guests visiting the water wonderland to enjoy slides, a wave pool, Wild Water Rapids and toddler water play areas.

Family short breaks can be booked at:



Notes to Editors

  • Center Parcs has five villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire
  • As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%.
  • Center Parcs offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes more than 2.2 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return
  • The Center Parcs concept is to provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities, carefully nestled amongst 400 acres of protected forest environment.
  • This concept originated in Holland in 1967, with the first UK Center Parcs opening in 1987. Center Parcs is now a separate entity in the UK.
  • Center Parcs has been announced ‘Best Family Friendly UK Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the fourteenth year in a row.

Press contacts

Simon Kay

Simon Kay

Press contact Head of PR 01623 821600
Lizzie Jackson

Lizzie Jackson

Press contact PR & Media Relations Officer

Center Parcs Press Office

Center Parcs revolutionised the short break holiday market in the UK when it opened its first village at Sherwood Forest in July 1987; providing short breaks in the forest on a year-round basis. Now Center Parcs has six villages across the UK and Ireland: Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire and Longford Forest in County Longford, Ireland.

Center Parcs
One Edison Rise
New Ollerton Nottinghamshire
NG22 9DP
Visit our other newsrooms