Family-friendly glamping with hot tubs on the eastern edge of Exmoor National Park
Tell someone you’re going on holiday to Brompton Ralph and they’ll probably look at you quizzically. Tell them it’s a few miles from Huish Champflower, Lydeard St Lawrence and Clatworthy and they’ll likely be none the wiser. While other villages in the South West are well known and bustle with tourists in the summer, those close to the north Somerset coast remain blissfully quiet. And, in the case of Brompton Ralph, that’s despite the fact that it’s just three miles from the edge of Exmoor National Park and 25 minutes inland from a beach with fossil hunting to rival the Jurassic Coast. Without the fanfare of some fancy tourist attraction, there’s not much to draw you here specifically – save for a little place called Middle Stone Farm. And what a place it is.
Despite its wonderfully middle-of-nowhere location, there’s nothing middling about Middle Stone Farm. It offers top-end luxury glamping in six safari lodges, a cabin and a holiday cottage; each has a log-burning stove, a fire pit and its own hot tub – should you choose to hire it. The site makes up for the lack of local village store with an on-site licensed shop (open spring–November) offering home-cooked meals and local produce including Somerset ciders and beers. And as for a tourist attraction; how about the farm itself? It’s a 32-acre idyll with rare-breed sheep, pygmy goats, chicken, geese and alpacas. A farm tour with a tractor ride will show you the lot. There’s also table tennis, badminton and football goals as well as two children’s play areas – and all that is apart from the accommodation which is a tourist attraction in its own right.
The space and sense of adventure that comes with the safari lodges is hard to beat, whether you come as a couple or as a family. Playing games in the log-burner warmed living space or out on the deck whilst looking over glorious Somerset countryside is enough to keep you occupied for days. The lodges are separated across two fields with the bird tents, Kestrel, Buzzard and Hawk, suited for dog-owners and families with younger children (as the play area is in sight). The beach tents, Klive, Porlock and Bossington are, perhaps, better for older children and couples, though there’s not much in it. The cute Deckhouse Cabin and colourful Stable Cottage are more secluded, more solid and open all year when the area is quieter still.
If you’re here for a weekend, the appeal of the on-site attractions might just stop you from exploring off it but that would be to miss the free-roaming ponies and mythical moorlands of England’s least-visited national park, the subtropical gardens of Dunster Castle, the picturesque fishing port of Porlock Weir and the fossil treasure-trove at Klive beach. If you don’t want to miss all that, our suggestion is to forget about a weekend in the middle of nowhere and to book yourself in for a week instead.
Somerset Ta4 2 Rt, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Patrick H.Joined in May 2016
From the host
Middle Stone Farm in rural West Somerset offers six luxuriously furnished safari lodges, a wooden cabin and quirky self catering cottage each complete with their own private hot tubs and views of the surrounding hills. We opened our farm to glamping in 2016 and we're a well established holiday location.
We're a working Farm with rare breed pigs, goats, flocks of chickens, ducks and geese, friendly farm dogs and a flock of rare breed sheep. Complimentary farm tours are available through the glamping season from April to early November.
All the accommodation is spacious and comfy and designed with families and couples in mind. We do have rules for groups, so please contact us before booking if you want to discuss staying at the same time as friends or extended family. We are not an appropriate site for adult groups.
All the glamping has private bathrooms with proper flushing loos (not compost), lots of the safari tent bathrooms are ensuite. All the accommodation has private kitchens well equipped with everything you need for cooking and dining. All our accommodation has electric power and sockets for charging phones, there's a good 4G signal on the farm, but we don't have points for charging electric cars yet. Private wood fired hot tubs can be booked with us the owner. All the glamping has hammocks and firepits too.
Middle Stone Farm is ideally located for exploring nearby Exmoor National Park and the stunning North Devon coast. We are in a quiet part of the West Country, it's never busy here even in August! Highlights are Porlock Weir, Dunkery Beacon, Tarr Steps, Bossington Beach, Dulverton and Dunster Castle, the Lorna Doone Valley and circular walk at stunning Simonsbath. The nearest towns is Taunton, 25 minutes drive. We don't have public transport here unfortunately, you do need a car to explore! The coast is 25 minutes drive.
There are two children's play areas open from 1st April to 1st November and a well stocked farm shop in the glamping fields is open for the same duration.
A single well behaved dog may stay in Kestrel, Hawk and Buzzard Lodges for £30 extra, please make sure they are booked in on your reservation form.
As you will see on the unit description, the hot tubs are optional extras and can be hired directly with owners.
It's three miles to Exmoor National Park (01398 323665), home to some of the finest walking and scenery in the country, with the lovely circular walk at Tarr Steps a particularly good route for families where you can also wild swim. Wimbleball Lake is another popular destination with walking and cycling routes around the water and watersports available on it (01398 371460). A little further north and you end up at the seaside, overlooking the Bristol Channel. Kilve beach, an area of Special Scientific Interest, is a top spot to go searching for fossils, while the sandy beach at Blue Anchor Bay is also popular – backed by the Driftwood Cafe serving fish and chips and cream teas. Within the national park, Porlock Weir, Lynton & Lynmouth and the Lorna Doone Valley are also particularly stunning. There are good National Trust properties within a 30-minute drive too including Dunster Castle and Watermill, Coleridge Cottage and the vast Holnicote Estate.
Food and drink
You can pre-order homemade meals, breakfast hampers and meat from the farm all year round or visit the licensed on-site farm shop for local goodies including produce from the farm, local beers, cider and wine. Catherine and Patrick will likely suggest the best places to eat out but some consistently good local-ish recommendations include The White Post Cafe (01823 400322) seven miles away in Langford Budville and The Lost Kitchen (01884 242427), near Tiverton. There are also lots of lovely independent eateries in beautiful Porlock Weir. The closest shops to site are in Wivelscombe, four miles away and the nearest pub is The Bear Inn, a three-and-a-half-mile drive away.