Nothing medieval about our luxury camping adventure
The mere mention of the word Crealy is enough to send my children into an excited frenzy, so telling them that we would be camping there overnight provoked a commotion of screaming and jumping up and down.
Once calmness had been restored, the countdown then began to our sleepover at the adventure park on the outskirts of Exeter in east Devon.
Camping has been available at Crealy for tents and caravans since the opening of Crealy Meadows last year, but until recently I never realised that during your stay you get to enjoy evening entertainment in the park's adventure zone.
For reluctant campers, or those who love their luxuries, the site also offers glamping-style "Medieval Pavilions" and luxury "Safari Tents", which really do have to be seen to be believed.
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They are also too tempting to resist trying, so having two boys who love their toy swords we chose the Medieval Pavilions.
Our medieval adventure began the moment we entered Camelot Village within Crealy Meadows – a semi-circle of nine tents. Each one has been named after legends of the past, with ours called Sir Ironside.
The enormous tent sleeps eight, so our boys could have a bedroom each – one with twin beds and the other with bunk beds – while we had the comfort of a double bed.
And the luxury didn't stop there. The tent was also kitted out with a woodburning stove, fully-fitted farmhouse-style kitchen with hot and cold water, plus electric sockets, a dining table and chairs, sofa bed and open-air veranda.
The only thing it didn't have was a toilet and shower, and even that wasn't a hardship because being a five-star rated park it has ultra-modern showers and washrooms, and family bathrooms with baths and showers – all with under-floor heating.
If you forget any of the camping essentials you need, then the site also has a convenience store with some tempting treats in it, too, and wi-fi is provided free throughout the camping park.
While I unpacked the bags and made the beds, our excited boys eagerly explored their new surroundings, which, they were delighted to discover, included two play areas. But the biggest outdoor hit was a tree rope swing opposite our tent, which they couldn't get enough of.
Making use of the rare luxury of a proper kitchen while camping, we enjoyed an easy dinner before venturing to find the VIP gate, which allows special access for campers to Crealy. What made it even more exciting for the children was seeing everything closed for the night, apart from the Adventure Zone, which was our destination.
The Southern Fried Chicken eating area and Sandcastle Beach Bar were in the spot where we found the evening's entertainment. It got under way at 7pm with a mini disco with Buddy Bear, and prizes were awarded to the best dancers.
This was followed by fun party games and then family prize bingo. The final instalment of fun was karaoke. The entertainment from start to finish was a big hit with our children.
For those wanting to enjoy a drink or food, there was a licensed bar and evening menu to choose from. The Adventure Zone play area, with its jumbo slides, aerial walkways and demon drops, was also open for children to burn off the last of their energy.
And there certainly wasn't much of that left by the time we headed back to our tent. Within a few minutes of climbing into their bunk beds our children were fast asleep, and we had such a comfortable night that it didn't even feel like we had slept in a tent at all.
With renewed energy the next day, we got to enjoy the joys of Crealy itself once again and, as a special treat, sampled the delicious pizza and pasta buffet at Mamma Mia.
When it came to the end of our stay and we waved goodbye to our tent, it was with sadness our visit had come to an end.
There's no doubt we will making a return visit soon, but this time showing our boys what camping is really like by roughing it in our basic tent – minus luxuries!