Center Parcs backtracks on plan to evict guests for the Queen's funeral

Center Parcs Woburn Forest will not force guests to leave on Monday if they are partway through their holidays

Center Parcs Woburn Forest will not force guests to leave on Monday if they are partway through their holidays - Credit: Google Earth

Center Parcs will no longer evict holidaymakers partway through their stays for the Queen's funeral.

The company previously told guests they must leave holiday parks - including the site at Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire - by 10am on Monday, September 19, for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.

They have since backtracked on the decision, but guests who are due to arrive on the Monday will be unable to check in, and should arrive on Tuesday instead.

A Center Parcs statement reads: "The vast majority of our guests are either due to arrive or depart on Monday, September 19.

"We have however, reviewed our position regarding the very small number of guests who are not due to depart on Monday, and we will be allowing them to stay on our villages rather than having to leave and return on Tuesday."

The previous statement said staff would entirely close their parks as a "mark of respect".

It added: "We hope our guests will understand our decision to support our Queen on her final journey."

The move prompted outcry on social media, as guests would have been forced to find accommodation elsewhere before returning to their holidays.

One social media user wrote: "It should be a celebration of her life, shouldn't it?

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"People should be enjoying their holidays, drinking, laughing."

Another said: "We were five related families getting together for our annual family holiday - with two small children and two dogs, three hours from home!

"Where the hell are we supposed to go for one night?!

"It’s that or cancel some or all of the much anticipated holiday!

"Sorry, but this is an awful, awful decision that has left us devastated.

"By all means close the restaurants and activities, but let us stay on the park!"

Anybody who is left out of pocket by the new arrangements - a Tuesday check-in - can arrange a refund, the Center Parcs website confirms.

A Q&A webpage reads: "I’m due to arrive Monday, September 19 for four nights, what can I do?

"We’ll reopen to welcome guests on Tuesday, September 20 for guests to enjoy 3 nights with us (Tuesday to Friday).

"Will Center Parcs offer a discount as my break is a night less?

"Yes. If you wish to continue with your break and arrive on Tuesday for three nights, we’ll automatically apply a discount, details of which are included in your email.

"Can I cancel my break?

"Yes, you may cancel with a full refund."

Another Q&A reads: "I have activities booked on Tuesday 20 September and I’d like to cancel as I’ll be travelling, how do I cancel these?

"For a full refund on any pre-booked activities and restaurants, please cancel these prior to their start times via your Center Parcs account"

Up to date information is on the Center Parcs Village News webpages: https://www.centerparcs.co.uk/village-news.html

Along with its Bedfordshire site, the arrangements will also affect Center Parcs sites in Elveden Forest (Suffolk), Whinfell Forest (Cumbria), Sherwood Forest (Nottinghamshire) and Longleat Forest (Wiltshire).

Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8, 2022, aged 96

Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8, 2022, aged 96 - Credit: Stefan Wermuth/PA

The Queen's coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace on September 13, 2022, before her lying-in-state begins

The Queen's coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace on September 13, 2022, before her lying-in-state begins - Credit: Paul Childs/PA

Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, September 8 after a 70-year reign.

Her state funeral is due to be held at Westminster Abbey before her burial at St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Official mourning guidance means holiday parks can remain open during the period between her death and the day of the funeral inclusive.

A government statement reads: "There is no obligation on organisations to suspend business during the national mourning period.

"Depending on the nature and location of their business and the tone of planned events, some businesses may wish to consider closing or postponing events, especially on the day of the state funeral, however this is at the discretion of individual businesses."