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Sun, sea and surf's up at Crawford's Beach Lodge

After a long drive, it was so good to see the ocean as we drove down the winding road to Crawford's Beach Lodge. Crawford's is the perfect place for a beach holiday for families – my mom especially loved that all meals are provided. Meals are served buffet style and there was a great variety of very yummy food – my mom kept saying, “this is a proper holiday!” The rooms are cosy and comfortable. Gia and I had the upstairs loft room and it was wonderful to go to sleep to the lullaby of the waves - Crawford's is right on the beach.

After our breakfast buffet with everything you could ever want, we went surfing and bodysurfing with my dad. Gia and my dad went far out and she body-surfed the most amazing wave. The sea was so warm that we hardly needed a wetsuit - we stayed in for ages. The foam surf-boards at Crawford's are ideal for learning and you can have your own private lesson. It was so warm we took off our wetsuits after a while - we loved swimming in the middle of winter! Afterwards we played a family game of tennis before enjoying a lunch out in the warm sun.

The lodge has a playroom for younger children and a babysitting service, so moms and dads can get a real break. There are kid’s activities all day. The staff in the playroom were super nice- we especially loved Lloyd and Angel. They played pool with us and helped us with the scavenger hunt. One day we went sandboarding down a huge dune. My sister and I raced on boogie boards and we had a special sandboard which was thinner than boogie boards, like a plastic sledge that we held onto. I went down that dune so fast and was spat out far onto the beach - it was such a thrilling ride!

My mom went to the spa two days in a row because she said it was so good – she had two full body massages. Everyday there was a different variety of food, salad and other tasty dishes and you could just help yourself. On Saturday nights there's a seafood buffet with sushi and lots of prawns – Gia and I kept flattening the sushi!

The beach was really beautiful with long stretches of endless sand and sea. We spent most of our time on the beach, walking and swimming. Every day we went for long walks together as a family. We looked for shells and explored tidal pools. Gia found 13 cowrie shells. There's a long 16km walk that you can do, but we were a bit lazy this time! All the staff were really friendly and you could see that they just wanted us to be happy and to have a great stay. The atmosphere was very relaxed and fun. It’s one of my favourite plaves for a family holiday and I hope we come again to stay longer next time.

Dad’s note: Crawford’s offers families the ideal Transkei-style, all meals included, relaxing beach holiday. Close to East London, but remote in its feel, Mark and his team have created an idyllic seaside holiday environment. The food is excellent and the staff are incredibly friendly. 3 days was simply too short – I’d recommend at least a week. We’ll be back.