UK England South West England Devon Ilfracombe

  • Children’s playground
  • Campfires allowed
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Camping and rustic glamping with campfires on an idyllic smallholding close to North Devon’s best-loved beaches

Sometimes the ins and outs of a campsite are best explained by the small print. “Please note,” states the essential info on one of Strawfields’ four rustic glamping huts, “You park in the campsite car park, then walk through the fields down some steps and across a tiny bridge to reach Lily Pad.  We are electricity free and do not have lighting on the campsite at night, so torches are essential. Pygmy goats may be grazing in the pond area... our friendly ducks may wander down for a swim... and they have been known to visit guests in the outdoor shower!” In most offices this would be called ‘managing expectations’ but, at Cool Camping HQ, we’d call it building them up. Devon-based Strawfields is just the sort of site we look for when we really want to get away from it all.

With just eight pitches and four well-spaced huts, this is a micro-campsite. And it’s not just the number of campers that are limited. Almost everything here tends towards the tiny. For starters there’s the little stream that runs along one boundary and the cute, tiny frogs that can be found there. Next there are the Shetland ponies, Kune Kune pigs and, of course, those pygmy goats. Okay, so some of the residents are regular sized: the alpacas, the farm cats, dogs, ducks and chickens; but they’re still part of the eight-acre small-holding on which this microsite is based.

It’s about as quaint as it gets with campers directed to pitches in the Poppy Patch, from where it’s a hop and a skip through the Twitty Song Meadow to reach the stream. And facilities are quaint too; basic but just enough. There are three flushing loos, two hot showers and cold-water washing-up sinks, shared by campers and guests in three of the four huts. Lily Pad has its own composting loo and shower. The huts sleep two or four and are found in a separate field. Each has its own charm and is basically equipped for a cosy stay with bedding and linen for the double bed and logs for the stove. Like the rest of the campsite, they’re off grid so don’t forget torches and cooking kit.

You’re likely to meet various members of the five-strong Straw family who run the site during the 9am round-up of the animals or at one of their regular pizza nights. But what to do in between? Apart from the good old-fashioned fun on site, there’s plenty to see and do. Strawfields may feel like the rural hinterland, but it’s incredibly close to some of the best-known North Devon beaches – Woolacombe, Croyde and Watermouth Bay among them. The harbour town of Ilfracombe is just two miles north, with Lynton and Lynmouth close enough for a day trip. Surfing, sightseeing and family-days out are hardly hard to find here but, if the sun is shining on Strawfields, the will to leave might be.



Three toilets, two hot-water showers and three cold-water only sinks. A laundry facility is available (at extra cost). The shepherds’ huts are kitted out with beds – including bedding and bed linen for the double bed in each. The Nook and the Hideout also have two single beds for kids (no bedding provided). Each has a log burner with kindling and logs provided. There’s a rustic, sheltered seating area outside each hut as well as a fire pit with BBQ grill, washing line and pegs. Lily Pad Hut has its own compost loo and shower while guests staying in the other huts use the campsite facilities. Shepherds’ hut guests share a games room and sunken trampolines with three on-site holiday cottages. There’s a small children’s play area on site for younger campers and glampers as well as a field area for games. There are also farm animals including ponies, alpacas, pigs, goats and sheep to meet and feed. Campfires are allowed but campers must use an off-ground fire pit (available to hire at £10). Logs (with kindling and firelighters) are £5 per load.

Suitable For

Campers, glampers, campervans and (September-May only) dogs on leads – yes but only allowed May. Caravans, motorhomes, large groups, dogs from May to September – no.


Ilfracombe is just 2 miles away where the harbour is the hub of the town. Hop aboard a boat to visit wildlife-rich Lundy Island (01271 863636) or stay ashore for Ilfracombe Aquarium (01271 864533), the town’s little museum (01271 863541) and Tunnels Beaches. For golden sands, though, head to Woolacombe, 6 miles away, where there’s plenty of space for sandcastles, surfing and bodyboarding. Watermouth and Croyde are within 10 miles of site and Saunton Sands is just a tad further. If you tire of the beach and the endless watersports available there’s always the theme park at Watermouth Castle (01271 867474), the Big Sheep Farm Park (01237 472366) and Coombe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park (01271 882486). The popular twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth are less than 20 miles away. For walking, running, cycling and outdoor activity try, the South West Coast Path (join it in Ilfracombe) or Exmoor National Park which is just a couple of miles away.

Food & Drink

A pop-up breakfast café and pizza evenings are hosted on site during the peak season (May half-term and school summer holidays). It’s a mile walk across fields to the nearest pub, The Crown Inn in West Down (01271 862790). You’ll also find a well-equipped, community-run grocery store (01271 864264) and you can buy fresh fish from S&P Fish Shop in Ilfracombe. The Depot (01271 865500), is a bar, restaurant and café combined and is a short (3-mile) drive away. It’s open all day and serves breakfasts and brunches as well as a main menu of pizzas, burgers, and tacos. There’s highly-recommended Sri Lankan curry served from a little kiosk on the sand at Barricane Beach (6 miles away) while The Grampus Inn (01271 862906), about the same distance from site at Lee Bay, is a recommended traditional Devon pub with open music nights on Fridays.


All year.

The Owner Says

​​Strawfields is an 8 acre small holding consisting of our farmhouse, two cottages, shepherd huts and a small rustic campsite.​A fantastic location, hidden away in the beautiful North Devon countryside, yet only minutes from the sea.The breathtaking sandy surfing beaches ​of Woolacombe, Saunton, Croyde and Putsbourough are all within easy reach.The small fishing harbour towns of Ilfracombe, Lynton and Lynmouth are close by, as are the many hidden coves to discover.​There is a public footpath running directly behind Strawfields across the fields to the local village of West Down,​which boasts a well stocked community village shop and a great local pub.


Contact Strawfields, Strawfields, West Stowford Barton, Titching Park Lane, ​Ilfracombe, Devon EX34 8PJ

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Getting There

From Barnstaple, take the A39 (Alexandra Road) north towards Lynton. After three miles, turn left onto B3230. Follow this road for about five miles. After passing through Bittadon, take the first sharp left. After about half-a-mile, turn right and after another half-mile, turn left on to Titching Park Lane. Strawfields will be on your left.

Campsite owners Alex and Nick do not recommend attempting to reach the site using public transport as getting around without a car is difficult. The closest bus stop (on the Barnstaple-Lynton route) is a mile-and-a-half away at Lynton Cross along a busy road. The nearest railway station is at Barnstaple (nine miles away). From there, the best option to reach the site would be to use a local taxi service.


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