The ancient South American tribes of Inca and Maya might have invented terracing to help with their crop cultivation, but seldom can they have done it so well as the folk have here at Little Meadow. By levelling off the land in a series of flat lawns they’ve ensured that campers benefit from being plumb-line level with the well- tended soft grass for easy tent pegging,while still enjoying views of the stunning North Devon coast. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has everything: dramatic cliffs, wide sandy beaches and quaint little coves and harbours.
The terracing also helps create privacy – you’d never guess there are 50 pitches on this unassuming, environmentally friendly campsite, all set in a beautifully kept 100-acre organic farm. Part of this is down to their sensible policy on dwelling size, with the campsite owners actively discouraging mega-size tents or massive motorhomes. Everywhere you walk brings another unexpected delight, whether it’s a rabbit hip-hopping across a nearby meadow, or a set of swings for kids tucked away in a corner. There’s also an outdoor table tennis-table set up for use by all guests, and you can buy bats and balls at reception.While here, why not pick up some of the store’s lovely regional products – from bacon, eggs and local meats to truly moreish homemade cakes. Bright splashes of flowers border the pitching areas, providing colourful framing to the views over Watermouth Bay, the Bristol Channel and the cliffs of Hangman Point. Its proximity to all things nautical is also in evidence, with huge old anchors, carved driftwood and colourful floats and buoys scattered around the reception area. It’s a magnificent spot in which to settle comfortably into a deckchair, or one of the giant hammocks, and survey the scenery – you might even spy a seal or a basking shark if you’re lucky (and in possession of a good pair of binoculars).
If you can drag yourself away, though, there are several must-dos in the area. A day trip to Lundy Island, by ferry from nearby Ilfracombe, offers outstanding views of England, Wales and the Atlantic. It might be just 11 miles from the mainland, but the sense of remoteness is incredible. There’s no ferry between November and March, but well-heeled folk can always opt for the daily helicopter service (Mon–Fri). You should also consider taking a fishing trip from Ilfracombe to catch bass, pollack, whiting, cod and mackerel, which are all plentiful here. Gut them on the boat – under the tutelage of the skipper, of course – and you could have your breakfast, lunch and dinner sorted for the day. Alternatively, spend a day learning to ride the waves at one of the many surf schools in the area, at Woolacombe, Croyde or Saunton Sands; or take a beach horse-riding lesson courtesy of Woolacombe Riding Stables.There’s also Exmoor on your doorstep, of course, which is fabulous for walking. Plus it’s not far from the site to the Hunter’s Inn pub, from where there are any number of glorious treks you could do, including an easy stroll to the sea at Heddon’s Mouth, after which you’ll definitely have earned yourself a pint at the pub.
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We've just returned from staying at Little Meadow over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Echoing other reviews, the views are simply stunning. Washing up & brushing teeth - you simply can't fault the views. Even though it was the bank holiday weekend, the site didn't feel swamped with people, unlike other sites I've been on. Having the tiers really helps, it means you've all got plenty of room and each have the stunning view. Another great point about the site is that it's so quiet. Kids need to be back in their tents by 9pm. My 11 year old was fine with this. The walk to the the washing block is quite steep, so be warned but you quickly get used to it. My only wish was that the owners cleaned the washing block more than once a day in such high season.
Washing up will never be the same again! Those who have visited will know what I mean, you find yourself staring out at the sea, mouth open wide, with a very clean plate in your hand. The setting is excellent, with the South Coast Path just across the road. Keen walkers will enjoy the challenge of hilly opportunities for exploration and runners will delight in the reward of a stunning view as they catch their breath at the top of a cliff - I ran towards Ilfracombe on a few of the mornings we were there, and smiled all the way.
The site is very well tended with some great touches such as the rows of jolly hydrangea hugging the pitches, the swings with a sea view that children have to edge their parents off if they want a go and I particularly liked the mismatched mirrors in the loos with a vase of freshly picked flowers positioned next to them. The shop is great and we enjoyed some freshly baked croissants a few times. The location is excellent for a number of days out and, if you are feeling energetic, you might try the walk we did: over to Combe Martin along the coastal path (we paused at Broadsands Beach for a dip...), up the hill towards Hangman's Point and down the many steps to Wild Pear Beach - we would have had it all to ourselves if it wasn't for the three other people across the expanse of rock pools and sand. Perfect!
The site is set up a hillside above Watermouth cove between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin. The pitches are in terraces which give spectacular views of the North Devon coast.
Facilities at the site include hot showers, washing up sinks with a superb view, washing machine, and freezer for ice blocks. There is a shop at the reception which stocks a few basics items only - although we were off season so this may improve as the site gets busier. Also has wifi and a phone box - the mobile coverage for all networks is very poor if not non existent!
There's a dog walking area and a children's play area. The majority of the pitches have access to EHU.
A few minutes walk down a private footpath will take you to Watermouth harbour and castle (theme park) and a further 15 minutes walk will deliver you to the Sawmill pub - a friendly family pub serving decent beers and meals. Of course if your up for more of a walk the South West Coastal path passes right by the site which will take you to Combe Martin to the north and Ilfracombe to the south
The site is extremely well maintained with clean facilities. It has a chilled out feel to it with recycling encouraged. The owners are very helpful and friendly.
The pitches are a very generous size with plenty of room to get your car and caravan/large tent side by side. Although we stayed off season at Easter 2013 with only another dozen or so occupants, I would imagine the site would not particularly feel over crowded when at its full capacity of 50 pitches helped by the large pitches and terraced layout.
