A Camping Pod Adventure at Forest Glade Holiday Park in Cullompton, Devon

A Camping Pod Adventure at Forest Glade Holiday Park in Cullompton, Devon

A camping pod, woodland walk, table tennis tournament, and breakfast brunchies – sound intriguing? Read on to hear about our brilliant stay at Forest Glade Holiday Park!

Welcome to Forest Glade!

I arrived at Forest Glade Holiday Park on a very sunny Saturday afternoon and I immediately got a good feeling about the site.  I was greeted warmly at reception and given the keys to my home for the night. I had arrived on my own and had plenty of time to explore before Nathan joined me later after work. I made my way to the camping pod to see what it was like and settle in.

The Pods!

There are two camping pods on the site and they are super cute! They are situated in their own little separate area, near the entrance but away from the bigger touring and tent fields. They felt relatively private and as no one was occupying the one next to us it felt more secluded and quiet.

The pods have a little entrance area with two clever storage compartments – great for storing food or shoes etc. Inside, there is a double mattress at one end of the pod, with two single mattresses on either side. There’s plenty of space for four people to sleep and would be ideal for families. You have to take your own bedding and pillows but that was no drama for us. We slept pretty well and were warm enough. The mattress could have been a bit thicker which might have made it comfier but it’s kind of what you expect and it’s nice it’s provided and you don’t have to faff around bringing blow up beds or anything.

Also inside is a folding table should you want to eat inside or play games, a kettle and dustpan and brush. The pods also have mains electricity and lights which help a lot when you travel with a gadget man! Inside lighting means you don’t have to stumble around in the dark when it’s time for bed and can sit inside once the sun has gone down outside. Find out more about the pods and last minute booking deals on the sites Twitter page.

Outside the pod was a picnic bench and space for a BBQ which we utilised (I say we, Nathan always does the BBQ cooking – it’s such a man thing right!). We had burgers and ciders which went down a treat! We love toasting marshmallows too – it never gets old!

I enjoyed sitting outside in the sun, reading my book and munching on the Forest Glade fudge!

Facilities, Fun and Fudge!

The site has good facilities which are only a short walk from the pods. The toilets and showers were clean, had hot water and weren’t busy. There’s a laundry room too and separate facilities for the disabled and those requiring baby changing.

There’s plenty to do on site and I really enjoyed exploring what was on offer. An information room houses lots of leaflets for local attractions and maps for those who fancy a walk. There’s also a book exchange too in case you want to relax with a good novel.

For the children there’s a wildlife room – this has lots of information on local wildlife including flowers, birds and bugs. Children can enjoy picking up some information on wildlife trails and bug hunting expeditions. Colouring in and activity sheets are provided too so there is plenty to keep the little ones entertained!

If that’s not enough then there is a really fun looking children’s play park. It looked really safe and well maintained and I saw lots of children enjoying it. The site boasts a swimming pool too, so if you visit then don’t forget your costumes! We didn’t use the swimming pool as we weren’t really there for long enough but I did see lots of children having fun and splashing around. The pool didn’t look the biggest but looked more than adequate for a quick dip to cool off in this very hot summer heat. Be sure to check out the pool and other great pictures of the park on the Forest Glade Instagram and Pinterest feeds!

One facility Nathan and I did take advantage of was the games room. The games room consisted of some arcade type machines, a pool table, air hockey and table tennis. There was also a soft play area for little ones too.

We played quite a few games of pool and competed in our own mini table tennis competition – you’ll be glad to know I won!

We put all our remaining change in the toy grabber machine but narrowly missed out on winning a toy – it was so close! If we hadn’t run out of change I’m sure we would have won it eventually! I like to think the toy was left close to the edge and that someone will go along a win the toy soon!

The site is in a brilliant location – you feel like you’re right in the countryside and there are lots of woodlands to explore should you wish. I spent a while walking around the woodland and watching to a group of boys making friends whilst building a den and playing hide and seek. I almost wanted to join them as it sounded so much fun! I had to stop and remind myself I was 28 years old and joining their games probably wouldn’t have been appropriate!

There is a cute wildlife pond and I sat watching the ducks for a while! You can find a cute little video of the ducks on the Forest Glade Youtube page – seems I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed watching them!

There’s an onsite shop which was well stocked with all the holiday essentials as well as penny sweets (an essential in my eyes), Forest Glade branded fudge (another essential) and other souvenirs. Of course, I had to but my sister a pencil to add to her collection!

Breakfast Brunchies!

