Crealy Theme Park and Resort: The perfect UK family holiday by Manchester Evening News

20th Dec 2018

Read our fantastic review by Manchester Evening News who stayed at our resort in 2018!

By Chris Osuh - Manchester Evening News

SET in scenic Devon countryside, Crealy Theme Park and Resort has plenty to entertain the family.

The resort is comprised of Lodges, Glamping, Camping and Touring at Crealy Meadows, and then the theme park, which is packed with rides and kids TV-themed entertainments, with the two sites linked by a private entrance.

As well as having a great time on all the rides at the theme park , you can use it as base from which to explore this glorious corner of south west England.

A straightforward drive down the M6 and M5 from Manchester, Crealy is at Clyst St Mary, on the outskirts of the cathedral city of Exeter, and a short distance from the Jurassic Coast, England’s only natural world heritage site.

Crealy is a friendly resort with helpful staff, and our beach house is a new, comfortably appointed lodge with a hi-spec kitchen, en suite bathroom, two televisions, lush carpets, dining space, hot tub, outside dining space, BBQ, sun lounger and views of rolling meadows at the back.

Being so close to Exeter is handy for all major supermarkets, but, if you don’t fancy cooking the clubhouse does great burgers and has a fun quiz and bingo.

From here, it’s a 20 minute drive to Sidmouth - down winding lanes with canopies of trees, hills opening to a panorama of pasture and hedgerow, and thatched cottages lit by glorious sunshine.

Sidmouth itself is a pretty little seaside town bounded by red cliffs, with a pebble beach, gorgeous parkland, white seafront hotels and plenty of places to enjoy the very best ice cream. Kids, ordinarily glued to screens, while away hours throwing rocks and looking for gems and minerals among the shingle.

In between exploring the wider West Country, our party of four explored all the rides and shows back at the theme park. Attractions include a classic rollercoaster, a show from Sid of CBeebies fame, a log flume, carousel, a pirate ship, Fort Crealy play fort, kids' driving lessons, llamas, ponies, alpacas and much more, surrounded by lush green countryside, and without the lengthy queues that dog the bigger theme parks.

Cornwall is an hour and a half away. We head down to Newquay, with its surfers, laid back diverse feel and glorious beaches - enjoying a sunkissed day at Tolcarne beach, with its horseshoe cliffs, shimmering in the May heatwave - a winding drive through rolling Devonian and Cornish landscape.

For history buffs, Devon has lots of castles, ranging in period from the Norman Conquest to 20th century Lutyens. We visited Berry Pomeroy, which dates back to the era of William the Conqueror, and was for many years the seat of the Seymours.

It's an atmospheric drive to the site in the drizzle, which is enclosed by beautiful woodland, just big enough to lose your way in, and small enough to quickly find it again.

Well maintained by English Heritage, the castle is in Totnes, on the English Riviera, not too far from Torquay, which when we visit is under rain. So we drive along the coast to Paignton, with its red cliffs, red sands, and pools between rocks, slick with kelp, where children net cockles.

With the waves breaking softly on the beach, palm trees and pine nearby, weird sea creatures stranded on the sand, seagulls wheeling in the sky, an ice cream cabin, and Torquay misty in the distance, a grey day in Paignton seems to sum up an English seaside holiday at its unpredictable best.

On a day where you just want to kick back, we had more than enough to entertain us in our beach house. Not least the hot tub, perfect for chilling out, with birds trilling in the Devon countryside behind us.

The park is filled with happy campers relaxing outside their tents and caravans, soaking up the sun, while kids play happily at the play area and cycle and scoot about. Family quads can also be hired to ride around the site. All in all Crealy is a fun family destination in its own right, and as a base to explore a gorgeous, historic part of the United Kingdom.


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