Camp Dartington

UK England South West England Devon Totnes

Knock-out Dartmoor views and the rugged South Devon coast within easy reach – all within the grounds of a medieval manor house

In a tranquil pocket of the 1,200-acre Dartington Estate, lies an ancient manor house on the banks of the River Dart. Once home to the town's art college, the 14th-century Grade I-listed Dartington Hall is now run as a not-for-profit social enterprise promoting sustainability, social justice, and advancement of the arts. Not your typical English country house then. And in the adjoining campsite – where just 40 pitches enjoy brooding views over Dartmoor and easy access to South Devon's rugged beaches and cliff walks – plays host to one of Devon's most peaceful and best located campsites.

Facilities at Camp Dartington are excellent, with five new electric hot showers, five plumbed-in toilets, and next to the shower block you'll find a washing station with two large catering sinks. There's also a compost loo at the far side of the field and two water points. Better yet, you’re only a hop and a step from excellent, locally-sourced food, as the onsite Green Table Cafe and White Hart serve lunchtime and evening meals, all in the splendour of the estates medieval surroundings.

And while the fine food is a major pull, once you’ve settled in you can begin to appreciate the rest of the site. Featured in many 'best gardens' lists, Camp Dartington's beautifully landscaped gardens – designed mostly by New York society landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand – feature azaleas, rhododendrons and magnolias, all set around a series of terraces on a steep hillside. Campers are free to explore the many tiny paths leading to a host of interesting features – from a 1,500 year old yew tree to a Henry Moore carved stone sculpture. Seriously, how many campsites can boast a Henry Moore?

As for days out, Camp Dartington is well-placed for exploring England’s wildest expanse, Dartmoor National Park. However, it was not always so uninhabited, as confirmed by the Stone Age settlements that pepper the huge park (368 square miles in case you're wondering). Not finished there, the rugged beaches of South Devon are within easy reach and there are plenty of pretty towns and villages nearby – most notably Totnes which manages to combine the olde worlde Devon charm with a bohemian atmosphere.

The campsite owner says

Camping wild on the Dartington Hall estate is a unique, quirky and very lovely experience. At Camp Dartington, you can wake up to a beautiful view of Dartmoor in a location half an hour from the coast and easy access to a cycle track to the ancient and beautiful town of Totnes.

Without leaving the Dartington estate you can enjoy locally grown and cooked food at The Green Table, sample delicious goat’s milk ice cream at Dartington Dairy, browse crafts, kitchenware and delicious Devon treats at The Shops at Dartington, take in a film at our 14C Barn Cinema, indulge in the odd tipple at The White Hart, and wander through 1,200 acres of outstanding woodland and listed Gardens.

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