In case you don’t fancy BBQing or cooking your own food (you’re on holiday after all!) then there’s a small takeaway service available. The menu and prices seemed very reasonable and if we had been staying more than one night I’m sure we would have been tempted to order something for dinner. I liked the fact people were asked people to bring their own containers to serve the food into –  it helps to be environmentally friendly and keeping the costs down.

Despite not ordering any dinner food we did treat ourselves to a breakfast brunchie – yep I’d never heard of one of those before either! You can order breakfast brunchies and other pastries the night before and then collect them in the morning. I was certainly intrigued to see what a breakfast brunchie consisted of and tasted like! We were pleasantly surprised in the morning – a breakfast brunchie was basically a pastry filled with all your breakfast foods including bacon, egg, sausage and beans – it was pretty tasty and unique!

Location and Pricing!

The holiday park is located in a beautiful area of Devon near Cullumpton. It’s not far from the Blackdown Hills; an area of outstanding natural beauty and easily reached from the M5 in both directions.  You are advised to be careful what direction you take when getting to the park as there are some smaller narrow lanes and a steep hill if coming from the direction I did. If you are coming with a large campervan or caravan then you advised to go a different way and Forest Glade handily provide directions on their website.  There’s plenty nearby to explore including walks on Exmoor, visiting the Jurassic Coast and family days out at Diggerland and Crealy Adventure Park. A short drive along the M5 will take you to the city of Exeter where there are lots to do.

Prices for the pods range from £33 to £40 per night depending on what time of year you visit – I personally think this is a bargain! You can check availability on the website and find out more information about the site on the Forest Glade Facebook page.

Final Thoughts!

We really enjoyed our stay in the camping pod at Forest Glade Holiday Park. The staff were friendly and welcoming and the site had really good facilities – we especially liked the games room and the breakfast brunchies! The site is in a great location and there is plenty of woodlands, countryside walks and local attractions to explore. We would really recommend giving the pods a go and would love to return one day! Thanks to everyone at Forest Glade for hosting us!

***Our one night stay at Forest Glade Holiday Park was provided to us on a complimentary basis in return for this review. All thoughts, opinions and pictures are entirely my own***

 

A Wild Woodland Stay at Owl Valley Glamping, Bideford, Devon.

A Wild Woodland Stay at Owl Valley Glamping, Bideford, Devon.

Read on to hear about our wonderful woodland stay in a luxury bell tent at Owl Valley Glamping. Discover this private, hidden gem in North Devon – the perfect place for a glamping getaway! 

 

A Warm Welcome to Owl Valley

Deep into the North Devon countryside we arrived at Owl Valley Glamping and parked up in the designated parking area. As instructed, we located the secret wooden box that houses the walkie-talkie needed to inform the owners you have arrived and within minutes Pauline and Ray arrived on their quad bike and warmly welcomed us to Owl Valley. Ray loaded up and took our luggage on the quad bike, whilst Pauline walked us down into the woodland to discover our bell tent site. During the walk, Pauline was able to tell us the history of the site, show us the facilities and introduce us to the abundance of wildlife that we passed.

After a pleasant 5-minute walk we arrived at ‘Tawny’ our bell tent and home for the night. Ray met us there with our luggage  – I think this is such a simple but nice touch – saves you carrying all your bags! Pauline and Ray showed us round our little woodland site, including the beautifully decorated bell tent and separate toilet/ shower area. They also took us down to the Parliament recreational building, then left us to settle in and enjoy our surroundings.

Our Woodland Wonder

The bell tent was so lovely – decorated with a really homely feel and had a comfy double bed. There was all you needed for a relaxed and fun stay and we felt instantly at ease. Wooden boxes and crates revealed all we needed to cook and eat down at the tent including crockery, cutlery and pots and pans. There were candles, cushions, blankets and a cool box too.

As well as having a double bed, there were fold out mattresses that could be used to make beds for additional guests or families with children. I always think that bell tents are more spacious inside than they look form the outside, and there would have been plenty of space for more than two people to stay. You can find out more and follow the site on the Owl Valley Glamping Twitter page.

Outside on the decking area was a dining table and chairs. I loved the different coloured, rustic feel to the table and chairs and felt the vase with fresh flowers was a lovely extra touch. A BBQ is provided too, and we made the most of it cooking up some burgers and eating al fresco at the dining table. There’s something great about getting back to nature, cooking our own dinner over a fire and enjoying it whilst surrounded by beautiful woodland and wildlife.

It was a very warm evening and so we were able to sit out till late and enjoy watching the sun go down through the trees. The hot weather and wildlife around us did mean there were quite a few bugs about though, so I would certainly advise taking some bug repellent with you!

