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The excitement of wild-style camping near water, making campfires and barbecuing some of the farm’s meaty treats
Heading into Dartmoor feels a bit like travelling through time and tales, perhaps ending up somewhere between the pages of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Much of the land here has successfully spurned modernity’s advances, and its middle-of-nowhereness and descending mists give it an air of mystery and adventure; it’s bound to stir up even the most sluggish of imaginations. Runnage Farm is right in the midst of this rolling moorland. Extending over 220 acres, it has been worked by the Coakers since 1843, long before Baker Street’s finest sleuth arrived to solve his famous case. The Coakers are keen to emphasise that running the farm is their priority, but they are happy to offer a small, wild campsite along with a few mod cons. There are no pitches or hook-ups, just two fields next to the river, where campers are free to do as they please. Kids can run around in this magical wilderness, playing Pooh Sticks in the river, looking at the horses and splashing about in the stream. Any grown-ups who are by now feeling slightly frazzled can unwind to the tranquil sounds of rural peace and calming, flowing water. As a certain pipe-smoking detective would say: ‘It’s elementary, my dear camper.

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