Idyllic sandy beaches, fossil-studded cliffs, astounding coastline and majestic moorland makes camping in Devon a popular holiday destination. Situated in southwest England, this region has so much to offer and is the only county in England boasting two National Parks and a non-continuous coastline on both its southern and northern areas.
Whether you are planning to hike, cycle, visit on a day-trip, or are just looking for an inexpensive way to see as much of the region as possible, camping in Devon can be a cost effective and fun way to do that. It’s also a truly unique opportunity to lose yourself in the quiet scenery that makes this place so special.
There are several campsites in and around Devon to choose from – we recommend some of our top picks in this article. We also look at wild camping in Devon later in this article too.
So grab your tent and some hiking boots – let’s begin your Devon camping adventure!
Camping in Devon
Famous for hilly landscapes, coastal cliffs, sandy shores and sweeping viewpoints, Devon always delights visitors. With the South West Coast Path running through this quaint county’s coastline too, hikers will love the breathtaking walks by the sea here.
There are some great campsites to choose from that are located close to some of the main walking, hiking and cycling routes in Devon – we give some of our favourites below.
A good quality walking in Devon book – like this one which has dozens of trails – can help you plan what area you may want to visit and walk in, and therefore what campsites may be of interest to you.
However if you’re looking for some great campsite recommendations, below we share some of our favorite campsites in Devon, before then looking at wild camping in Devon:
Camping in Devon: Some of the best campsites in Devon
Warcombe Farm Camping Park
Warcombe Farm Camping and Caravan Park is a great family getaway thanks to its sweeping views, stunning sunsets and ample space for campers to pitch their tent and enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of life. With 260 beautiful pitches, this site also has its own fishing lake where campers can enjoy fishing for carp after a day exploring Devon.
Perfectly situated close to Woolacombe and the coast, Warcombe Farm Camping Park also has a fish and chip van on site on Saturday. There’s a great dog walking area which is second to none too, with acres of lovely grasslands and forest, and even a nice warm doggy wet room to boot!
Sea View Campsite, Slapton, Devon
Beautifully set on ten acres of land, this farm site boasts a prime coastal location and is conveniently close to Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Salcombe and a great selection of beaches, such as the award-winning Blackpool Sands.
The family-run campsite is surrounded by verdant South Devon countryside in an area of outstanding natural beauty with exceptional sights across the fields towards the sea. Campers can enjoy a relaxed picnic in the wildlife conservation area adjacent to the site, or even grab a nice meal at the two pubs in the nearby village of Slapton which is within walking distance.
Oakdown Touring and Holiday Caravan Park
This well maintained site run by the Franks family is a tranquil base to explore this quaint county. The award-winning holiday park offers campers great onsite facilities, a nice choice of accommodation and green, landscaped grounds to pitch a tent and reconnect with nature.
Campers who want to get away from the busier beaches during the peak season will thoroughly enjoy the calm and quiet Weston Beach which is a leisurely 30 mins walk from the site. There are great choices of local pubs and eateries close by too, but we recommend trying the take away pizzas from the on-site cafe – cheesy and delicious!
Ocean Pitch Campsite
Ocean Pitch Campsite is the idyllic camping and glamping site, offering campers breathtaking backdrops of Devon. Situated close to North Devon`s finest beach, Croyde Bay, this campsite provides the perfect sanctuary after a day walking and exploring.
Expect immaculate facilities here, and excellent meals from Biffens Kitchen on site. Also perfectly located for surfing, walking & cycling enthusiasts, this site provides easy access to the famous South West Coastal Path.
Wild camping in Devon
Like other areas of England , wild camping in Devon is not technically allowed, however people still do it. Although campers are allowed to pitch their tent if they have the permission of a landowner. However that’s often easier said than done.
Yet the scenic coastline and tranquil countryside that exists in Devon makes it a tempting destination for wild camping, whether you’ve got permission or not.
Therefore if you are planning to free camp in Devon – and can’t be swayed to stay in a campsite instead – then you should camp in the same place for one night only, and pitch your tent discretely and in a remote place which will not be easily seen. Therefore don’t camp in or near settlements, someone’s farm or on cultivated land. If you think you’re on private land, always try and seek out the landowner and ask permission. They may request a small fee.
Below are our top tips for wild camping in Devon:
- Heavy rain can happen in Devon – even during the summer months. Therefore make sure you have a rainproof tent that can survive rain. A lightweight one-man walking tent like this or similar would be perfect. For a good value tent that fits more than one person, this mosquito-proof one would work well too.
- Remember to always have plenty of water on you when you’re walking and camping. A space-saving collapsible water bottle would be a good purchase.
- If you’re wild camping, then go to the toilet at least 30-50 meters away from water sources, such as rivers. Make sure to use a trowel (like this folding one) to bury any human waste at least six inches under ground. Take any tissue paper with you – use a ziplock bag to store it and dispose of it in the nearest bin.
Some of the best places to visit in Devon
Famous for being one of the UK’s last great wildernesses, Dartmoor boasts astounding natural beauty of open, windswept upland moors embellished with large expanses of grass, heather, and peat blanket bogs.
With fascinating remnants of Iron Age villages, as well as druid monuments and obelisks dotted around, visitors will fall in love with this historic sweet spot.
This very serene, tranquil and idyllic beach is part of the designated South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has won awards from the Marine Conservation Society.
Food trucks with tasty local treats are usually parked beside the beach, so it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the views across to Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island.
Situated on Devon’s south coast between Seaton and Sidmouth, this spot is a relaxing and delightful village on the famous Jurassic Coastline.
Known as the longest village in the country, the streets lead from the picturesque valley to the sea, and are enhanced with colourful cottages and thatched buildings.
Some of the best walks in Devon
Watersmeet is known for being one of Britain’s deepest river gorges! This is where the East Lyn and Hoar Oak Water meet, and its a walkers’ paradise offering hikers great trails to discover inland, as well as a coastal path that follows the cliff tops. A wealth of wildlife like red deer, herons and jays can be spotted along the trails here.
This three mile long walk provides rewarding views of ancient woodland by the River Heddon. Perfectly located between some of England’s highest sea cliffs, walkers will enjoy the breathtaking view out to sea. This astounding location is home to high brown fritillary butterfly too, so look out for them among the woodland and meadows.
South West Coast Path
For those who fancy taking a longer trail, the South West Coast Path is known as the UK’s longest and best-loved National Trail! The 630-mile route is ideal for nature purists to reconnect with the outdoors and enjoy some of the UK’s best views and wildlife. Hikers will be able to explore forts, castles and historic country houses on route.
Camping in Devon: The weather and best months to visit
With mild to warm temperatures, spring is the perfect time to visit Devon as kids and families can make the most of a full day at the famous beaches and historic villages in the region. Temperatures range from 10°C to 17°C, and visitors can see flowers in full bloom, whilst wildlife can be spotted during walks.
Summer is a great time to visit the national parks, as well as discover Devon’s rich history. With daytime temperatures reaching between 18°C and 22°C, visitors can enjoy great views of the ocean and have a pint in a local beer garden. Summer is also a perfect time to undertake long walking trails as the land should be dry and hikers can take advantage of the longer daylight hours.
With milder temperatures during autumn, it’s the perfect time to avoid the peak summer tourist season, go on hikes, and enjoy the ever-changing colours of the woodland.
Winter brings the shortest daylight hours and coolest temperatures, but visitors can enjoy the crisp air during walks on the different trails in the region.