Our bell site tent had a separate raised building which housed a compost toilet and eco shower. The toilet was super clean (Ray mentioned he empties them daily) and Pauline had made sure there was fresh water available for us to wash our hands too. Whilst we didn’t brave the eco shower, had we stayed longer I think I would have enjoyed showering in the old-fashioned tin bath!

The window of the toilet building had a lovely stained-glass window which I liked – Pauline told me this was actually a sticker she had brought but I think it looked very effective all the same! I think it’s always nice when you go away on a glamping trip like this to have your own private toilet and washing area- it always makes me feel much more comfortable and there’s never a queue!

Time for Fun

Also on site is the parliament building – this is a big recreational shack-type building that houses lots of fun!

There’s a log burning stove with comfy seats to sit around on the colder evenings, a big dining room table and stacks of games and books which guests are welcome to borrow.

There’s also a darts board and mini pool table which we enjoyed! I was so pleased to win a very heated and competitive game of darts!

In case you don’t fancy using the BBQ at your tent or it’s raining outside, there are cooking stoves and all you need to cook up a storm in the parliment building. There’s washing up facilities too and lots of candles and fairy lights which light it all up and makes it look very pretty at night! There are only three bell tents at Owl Valley and the Owlet Cabin, so I can’t imagine the parliament building being too overrun with people or busy which I like. We were the only people staying at the site during this time so were lucky enough to have it all to ourselves! I really like all the quirky objects, cute touches and funny signs that made me laugh!

As if this wasn’t enough, the site is also home to Beaters Hut – a sitting area with a pizza making oven! There’s also a campfire area and my favourite – an old British telephone box filled with wildlife information, books and bug hunting equipment. I think this is such a great addition to the site and something to keep children entertained for sure. A small honesty shop is also available where you can find essentials such as milk, eggs and bread.

As well as having three well-spaced out bell tents, Owl Valley Glamping also offers the Owlet Cabin – a cute, secluded wooden retreat that can sleep up to five people. Pauline kindly showed us around the cabin, so we were able to take a sneak peek at the quirky and pretty interior and appreciate how fun it would be to stay there. You can find out more about the Owlet Cabin by clicking here.

Final Thoughts

We had a really enjoyable stay in ‘Tawny’ our bell tent. We slept really well having had a relaxing evening and woke up to sunshine and the sound of the birds singing. If you want a luxury glamping experience, combined with the opportunity to get back to nature and immersed in wildlife, then Owl Valley Glamping is for you! Pauline and Ray were lovely, welcoming hosts and seem to really enjoy meeting and getting to know their guests. The secluded woodland sites for each of the bell tents were very private and gave you your own personal piece of woodland wonder! I loved all of the wildflowers and thought the foxgloves dotted around were divine! You can find more pretty pictures on the Owl Valley Glamping Facebook page.

The location of Bideford and the rest of surrounding North Devon is beautiful! There are lots of nearby beaches and attractions to explore including kiddies favourite The Big Sheep, the unique village of Clovelly and historic Hartland Abbey. Ray provided us with lots of recommendations for the best nearby beaches and recommended we try a local Hocking’s ice cream – which we did down at Westward Ho beach and it was delicious!

 

Prices for a stay in one of the three bell tents range from £77 to £95 a night, depending on whether you visit in the high or low season. I think this is a really reasonable price for all Owl Valley offers. Prices for the Owlet Cabin start at £100. More information on pricing and booking can be found on their website.

Big thanks to Pauline and Ray for having us at Owl Valley Glamping, we had a wonderful stay and hope to return one day soon to stay in the Owlet Cabin!

***Whilst our stay was provided by Owl Valley Glamping on a complimentary basis, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own***

 

 

Creating Memories 2018 Tour by Paulos Circus – Fun Packed Family Entertainment

Creating Memories 2018 Tour by Paulos Circus – Fun Packed Family Entertainment

A trip to the circus you say? Yes please! We were invited by Paulos Circus to review their ‘Creating Memories 2018’ Tour and really enjoyed the show!

Circus Time!

I think, at the grand old age of 28 that this was my very first visit to the circus! I really don’t have any memories of going to one before but in case I did, I apologise to my family if they did take me! Given I hadn’t been to the circus before but had heard many things about them over the years, I wasn’t too sure exactly what to expect. I was hoping for a big circus tent, lots of entertainment and some tense, mouth-dropping moments. Luckily, Paulos Circus provided me with all of these!

We arrived at Darts Farm in Topsham and parked easily – there’s a big field with tons of room. I was very excited to see it was a real big top circus tent and we collected our tickets easily. As it was a Thursday night it wasn’t too busy when we arrived and we were able to choose from plenty of seats. It certainly filled up as we got closer to the show time though, so I would recommend arriving early if you want seats close to the front.

