Ruby's Orchard, Sheepwash, Devon EX21 5PW
Who doesn’t love space? Not stars, satellites and UFOs but the more tangible stuff here on terra ferma. Wide, open space. Space to roam, space to explore and space to breathe in the great green goodness of planet earth. That’s certainly the sort of space that Ruby is a fan of – whoever Ruby is. For here in her orchard, run by the friendly – if confusingly named – Lynne, you’ll find it in abundance. Two-and-a-half acres to be precise. All just for you...
Hidden down rural lanes in North Devon and tucked amid mixed woodland of spruce, alder and many more, Ruby’s Orchard is an exclusive-use camping site – so, when you book, you’re guaranteed the entire place to yourself. It can accommodate up to eight people in its ready-pitched abodes – a bell tent (sleeping 4) plus an extra tent if needed – and offers such modest comforts as a well-equipped off-grid kitchen, composting toilets and clever, pump-your-own showers. It’s certainly not quite glamping – you still need to bring your own bedding and there’s no electricity. But in all it has a ready-made back-to-basics feel, that allows you to travel light, sleep comfortably but still get in among the undergrowth and have a proper camping experience.
Above all, Ruby’s Orchard remains a wonderfully wild little site. Areas of bramble and gorse have been left to thrive and provide cover for nesting birds and small mammals, while the long grass allows grasshoppers and butterflies to breed, creating enchanted little mown pathways that weave through it like natural alleyways. It’s an idyllic scene to survey as you kick back in the campsite’s hammock or sit and soak it in by the tiny pond. The sort of place you never want to leave.
If you do make your way beyond the trees, however, then it’s best to bring a bike. Ruby’s Orchard is next to a lane that is part of the N27 National Cycle route and also just over a mile from the famous Tarka Trail. If you’re feeling energetic you can cycle all the way to Bideford, or drive there and hire kayaks to explore the Torridge Estuary. Or there’s swimming, or surfing, or going for a hike in Dartmoor National Park. Just make sure that, whatever you choose, you’re back in time to do a little stargazing. Ruby’s Orchard is blessed with blissfully dark and starry skies. Who knows, you might even spot that UFO.
The Owner Says
Welcome to Ruby’s Orchard. A small exclusive-use rural camp, tucked away in the North Devon countryside between Dartmoor and the coast, with access to lots of beautiful places and activities. Ruby’s Orchard is a small, (2 and a bit acres ) semi-wild, exclusive-use camp where you are provided with pretty much all you need to enjoy some time discovering a lesser-known area of gorgeous north Devon.
If you are feeling energetic, you can walk or cycle the nearby Tarka Trail, hire kayaks in Bideford to explore the Taw/Torridge estuary, discover the local Ruby-Country trails or take a trip to the north Devon coast for some swimming, surfing or coasteering.
Or… if you are in the mood for relaxing you can chill in a hammock, watch the local bird-life on the feeders, try to identify the damselflies and dragonflies flitting around the small pond, have a barbecue or fire on the edge of the woodland, listen to the tawny owls after dark, and starwatch. There may be soft fruit grown in the orchard to have on your breakfast, or fresh-dug potatoes in season to cook with your supper.
Ruby’s Orchard is next to a lane which is part of the N27 National Cycle route, and well-sited for cyclists, walkers and those who just fancy a thoroughly relaxing easy – camping experience.
Fabulous, semi-wild camping experience; ideal for families and friends
We stayed for 4 nights at Ruby's Orchard and the sun shone for us! We had 3 tents, all of which were well-supplied and positioned to take advantage of the sunshine. The loos and shower block are easy to use and clean. Lynne supplied us with the best cream tea and home-made food basket, and charcoal/wood for the BBQs to help us settle in. The kids loved their own private forest where we built a den; and became addicted to pond-dipping. Torrington is 15 minutes away and is a lovely market town. 4 nights around the fire pit listening to the wild life and watching the stars in a pitch black sky was very refreshing. We recommend Ruby's Orchard unreservedly and will be back next year!