We were invited to Crealy in Devon to review their glamping facilities and the actual park itself last weekend. It was our first time staying in a safari cabin/tent. Thankfully it isn’t like a normal tent, they have a habit of leaking on us.
We arrived after 6, so the reception area of Crealy was closed, but there was a telephone number to ring and a warden staying on site in the warden’s hut. I completely missed the huge telephone number and wandered around looking confused until the warden took pity on my stupidity and popped over to help us out. Just as well he spotted us from the warden’s accommodation.
I found it really reassuring that there was a warden on site 24/7 and always on call for any issues.
First impressions of our home for the weekend were really good. The boys especially loved the extra touches outside like the Zebra and the lions opposite to us as well. There was even a huge giraffe on the way in to the actual site.
The inside of the safari cabin was really cosy too and most definitely my idea of glamping as it had actual heating, a fridge, sink and other mod cons such as electricity. Not to mention a nice covered seating area outside, a full-sized dining room table and chairs and a comfy futon in the lounge area.
Harley discovered early on that there was a ‘tunnel’ underneath the cubby hole bed and enjoyed crawling through from the bunk bed room into the lounge, especially every time that I tried to take a photo ha!
You can stay in safari cabins that have a halogen hob etc in, but ours had a lovely old range/log burner. We didn’t light it, as it wasn’t really cold enough and we didn’t cook whilst we were there. We prefer to eat out when we go away … or I do, as it’s nice to have a proper break for me and give everyone else a break from my cooking.
There was a kettle and a toaster, so you could easily make breakfast without fussing with lighting anything. The boys were thrilled there was electricity to charge their phones etc. Even better there was a charger either side of the cubby hole bed, so they hung out in there plugged in during the evenings.
It was really handy to have a table to sit around together, especially for playing board games. If you do stay there though I would suggest doing what we did and investing in a camping lamp or normal lamp to bring with you. The whole place is lit with one not very bright light, which mostly was fine.
It was very dark in the bedrooms though and not bright enough to see what we were doing board game wise. Not that the extra light helped me to win … I’m not bitter honestly.
The reception (which is also a quite well stocked shop) had board games to borrow for a £5 deposit which you got back and DVDs as well. Very handy if you bring a mini tv or laptop to watch one on. There’s also free WiFi on site … the Tweens were almost as excited about that as they were about Christmas.
The only thing missing from the safari cabins is a toilet, which is where it felt a teeny bit more like camping. However there is a big toilet block close by, which has toilets and showers in.
It was the cleanest toilet block I have ever been in anywhere, especially on a campsite. It was lovely and warm and even had music playing – handy if you like to sing in the shower.
Connected to it was also a laundry room – there was an iron in there too, which could come in handy, and a dish washing area for those camping rather than glamping.
There were park play areas for children, which the boys enjoyed as it was a decent size for once. That area is out-of-bounds after 9pm to children, so there were no noise issues from it which was lovely.
In fact the whole site was really quiet and calm at night – apart from one of the nights when the wind was slightly mad. The noise made it seem even more cosy inside though and I can sleep through anything.
Well anything apart from Simon speaking to someone who wasn’t there in the middle of the night. He swears blind someone was stood there … do ghosts haunt modern-day safari cabins?! So yes it was very peaceful and restful mostly.
On the Saturday morning we headed into Crealy via a private gate just for people staying at Crealy Meadows to use. Entry to Crealy is included when you’re glamping. You get given a wrist band to gain access.
Crealy is quite big with lots to do and loads of areas for picnics. Our favourite was the Twister roller coaster, which had us all laughing as we didn’t expect it to suddenly spin us around. There were loads of rides to go on including a new addition Crealy Driving School. We were planning to try this out, but discovered that due to a growth spurt even my youngest was just over the maximum height they had listed at the start of queue.
It looked great though and there were a lot of laughing smaller children as they tried ‘driving’ for the first time. We may have had a slight giggle when we saw one pair of little girls mount the curb and then not be able to get back off again. Luckily there were two lovely ladies helping out there who were on the ball and helped them.
All through the day all of the staff there seemed really helpful and friendly and unlike some theme parks I have been to, they actually seemed to enjoy working there. It was so nice to see smiling faces all day, the whole place was really clean as well. The food was good and most of the food places seemed to have soft play places attached to them.
The boys had fun running around in these, although due to a bit of ‘brotherly love’ and showing my youngest did managed to cut and injure his toe. The staff gave us a plaster and he limped for the rest of the day (in fact week whilst the bruising came out) so luckily it happened quite late in the day. The play areas inside and out were big enough for Tweens as well as smaller children, which was brilliant.
Crealy not only has rides, but also a lot of animals. I loved the rabbits who were seriously cute, same for the Meerkats. There are horses, snakes and more. The mini crocodiles won our staring competition though.
We had a brilliant time at Crealy and I really would recommend it for a day out and for glamping. I would happily visit and stay again!