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Hole Station is a firm favourite among the camping fraternity, which is hardly surprising given its secluded woodland pitches, campfire encouragement, and natural beauty

Situated on the land of a former railway station in a sparsely populated part of Devon, this adult-only hideaway is a truly special place. We first heard about it in 2009, and it quickly became a favourite among Cool Camping readers, and we’re pleased to say that it has retained all its rustic charm – along with its secluded woodland pitches, campfires and natural beauty.

Whether you bring your own tent or opt for a pre-erected Rent-A-Tent here, you’re going to love your pitch. There are just 19 of them, spread about the place in woodland clearings. Each pitch bears its own number and offers privacy within a magical tree-filled setting. Each has a tarp strung up to one side, allowing some added all-weather protection and creating the perfect space to set up your own bush-craft kitchen.

The owners Greg and Liz eventually bought Hole Station after keeping their eyes on the property for years. They live in what was the old ticket office while their kids are residents of a renovated old railway carriage next door (think Annie and Clarabel-style from Thomas The Tank Engine) next door. Together they are slowly bringing the wood back to its former forest glory by coppicing and pollarding, which they do in winter, after the last of the season’s campers has packed up and gone home.

The cut-down wood is used to create wildlife habitats and fuel for campfires. So feel a little smug, as you sit mesmerised by the licking flames of your fire at night, that you’re forming a symbiotic relationship with the trees all around you. In fact, the clearing you’re pitched in is helping to shed more life-giving light on the young oaks nearby, enabling them to have a kick-start at growing into huge, majestic trees likely to outlive us for centuries to come.

It’s not just the campfire culture, perfect pitches and woodland restoration that Liz, Greg and family have got right at Hole Station, though. The loos are of the compost variety and all rubbish (including food waste) is recycled or turned into compost wherever possible in order to give something back to this lovely corner of England.

Finally their resident pony Sanne is on hand to provide horse-and-trap rides and there are three goats – the preposterously named Dominar Rigel 16th, Kha’Dargo and Grace. Greg and Liz plan to relaunch their meadow as a centre for ‘low-tech living’ courses. Plus there’s a signed Woodland Walk on which you half expect to encounter a fairy or two before reaching (handily labelled) The End – a top spot for watching the sunset. Evenings are peaceful wherever you are, with quiet time after 10pm.

So there you have it: Hole Station is as peaceful and bucolic as it gets, and about as refreshing and romantic a country getaway as you will find.

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The campsite owner says

Peaceful, rural woodland camping with campfires allowed in beautiful West Devon. You can choose BYO camping (you bring all your own kit, pitches are self selection) or Rent-A-Tent camping where you just bring bedding, wash kit, torches and matches - everything else is supplied including a fully equipped cooking/dining safari shelter for your own private use. There are electric showers (free), a washing up area with hot water, wash basins and eco loos.
Campfire kits are available from reception, there is a charge point for phones etc, a freezer for cool blocks and breakfast is available from 8.30-10.30am in the Station Cafe. Take a peaceful woodland break from the outside world with abundant wildlife, no light or air pollution and a sense of enchantment. As we are an adult only campsite, you won't be woken at 6am by kids being 'enthusiastic'. Our woodland campsite is located midway between Dartmoor and the sandy beaches of North Devon and North Cornwall - be atop a Dartmoor Tor in the morning, swimming in the Atlantic in the afternoon and enjoying your glowing campfire in the evening.
Check in times for BYO camping 1pm - 6pm, check out by 12 noon.
Check in times for Rent-A-Tent camping 6pm check out by 11am.

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