Like so many, our summer adventures were closer to home this year and, as nothing has been certain, we held off booking a camping trip until the start of the school summer holidays. We decided to head back to North Devon, which is an easy two and a bit hour drive from Bath, and stay at Westland Farm Campsite directly off the A399.
Westland Farm is a real find, it has the perfect combination of excellent facilities but no overly zealous rules and a very relaxed vibe. Nicky, who runs the site, was very welcoming, the current COVID precautions were explained to us and everything felt very safe. There are two camping fields with loads of space – no crowded pitches here! The facilities were ample, excellent showers with hot water included, a fridge and freezer available and a washing machine / tumble dryer. Campfires are allowed with logs to buy for £6 a bag. Though on a main road, traffic noise is minimal and the views from the camping fields look over the beautiful Devon countryside.
A real highlight of the campsite is because it is on a working farm there are loads of animals! Every morning Nicky invites the children (with parental supervision) to come and help feed the various sheep, cows, hens and pigs. The boys really loved this!
We booked through Cool Camping with a COVID guarantee and it was £93 for three nights.
The Local Area – Combe Martin
We rushed to get the tent pitched and headed straight down to the beach at Combe Martin wanting to make the most of what turned out to be the only sunny afternoon. Combe Martin is a great little beach for kids, plenty of rock pools and the natural harbor means the sea is shallow and calm. Not the best sand for building sandcastles but it’s other qualities make up for that!
There are some fantastic rock pools and we spent a couple of hours exploring the coastline – Mummy caught a crab – and not much else! We also managed to borrow a sea kayak and I took both boys out for a little paddle. The little one had no arguments this time about wearing a lift jacket after last years fiasco in Denmark! It’s lovely now that the boys are getting a little bit older we can be a bit more adventurous.
Our other full day was a soggy one, so we spent the morning sheltering in the tent before a break in the weather meant we decided to head to the National Trust owned Heddon Valley, found just inside the beautiful Exmoor National Park. There are loads of walking routes in the area and we followed the family trail down to Heddon Mouth Bay, which follows the route of the Heddon River. This is an accessible trail and would be suitable for all-terrain buggies. It was a beautiful walk with lots of opportunities to paddle in the river and to climb trees before the excitement of reaching the sea at the pretty Heddon Mouth Bay. Unfortunately the heavens opened again as we reached the Bay so by the time we trudged our way back to the car we were all soaked through! It was about 2 miles in total which three year old just about managed. The fish and chip supper was well deserved!
We really enjoyed our little get-away and it turned out to be the only one this summer, though feel lucky to have at least managed one trip! North Devon has loads to explore and we will be back to discover more!