You can throw all the bells and whistles you like at a campsite but, in our experience, there's just a handful of things that make a place really special; a beautiful, out-of-the-way location, somewhere to start a campfire, and a warm and friendly welcome. Which is why we love Poolbridge.
Located just outside the pretty Somerset village of Porlock at the top of the Horner Valley, Poolbridge is spread over two meadows and surrounded by ancient oak woodland, through which runs the burbling River Homer. There's plenty of space for tents and motorhomes to set up camp and the riverside is the perfect spot to start your campfire. Facilities are minimal but the campsite is all the more special for it. Even so, all the basics (showers, toilets, and washing-up facilities) are covered and there is a small shop for the essentials as well as firewood, kindling and firelighters. Be sure to stock up on local produce while you're here such as milk, bacon, sausages and steaks from the nearby farm.
If you'd rather avoid pitching a tent on arrival, there's a bell tent or camper available to hire which can be positioned next to the riverbank to enjoy it's gentle flow beside an open fire. The bell tent comes with a wood burning stove, beds and bedding, lighting and outdoor seating, and the camper comes with heating, beds and bedding, lighting and outdoor seating.
This unspoilt south-west setting is truly nature's playground. The river (shallow and stream-like rather than gushing rapids) is a great place for kids to hone their dam and bridge-building skills, while the rope swings in the woods will keep them entertained for hours. Poolbridge is also a great base for a walking holiday with plenty of routes direct from the campsite. Head up to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor or walk down along the river and reward yourself with a cream tea at the end.
Porlock village, 2.5 miles away (which you can walk to by following the river through the woodland), has a great little shop and plenty of decent options for eating and drinking.
Poolbridge has been keeping campers happy for 32 years and it's easy to see why. If you love the great outdoors, peace and tranquility in a beautiful setting, and sitting around the glowing embers of a campfire late into the evening, this gem of a campsite is for you.
Showers (1M, 1F), WCs, washing up facilities, A small shop stocking the essentials as well as logs, kindling and firelighters.
Tents, motorhomes, groups, dogs – yes. Caravans – no.
There are numerous bike trails and walks direct from the campsite through nearby woodland and onto Exmoor where you can spot wildlife including red deer, birds of prey and the fampus Exmoor ponies. Head up to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on the moor, or follow the Homer River for a more level walk. Experience Exmoor (01271 889316) offer four-wheel drive excursions through some of the south-west's most remotest tracks. The National Trust-run Dunster Castle (01643 821314) and Holnicote Estate (01643 862452) are both nearby and the West Somerset Railway (01643 704996) is a must for steam train enthusiasts. Historic Porlock Weir – where Exmoor tumbles into the sea – boasts a charming tidal harbour and buildings dating back to the 17th century. Or get up close and personal to some impressive birds of prey at the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre (01643 862816).
Food & Drink
The campsite shop stocks farm produce including milk, sausages, bacon and steak. The nearby village of Porlock is 2.5 miles away where you'll find pubs, restaurants and a village shop. Try The Ship Inn (01643 862507) with good beers, decent food and a lively atmosphere, Mrs Jackson's Victorian Tea Room (01643 862794) for delicious cakes or a traditional cream tea, The Home Cook Cafe (01643 862015) for tasty, good value lunches, or Piggy in the Middle (01643 862647) for a fish and chip supper.
Mid March – end of October.
30 set over two meadows bordered by ancient oak woodland and with the River Homer running through both. A bell tent or camper are also available to hire.
No availability showing at Pool Bridge.
Take the A39 Minehead to Porlock road and turn left at sign to West Luccombe and Horner. In 500 yards turn right, then take next left and keep left until you get to the river. Before the bridge turn right and you will see the entrance gate.
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