The High Nature Centre
From its peerless vantage point atop a coastal plateau overlooking a particularly awe-inspiring stretch of the South Devon coast, a stay at The High Nature Centre is sure to reinvigorate the soul as only a sojourn by the sea can. Formerly Wayfield Nurseries, this spectacularly-located five acre smallholding now plays host to one of the south-west's coolest eco-friendly glamping sites.
Run by ever-resourceful, ever-helpful hosts Cat and Doug, the centre's accommodation consists of five Mongolian yurts, extravagantly adorned with all manner of handmade textiles and furnishings. The camping field itself is within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Positively abuzz with bees and butterflies, entranced by the various colourful wild flowers, the field is divided into different circular pitches, each with a large standing stone in the middle. Lucky glampers will truly feel enclosed within their own private wildflower glade.
Conservation is the order of the day at THNC, with visitors getting an education in the sustainable methods and permaculture philosophy Cat and Doug espouse. The centre's focal point is the collection of six poly-tunnels each housing a cornucopia of organically grown salads, herbs, fruits and vegetables. In keeping with the philosophy of green-inclusivity the centre's owners are keen to promote, the tunnels are kitted out with comfy sofas, solar showers and even a piano so you can tinkle the ivories while you sprinkle the ivy leaves.
Though only in its infancy, Cat and Doug have big plans for The High Nature Centre. In a nod to the area's ancient heritage, plans are in place for a Celtic roundhouse complete with green, living roof, naturally. An exhaustive programme of practical workshops is also currently being devised, with activities such as felt making, green wood-working and natural medicine classes (to name just a few) in the pipeline. Be sure to let Cat and Doug know if you have any area of particular interest when booking and they'll do their utmost to accommodate.
So to sum up, an eco-friendly luxury campsite in a cliff-top wildflower meadow, with countless woodcraft courses, stunning views of the sea and all within striking distance of all that South Hams has to offer. A top notch option, however eco-aware you happen to be.
Camp-fires are permitted in designated areas. 4 private yurt field pitches and one group yurt positioned in the more public main field (largest yurt sleeps up to 8). Hot showers, compost eco-loos in the yurt field, and polytunnel solar showers and compost toilets in the main field. No laundry facilities yet. Visitor information supplied, plus board games, jenga, table tennis, boules, cricket and Frisbee. There's also an extensive library for rainy days.
Tents and small caravans (for short stays only), well-behaved dogs, groups – yes. A very large group can book all 5 yurts together.
The site is ideally situated to explore South Hams and beyond via the South West Coast Path. A stone's throw from the centre lie the ancient remains of Celtic huts on Deckler's Cliff, dating from 300 BC. Nearby Prawle Point is Devon's southernmost extremity and well worth a visit for any twitchers hoping to spot the local sea-birds. The sub-tropical gardens and eccentric Edwardian charm of the National Trust run Overbecks is well worth a visit – not least for the spectacular panoramic views overlooking Salcombe Other great days out can be found at the South Devon Chilli Farm, The Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum, Sharpham House, Woodlands Family Themepark and Pennywell Farm.
Food & Drink
The centre provide basic snacks as well as home-grown fruit & veg, plus essentials like tea, coffee and juice. The legendary Pigs Nose Inn (01548 511209) is just a mile away. This traditional smugglers pub hosts raucous live music nights and the adjacent Piglet Store & Cafe does an excellent brerakfast, lunch and dinner menu. If you really want to push the boat out, the Gara Rock Hotel (0845 6029311) is just a 10 minute walk away and its restaurant has unparalleled views of the South Hams coastline.
Open from May - September
The Owner Says
Rustic Rural Luxury Yurt Camping in a Unique Location on the South Devon Coast ~ Beautiful Beaches, Stunning Countryside & Wild Life, Dramatic Coastal Walks, Nature Trails, Arts & Crafts Workshops, Food Growing, Local Heritage & Culture, Fantastic Traditional Pubs & Independent Shops, Star Gazing and Quirky Spontaneous Musical Entertainment! EXPLORE, DISCOVER, LEARN & RELAX in one of the most spectacular landscapes in England. Undoubtedly the best new camping location in the South West ;)
From the A38 - Head for Kingsbridge (either via Wrangaton Cross then Loddiswell or via Totnes), then take the A379 towards Dartmouth, through the villages of West Charleton and East Charleton (Ashby's Easy Store is the last stop for fuel and supplies) . At Frogmore turn right over the little bridge and follow the signs to East Portlemouth, take the left to Ford (not to South Poole), the road bends right through Ford, then up hill. Go straight on at cross roads at the top and carry on straight for a few minutes. The road bends then widens and straightens. Carry on past the recycling bins on your left, then take the right turn signed East Portlemouth and Gara Rock (next to huge water tower), follow this past East and West Prawle turnings, through S bend, then road narrows at High House Farm. The High Nature Centre is opposite High House Farm, down track next to produce stall, second gate on the right.
Travelling by public transport is positively encouraged with discounts awarded by those who come by foot, ferry, bus or Eco Taxi (see website for full details and directions). However, if you must...
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