Thursday, 10 August 2017

Forest Glade Holiday Park: Family Campsite Review

Beautiful forest glade, situated in the Black Down Hills
Regular readers will know that sometimes I review things I've been sent to try and sometimes I review things I have purchased myself, but I am always honest in my reviews and upfront about where they come from. This time, though, it's a bit more complicated, because I bought and paid for this holiday, but the lovely owner gave me a refund when I said I would be happy to review it. The park is just stunning and there is so much I want to tell you about it, along with millions of photos I've taken for you, which I've tried to whittle down a bit. I hope you enjoy my unbiased review of the beautiful Forest Glade Holiday Park, situated in the Blackdown Hills between Cullompton and Honiton in East Devon. 

Firstly, and definitely most obviously, the location. Which is just beautiful.  I could witter on for hours, coming up with any number of adjectives to describe the wonderful scenery which envelopes the site, but I think the pictures speak for themselves. 

A clearing at Forest Glade Holiday Park

Making the most of the location, Forest Glade offers several self-guided nature trails of varying lengths, to suit every level of fitness. The nature trails are accompanied with a leaflet with details of what to look out for along the way and definitions of the various flora and fauna you might encounter. 

A pathway through the forest at Forest Glade Holiday Park

There is a lot of emphasis on preserving and appreciating the wildlife here. The park is bee-friendly and there are nature ponds and other habitats designed to encourage a wealth of native creatures. There is also a Wildlife Information Room, where children are particularly encouraged to find out more about their surroundings. 

A collage featuring a mushroom, a bee, and the Wildlife Information Room

The park is beautifully kept and staff can be seen throughout the day attending to different tasks and keeping everything in order. There is a small swimming pool, which is covered and heated, and is particularly suitable for children, since the deep end didn't quite reach my shoulder. It was lovely that even non-confident swimmers could enjoy the whole pool space without worry, but of course they must still be supervised at all times. The pool is currently undergoing some redevelopment work, so there will be a brand new sauna and changing rooms available soon. The shower block is very close by, though, so getting changed wasn't a problem anyway. There are two lovely play parks, in keeping with the natural surroundings, one for little ones, and another for older children which included a zipwire that the children were especially fond of. 

The zip wire in use at Forest Glade Holiday Park

The site is family-run and is very friendly and welcoming. There are so many little touches that make it feel like a home from home. In the tourist information room, there is a little library, where you can help yourself to a book or two to while away the evenings, or perhaps find out more about the many birds that frequent the area. As soon as we arrived, we saw a woodpecker right outside our tent, which turned out to be a regular visitor during our stay. The little shop offers everything you could possibly need during your stay, from nappies, to tent pegs, to souvenirs to take home. All at surprisingly low prices. This was one aspect I really appreciated, nothing was over-priced. At some parks you can feel really taken advantage of by the inflated prices, so it made a really refreshing change to be able to wander through such an appealing little shop and know you were getting value for money. 

A collage featuring aspects of the shop at Forest Glade

Talking of value for money, the biggest and loveliest surprise we had during our stay was the on-site takeaway. It was just astounding. We were a good few miles from the nearest available eaterie, so there was a great opportunity here to make a lot of profit from food, but the honesty and intergrity of the owners means that the takeaway is run as a non-profit enterprise. This is amazing to me, particularly as the food is absolutely delicious, and all freshly cooked. To keep costs down, and support the park's stance on recycling everything possible, you had to provide your own containers to take away your take away, This was brilliant, because it kept the rubbish down, reducing the environmental impact and saving lots of cluttery boxes in the tent. I honestly can't tell you how delicious the food was. The photos could never do it justice, but I will try. 

A selection of food from the Forest Glade takeaway

You could also order breakfast, which consisted of fresh-baked croissants, or the temptingly-titled Breakfast Brunchie which included sausage, bacon, beans and egg, encased in delicious puff pastry and was so enjoyable I have no photos, because I wasn't quick enough! There was also a coffee machine, which could provide coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at just £1.30 a cup. Particularly handy for when you've just arrived and haven't set up the stove, or for when the gas runs out! 

Boy playing badminton at Forest Glade

Forest Glade is a peaceful, quiet environment, providing a haven for everyone to enjoy and this is preserved through the absence of a club, bar or any evening entertainment. However, there are lots of areas for children to let off steam. As well as the two playgrounds, there is also an indoor games room, with arcade-style games and ping pong, (which do incur a small charge for use), a tennis court (£3.50 per hour) and a general ball-game area with goal posts for football.

Boy playing tennis at Forest Glade

As previously mentioned, the site is exceptionally well-kept and the shower and toilet facilities were very clean and well stocked with hand soap and toilet paper (this might not sound like a big deal, but at some sites you have to bring your own!). The showers were also free, which isn't always the case, either and was very much appreciated. There is also a laundry room, with coin-operated washers and dryers, as well as a camper's kitchen, with a microwave, toaster and kettle. 

The shower buliding at Forest Glade

The last thing I would like to add, is that, when I was shopping around looking for somewhere to stay, Forest Glade was considerably cheaper than a lot of the other sites I looked at. On visiting, I felt that we got great value for money for the £160 we originally paid for our 5 night visit during the first week of August. For a family location, this park is highly recommended by myself and my family, including the eleven year old. It is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing break away from the stresses of modern life. 



A beautiful, scenic campsite, to enjoy the perfect relaxing family break.


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1 comment

  1. sounds like you had a great time, I remember how exciting camping was as a child and we only ever put the tent up in the back garden! I think I'd probably prefer glamping though as I'm used to my home comforts plus it would probably work out cheaper than buying all the equipment, seeing as we don't have any and it wouldn't get used much. It could be a viable option at these places, to cater for the likes of people like me who don't have camping gear and prefer a little luxury

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