Set in mid Devon's fabled Heartland, Billingsmoor Farm is a 400-acre family-run dairy farm less than 20 miles from the soft sands of Exmouth’s famous family beaches and 20 miles from Dartmoor and Exmoor’s National Parks. Listening to affable owner Jayne explain how her and her partner Robert built Billingsmoor into the place it is today is a fascinating tale. They moved to the farm over 15 years ago, during a turbulent time in UK farming. From the start, they faced a difficult choice: to push their cows for more milk in order to meet increasing supermarket demand, or to change their approach to farming completely. Fortunately – for us and for the 200 Friesians – they chose the latter, and their organic dairy farm is now open to campers for six months of the year.
Although the site is eminently accessible (just three miles from the M5 motorway), it feels like a true escape. Billingsmoor is one of eight working farms on the Duchy of Cornwall estate, nestled between Devon’s sandy southern beaches and its rugged north coastline. Overlooking 350 acres of rolling hills and grassland, the views here are breathtaking.
Not wishing to compromise the tranquility of this picture-perfect scene, Billingsmoor provides just five prized pitches, meaning campers never feel hemmed in. The elevated plots offer panoramic views overlooking lush fields and forests, while each off-grid pitch boasts a private toilet and sink (with cold running water) and a firepit and picnic bench. It's a car-free zone, too, meaning kids are free to run themselves ragged in safety (wheelbarrows are handily provided to trundle your gear to camp). The communal wash-block, laundry and kitchen facilities, meanwhile, are clean, modern and centrally-heated, while charming little touches like the onsite honesty pantry demonstrate a thoughtful attention to detail.
Curious campers have ample opportunity to learn about organic farming onsite. Meeting the amenable herd of organic Friesians, Kunekune pigs, sheep, ducks, geese and chickens will soon lift the heavy weight of urban life from your shoulders. Plus, as well as the varied programme of events – from walking parties to celebrations – an added attraction is the farm's forestry school, where you can master key bushcraft skills before cooking lunch and spotting flora and fauna. So, whatever your age, a stay at Billingsmoor offers a real education.
The campsite owner says
Billingsmoor Farm is a 400 acre Organic Dairy Farm situated in Mid Devon, otherwise known as the Heartland of Devon. We milk 200 British Frisian cows.
Our farm is run on an organic system and is registered with the Organic Farmers and Growers association. All of our milk is sold to Muller Wiseman Dairies who bottle it and distribute it to retail outlets and doorstep delivery.
We also have calves, pet pigs and chickens. Our farm attracts an abundance of wildlife and with our woodland we are very popular with the local birdlife who make their nests in the woods.
We were one of the first farms to work in conjunction with Featherdown farms to be able to offer people the chance to come and stay on a working farm and see for themselves how food is produced and how farmers manage the countryside.
Billingsmoor Farm in Butterleigh is a traditional Organic Dairy Farm and is on the Bradninch Estate, which forms part of the Duchy of Cornwall estate.
The Duchy of Cornwall and Prince Charles are well known for supporting both farming and the conservation of the countryside, and we here at Billingsmoor like to think that we can support this ethos in the work that we do here.
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