There were popcorn, cider and fizzy drinks on offer and we couldn’t resist a bag of tasty popcorn to munch on whilst we watched the show. There’s no interval or breaks during the show so you have to buy these bits should you want them before the show starts – always good to know I think as when you go and see a show you don’t want to be caught out when you realise there’s no interval so you won’t be having an ice cream. This has definitely happened to me before – devastating!

Let the Show Begin!

The show started with some face paced stunts from Los Sanchez – a trio who take on the wheel of death and tease you, leading you to believe they are going to fall off! It was pretty impressive to watch them run around, jump and leap over the giant wheels; I couldn’t stop thinking “but what if they fell?!”

Next came something just as nerve-racking to watch – knife throwing! This was entertaining to watch but I’m glad I wasn’t the lady having to spin on a wheel whilst having knives thrown at me! James Bond eat your heart out for sure!

Laserman was up next which I think was both mine and Nathan’s favourite part of the show. The lights were super colourful and bright and timed perfectly to some foot tapping music. At one point I did think I might need to put my sunglasses on through as the lights were so bright! So if you have sensitive eyes like me maybe bear this in mind! It was quite hard to take pictures of the lasers and lights as they moved so quickly so do excuse some of the blurry pics!

Next, we met Mr N, a friendly, funny chappy who you meet several times during the show. He enjoyed getting a young lady up from the audience to bring her on stage –so if you’re not up for a bit of audience participation then pick your seat wisely! Mr N was pretty funny, got quite a few laughs, especially from the children who found his dancing very comedic!

As if that wasn’t enough there was juggling and an aerialist who performed a beautiful routine high up on a hoop. I wasn’t able to get any decent pictures of the hoop act but it really was quite a sight to see Ms Aurelie dangling, swishing and swopping through the air on an LED rainbow hoop!

All of the acts are introduced by the fab ring master who gets the audience going and has a funny sketch with Mr N which made us laugh. We enjoyed the Michael Jackson throwback too!

The show ends with a brilliant finale involving the return of Los Sanchez who balance themselves, a chair and a bicycle on a tightrope – no mean feat I don’t think! This was the perfect way to end the show and get the audience feeling nervously excited. It definitely added a real sense of drama and I could hear children gasping in terror/awe all around me.

Final Thoughts!

For £7 per person, I think Paulos Circus is a great show and fun for all the family. There’s entrainment to suit all ages and lots to keep children gripped and amused. The costumes and makeup were brilliant and the loud, pumping music really get the audience going too. The show lasts about an hour and 15 minutes and is fun and entertaining.

Don’t let your children be like me and get to 28 years old having never been to the childhood tradition of the circus!  Take them to witness the magical spectacle that is Paulos Circus and I’m sure they won’t forget it!

Paulos Circus will be down in Newquay, Cornwall for the rest of summer until September 8th so be sure to go check it out! Check out their Facebook page for dates and further info!

*** Our tickets to see the show were provided to us by Paulos Circus free to charge in return for this blog review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own***

Have you ever been to the circus? What’s your favourite circus act to watch? Let me know in the comments below!

 

A Glorious Glamping Woodland Adventure with The Wood Life, Devon

A Glorious Glamping Woodland Adventure with The Wood Life, Devon

A sunny afternoon in June took me to The Wood Life – a family run, luxury glamping experience in the heart of Devon. Located near the beautiful village of Kenn, a few miles outside of Exeter, you arrive at the site through some very narrow lanes and are awarded with some amazing countryside views.

Welcome to The Wood Life

After navigating my way down the narrow lanes and passing through a working farm I arrived at The Wood Life Glamping and was warmly greeted by hosts Amanda and Matt. Amanda led me to my home the night and lovingly showed me around. The Orchard Wagon site is secluded and private and offers the most wonderful views of the Devon countryside. Amanda was able to tell me about the old orchard site, other The Wood Life ventures and ensured I had all I needed for my solo one-night stay. I immediately fell in love with the area and was excited to explore the Shepard’s Hut and Bathing Wagon.

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

After Amanda left me too it and I unpacked the car, I spent ages looking around the wagons and taking photos – the place was just so photogenic and Instagram worthy!

