Under the Milky Way

UK England South West England Devon Ilfracombe

A charming glamping getaway on the North Devon Heritage Coast near some of the finest beaches in the south-west.

If your idea of Cool Camping involves escaping to a secluded countryside spot, then the fully furnished Bell tents at Under the Milky Way should be scribbled somewhere on your ‘to do’ list. Sandwiched between some of Devon’s finest beaches and Exmoor National Park, this eco-friendly site remains uniquely calm and well hidden from the bucket-and-spade brigade that takes over the surrounding coastline during the height of summer.

In a quiet, rural location, this grassy slope of land is surrounded by an enchanting woodland that makes for a very private place to spend a night. There’s ample space for families who want to throw a ball around, or simply kick back in deck-chairs while they wait for the BBQ to heat up. Only the twittering of birdsong breaks the peaceful ambiance, and at night (you might have guessed from the name) this site is a fantastic place to see the stars. With no electricity in the Bell tents (only candles and solar lights) you get an incredible view of the sparkling night sky, and if you’re still desperate to charge your phone, a plug socket can be found at the nearby communal washing-up area. Inside, the tents are spacious, comfortable and furnished with a wood burner to keep you warm on a chilly evening.

When you decide to venture from your idyllic isolation, you’ll realise that you're far from being stranded, as a wealth of attractions are within easy driving distance. Closest at hand is the village of Combe Martin (2.5 miles) with its own beach, a range of shops and some great eateries. Then, heading a little further, there’s a handful of other sublime beaches, many of which are bustling with surfers who flock to the Devon coast in the summer. Surfing is a theme you’ll find running through the area, and no more so than in the main harbour town of Ilfracombe, bursting with beachware shops and the centre for most outdoor activities. To the east lies Exmoor National Park, riddled with good footpaths, the trail along the heritage coast being a particular highlight.

Between outdoor activities and the family attractions (such as Watermouth Castle & The Big Sheep Farm Park), there's enough to tire anyone out, and as the night closes in, you can relax beneath the canvas of your very own Bell tent. With no turn-up-and-pitch camping, caravans or indeed anything other than the four Bell tents, you're almost guaranteed to remain undisturbed. The cost of this secluded location is the requirement of four wheels, but it’s a price worth paying to escape the crowds and enjoy this hidden glamping gem.

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The campsite owner says

Under the Milky Way is set in a beautiful rural area, nestled in about 5 acres of gently sloping and flat fields. It is a glorious sunny spot where the loudest sound is birdsong. At night there is no light pollution, so the stars really do shine. Our comfortable and secluded site is perfect for a family get together around a campfire or as an enchanting and romantic setting for a couple’s retreat.

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