Center Parcs will no longer close its doors to guests on the day of the Queen’s funeral after its decision caused backlash from holidaymakers.

Customers were told they would need to leave their accommodation at 10am on Monday, September 19 for 24 hours, meaning they would have to find an alternative place to stay.

After complaints were received, Center Parcs has offered to give guests on “longer duration breaks” to remain on site on Monday.

Its villages are still closing on Monday at 10am, meaning visitors will have no access to facilities and the company has offered a 17% refund of the lodge cost to visitors who are affected.

The Queen's life in pictures

In a statement, the holiday firm said: “Like many businesses, we have taken the decision to close all our UK villages on Monday September 19.

“This decision was taken as a mark of respect and to allow as many of our colleagues as possible to be part of this historic moment.

“We have contacted all the guests due to arrive on Monday September 19 and offered them a number of different options. Our villages will be open to welcome guests on Tuesday September 20.

“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 villages will still remain closed on Monday and we will be offering a discount for the lack of facilities available on that day.”

Center Parcs makes u-turn after backlash over Queen's funeral closure announcement

In a message seen by the PA news agency, which was sent to customers on Tuesday, Center Parcs said: “Lots of guests have communicated with us today to tell us that they’re upset by this decision, particularly those guests on longer breaks.

“We recognise that leaving the village for one night and returning is extremely inconvenient.

“On reflection and having listened we have made the decision to allow guests on longer duration breaks to remain on village on Monday September 19.”


Before the U-turn, guest Tracy Groome, 58, a consultant who lives near Manchester, was concerned about where her party of nine would stay after she booked a seven-night stay at Center Parcs Elveden Forest in Suffolk. The trip was to begin on Friday and cost more than £2,500.

She told the PA news agency: “I’m very sure it would not be what the Queen or the royal family wants.

“I’m sure they will not want everybody who was due to go to Centers Parc on a holiday to have their holiday spoiled, and for them to have this stress of trying to organise something different.”

Glynis Meloy, 68, from St Austell in Cornwall, is booked to stay for a week at Longleat Forest in Wiltshire in a group of six people at a cost of £1,800 and had expressed concerns about what they would do for the day if they were asked to leave.

“If nowhere is open, what are we meant to do with all these people all day?” she said.

“Not everybody’s a royalist, not everybody wants to watch.”

What is the national mourning guidance despite closures?

Mourning guidance from the Cabinet Office says: “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.”

Center Parcs’ five UK sites are: Elveden Forest, Suffolk; Longleat Forest, Wiltshire; Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire; Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire; and Whinfell Forest, Cumbria.

Holidays at the villages start on Fridays or Mondays and they can last either three, four or seven nights.

A spokesperson for Butlin’s has said its resorts will remain open on Monday but guests will check in later as they are asked to arrive from 3pm, two hours after the usual time.

This will “allow our team time to watch the funeral and pay their respects”, he added.