Before the blaze: Elveden Forest Center Parcs in its early years

Inside the swimming pool area of Elveden Center Parcs in 1994. 

Inside the swimming pool area of Elveden Center Parcs in its earliest years. Dated: April 15, 1994. - Credit: Archant Library

Since opening in 1989, the Center Parcs at Elveden near Thetford has been a favourite spot for forest breaks filled with recreational activities and relaxation opportunities.

Today we are sharing pictures of the resort in its earliest days. 

The rapids at Center Parcs in Elveden near Thetford in August 1989.

The rapids at Center Parcs in Elveden near Thetford. Dated: August 2, 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

 

The original proposal by the Dutch-based company to develop land on the outskirts of Thetford emerged in 1987. 

Construction of Elveden Forest Center Parcs near Thetford in March 1989.

The Center Parcs complex near Elveden under construction which was due to be completed in June for staff training and opening to the public in August. Dated: March 8, 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

It was predicted that the £70m investment would create 450-600 jobs and bring £8.5m to the local economy each year.

Construction of Elveden Forest Center Parcs near Thetford in March 1989.

Construction work underway at the Center Parcs complex near Elveden. Dated: March 8, 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

Swimming pool under construction at Elveden Center Parcs in March 1989.

Construction of the swimming pool and leisure hub underway at Center Parcs in Elveden near Thetford. Dated: March 8, 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

The promise of a spectacular sub-tropical swimming paradise, winding bicycle paths, sports, spas and comfortable accommodation that immersed visitors in nature wooed holidaymakers from all over the UK and beyond.

Center Parcs Elveden Forest tourist brochures from the early 1990s.

One of the earliest Elveden Forest Holiday Village tourist brochures published by Center Parcs. Dated: early 1990s. - Credit: Center Parcs


You may also want to watch:


In 2002, a devastating blaze tore through the central plaza and the resort we see today rose from the ashes left behind.   

Elveden Forest Center Parcs fire damage seen from above in 2002. 

The Elveden Forest Center Parcs fire damage seen from above. Dated April 4, 2002. - Credit: Archant Library

Were you one of the first guests at the Elveden Forest Center Parcs? Do you remember childhood holidays there in the 1990s?

Most Read

If so, please enjoy these photos from our archives that capture the resort in its early years.

The Center Parcs central plaza at dusk in Elveden near Thetford 1989.  

The Center Parcs central plaza at dusk in Elveden near Thetford. Dated March 8, 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

Swimming pool facilities at Elveden Center Parcs in August 1989

A glimpse inside the swimming pool facilities at Elveden Center Parcs near Thetford. Dated: August 2, 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

Annya Stoddart launching fitness weekends at Center Parcs in Elveden in 1990. 

Annya Stoddart (bottom) launching fitness weekends at Center Parcs in Elveden. Dated: 1990. - Credit: Archant Library

A full bicycle rack at the new Center Parcs in Elveden near Thetford in 1989. 

A full bicycle rack at the new Center Parcs in Elveden near Thetford. Dated: August 2, 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

A preview inside the Elveden Forest Center Parcs in August 1989.

A preview inside the Elveden Forest Center Parcs. Dated: August 2, 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

The subtropical swimming area of Elveden Forest Center Parcs in August 1989.

The subtropical swimming area of Elveden Forest Center Parcs. Dated: August 1989. - Credit: Archant Library

   

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus