10 Best Campsites in Devon

November 18, 2020 in Destinations, Tips for Travellers, England & Campsites

Finding the perfect campsite in a county that prides itself on stunning coastal scenery, miles of rolling hills, wild woodland, hidden riverine networks and dramatic rock formations is no easy task. Especially when the options abound, and millions of likeminded campers flock to soak up the southwest summertime. Starting on the southeast coast and working our way up through the county’s moorland towards the Cornish border in the northwest, we’ve hand-picked the best campsites in Devon based on a combination of thorough research, word-of-mouth recommendations and personal experience. They all offer unadulterated views, easy access to natural attractions, friendly staff, and great facilities. The best thing about bringing a campervan to Devon is that you can wind along the lanes at your own leisure, free to explore, and roll into your dream campsite at the end of the day. 

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The South Coast 

Devon’s south coast encompasses 3 areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, a National Park, over 125 miles of coastlines, and acres of unspoilt countryside. The three campsites below are in a prime location, so you can either set off on an action-packed day or kick back and soak up the dazzling coastal views.  There may be many beaches we recommend you visit, but it’s not without reason. Camping in Devon is all about exploring coves and rocky headlands, and these features ensure that no two beaches are the same. They’re all worth a visit, and the campsites below are all within sight of the sea.

1. Our first stop on the south coast is Beer, we’d recommend to stay at Beer Head Caravan Park. This family-run site, now in their 3rd generation, has been running for 80 years. All pitches have free electric and hot showers, there’s no extra charge for pets, gazebos or awnings, there’s an indoor washing station and Calor gas available from reception. The best thing is the view over the white-cliffs and the picture-postcard village of Beer. Don’t miss the opportunity to hire a boat from Simon, who is on the beach every day in the summer, taking it out into the placid waters of the bay and catching your own supper – mackerel, bream, plaice or garfish - whilst taking in the gorgeous Jurassic coastline. 

Price: £25 in the low season, £30 in the high season.

Address: Beer Head Caravan Park, Common Hill, Beer, Devon EX12 3AH

2. For a wilder experience of camping on Devon’s south coast, go for Beryl’s Campsite. This rural gem is spacious enough that you can take your pick of morning or evening sun, breathing space with panoramic views or a sheltered aspect. Though self-professed to be non-commercial, they still offer flushing toilets, hot showers, hot washing-up sinks, recycling bins and a few fridges and freezers, as well as logs for sale and fire pits to hire. Aside from wandering the coastal paths, other unforgettable nearby activities include paddle-boarding in Salcombe, or boat hire in Dartmouth. Don’t worry about a licence, these guys know how to brief any hirer for a day on the water and a huge part of the river is easily navigable at any tide. 

Price: £25 in high season. £8.50 per adult in low season. Extra £4 for hook-up at both times. 

Address: Beeson, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2HW

Nature Devon England H2 Coast Sea

Start Point, Kingsbridge

3. Located in the South Devon AONB, Slapton Sea view Campsite is our next pick of the best campsites in Devon. It has roomy, level pitches, clean, basic amenities and electric hook-ups if needed. The location makes it truly special: it’s a stone’s throw from the quaint town of Torcross, perched on the shingle beach that separates Slapton Ley from the sea. Slapton Ley is the largest natural freshwater lake in the south-west, and as Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) it was declared a National Nature Reserve (NNR) in 1993. Check out this wildlife haven by its circular routes, which rove through natural woodland, marshes and reedbed habitat. From this campsite, Blackpool sands is only 5 miles away, and the famous surfing beach of Bantham is 11.

Price: £10 per adult per night in high season. Extra £4 for 16A hook-up.

Address: Sea View Campsite, Newlands Farm, Slapton, Nr. Dartmouth, Devon TQ7 2RB

Inland and Upstream

As well as the quaint towns of Dartmouth, Brixham, the towns up on the moors have their own special charm and unique histories, such as Princetown, the Medieval Stannary towns of Chagford, Ashburton and Tavistock, and Totnes which is renowned for its community activism. You can soak up the area’s history by steam train, by visiting museums or the numerous castles nestled in the hills. An extensive network of walking paths crisscrosses the countryside and leads you up to the highest points on the moor, and of course, a camping trip in Devon would be incomplete without a hike amongst the rugged tors and grazing ponies. 

