Sooty Land at Crealy Park, Devon
By Cecile Metcalf
Billed as Devon’s biggest day out, Crealy Park is the quiet giant of theme parks for children, with over 60 rides and attractions, an indoor and ourdoor softplay, plus a farm and zoo animals. Situated on the outskirts of Exeter, Crealy Park Theme Park is a dream destination for kids and conviently is right next door to the Crealy Holiday Park, which has glamping, camping and Hot Tub Lodges for guests to stay overnight – or in our case, for the week!
For those who’ve visited Crealy theme park before, there’s an exciting new Sooty Land adventure park inside the main arena that’s new for 2022. I don’t know about you, but Sooty and Sweep were two of my favourite TV chatracters when I was a kid and getting to experience the fun again with my own children was brilliant.
The new Sooty Land at Crealy Park Devon
The Crealy Theme Park itself is the perfect size to keep younger kids entertained, without too much walking for little legs. This year, the Devon theme park has opened a brand new area called Sooty Land, which is devoted entirely to the long-running and classic TV show, featuring favourite characters Sooty, Sweep and Panda Soo.
Families can enjoy daily theatre performances of ‘The Sooty Show’ in the new ‘Sooty Show Time’ outdoor theatre and there are four new rides – ‘Sooty’s Magic Bus’, ‘Sweep’s Flying Circus’, ‘Soo’s Sweet Balloon Ride’ and ‘Izzy Wizzy Let’s Get Dizzy’.
Our favourite ride was Izzy Wizzy Let’s Get Dizzy (minimum height 120cm), which has bright coloured trucks that spin on two rotating plates while playing ‘I’m so dizzy’ at full volume (of course!). Sooty’s Magic Bus (minimum height 105cm) whisks passengers up into the air before swiftly swooping them back down to earth again and the fun pastel-coloured spinning Soo’s Sweet Balloon Ride is a gentle glide on mini hot air balloons (minimum height 90cm).
We also tried the self-controlled Sweep’s Flying Circus planes, which were fun as the kids can take control – which they loved. The Sooty themed soft play is inside a traditional English seaside pier-themed indoor area (perfect if the British weather is a bit iffy), but also provided a break from the sun to cool off. Plus the parents can have a cup of coffee while the kids go wild.
Crealy Park is ideal for younger childen. For the less adventurous five-year-old, like our daughter who loves the fun of rides but is a bit cautious, this provided all the adrenalin-fuelled excitement she needed and she would have happily spent the day just exploring Sooty Land.
What else is there to do at Crealy Park, Devon?
As part of the new Sooty Land, there is a fantastic circus-themed live Sooty Show that is included in your ticket price and allows the next generation to experience the magic of Sooty – the longest-running UK kids’ TV show ever – in all its puppet show glory! And, the adults get a charming trip down memory lane too. There was also a traditional Punch and Judy performance as well as other nostalgic seaside fun to be had with fairground carousels and a retro hall of mirrors – remember them?
For bigger kids with a more adventurous appetite, Crealy Park has a choice of thrilling rides too, including The Twister rollercoaster (minimum height 120cm), a wild water slide ride called The Vortex (minimum height 100cm) and a Tidal Wave Log Flume (minimum height 92cm) that had the teenagers shrieking in glee. Plus, don’t miss the hilarious Pirate Adventure Show.
Can we meet Sooty?
Yes! Visitors to Crealy Park can meet Sooty and get the chance to have a picture with the real life Sooty, Sweep and Soo and enjoy a retro photo opportunity. Photo ops are avaiable throught the day and you may have a short line to get your close up during busy times.
Where can we stay at Crealy Park?
Just a short walk from Crealy Park Theme Park is the fabulous Crealy Holiday Park, where you can pitch up your tent in clean and well-kept pitches or hire one of the hot tub lodges located on site. (All the lodges available have their own private hot tubs included).
We stayed at The Beach House, which had three modern and stylish bedrooms and lovely high ceilings as well as an en suite bathroom, main family bathroom and lots of seating and storage options. Ideal for parents of young, worn out kids who can have some time to relax in the evening while the little ones sleep off their sugar high. The Beach House lodge starts from £56 per person, per night (based on 8 sharing) during off-peak season.
The hot tub was a great perk and definitely added to the holiday vibe. The outside area and the hot tub is cleaned and maintained by staff twice a day and is set to the perfect family-friendly temperature – even tempting the kids in for a dip. Our daughter loved having her ‘own pool’ (as she called it) on the balcony of the holiday home. Who needs to fly away overseas when you’ve got this option a few hours drive away? And, noone lost our luggage.
What can we do in the evenings?
During the summer holidays, Crealy have a great line-up of family entertainment in the evenings to keep everyone happy. We were really impressed with the fun games the entertainers got us involved in, plus, not to brag or anything, but we walked away with a tonne of prizes at the family Bingo. The huge indoor soft play is also open in the evenings so parents can enjoy a drink or two in peace while the kids let off any remaining steam they may have after the day!
Day tickets for Crealy Theme Park start from £20 per person online. Guests under 92cm are free. Visit crealy.co.uk for more details.
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