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Wild Swim2Sauna Safari Tipis

· Woodleigh, Devon, England
6 acres hosted by Charles S.
9 glamping pitches · 25 motorhome/tent pitches
A little haven of warmth and relaxation.
Private sites
100% of recent Hipcampers say the sites felt private.
Wild swimming and off-grid living in tipis and tents on the banks of Devon's River Avon

There’s a tingly feeling that wild swimmers describe when they’ve been for a dip — and a cold-water smile that goes with it. If you know that sensation, just reading about it has probably got you wondering when you can next take the plunge. Our suggestion? Book a stay at WildSwim2Sauna Safari Tipis. This camping and glamping site in a wooded valley in Devon gives you access to a river you can swim in all day long and the chance to book in at the site’s natural spa. And if you’re not yet familiar with that tingly, grin-inducing feeling that everyone seems to be talking about, this is a good place to find it.

With riverside meadows and a location not far from the South Devon coast at Salcombe, this place is not just for wild swimmers but they're often the ones who love it here most. You’ll certainly need to have a love of the outdoors and nature. That’s what it’s all about. Whether you're pitching your own tent or staying in one of the site’s tipis, it’s an off-grid experience with compost loos, al fresco showers, communal campfires and limited mobile phone signal. In the camping field, where you can pitch where you please, you’ll feel that the most. In the glamping field, there’s a safari-camp vibe; outdoorsy but with a few more conveniences laid on. Tipis offer made-up beds and there’s a shared communal kitchen in an Airstream caravan but it’s still got a back-to-basics ethos, inspired by owner Charles’ stays in far-flung places around the world.

That much is evident when you meet him. He pops around to the camping and glamping meadows a couple of times a day to check on his guests. Should you opt to book in for the WildSwim2Sauna experience (and you probably should), he’ll guide you through that too. Despite what he might say to the contrary, he seems to be Devon’s version of Wim Hof, enthusiastically encouraging guests to follow his guidelines for a detox and purification process. Do it and you’ll find yourself alternating between the hot air of a Finnish sauna and the cold water of the River Avon… finishing with a long dip in the hot tub. Charles, who does this five times a week says it boosts the immune system. At the very least it gives you that grin.

The WildSwim2Sauna experience is an optional extra but without it you can still swim in the river or walk alongside it for miles within this private 146-acre estate. There’s plenty more wild walking and swimming in Dartmoor National Park, 15 minutes’ drive from here, and on the South Devon Coast. The beach and lovely coastal views and walks at Salcombe are a 25-minute drive away and Dartmouth is just a tiny bit further.

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14 Ratings · 11 reviews
Allan W.doesn't recommend
September 25, 2023
Airstream Wildswim2sauna Spa Camp
Deserted and isolated.
Arrived at appointed time to find the place deserted. The location is very isolated so no chance of phoning the host due to poor mobile signal. The general atmosphere was somewhat rundown and unappealing, therefore we decided not to stay. Later the host offered a full refund but this has not materialised.
Vital P.recommends
August 7, 2023
Wildswim2sauna Spa Campsite
Absolutely excellent! The owner is friendly. Showed us several options for us to choose from. The location was wonderful, secluded. Near the river. river... Highly recommend!
Adele P.doesn't recommend
June 15, 2023
Airstream Wildswim2sauna Spa Camp
Extremely disappointed
The airstream was very poorly equipped and looked little like the pictures. There was no water, sink, kitchen equipment, fridge or table - despite this being on the advert info. £120 per night is absurdly expensive and I paid for two nights!. It is essentially a shell of an airstream with a bed, which wasn’t ready until hours after I’d arrived. I booked this to ‘treat’ myself, but it would have been better and cheaper if I’d stayed in a tent. My VW Camper was in the garage, unfortunately, but even that’s fully equipped! I was very upset, but didn’t want to make a scene as it was my friends birthday weekend.
Lynne M.
June 13, 2023
Wildswim2sauna Spa Campsite
Great location but limited services
Very peaceful location with beautiful walks directly off the site. If traveling in a motorhome (even a 6 m one) beware the lane leading to the site is long and extremely narrow with few passing places. In order to be comfortable there you need to be self sufficient. There are no showers or usable toilets. Use of the jacuzzi and sauna incurs a 25 pound extra charge. Nevertheless we enjoyed our time there.
Kate D.recommends
May 31, 2023
Wildswim2sauna Spa Campsite
Wild and relaxing
This place is amazing, peaceful wonderful wild camping by a shallow stream . The kids had a blast ! Thank you charles for your hospitality!
Mark T.recommends
August 25, 2022
Wildswim2sauna Spa Campsite
lovely place, loads of space, peaceful with a great cold river (Avon) to swim in. a sauna and wood fired hot tubs and very friendly hosts...had a really nice time
Woodleigh, Devon, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking

Hosted by Charles S.

Joined in July 2021
From the host
At Wild Swim2Sauna, we specialise in go wild couples, groups and family experiences. These experiences form the core of our own personal lifestyles and our business. The Yeo farm estate is situated deep in the Avon Valley near Loddiswell. It is a nature lovers paradise covering 112 acres of ancient woodlands and meadows. The estate runs from Topsham bridge right into Storridge woods and for 1.5 miles along the River Avon and the old Primrose railway line. The sauna is located at Mackay’s pool, a large privately owned and secluded natural deep running pool surrounded by ancient woodlands and tall oaks. The Wild Swim2Sauna retreat specialises in all inclusive weekend wild swimming and wellbeing activities. In my younger years some people used to call me the Wild Man of Borneo. Maybe that's because my work in the oil business has taken me to many remote locations in the world. One thing is for certain is that I love alfresco living and working in nature. Over the last several years I have as part of my daily lifestyle routine added traditional Finnish wood fired saunas followed by cold river plunging / bathing (particularly at night) into my life. The sauna and river plunge experience takes 2 hours and I complete this exercise 3-5 times per week. The health benefits I have experienced are truly amazing.
Nearby attractions

The obvious thing to do is to make sure you book your slot for the wild swim-sauna experience on site (available at an extra cost). But wild swimming is available in the river all the time and there are riverside walks through the woodland too. For a scenic three-part trip, head to Dartmouth (17 miles away) from where you can tour the Dart Estuary and English Riviera by boat, steam train and bus using the round robin tickets of the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company (01803 555872). Dartmouth is also home to the 14th-century Dartmouth Castle (01803 834445) and ferries to Coleton Fishacre House (01803 842382), which you can reach in just over an hour from site, including the crossing. For a day on the beach, head for Salcombe (11 miles and about 25 minutes' drive away) or about the same distance to Slapton Sands, right next to the birdwatching and photography opportunities of Slapton Ley Nature Reserve. The edge of Dartmoor National Park is a drive of just 15 minutes from site and the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is half an hour away.

Food and drink

It's a 10-mile drive to The Beach House (01548 561144) in South Milton — but worth it for the sea views and excellent fresh fish and seafood. Closer to home try the steak at The New Inn (01548 821326) in Morleigh, three miles from site. The closest place with a choice of places to eat and drink is the market town of Kingsbridge, five miles from site and for local produce try Aune Valley Meat farm shop and butchery (three miles away) and en route home if you've been to Salcombe or Kingsbridge for the day.

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