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4. Upstream from Slapton, you’ll find the picturesque river Dart. Stay at Galmpton Touring Park. Set 3 miles upstream from the broadest reaches of the river, this site is well known and loved by its returning guests. Greenway, the beautiful gardens and house of Agatha Christie, is only a mile away, and the gorgeous coastal gem of Coleton Fishacre is nearby too, best enjoyed on this walking route. These spots and many others are accessible from the campsite by walking path. Alternatively, take a kayak to the water and make the most of your time on the Dart that way. Totnes Kayaks offer rentals and guided trips, and the adventure from Stoke Gabriel downstream, riding the river mouth out to the sea at Bigbury is a truly incredible experience. Luckily, Galmpton touring park even has food stands, previously including fish and chips and Caribbean food, to save you the effort when you get home from a big day out. 

Price: From £17 to £37 a night for two people, depending on the style of pitch and services required.

Address:  Galmpton Touring Park, Greenway Road, Galmpton, Nr Brixham, Devon, TQ5 0EP. 

5. 16 miles from Dartmouth Woodland Springs Touring offers a peaceful, adult-only site in the heart of Dartmoor national park, at the source of the river. In fact, tranquility is a point of pride for this award-winning touring park, where the starry night sky is unadulterated by light pollution. The moorland is just a ten-minute drive away. Their generously fully serviced pitches are suitable for caravans and motorhomes, but note that the standard pitches are for caravans and tents only. The extensive facilities include free showers and hot water, indoor dishwashing, washing machines and tumble dryers, coffee machine and grinder, award-winning loos, and a shop selling the essentials (of which local cider and beer definitely counts). Something that raises this campsite above the rest is that all the facilities are suitable for disabled access. 

Price: £29.50 for two people on a fully serviced hard-standing pitch in high season, £27 in low season. 

Address: Venton, Drewsteignton, Exeter EX6 6PG

6. If off the beaten track is more your style, we can’t recommend enough using your campervan to see Devon’s rural, hinterland life. Hennock Hideaways is perfect if you are looking for a camping experience at its purest and best, an authentic experience of country life, and have a sense of humour. Once a working farm and now an intergenerationally-run small-holding, this well-loved land boasts stretching views up the Teign Valley towards Haldon forest  - a renowned mountain-biking location - a tea shed, shed loos, hot showers and a short walk to the local pub. If you get to meet the oldest resident, he’s about at Devonian as they come. Hennock village itself is in close proximity to Haytor and Houndstor, some of the most dramatic moorland vantage points you can find. 

Price: £8 per person all year round, no electric hook-up. 

Address: Byelanes, Hennock, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 9QD

The North Coast

North Devon is where you’ll find Devon’s best surf beaches. We’ve picked campsites near Woolacombe, Putsborough, Saunton and Croyde, which are all perfect beaches for beginner and casual surfers. For those looking for a bit more adrenaline, a quick chat with the locals will usually point you in the right direction for some more advanced waves nearby. If surfing isn’t your thing, coastal walks about or you can bike the Tarka Trail to Meeth along North Devon’s old railways through miles of unspoilt countryside. Many of small seaside towns have illustrious histories involving piracy and smuggling, fishing or roles in the world wars, and cling to cliff faces just as they do to bygone eras. The Atlantic coastline of Devon’s north is also home to a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, the North Devon AONB, and breath-taking stretches of jagged coast where Exmoor meets the sea. Exmoor itself is one of Europe’s few Dark Skies Reserves and has an undeniably rich, starry tapestry at night. The semi-wild campsites below are where you can go to experience otherworldly, peaceful isolation without compromising on access to utilities and nearby attractions. 

7. North Morte Farm is only 500 metres from Rockham Beach and is one of the best campsites near Woolacombe. It has a designated touring caravan field, with 20 gravel pitches with electric hook-up, or a natural camping area with breath-taking views from every spot and no strictly designated pitches, so you can pick your own vantage point. It also has direct access to the coastal path, and is just 5 minutes’ walk from Mortenhoe village, with its local shops, take-aways and pubs. The facilities cover all the basics: free hot showers, toilets, dishwashing areas, wifi, an onsite shop, gas exchange and a laundrette. Note that, like many of Devon’s meandering lanes, entry to the campsite is fairly narrow! 

Price: Service pitch with electric for two adults is £28 in high season, £20 mid-season, £16 in low season. 

Address: North Morte Farm, Mortenhoe, Woolacombe, North Devon, EX34 7EG 

8. Little Meadow is a gorgeous, uncommercial, and yes, ‘little’ campsite with panoramic views over the Hangman Hills on Exmoor, the Bristol Channel and out towards Wales in the distance. You won’t find a much more serene spot for motorhomes in Devon, with 50 spacious, individually marked pitches perched atop the lush headland. There’s a footpath leading to Watermouth Castle, the harbour and the nearest pub. The site also has a clean, modern shower block with free hot showers, washing up area, laundry room and a freezer pack service by donation (with all proceeds going to the RNLI lifeboat charity. They also have a small shop that stocks local products including milk, bacon, eggs, homemade cakes, meat, bread and other groceries, so you can support local businesses easily. It’s also a dog and child-friendly site with ping-pong tables and a play area.

Price: Pitch for two adults is £29.50 in high season, £20 low season, plus £4.50 for electric hook-up. 

Address: Little Meadow Camp Site, Ilfracombe, North Devon EX34 9SJ

9. Newberry Valley Touring and Campervan Park lies just outside the beaches, pubs and shops of Combe Martin, a sweet and secluded seaside village on the western edge of Exmoor national park, perched on a stunning cove. The local Museum is only 7 minutes’ walk away, so you can get to know its unique maritime, industrial and social history. Explore rockpools and caves at low-tide, or take off on the South West Coastal Path as it meanders through the village. The campsite itself is a sheltered collection of green fields surrounded by ancient woodlands, with over 100 generously laid out pitches. The amenities are extensive, clean, and best of all, heated. There are all sorts of extras which make this campsite stand out, too. From chimneas to hire, to fresh goods from local bakers and butchers available on site for your breakfasts and barbecues, to a herb patch which you can help yourself to, alpacas roaming around and even well-being services like healing massage and meditation that ensure you’ll leave Devon feeling brand new. 

Price: Large, serviced pitches £36 high, £27 mid, £22 low.

Address: Newberry Valley Park, Woodlands, Combe Martin, Devon EX34 0AT 

10. Last but absolutely not least is Hidden Valley Park. This 5 star spot has earnt the accolade of one of the best campsites in Devon, and their amenities live up to this standard. They have modern shower and toilet blocks with underfloor heating, family shower rooms and facilities for disabled visitors. There’s a well-stocked, licenced on-site shop, a lakeside restaurant, washing machines and driers, indoor dishwashing area. The modernity of the facilities doesn’t mean that nature has been pushed aside, quite the opposite: the camping meadows are hugged by creeks, streams and forest canopy. However, there is some road noise due to the site’s convenient location just off the A361. 

Price: 30 for premier hard-standing, fully serviced pitches and from £19 for smaller, grass pitches. 

Address: Hidden Valley Park, West Down, North Devon EX34 8NU

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Tips for Touring in Devon 

Though the lanes and fields might seem unforgiving, there are plenty of options for holidaying with a motorhome in Devon. That being said, getting around is decidedly easier with less traffic, at either end of the summer months. This stunning county’s popularity is reflected in its high season tariffs, too. Dates of high and low season vary per campsite so follow the links to their websites provided to plan your trip. If you require a flat pitch, be sure to tell the staff your needs before booking and bear in mind that Devon’s undulating hills make hardstanding, flat pitches a rare find. Particularly where they are arranged to make the most of spectacular views! Another tip for finding your dream campsite here is make a note of the written directions on their websites before you go, as depending on a sat nav when roving around the sticks can be a risky game. Just be sure to apply clotted cream before jam on your scones when you stop for a cream tea, and you’ll be well on your way to making the most out of your road trip!