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Meldon Lake and Woods Wild Camping

· Okehampton, England
8 acres hosted by Phil H.
5 motorhome/tent pitches
Best all-round: Finalist
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.
Phil is a Star Host
Star Hosts are highly rated, responsive, and committed to providing incredible experiences.
Seriously simple but beautiful wild camping beside a lake on Dartmoor

Go wild and get back to nature by booking yourself in at Meldon Lake and Woods on Dartmoor. The closest you’ll get to a wash is a swim in the on-site lake, the only undercover space is the one you’ll bring with you and when it comes to drinking water – come prepared. If that sounds like the kind of adventure you’re after, you’re in for a real treat. Meldon Lake and Woods is a private place to camp in Dartmoor National Park. It has all the hallmarks of wild camping with just five spaces for tents or small campervans. You certainly won’t be crowded by other campers but Dartmoor ponies may pay you a visit and owls will almost certainly hoot at night.

Farmer Phil is in charge at Meldon Lake and Woods, which is all part of his cattle farm on the northern edge of Dartmoor. He’s a busy man so you may or may not see him during your stay but he’s providing something rather special here: permission for a handful of campers to stay between his private lake and woods. Here, campfires are allowed and logs are provided. All he asks is that you come and go leaving no trace of your stay. There are no bins, no taps and, you might have guessed by now, no toilets. Hipcampers: please bring your own portable camping loo.

This back-to-nature adventure awaits less than a mile from Meldon Reservoir, which offers fantastic views of the Okemont Valley. To get there, simply pull on your walking boots and hike along the footpath which passes through the camp. If you’ve come with a bike, you’ll be pleased to know that the most scenic part of the Granite Way passes over site on the Meldon Viaduct. Use it to cycle to Okehampton in 15 minutes or, in the other direction, to Lydford. And, of course, there’s the rest of Dartmoor with its rocky outcrops, walking, wild swimming and woodlands. Put simply: more of what you’ve got right here.

Beautiful, peaceful, level main area backed by a steep woodland. Additional spots around the lake and in the woods. Logs supplied for a camp fire. Nearby cycle route. Direct access to Dartmoor National Park. Remote, unspoiled and secluded for a relaxing stay. Excellent walking area. Nearby large reservoir. Directions: Meldon Farm: EX20 4LU N.B. The post code will only get you to Meldon village, not Meldon Farm. From the M5 come off at J31 near Exeter take the westbound A30 signposted Okehampton; after approximately 25 miles at Sourton junction (first junction after Okehampton), exit; turn right under the A30, pass in front the filling station, B.K. Greggs etc; rejoin the A30 in opposite direction; after ½ mile exit signposted Okehampton, turn right at the end of slip road toward Meldon. At Meldon turn left just before the white cottages, in past the village hall. Meldon Farm is 300m on left. Proceed past the farm house, through the wood gate; continue down the track, under the viaduct (it gets a bit narrow here!) through another wood gate, this is the start of the camping area.
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69 Ratings · 46 reviews
Soph E.recommends
April 6, 2024
Meldon Lake and Woods
Really nice little spot. The access track is narrow and rocky but opens into a lovely secluded area with space for a few vans. Great access for walking trails, as well as some of the historical quarries around Meldon which are always interesting. Could imagine it being a very nice place for a group to gather in nice weather. Phil very kindly gave me a tow when my van got stuck in mud… thanks for the rescue!
Clare K.recommends
April 1, 2024
Meldon Lake and Woods
Idyllic setting, so peaceful!
We absolutely loved our bank Holiday stay here, the location is amazing, Very peaceful and relaxing. We really enjoyed exploring the area, our dog loved it too! Big thanks to Phil, for sharing his land and letting people experience wild camping this way. 100% recommended and would love to come back!
Joanne G.recommends
February 19, 2024
Meldon Lake and Woods
Wonderful experience in minimalist spot. Feb night with stars and fires and no one else around! Moonlight dip in quarry. Steep slope down but graduated rocks in water. Narrow track down to large pitch with fire pit.
Matthew W.recommends
February 11, 2024
Meldon Lake and Woods
Great place with fantastic views. Quiet and out the way which feels like you are way from everything. Definitely book again.
Andrew M.recommends
December 20, 2023
Meldon Lake and Woods
Meldon Woods and Lake
Fantastic back to basics campsite!! Idyllic, peaceful, beautiful. We'll be returning for sure!
Robert T.recommends
December 11, 2023
Meldon Lake and Woods
Simply Perfect
Stayed at Meldon Lake & Woods many times and will return many more times. Perfect off grid camping. Perfect location to access North Dartmoor.
Okehampton, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Phil H.Joined in May 2022
From the host
Beautiful small lakeside wild camping site, back to nature camping. No facilities, just a beautiful spot. Easy walking access to Dartmoor. 500m from national cycling route. Camp fires permitted, logs supplied. Well behaved dogs accepted. Camper vans, trailer tents Not suitable for motorhomes.
Nearby attractions

There’s a lake on site and a public footpath running right through the area you’ll be camping in so walking and wild swimming (at your own risk) are about as easy as can be – though, please note: there is a bit of a scramble up and down to get into the water. There is also a bit of a scramble to get up onto the unmissable Meldon Viaduct. This impressive structure which towers over the site once carried steam trains over the gorge; now it’s part of the Granite Way, an 11-mile cycling and walking route linking Lydford and Okehampton. The market town of Okehampton is just under three miles away and whether you walk or cycle there, it’s a good spot for shopping, supplies and sightseeing. Other worthy places to explore, spread south from here – right across Dartmoor National Park.

Food and drink

The Bearslake Inn is a traditional thatched-roof, Dartmoor pub, three miles from site with a recommended restaurant. A little further in Lydford (seven miles) The Castle Inn and The Dartmoor Inn at Lydford are good options for food too. There’s a farm shop, Lydford Farm Shop, just near The Dartmoor Inn if you want to stock up on local produce and there are also plenty of shops and eateries in Okehampton which is a five-minute drive or 15-minute cycle from the campsite.

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