Up until last weekend, we had never been ‘glamping’ it’s something that I’ve been wanting to try for ages but the rest of the family were not keen, favouring a cosy cottage somewhere or a caravan chalet with the added benefit of a shower and a toilet.
I suppose there must be varying levels of glamping, I’m pretty sure it can be defined by accommodation that provides more luxuries than your standard camping.
Which is good, because campers we are not.
And so while I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before our recent trip to Crealy Adventure Park and Resort* I was hoping it would provide a few more mod cons than a big tent with a bed. On arrival at Crealy Park, we were shown to our luxury safari tents which did look exactly like those big green tents you would imagine if you were to think of an African safari. They have an actual door with lock and key (as opposed to a zip!), windows, electric, and we were so pleased to find everything you need for a really comfortable and cosy stay.
Once inside we were delighted to find a lovely kitchen area complete with dresser and a proper sink with hot and cold running water. There was also a fridge, kettle and toaster which made life so much easier and quickly ticked off some major glamping points. From the two times in my life I have been camping there is nothing more painful than waiting 20 minutes for a gas burner to heat up enough water for a cup of coffee.
Patience is not one of my virtues and the whole family agreed we are much better suited to glamping!
The stand out feature inside the tent was the gorgeous wood burning stove which provided us with heat and somewhere to cook our food. There really is nothing better or more inviting than the smell of wood burning and the glow of a warm fire.
As you can see Lewis did a fantastic job of setting the fire.
Inside the luxury safari tents there are proper beds: a double for Justin and I, bunk beds for the big kids and the sweetest bed inside a cubby hole for Rose. It was a really good size actually, and you could probably fit a couple of adults in there if you wanted to.
I must admit I was a bit dismayed not to find a toilet inside the tent but I suppose I have to get to grips with the fact that this is posh camping and a toilet inside a tent is probably not the best idea. I needn’t have worried as the nearest toilet and shower block was literally 20 seconds walk, which was a relief (no pun intended) especially if you’re like me and you have to go at least once during the night. I just hot-footed it across the grass and dashed into the loo hoping that no one else would see my crazy bed hair and the onesie that wouldn’t ordinarily get a public airing.
Below are the circus glamping tents which looked really cool too.
As this is glamping, you can rest assured that there is wi-fi, so let’s take a moment to praise all that is holy. I mean, teenage kids plus a toddler with no Netflix could equal disaster. Do you know what, though? We barely used it, instead opting for card games, reading and talking to each other. Remember that? It’s the thing we used to do before we all got glued to our phones…
I am exagerating on the talking thing but when you have teenage kids it’s really hard to get them to focus on family time. If our weekend away has taught us anything it’s that we actually really like each other’s company and that is a total breath of fresh air.
If you decide to try out glamping at Crealy you also get free entry to the adventure park next door. The adventure park is like a paradise for a toddler, there is so much to do and so many rides to enjoy-Rose was in her absolute element. The rest of us loved it too, so much so that we’re going to buy a season ticket.
Although there were plenty of people visiting, there were hardly any queues and with so many rides to enjoy it’s difficult to know where to start first. You also do that thing of having so much fun on one ride you run all the way back to the entry gate and go on again.
It has to be the best amusement park we’ve visited in the UK because there really is something for everyone. Justin and Lewis enjoyed the go-cart racing-I might have got a bit competitive on the tracks too-us girls loved the swing chairs and the roller coasters. Rose and I rode the carousel so many times we lost count.
As well as plenty of rides and slides there’s also a variety of animals to see. The goats were our favourites, they were really cute and friendly, cramming their little heads through the bars so Rose could pet them. We walked away with a small voice pleading for a goat to live in our garden “just a tiny one mama”.
if you fancy a change of scenery, Crealy is close to the beach. One evening we took a 15 minute drive, grabbed some fish and chips and went to watch the sun set. When we got back to the tent, Justin lit the outside fire pit and we made smores and toasted marshmallows. I slept so well that night surrounded by my content family, it was really rather perfect.
We had the best weekend at Crealy, the whole glamping experience was quite the revalation and we can’t wait to go back. If you hvaen't tried glamping before and you're looking for a weekend away with loads of fun thrown in then I would not hesitate in recommending Crealy Adventure Park and Resort to you.
Have a watch of the video to see some of the things we got up to while we were there.