Down Farm Wild Camping in South Devon is perfect for those who just want to get away from it all. I was looking for somewhere not too expensive to encourage the boys off their screens for a couple of nights during the school summer holidays. Looking for somewhere we could camp in our tent it ticked all the boxes
About Down Farm Wild Camping
What to Expect at Down Farm Wild Camping
Down Farm Wild Camping, as it suggests in the name, is a no-frills camping destination. At only £10 per pitch per night with up to 8 people you have to admit that you shouldn’t expect a lot! But actually you’d be surprised.
What it Doesn’t Have
There is no electrical hook-up, no Wi-Fi, no showers and no live entertainment, swimming pool or children’s play area. Down Farm is the perfect place to be free of distractions. There is very little phone signal at the actual camp signal – which was perfect for our needs! Places not too far away did however pick it up if required. Perfect if you want a break from the demands of life (and the internet).
What it Does have
It is a working farm that grows plants and raises animals which may be seen grazing in the neighbouring fields. They also sell fresh free-range eggs which you can cook for breakfast. It is important to be aware that this does mean that they can be working whilst you try to sleep – although they try not to.
It is a quiet camp with sea views.
Down Farm Wild Camping is Not a Wild Camping Site
Although in saying all that though I would not consider this a wild camping site. There is an outhouse toilet available with sink, plus a sink next to it, all under cover. This is regularly kept clean and is well provided with toilet roll, hand soap, paper towels, washing up liquid and sponge, a washing-up bowl, wipes, and a bin – to name a few things off the top of my head.
The reviews have stated that the toilet does not flush as well as it should. Again I would consider that the fact that there is any toilet when described as wild camping is a bonus. However, we found that utilising the washing up bowl to flush extra water down did the trick!
Although it is advised that you will need a strong torch the way to this area is also supported with two flood lights. Note that to access it though there are a couple of small steps also.
Due to this area it didn’t feel like you could brush your teeth and wee freely as it were. Also you’re fine to bring barbecues too (as long as they’re raised clear of the ground). Open fires aren’t really permitted (although some people did).
Location of Down Farm Wild Camping
Down Farm Wild Camping is a stone’s throw away from a beautiful sandy beach, and you can follow the South Devon Coast Path to Start Point Lighthouse. Plus it is only a 20 minute drive to Kingsbridge, or visit nearby Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve and Torcross.
We booked our stay through PitchUp.com, but there are no longer any bookings being taken through the site. It is situated in a quiet, secluded location it is very quiet and dark – ideal for sleeping in a tent.
The Satnav got us there easily with the coordinates provided, and was straight forward to find.
South Devon Roads
In the reviews it did mention the single track roads. As the owners quite rightly point out these are just typical roads for the area. However, we were sent out instructions in the early hours of the morning on the day of our stay of how to avoid the worst. The main thing to note is not take the bridge at Frogmore, but to head to the Lighthouse and turn off.
Consequently I did not see this message until we got home, and we did meet an idiot on the road and so now the paintwork of our car is scratched! This is not a fault of the owners but I did not like the fact that they replied to my review saying that I did not get this e-mail in time because I only booked a few hours before arrival. It had actually been weeks since the booking!
The Camping Area at Down Farm Wild Camping
The camping area is small and straight forward. Pitches are described as a minimum 8.0m width x 8.0m depth (26.2ft width x 26.2ft depth) Calculated area: 64.0m² (688.9ft²). There are 10 all next to one another. These are allocated to you. Some complain that they are too close together but we had no issues. Again I think people need to factor in the price!
The pitches are described as flat and level, well-suited to tents, trailer tents and caravans. Our spot wasn’t really level and we were camping on a hill. Luckily it didn’t rain and we had to clear away the dog poo before we could put up our tent.
Opposite the pitches is a nice little hill for the kids to roll down. Cars are parked in front of the tents and then it also leaves a grassy area for children to play on.
Dogs at Down Farm Wild Camping
Down Farm Wild Camping is dog friendly with quote, “Well-behaved dogs* are allowed at this pet-friendly site!” However, it was quite intimidating to have the owner’s dog turn up at meal times and bark in the face of our child/beg for food. Not being dog owners ourselves we really didn’t know what to do!
Reviews have also stated that the owners’ dog tried to bite their child. The owners responded by saying that the dog was old and would no longer be allowed in the campers’ field. Unfortunately almost a month after our stay it has still been reported to continue to be a problem, with no way of getting the dog removed.
*Note the site does not accept breeds/crossbreeds listed in the Dangerous Dogs Act (i.e. Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasileiro).
About the Owners
Down Farm wild Camping is run by Kelly and Mark, who gave us a warm welcome on our arrival. Kelly gave me directions on how to get to the beach and lots of information such as the fact that they had leaflets and other information if we wished to visit local restaurants etc. We did not take up this offer but did discover that due to Covid a lot of places were closed on Mondays and Tuesdays due to staff shortages.
The site has recently been taken over and they intend to add a shower and another toilet, but also hope to keep the costs low. Personally I do not feel that these things are necessary and what may be better is adding a fridge with small freezer compartment in the out-house. This way people can freeze ice-blocks and store milk. During our stay we saw them about working but were left in peace. If we needed them we had a phone number to contact them or told just to knock on the house.
Things to Know about Down Farm Wild Camping
- Down Farm Wild Camping also accepts commercial vehicles.
- No vehicle movement between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m..
Only one car is to be parked by the pitch. Extra vehicles must be parked in the designated area.
- Twin-axle vehicles not accepted
- Arrival is between 2-9pm and departures at 10am. We left early as had booked a slot at Splashdown Quaywest but saw people leaving after 10am on their day to leave without it being a problem.
- One Tent or Trailer tent allowed per pitch
- At least one of the party members must be aged 18 or over.