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

A Delightful Shepard’s Hut

The Shepard’s Hut is the sleeping area and is just simply stunning. Opening the hut’s stable doors you are greeted with the welcoming sight of a beautiful handmade wooden bed, made up with crisp white sheets and comfy looking cushions. The bed is really well spaced and is positioned differently to many other huts I have seen. The bed is vertically placed, allowing for space either side for individuals to climb in – no clambering over your partner in the middle of the night or being squashed up against the wall! I was amazed at how much space there was in the beautifully decorated wagon; as well as the full-size double bed there was room for a foldable table and chairs, soft chair, table with a kettle, and a fridge.

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

Mains lighting is provided as well as plug sockets and cute lantern bedside lights. I loved how organic the place felt and enjoyed looking at the huge local map situated on one of the walls – it’s always nice to learn a little about where you are visiting and the nature that’s surrounding you.

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

A Bath with a View

Next to explore was the separate bathing wagon. Wow, what a magical bathroom this was! I couldn’t believe how beautiful the wooden decorated the wagon was and how stunning the built-in bath, sink and toilet were. Clean towels and toiletries were provided and everything was super clean, even the compost toilet!

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping bath

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

The bath was beautiful and had the most incredible views of the countryside – I’ve never had a more relaxing bath with such beautiful views. You can open up the windows, so you can admire the view better, breathe in the smell of countryside and bathe listening to birdsong. I did have to work for the warm bubble bath though as you are required to heat the water for the bathroom using the wood burning stove – this was quite an experience and took me a little while to get it going (Nathan normally sorts out the fires, but he wasn’t with me this time!). The bath is well worth the wait and the perseverance though, and I think I enjoyed the luxurious bath more knowing I had worked for it!

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

Cooking and Chilling

My private, little glamping site also had a lovely place to sit outside and chill. Rustic table and chairs were provided, and I enjoyed sitting with a cup of tea and book enjoying the views in the late evening sunshine. A fire pit is available to cook on – I used the chopping wood and axe provided to chop wood for a fire and cooked some beef burgers. There’s something so magical about getting back to nature, making your own fire and cooking over an open flame (I might have used some of the provided firelighters to help get it going but still!) All pots, pans, crockery and cutlery are provided, and I enjoyed my burgers with some coleslaw and salad – yum yum! I sat eating them outside in the peace and quiet – it really is very tranquil, with only the sounds of the birds and cows to be heard.

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping BBQ

the wood life glamping

If you don’t fancy the fire pit or the weather isn’t too good, then there is the option of cooking undercover at the kitchen and washing up area. There’s all you need to do some cooking, including a two-burner stove and cupboards to keep your dry food in. There are plenty of fresh herbs too which you are invited to pick. There’s a washing up area with sink, drying rack and all you need to clean the pots and pans. A Dutch oven is also available for use if on those colder nights guests fancy cooking up a stew, casserole or chilli over the fire pit. I think if I had been staying more than one night then this is certainly something I would have tried.

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

Location and Price

The Wood Life is situated in a great location to allow visitors to make the most of exploring Devon. The exact location is sent to you after booking but as the website states, it is close to Exeter city centre, surrounded by Haldon Forest and is only 3 miles from the South West Coast Path. Both the cute seaside town of Dawlish is within easy reach, as is the wild and rugged Dartmoor.

As well as offering the Orchard Wagon site, The Wood Life has a Woodland Camp which offers a cool and cosy looking safari tent situated in private woodland and sleeps up to 6 people. With its comfy interior, cooking facilities and kiddie favourites of a tree house, sea-saw and swing, it sounds ideal for family holidays. You can find out more information on The Wood Life website by clicking here.

Amanda and Matt are really interested in sustainable woodland management and a lot of the wood you see used at the site was sourced locally by Matt who offers woodland skill course and makes beautiful unique wood and glass tables. Knowing the stunning bed had been crafted the owners using local wood gave it such an organic and homemade feel which I loved.

Whilst I was lucky enough to stay for free, a night in the Orchard Wagon typically costs £100 which I think is very reasonable given its uniqueness and luxury feel. More information can be found on The Wood Life Facebook page.

the wood life glamping

the wood life glamping

Final Thoughts

Having experienced such a wonderful, relaxing, comfortable stay and having a bath with the best view ever, it is easy to see why The Wood Life was featured in the Guardian’s 10 best luxury campsites! It really is such a peaceful and natural place – I felt so relaxed and rested during my stay that I was so reluctant to leave! The visitors’ book is full of high praise for Amanda and Matt and details wonderful reviews of the glamping site – I’m glad I am not the only one that just totally fell in love with the place! Whilst I visited for the purposes of my review and was alone, I can see how the site would be so romantic if there with a loved one. It was shame Nathan was working and couldn’t join me, however, I really valued the quality me-time and the chance to really unwind and chill out!