Only downsides to the site are that it can get pretty draughty due to its hillside location and also there's not a great deal within easy walking distance apart from what's mentioned above. It's also quite pricey but I guess your paying for the views.
All in all a lovely site which has superb views. This is not a commercial site with lots of hustle and bustle but instead has relaxed and friendly feel - definitely worth a visit!
1 of 1 readers found this review useful.
What a beautifully laid out, peaceful, wondrous campsite. Most of the pitches are very large and carefully terraced to offer terrific views of the nearby coast. The coastal footpath to Ilfracombe and Coombe Martin is only 400m away as is the local pub. The manager/owner, Lynda, is extremely helpful and we'll certainly be going back again in the not too distant future.
1 of 1 readers found this review useful.
This was our 2nd visit after 6 years and if anything the site is better than recollection. From the moment we turned up with 2 energetic kids, we were made part of the family and made very welcome. The plots are perfectly level with great "peg conditions" and amazing views across the North Devon coast to South Wales. The showers/ wc's are clean and uncrowded. Located close to Watermouth Bay makes a great early morning walk and Ilfracombe is only 10 mins drive away with plenty to do. The site is between Exmoor and the great surf beaches of Croyde Saunton and Woolacombe so it's great for an active holiday. Sian is a font of local knowledge knowing plenty of pubs, cafes to eat at. Oh, and the washing up - uninterupted views of the coastline and sea - Fantastic.
1 of 1 readers found this review useful.
1 of 1 readers found this review useful.
Stayed here with our 3 small children (4 months-6 years) and dog. Made to feel very welcome, lovely owners and staff.
Beautiful small campsite and lovely views of the coast, especially when washing up. Immaculately clean shower block and I particularly liked the recycling facilities.
Dog was very keen on the dog walking field as she could run around in long grass off lead!
Probably my favourite campsite and planning on returning as the area around is lovely too with lots to do.
The Secret SpotSecret Spot Camping, Moor Lane Nursery, Saunton Road, Devon EX33 1HG
Finding the place is like making it on to the best VIP guest list in town.
Lundy Island CampsiteLundy Shore Office, The Quay, Bideford, Devon EX39 2LY
If you took a group of friends to camp here, you’d basically double the population of the island. Extreme, remote camping but with a 24 hour ‘escape plan’. Awesome!
Caffyns FarmLynton, Devon EX35 6JW
Coastal views, access to beaches and Exmoor walks aplenty... Happy campers? Yes indeedy.
FairlinchFairlinch Camping, Saunton Road, Braunton, Devon, EX33 1EB
If you like your skies blue, your views awe-inspiring, and your outdoor activities by the bucket load, then Fairlinch is going to be right up your street.
Ocean Pitch CampsiteOcean Pitch Campsite, Moor Lane, Croyde, Devon EX33 1NN
Surfing isn’t just reserved for the pros – pitch up at Ocean Pitch and shimmy into a wetsuit to ride the waves at Croyde Bay.
MillsladeBrendon, Lynton, Devon EX35 6PS
This is true comfort camping, where the only surrounding atrocity is who killed the largest Stag in the village. You’ll no doubt have the best sleep ever here.
Westland FarmBratton Fleming, Barnstaple, North Devon EX31 4SH
How often do you get to stay in a hand-built home?
Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs (on leads) – yes. Groups, mega-size tents and huge motorhomes – no.
Approximately 50 pitches (draughty in high winds), plus an octagonal camping pod is being built. The washblock has toilets (disabled access), hot showers, a washing machine and hairdryers. There’s also ice-pack freezing and a basic shop selling essentials, fresh organic milk, homemade cakes and local farm meats. Hook-ups are available. There’s a small, wooded play area for kids, as well as table tennis, wi-fi and a dog-exercising area. No campfires.New amenities block with toilets and hot showers, and hairdryers in the ladies block. Ice pack facility, basic shop on site selling essentials. Electric hook-ups available. Small, wooded play area for kids and wi-fi.
The closest attraction to the site is Watermouth Castle (01271 867474), a large stately home with old-fashioned exhibitions inside and a theme park behind – good fun for children. Just the other side of nearby Combe Martin, the Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park (01271 882486) is a zoo-cum-theme park with a dinosaur slant – including some fantastic roaring animatronic creatures, alongside seals, monkeys, a spot of falconry and whatever else they have been able to squeeze in. In the opposite direction you can explore the rockpools at the unique Victorian Tunnels Beaches in Ilfracombe (01271 879882), and enjoy the landscaped seafront nearby, with its Landmark Theatre, which doubles as the local information centre. Ilfracombe also has a couple of museums that are worth visiting on rainy days – the Ilfracombe Town Museum, on the seafront, (01271 863541) and a small aquarium in the harbour (01271 864533), not to mention the long- standing Walker’s Chocolate Emporium (01271 867193), which makes and sells its own chocolates and sweets. For a beautiful, tucked-away coastal spot, check out Barricane Beach at nearby Woolacombe, a lovely inlet that is the final destination for millions of small shells that are whisked here from the Caribbean. Woolacombe Beach itself is a beautiful spot, whether you are surfing or just beach- lounging – the latter is best done at its far end, known as Putsborough Beach, where a lovely café overlooks the sea. Further around the headland there are the glorious expanses of Croyde and Saunton Sands – and the dunescape of Braunton Burrows just behind, which is a fabulous natural soft-play environment for kids. Go underground at Tunnels Beaches (01271 879882) where hand-carved tunnels lead to sheltered beaches, coves and a tidal swimming pool.
If it rains
Food & Drink
Tent, 2 people and a car £14.50–£20 per night.