Under-canvas holidays have always been a favourite with families: what better way to make memories than by spending the days exploring the Devon coast and countryside by building dens, making sandcastles and playing Poohsticks – and who doesn’t like eating a hearty fryup, cooked outside, for breakfast?
Read on for some of our favourite family-friendly Devon campsites.
River Dart Country Park, Dartmoor
This is real Swallows and Amazons stuff: set in 90 acres of lakes, parkland and woods on Dartmoor, the award-winning River Dart Country Park offers children the sort of wild adventures that will set their imaginations off for life. Perhaps the central draw is the huge lake with its pirate ship in the middle, but there’re also rope swings, low and high rope courses, a commando assault course and zip wires, as well as a toddlers’ beach, playground and play fort. The park also runs Dare Devil activities such as kayaking and water zorbing every day during the school holidays – plus of course you get to stay on-site in tents or caravans, with a small number of b&b rooms available too.
More about River Dart Country Park
Visit nearby: There’s the whole of Dartmoor National Park to explore, as well as Pennywell Farm
Andrewshayes Holiday Park, near Axminster
You know those hard-to-find campsites that achieve the balance between offering enough facilities to keep you amused, clean and fed, but also maintaining a traditional family camping experience? Well, this is one of them. Andrewshayes is on a lovely spot on the edge of the Blackdown Hills and just 6 miles from the Jurassic Coast, and is particularly family- and dog-friendly. And whilst it has an indoor soft play area, games room, bar-takeaway, shop and undercover heated pool, it’s all small-scale enough that you still feel you’re experiencing ‘proper’ camping. It also stays open right up to mid-October, making it perfect for a quieter late summer or autumn break.
More about Andrewshayes Holiday Park
Visit nearby: Crealy Adventure Park is a great day out
Beverley Park, Torbay
This five star campsite and holiday park (you can stay in caravans and lodges as well as tents) has excellent facilities, and is a fantastic spot for exploring family-friendly Torbay. Children love the (indoor) Oasis Centre and (outdoor) Lagoon heated pool, Fantasy Island indoor soft play area, outdoor adventure playground, and arts and crafts such as face painting and pottery. And for the whole family there are tennis courts, nature walks and crazy golf, as well as the spa bath, steam room and sauna for adults. Book for Easter soon and you can get up to £150 off a caravan holiday.
More about Beverly Park
Visit nearby: The natural adventure playground of the English Riviera Global Geopark
Bolberry House Farm, South Devon
Peace, nature and beautiful views … does that sound good? This small family-run site prides itself on offering a simple, back-to-basics experience that makes the stunning coast and countryside nearby the main attraction. Its three fields offer slightly different experiences – one more secluded, another a little busier, and the third has static caravans. The site has amazing views over Bigbury Bay, and it’s within easy walking distance of magnificent coastal footpaths and pretty, sandy coves.
More about Bolberry House Farm
Visit nearby: For a contrast, go to Woodlands, a large family theme park near Dartmouth
Lobb Fields, North Devon
Fancy staying within a few miles of three-mile-long Saunton Sands, the adventure-filled dunes of Braunton Burrows, Croyde’s famous surfing beach, and family-friendly Woolacombe? Then pitch up at Lobbs Field, a really friendly, family-run campsite right in the middle of North Devon’s holiday action. It’s not one of those that’s all-singing, all-dancing when it comes to facilities, but it has all the essentials, and is the perfect spot to gather with a group of friends, fire up the barbecue, and watch the sun set over the dunes.
More about Lobb Fields
Visit nearby: Award-winning Exmoor Zoo is fantastic for the whole family
Pennymoor Caravan and Camping
Want to find that home-from-home site that you return to every year? It might be Pennymoor. Set in 11 green acres, this camping and caravan site has spectacular panoramic views of Dartmoor, and is a favourite with families because it’s within easy reach of some great days out and beautiful beaches. Spend your days exploring Bigbury-on-Sea or the excellent rockpools at Wembury, pop over to Salcombe, Totnes, Dartmouth or Kingsbridge, or take advantage of all that nearby Plymouth has to offer.
More about Pennymoor Caravan and Camping
Visit nearby: Take a boat trip round Plymouth Hoe