I came away from my stay at the Wood Life having enjoyed a relaxing, peaceful woodland glamping experience. Both the sleeping accommodation and bathing wagon were beautifully decorated and furnished to such a high standard. The bath provided me with the most awesome countryside views and the homemade wooden bed allowed me to have such a comfy sleep. Chopping wood, cooking on the open fire pit and eating al fresco really took me back to basics and immersed me in nature. Situated against the backdrop of the gorgeous countryside and woodland forest views allowed me to enjoy an evening of pure relaxation and soak up the naturally tranquil atmosphere. Working to light the fire and heat the bathroom water provided me with a bit of challenge and made the bath all the more enjoyable knowing I had needed to work for it – I gained an odd sense of satisfaction from it!

In all seriousness, I had such a wonderful stay here and would return in a heartbeat! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend The Wood Life for a luxurious, romantic glamping stay and hope guests continue to enjoy all the site has to offer.

•••Whilst my stay was provided by The Wood Life on a complimentary basis, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own***

the wood life glamping

A Fun Filled Animal Adventure at Wildwood Escot – Ottery St Mary, Devon

A Fun Filled Animal Adventure at Wildwood Escot – Ottery St Mary, Devon

After staying for a couple of nights in glamping pod at nearby Andrewshayes Holiday Park we took the short drive to Wildwood Escot which is in Ottery St Mary, Devon. Wildwood Escot offers a fun family day out and can be enjoyed by all ages. You can even join for the year and receive membership for as little as £3.50 a month – find out more information here.

We certainly made use of the map!

Wildwood Escot is well signposted, easy to find and located on the Escot Estate. On arrival, we parked up in the large car park and were warmly greeted by the staff at the entrance. The ladies in the shop told us a little about Wildwood and gave us a list of the day’s animals feeds and talks. We were just in time to see listen to the red squirrel talk so we headed to their enclosure first.

wildwood escot

Red Squirrel Encounter

The red squirrels can be seen in their walk-through enclosure. We arrived just as a little red squirrel was nibbling on some nuts being given to her by one of the parks keepers. She soon scampers off though and we had to be quick to try and track her movements! The keeper was friendly and knowledgeable and happy to answer my questions. You can have kid’s parties at Wildwood Escot (how much fun would this be?!) or get up close with some of the animals through private feeding sessions. Find out more on the Wildwood Escot Twitter page.

wildwood escot

wildwood escot

wildwood escot squirrel

wildwood escot

 

wildwood escot

Peacocks and Roses

Next, we made our way further into the park admitting the roses in the gardens and the beautiful peacocks wandering around. Peacocks are such beautiful birds aren’t they – simply stunning!

wildwood escot peacock

Such beautiful birds

wildwood escot

wildwood escot

wildwood escot

Meeting the Inhabitants

We passed wildcats, wild boar and owls to find the wolf enclosure.

wildwood escot wildcat

wildwood escot

wildwood escot

wildwood escot

wildwood escot wild boar

wildwood escot

The Wolves Dinner

The talk for the wolves was detailed and interesting and we got to see the 7 strong pack of wolves being fed. The wolves soon disappeared once the food had run out, so I was pleased we got to see them – I think if we hadn’t attended the feeding session it would have been unlikely we would have seen them. You can see some awesome pictures of the wolves and other animals of the Wildwood Escot Instagram feed.

wildwood escot wolves

wildwood escot

wildwood escot wolf

wildwood escot

Lunch Time

After looking at the list of talks for the day we saw there was a little gap before the next talk. This meant it was time to visit the Coach House Café where we sat outside and enjoyed a cheeky pasty and chips each for lunch. The café sells a range of hot food, sandwiches and cakes and plenty of drink options. There’s seating both inside and outside so you have a choice if the sun is shining.

wildwood escot

wildwood escot coach house cafe

wildwood escot

Time for a Show

After lunch, we made our way to the bird of prey area. We took our seats on a bench and before long a falcon was flying around and being fed its lunch. The display began, and we were lucky enough to see four different birds being flown. The presenter was informative and interesting and told us lots about each of the birds and what they liked to eat and how they hunted.

 wildwood escot falcon

wildwood escot

wildwood escot birds of prey

Such a great show

wildwood escot

I enjoyed the show but did worry a little bit that a bird would land on my head as this has happened previously at a bird of prey show! The show lasted half an hour and really captured the attention of the audience.

wildwood escot

wildwood escot owl

wildwood escot buzzard

wildwood escot birds of prey

After the show, we went and had a look around the bird’s enclosures and got to see them close up.

