Sweet Meadows & Wild Woods Country Holidays
If you’re the type of person who first tried camping as a child, setting up a tent one sunny evening in your parents’ back garden, then prepare for a trip down memory lane. For nowhere can match that experience quite like Sweet Meadows Campsite on the north-eastern edge of Dartmoor. Sliding past the corner of a family house, you have to brush aside flowers competing for space in order to make it on to the back lawn. It is here that the very best camping pitches are found, scattered around the elegant cast-aluminium table and chairs in the centre.
The garden pitches, crowded by colourful flowerbeds on either side, give way to a small field for camping on the other side of the hedge. It’s a fantastic spot for small groups or those with larger tents. Beyond the main lawn, meanwhile, an arch in the hedge reveals a tree-swing and the wilder regions of the garden where less clearly defined pitches take on an altogether more rustic feel. Birds flitter along the hedgerows and wrens dart in and out of the house’s thatched roof – the woods of the Teign Valley ensure there’s plenty of wildlife around. Even the owners add to the proceedings, with a pair of Rum ponies grazing the adjacent meadow.
Back-garden camping isn’t complete, of course, without a trip indoors to the bathroom and here that is precisely where the facilities are found. A homely downstairs toilet inside the house has a loo and shower for use and, though there is only one, an extra compost toilet out in the meadow helps cater for those desperately in need. The site is small enough that the single shower is easily enough to cope and if you want to go really wild you could always take a dip in the River Teign that runs nearby. It all adds to the rustic feel of this camping home from home and if it’s a tiny site you’re after, they don’t come much cosier than Sweet Meadows. It’s simple, back garden camping in the loveliest garden of them all.
Facilities1 toilet and a Scandinavian compost loo in woodland chalet. 1 Unisex shower. Use of our washing machine (£3+detergent). 2 swings and a see-saw. Tree shelter with awning, table and log stools. Pony-sitting by arrangement. Unfortunately, Flossie has passed away, but owners are hoping that Tobermory, young gelding will be ready to take her place soon. Campfires and BBQs permitted.
Suitable ForTents, campervans, dogs – yes. Caravans and large motorhomes – no.
NearbyIt's 4½ miles to grand Castle Drogo (01647 433306), the last castle built in England (and by Edwin Lutyens to boot). It's now owned by the National Trust and well worth a visit.
Food & Drink
Head to the Royal Oak (01647 252256) 2½ miles away in Dunsford – a family-run country pub with a walled courtyard. Or you can opt to walk or cycle westwards along the River Teign to the Fingle Bridge Inn (01647 281287) in Drewsteignton (3 miles), with a beer garden right on the river.
Opening TimesAll year.
The Owner Says
Welcome to the beautiful Teign Valley in the Dartmoor National Park, where there is something to interest everyone. There are forests, rivers, lakes, moors Tors, and china clay pits giving a moonscape view.
We are experienced campers and aim to be friendly and approachable in order to cater for your needs.
For wild swimmers, there is the river Teign (1/4 mile) and the best pool in the river is about 3/4 mile.
Fishing in the River Teign-Permits available locally.
For keen walkers/cyclists, there are miles of woodland glades and you can walk westwards along the river to Fingle Bridge, or Eastwards to Steps Bridge, through Dunsford nature reserve - ½ mile or simply wander through the forests.
Stargazing / bird watching there are no street lights and light pollution is low. There are many varieties of flora and fauna, so don't forget to bring your camera, binoculars or telescope.
The Miniature Pony Centre is great for children.
Finch Foundry England's last working water-powered forge; adult f4.20, child f2.10; open mid March to October Wed-Mon 11 am-5pm; 01837 840046; NT site.While at Finch Foundry, visit the Taw River Inn opposite. Excellent home cooking at very reasonable prices.
The scenery driving across Dartmoor is very beautiful. Here are some suggestions: -
Dartmoor ponies on Dartmoor you will find Dartmoor ponies and there is the Newtake scheme to preserve the traditional Dartmoor breed. There is the Dartmoor breed show in early August, Moretonhampstead Carnival also in August and Widecombe Fair in September.
The highest pub on the moor is the Warren House Inn, with beautiful views across the moor. There's also Postbridge, where there is a prehistoric clapper bridge. Why not take a picnic to Bellever?
At Widecombe the Dartmoor ponies wander through the village. Visit the church "The Cathedral Of the Moor". In the church, look for the Dartmoor fable of what happens to members of the congregation who fall asleep during the sermon!
Swimming. As well as wild swimming in the River Teign 3/4 mile from us, there is bathing in the river at Huccaby 21 miles or in south-west Dartmoor at Cadover 25 miles, or sea and sand at Dawlish, Slapton or Exmouth, the start of the Jurassic Coast.
Prince Hall Hotel (17 miles) Where Conan Doyle wrote the Hound of the Baskervilles.
Two Bridges Hotel (15 miles) has a bar and does cream teas.
At Princetown, 17 miles there is the High Moor visitor centre. Be careful not to be clapped in irons in Dartmoor prison!
Trago Mills 14 miles-is a large out-of-town shopping centre near Newton Abbot. Everything you can imagine and then some! Children and parents will love the miniature railway. Beware the beautiful peacocks which have been known to attack their reflection they see as a rival in in the polished surface of your car!
Sparkwell Zoo Tigers! (35 miles.)
Burgh Island with tidal causeway, Sea Tractor, Art Deco 'Agatha Christie' style hotel and bar 39 miles.
Last minute availability? Telephone 01647-24331.
Pitches4 small garden pitches, tennis court pitches, and a choice of three 1 acre fields (according to season). 4 pitches in wild woods with stream.
No availability showing at Sweet Meadows & Wild Woods Country Holidays.
On the M5 Motorway, travelling South West: At the end of Motorway signs, take the A30 dual carriageway towards Okehampton. Turn Left at the Cheriton Bishop turning, the second after leaving Exeter, about 12 miles out. On entering the village turn first Left at the Old Thatch Inn where there is an oak tree in the middle of the turning. (NOTE satnavs may take you on funny routes. Do NOT go to Drewsteignton). Proceed for about 1.5 miles, until you come to a cross road-Park Gate Cross, marked vertically on the sign. Ignore farm turnings it is cross roads you are looking for. Turn Right, signposted Clifford Bridge. Go down long hill: These roads are narrow, twisty and steep. Take care: Sound your horn before sharp corners, to avoid accidents and beware potholes. At the Cross Road near the bottom of the hill called Clifford Cross, marked vertically on the sign, turn Right. Sweet Meadows is 300 yards on the Right.
Train station: Crediton (9 miles) - Exeter to Barnstaple line (aka the Tarka Line). Take a taxi from here as there's no onward bus.
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