Unspoiled countryside camping on the outskirts of a working Devon farm, offering far-reaching views and a relaxed atmosphere
Think of Devon and you may think of long, sandy beaches and fish and chips by the sea. Yet this genteel coastal image is only half the story. Perhaps the county's most underrated region is the peaceful – and in places utterly remote – northern countryside, between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe. As you pass through the pleasant enough village of West Down and up a single-track country lane, a patchwork of fields opens up and you can’t help but think its odd, but somehow satisfying, that such a lovely location is ignored by the bucket-and-spade brigade. Ah well, their loss is most certainly your gain.
Once you’ve arrived with tent in tow, and freedom in mind, you know immediately you've found to the right place. A complete contrast to some of Devon's busy commercial sites, Cheglinch Camping is a solid example of what a campsite should be: a secluded, unpretentious and private place on the outskirts of a working farm. As the owner Ella puts it: "We offer proper, old-fashioned wild camping – camping as you remember enjoying when you were young!"
There are no shower facilities (although Saunton, Woolacombe and Putsborough offer beach showers) and eco toilets, washing-up sinks and drinking water are available onsite, making this a semi-wild camping experience. But whilst the primitive feel won’t be for everyone, what you do get is an unspoiled camping experience, set amongst some of Devon's most captivating rural scenery. Open space and privacy come by the bucket load here; grass pitches on the gently sloping field are generously-sized, so you’re unlikely to be disturbed by fellow campers – just summer tractors working within the hamlet, or mooing cows from the adjacent field.
There cannot be many places more beautiful to pitch in the West Country than Cheglinch. Many campers come here for a week and never move a muscle, such is the appeal of Devonshire's bucolic surroundings. However, this quiet, semi-wild site only pops-up for a short time in the summer, before reverting back to its farming roots during the rest of the year. We suggest you give it try.
Ilfracombe, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Ella V.Joined in January 2018
14 Ratings · 16 reviews
August 10, 2022
Wild Camping Pitch
What a view!
It’s one of the most beautiful spots we’ve ever stayed. Amazing views, lovely flat field. Great compost loos and reasonable
price. We’ll be back definitely!
August 31, 2021
Wild Camping Pitch
Booked the campsite for a night for a last minute trip to North Devon. Great location close to all the popular beaches with lovely views of the surrounding countryside. Also not too busy with plenty of space to camp even when going on bank holiday. Looking forward to going back soon!
August 31, 2021
Wild Camping Pitch
Great views, quiet and central location. Just 10-15 mins to sandy beaches, Tesco and Ilfracombe.
Some flat pitches, although we pitched on a very slight incline, but no issue and we are a family with two small kids. ( slight inclines don’t get as muddy if it rains).
Plenty of room and huge central grass area for games and kids to play.
Toilets kept very clean, regularly checked.
Site had very sensibly put sinks under the water taps, so, ground was nice and dry around the tap. Wish more sites used this common sense.
Will stay again !
August 28, 2021
Wild Camping Pitch
Stayed here for 3 nights in late August. Perfect location for Beaches, bays and coves within the area. You’re only ever a few miles away from shops etc if you need supplies . Very quiet site which is great!… everyone respects the rules and it’s very clean and well maintained. No fuss when checking in , it’s a simple text. Didn’t feel rushed to leave and I talked to owners over the phone beforehand as I had a few questions about the area .. really friendly and full of answers too!
You can hire a fire pit and buy wood using the honesty box near the main house. Toilets cleaned every day and there are 2 Belfast sinks and running water taps too.
Loved it here!
August 24, 2021
Wild Camping Pitch
The campsite is a sloping field (no water pooling under your tent in the rain!) with plenty of space for people to spread out. There are great views too from all parts of the field. The toilets were kept fastidiously clean by the owners and there is plenty of signage in and around the toilets explaining how to use the composting toilets and covid guidelines.
I was a little worried about finding the campsite itself, especially since it was getting dark by the time I arrived - I wouldn't want to end up in the wrong field! But there are also plenty of clear signs leading you from the house/glamping area down the lane to the correct field.
The site is in the perfect location to act as a base while you explore north Devon. Ilfracombe, the coastal path around Mortehoe and Lee, and Woolacombe Sands are only a short drive away.
August 16, 2021
Unfurnished Lotus Belle Tent (no dogs)
Had a great trip! Stayed in the lotus bell tent which was very spacious and exactly what was needed. Fire pit was lovely and added to the evenings. Camp site was not far from woolacombe or illfracombe so perfect links to nearby areas. Will definitely stay again. Thank you!
From the host
Cheglinch Camping is a pop up, green field, wild camping site within a few miles of North Devon's best sandy, surfing beaches. We offer peaceful, unspoiled countryside camping on the outskirts of a working farm, within walking distance of the charming village of West Down.
Enjoy breathtaking views, whilst being only a few minutes drive from the coast.
Here we provide a complete contrast to the many commercial campsites nearby, allowing you to enjoy proper, old fashioned, wild camping.
You can enjoy picking your own unmarked pitch, children love the freedom of playing in so much open space and your well behaved dogs can even come too.
We also have a 'rent-a-tent' option for those people who wish to camp but don't have their own tent.
Please note we are unable to accommodate dogs in these tents.
We allow open fires in our fire pits which are available to hire, so be sure to bring a packet or two of marshmallows!
Facilities are basic which allows you to enjoy a true wild camping experience. Toilets, cold mains water for washing up and drinking, and rubbish facilities are available. We do not have shower facilities, but you are welcome to bring your own.
We only pop up for a short time each year during the school summer holidays as the field reverts back to it normal agricultural purpose the rest of the year. A bring your own tent pitch is charged at £15 per night with includes 2 adults, 1 tent, 1 car and 1 dog, additional adults charged at £7 per night and children (3-17 years old) charged at £3.50 per night. We allow up to 6 people per pitch but you are welcome to book more than 1 pitch.
Our rent-a-tent option is £55 per night for up to 6 people.
The traditional English seaside town of Ilfracombe is only a few minutes drive away (3 miles) and boasts a lovely harbour with Damian Hirst’s well-known and controversial statue Verity, as well as offering fishing trips, boat trips to Lundy Island – see if you can spot the puffins – and the chance to eat fish and chips by the seaside. A trip to the Victorian Tunnels Beaches should also be on everyone’s to-do list – it's steeped in history and features rock pools and tidal bathing pools. Closer to Cheglinch, the village of West Down is just a short walk away. There are also many family-freindly attractions nearby: visit the dinosaurs at Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park (01271 882486), the bees at Quince Honey Farm (01769 572401) in South Molton, the sheep at The Big Sheep at Bideford (01237 472366) and the family theme park and castle at Watermouth Castle (01271 867474), just outside Ilfracombe. Arlington Court and National Trust Carriage Museum (01271 850296) is less than 7 miles away and RHS Garden Rosemoor (01805 624067) can be reached in an hour. Nearby Saunton, Woolacombe and Putsborough offer beach showers.
Food and drink
The Crown Inn (01271 862790) in West Down is the nearest pub at just half a mile away and serves a varied menu and specials board, and can be reached on foot or by car. The West Down Community Shop (01271 864264) stocks all the essentials and a wide variety of local produce, including speciality products. Cook Island is a bar and restaurant within a mile of the site. It which can be reached by car via the main road (not safe to walk along). Ilfracombe (3 miles away), is a busy seaside town with butchers, bakers, fishmongers, pubs, and restaurants. There are local garages with essentials 5–10 minutes away, supermarkets in Ilfracombe and Braunton and a farmers market in Barnstaple (25 minute drive). Please be aware there are no onsite catering options.