wildwood escot bird

wildwood escot

Exploring Wildwood

We also got the chance to see the otters, lynx and termite pavilion. Each enclosure is accompanied by information detailing more about the animal, their natural habitats and how endangered they are. Aside from the animals, there’s loads for children to get involved in including a drop slide, pirate ship playground and soft play barn.

wildwood escot termites

wildwood escot

wildwood escot otters

wildwood escot lynx

We took a nice walk along the many woodland paths and admired the beautiful flowers and trees surrounding us. Find out more about what you can see on the Wildwood Escot Facebook page and see videos of the animals on their YouTube channel.

wildwood escot gardens

wildwood escot roses

wildwood escot

wildwood escot

The Saxon Villiage

We visited the Saxon Village but were a little confused by it. It was quite random and seemed possibly a little out of place at the park. Inside the village, there were people dressed up, (I assume as Saxons?) who were standing around a campfire. They didn’t acknowledge us which made it a little unclear as to whether they lived here or were part of the attraction?!

wildwood escot saxon villiage

wildwood escot

What about unattended boyfriends?!

wildwood escot

wildwood escot

We weren’t too keen on the taxidermy or animal furs. We did play a couple of games of who could knock the most bottles down though, with Nathan winning of course!!

wildwood escot

wildwood escot

wildwood escot

Getting Lost

Wildwood Escot has a beech head maze. We attempted it but after the third time of ending up lost and back at the entrance we gave up – it was too hot! We didn’t seem to be the only ones struggling either!

wildwood escot beech maze

wildwood escot maze

Souvenir Shopping

At the end of our visit, we passed through the gift shop which was well stocked with plenty of cuddly animals, Wildwood souvenirs and children’s clothes.

wildwood escot shop

wildwood escot shop

wildwood escot

wildwood escot

We treated ourselves to an ice cream and enjoyed it whilst admitting the free-roaming peacocks once again.

wildwood escot peacock

Ticket Prices

Entry to Wildwood Escot is £9.50 for adults and £8.00 for children agreed 3-17 years. There’s also the option to get a family ticket for £33.00 which includes two adults and two children. I think the prices are pretty reasonable given the range of animals on display and the additional children’s activities. I think that families could spend a full day here if they wanted too. I really recommend following the timetable for animal feeding and talks to make the most of the entry fee.

wildwood escot

wildwood escot woodland

Final Thoughts

We really enjoyed our day out at Wildwood Escot and spent 4-5 hours there exploring the woodland, visiting the animals and listening to the keep animal feeds and talks. There’s lots to see and do and I think Wildwood is a perfect family day out, especially those who are animal lovers and are interested in the conservation of endangered animals. I enjoyed watching the humorous otters and loved the bird of prey display which was certainly a highlight to the day.

Thanks to all at Wildwood Escot for having us and providing us with a fun and informative day!

***Whilst entry to Wildwood Escot was provided  to us on a complimentary basis, all through and opinions in this post are entirely my own.***

A Spot of Devonshire Glamping at Andrewshayes Holiday Park, Dalwood

A Spot of Devonshire Glamping at Andrewshayes Holiday Park, Dalwood

We arrived at the lovely Andrewshayes Holiday Park on a Friday evening in June and received a warm greeting from Clare who owns the holiday park. Clare directed us to the warden’s office to collect our keys and was helpful in giving us an overview of the park and pointed us in the right direction of the camping pod. The evening sun was shining, we were in good spirits and excited for our glamping adventure!

The Glamping Pods

Our glamping pod was clean, spacious and cosy and one of two here at Andrewshayes. The two pods are nestled in between touring caravan pitches but have a private, secluded feel to them. The pods are identical, and each one has a double bed and two single beds below. This means the pods are family friendly and can sleep up to four people – perfect for a family holiday. You are required to bring your own bedding but that was easy enough for us, we just chucked some clean sheets, pillows and my duvet in the car and it made for a very comfy place to sleep.

The pods also have a little sitting area with built-in bench seats and cushions. There’s a little corner table which gives you enough room to make a cuppa tea with the kettle provided. Main’s electricity is provided with plug sockets to charge all your electrical essentials – perfect for those who like to straighten their hair whilst glamping or charge their gadgets like Nathan! I think there is a heater in there too, but we didn’t need this as it was nice and warm during our visit. There’s also strip lighting throughout the pod which adds a nice touch and means you aren’t grappling around in the dark once the sun goes down. The lighting for the bedroom and seating section are on separate switches, so if the little ones are sleeping you can still have lighting and read your book with a glass of wine in the sitting part of the pod – ideal!

