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Ashbourne Woods

UK England South West England Devon Totnes

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Woodland Camping in South Devon between the coastal town of Torquay and Dartmoor National Park

The quaint little village of Rattery on the edge of Dartmoor is a rather sleepy sort of place. Old thatched-roofed houses and newer bungalows are cobbled together around the ancient church, while outside the churchyard a pub attracts locals and walkers alike. Above its entrance, flanked by old wrought-iron wagon wheels, the date 1028 is scribed, alluding to the village’s oldest records in the Domesday book. The village name, apparently, comes from the ‘Red Trees’ of the area. And today, just west of Rattery, you can camp in among them, pitching your tent beneath the leafy canopy of Ashbourne Wood.

In fact, though most renowned for its 25 wild camping pitches – clearings and spaces among the trees where you can pitch a tent and have a campfire – Ashbourne Wood offers plenty more besides. Campervans and caravans are also permitted on the hard-standings near reception, while glampers can choose from a range of options, from sturdy gypsy caravans and pods, to summery bell tents and octagonal-wooden huts known as micro-lodges. Firepits are available for hire regardless of what you choose, so you’ll always be able to toast your marshmallows and soak up that traditional camping atmosphere, while an open meadow provides for groups who fancy gathering together in one large place.

In all, this expansive site is a real treasure trove of pathways and clearings. It’s a full 63-acres in size if you include the rest of the forest and for children with a little imagination it’s a haven to explore. Den building, tree-climbing and wildlife watching are all just for starters, if you’re willing to wander a little further to the village pub, or hop in the car and delve deep into Dartmoor National Park (just 2 miles away), then the opportunities are endless. Don’t rush away too fast though. Kicking back in this quiet campsite is a simple pleasure in itself. Sometimes, staying put and enjoying the sounds of the woods is the very best place to start.



A modern facilities block houses showers, toilets, washbasins (with hand dryers in the ladies) and a laundry room with a washer, dryer, washing-up sinks and 2 fridges for general use. There is also a utilities room with further washing-up sinks and work surfaces, a kettle, and a pair of fridge-freezers. Stone-ring firepits are provided on all wild camping pitches and, elsewhere, firepits are available for hire. Picnic benches and BBQ area by reception.

Suitable For

Everyone! Glampers, campers, dogs, tents, caravans, campervans, trailer tents, tree tents...


A footpath through the campsite leads to the village of Rattery, its 11th-century church and the wonderful local pub (see Food & Drink), while Totnes, 5 miles away, is the nearest town (a hippy, alternative scene with some great independent shops and galleries). Dartmoor, however, is the main attraction. Bring an OS map to make the most of its walking and mountain biking trails, while, 12 miles in the opposite direction, Paignton and Torbay beaches beckon .

Food & Drink

You can get free-range eggs in Rattery village or drive to nearby Dean Court Farm Shop (01364 642199; 2¾ miles) but you'll need to head to South Brent (2 miles) or Totnes (5 miles) for a proper supermaket. The local pub – Church House Inn (01364 642220) – serves excellent and sizeable pub grub and has an outdoor pizza oven in summer. It also has a pleasant beer garden.

Opening Times

All year.

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Getting There

From either Exeter or Plymouth approach via the A38 Devon Expressway and exit at the Rattery exit. This is a very small and tight exit so approach with care particularly from Plymouth Direction. Follow signs to Rattery Village and Ashbourne Woods entrance is on left hand side 1 mile from A38. Postcode TQ109JZ will take you 100 metres past the entrance to Ashbourne Farm. There is a barrier on entrance. You will be given code with your booking confirmation.
It's 5 miles to Totnes train station (0845 748 4950) and a taxi from there costs around £10. The nearest bus stop is a 15 minute walk away on the A385, its on the Plymouth to Torquay route.


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