Ten Acres Vineyard

UK England South West England Devon Chulmleigh, Winkleigh & Umberleigh

A secluded camping patch in the midst of a working vineyard – as you'll soon discover, this dreamy little campsite is more than a wine-induced mirage

Straw bales scattered across golden fields, a tractor humming on the road, sun baked south-facing slopes striped with the regimented lines of a vineyard, ripening grapes awaiting the busy harvest and all just 40 minutes' drive from a cluster of sandy beaches. Hang on though... surely there’s been a mistake here? Has an overzealous camper had too much of the local merlot? You say this bucolic summer haven is in England?!

Though it may sound like a scene plucked from France’s best Loire Valley guidebook, if you head to Devon and down a small country track beyond the thatched village of Winkleigh, you’ll see for yourself that this dreamy little campsite is more than a wine-induced mirage. Set on a grassy one acre meadow with just 15 pitches in total, Ten Acres Vineyard is a real rural gem – a secluded camping patch in the midst of a working vineyard. Take a stroll through the vines using the signposts and onsite information before popping into the winery to watch the grapes being pressed, breathing in the aroma of the fermenting juices. On weekends, the campsite’s shop always has a bottle of their best plonk uncorked, so after a tour you can taste the spoils of all that hard work... and more than likely take a bottle or two away with you – for your friends, of course.

With views over the vineyard to the agricultural landscapes beyond and the rugged moorland of Dartmoor National Park, Ten Acres has an eco-friendly simplicity that compliments its surroundings. There's a shower and a compost loo, along with a chemical-disposal point, while the shared campfire places are a good place to shoot the breeze with your fellow campers. Dogs are welcome, though kept on a lead so they don’t disturb the sheep, pigs or hens that also live on site.

For those who don't fancy lugging their camping gear with them, guests can opt for one (or both) of the two unfurnished 4 and 5m bell tents, sleeping a couple and up to 6 adults respectively (although there's ample room for families to squeeze in a few extra littl'uns). A brazier is also kindly provided. Or why not combine a bell tent break with a guided vineyard and winery tour and tasting? Whatever pitch you opt for, the fact that there's acres of space for just a few pitches ensures you'll find a spot to suit. The adjacent field next is heaven-sent – ideal for children to play in, dogs to be walked in or simply to unwind with the sounds of nature and a good book to get lost in.

If the rusticity of this pastoral smallholding isn't enough, a wander up the track lies the local village of Winkleigh – a quintessentially English settlement with thatched roofs and a traditional feel. Winkleigh has a fascinating history with two 12th century castles (now nothing more than large mounds), a 14th century church and an old wartime airfield where the rusting remains of a control tower still stands. A pair of pubs and pleasant tearooms make it an enjoyable place to have lunch before venturing further afield. By car the beaches of north and south Devon are just over a half hour's drive away, while the vast national park of Dartmoor with its famously picturesque granite scenery lies closer still. It's an ideal area for walking or cycling with the start of the Tarka Trail nearby as well as the Two Moors Way, a footpath connecting the two Devon coasts. Cruise the purpose built cycleways along old rail roads and viaducts with panoramic views, before pedalling the quiet lanes back to camp.

Back at camp, a quick blow on the embers will rekindle the morning's fire then all that remains is to dig out that corkscrew. Sit back with a glass of the site's own vino and enjoy the tranquility of Ten Acres Vineyard, a summer retreat without the air miles.

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The campsite owner says

Our unique campsite is set in the peaceful beautiful countryside of rural Devon. Camp above our vineyard with views of Dartmoor where you can join us on a guided tour of the vineyard/winery and taste our wines.

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