Outside each pod, there is a decking area with a picnic bench and space for a BBQ. This gives you the opportunity to sit outside and enjoy an al fresco dinner – should the weather allow it!

We enjoyed BBQing some tasty food and eating outside on our bench overlooking the great Devon countryside. We were lucky enough to have a great view of the surrounding fields and made friends with the cows that grazed in the field each evening.

A Lovely Holiday Park

The holiday park has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It offers lots of pitches for both touring caravans and tents, and is home to lots of static caravans too. There are caravans to hire, some even with their own hot tubs which sounds like luxury caravaning to me! We found the site to be quiet, despite many of the pitches being occupied around us – there was no noise at night and everyone we spoke to was friendly.

Facilities at Andrewshayes were really good which is always a bonus. There are two toilet blocks and we didn’t have to walk far from our pod to use them. The toilets and showers were spotlessly clean and for some reason, I really liked the teal colour of them! There’s a laundry too, disabled shower room and outside undercover washing up area. You can find out more about the site by visiting the Andrewhayes Holiday Park Youtube page and checking out their video tours of the site.

Lots to Keep You Entertained!

We really enjoyed making use of the brilliant amenities the holiday park offers including the games room and heated indoor swimming pool. The games room includes various gaming machines as well as 2p slot machines which of course we played the 50p challenge on! We enjoyed quite a few games of pool (who knew Nathan was so good!) and had a very fast and furious game of air hockey. There’s a change machine too so don’t worry if you forget your pennies! There was also a separate soft play area for the little ones, which looked really clean and well looked after.

The indoor, heated swimming pool was lots of fun! It was warm and a really good size. We went swimming on Saturday afternoon and had the pool to ourselves for at least half an hour before we were joined by a couple of families. As well as the main pool there is a little paddle pool for the little ones or those less confident. There are tables, chairs and pool loungers situated around the pool, so if swimming isn’t your thing then you can always lay by the pool and read a book instead! There’s showers and places to get changed too and if you’re hungry after your swim (why does that always happen?!) then you can grab a milkshake and bite to eat at the bar area which is adjacent to the pool. We didn’t visit the bar, which I think offers more of a menu and increased opening hours during peak months, but it looked like a nice place to chill of an evening and play some bingo! Check out the Andrewhayes Twitter page for added information!

Obviously, being an adventure and days out blogger I love planning trips and finding new places to visit. Given this, you can imagine my delight when we stumbled across the information room. Situated next to the reception the information room was full of leaflets and information relating to local attractions and places to visit. The leaflets covered the regions of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and included maps of local walks and upcoming events.  I certainly got a few ideas for some local places I hope to visit in the near future!

Location and Price

Andrewshayes is located in Dalwood, near Axminster in Devon. It is really close to the border of Dorset and the seaside town of Lyme Regis. The holiday park is in a brilliant location for accessing Dartmoor, the Jurassic coast and the beautiful Devon countryside. I don’t think anyone would be stuck for places to visit whatever their interests. If you need any inspiration, then the information room is the place to go!

There is a reception and shop located onsite. The reception staff were friendly and welcoming, and the shop sold all the essential holiday items, lots of tempting sweets and some BBQ bits. We did our bigger shop for dinners at the local Tesco which was about a 10-minute drive away from the site.

The price of the glamping pods ranges from £45 – £60 depending on the season in which you visit. I think this is a pretty good price if going as a family and want a little more luxury than a tent to stay in! The games room, table-tennis and swimming pool are free to people staying onsite which is a total bonus given they are sure to keep the children entertained! Check out the Andrewhayes Facebook page for more info!

Final Thoughts

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay in the glamping pod at Andrewshayes Holiday Park. The site was quiet and relaxed with great facilities and amenities to keep us entertained. The pod was clean and cosy and we slept really well on the double mattress. We thought the pods were very cute and provided somewhere a little different to stay. It was nice to have the little seating area and the options to sit inside in case it rained – this is different from other glamping pods we have stayed in before where the pod is empty and has no beds or seats. We loved the decking area and being able to cook and eat outside whilst chatting to the cows – the views were pretty to wake up to as well!

I think the pods provide a special glamping experience which is perfect for both couple stays or family holidays. The holiday park is in a great location, is easy to find and is on the doorstep of so many fun attractions and lovely places to explore. The pool and games room were a highlight and provided us with lots of fun!

Big thanks to Clare and those at Andrewshayes Holiday Park for having us, we had a great two-night stay and hope to return one day in the future.

***Whilst our two-night glamping pod stay at Andrewshayes Holiday Park was complimentary, all thoughts and opinions in this post are entirely my own***

Have you ever stayed in a glamping pod? What did you think?