An all-year, adults-only camping and caravan site close to the Kingsbridge Estuary in South Devon
When James Parker’s grandparents tried to close up the family camping business back in the early 1970s, the campers wouldn’t let them. They’d been running one of South Devon’s earliest campsites for decades and decided to retire to a smallholding just outside Kingsbridge. The plan was to have a small herd of cattle and a quiet life but the campers tracked them down and asked to stay. Needless to say, the cattle never arrived and the campers never stopped coming.
Parkland, now with James at the helm, is an independent, adults-only camping and caravan site that’s traditional but modern. Its roots are in under-canvas camping (partly because caravans hadn’t been invented when the family business was born) but it now welcomes all types of campers. The grassy camping paddock remains as important to the business as the 33 hard-standing pitches which are suitable for campervans, caravans and motorhomes. And these days there’s glamping too; a couple of cabins and a shepherd’s hut offering self-contained accommodation with Kingsbridge estuary views.
Apart from its well-deserved place in the camping annals, Parkland stands out for its souped-up pitches. Whether you’re camping on grass or parking on gravel, you’ll have your own water supply, electric hook-up, drainage and a picnic bench, as well as plenty of room and countryside views. In some ways, the site has the hallmarks of a large holiday park (a coin-operated laundry, chemical disposal points and immaculate facilities blocks) and yet it has a charm of its own. The campers’ kitchen is homely, the little shop operates an honesty-based system and the site remains small enough to attract pheasants, hedgehogs and barn owls. But, perhaps most crucially of all, it’s still James and his partner Tracey who welcome you – and their enthusiasm is hard to ignore.
They’ll send you tips on things to do in the area before you arrive but if you want the real secrets, have a chat. Google will tell you that Buckfast Abbey is a 17-mile drive away but James will tell you what time to visit to hear the monks chanting. Everyone knows that nearby Bantham, Thurlestone and Slapton Sands are great beaches but James will tell you which is best when the wind’s blowing from the west. The site is just over a mile from Kingsbridge and its peaceful estuary. You can drive there in five minutes, walk there in 40 or take a bus from just outside. If you forget the way back just ask a local. After half a century of camping, Parkland has earned its place on the map.
Devon Tq7 4 Af, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by James P.Joined in January 2021
From the host
Welcome to Parkland Camping and Glamping Site, a traditional style AA five gold pennant, adults only camping, touring and glamping site. Open all year, the site is set within three acres of mature, landscaped grounds with panoramic views over Kingsbridge and Salcombe and the rolling countryside towards Dartmoor National Park. We offer you a warm Devon welcome with five star amenities and facilities.
The site is surrounded by natural Devon hedgerows, abundant with wildlife, with views towards Salcombe, and the rolling countryside towards Dartmoor. Enjoy the hedgerow flowers of primrose and stitchwort, and our seasonal flower beds, and of course stunning butterflies amongst the buddleia. Watch out for the visiting hedgehogs, the local peasant and if you’re lucky, the barn owl.
Parkland has been a campsite since 1971, and been run by myself, the resident owner for over 35 years. Camping sites are the family heritage, with great grandparents starting the first camping site in the South Hams area. We pride ourselves on this family heritage in order to provide you with a traditional, but modern ‘camping or touring’ holiday at Parkland.
The site is ideally situated for exploring all that this stunning area of outstanding natural beauty has to offer - ramble the South West Coast Path, relax on glorious sandy beaches and secluded coves, visit historic towns or quaint villages and of course enjoy the many tourist attractions and activities.
Parkland is set within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, perfectly situated for exploring all that the stunning South Hams area of South Devon has to offer. Explore the market town of Kingsbridge, less than two miles away and hire a paddleboard from Waterborn (07908 193632) to explore the peaceful estuary. The historic towns of Dartmouth and Totnes, both within 15 miles of site. Ramble along the picturesque South West Coast Path or take it easy on a beach; Bantham, Thurlestone, Bigbury, Slapton Sands and Hope Cove are some of the local choices, all within 10 miles.
Food and drink
There's an honesty shop on site with a few basics, local produce and freshly-baked croissants and cakes available every day. The closest local pub is The Church House Inn (01548 852237) but its not recommended to walk there (take the car instead). You can, however walk to Avon Mill Garden Centre (a couple of miles away) which has a recommended cafe. The Valley View Cafe (01548 559126) at Aune Valley Meat is also recommended, and you can pick up supplies for the barbecue whilst there. Kingsbridge is under two miles away and there are plenty of options for picking up further supplies and for eating out including estuary-side Crabshell Inn (01548 852345) where seafood and pizzas are the speciality and from where paddleboards are for hire. There's award-winning fish and chips from The Codfather (01548 853319) in the town, Woody's Restaurant (01548 858855) is recommended for burgers and steaks and Maha Bharat (01548 857072) is highly recommended for eat-in or takeaway Indian food.