Family-friendly camping between Dartmoor and Exmoor on a working organic dairy farm
Set in mid Devon's fabled Heartland, Billingsmoor Farm is a 400-acre family-run dairy farm less than 20 miles from the soft sands of Exmouth’s famous family beaches and 20 miles from Dartmoor and Exmoor’s National Parks. Listening to affable owner Jayne explain how her and her partner Robert built Billingsmoor into the place it is today is a fascinating tale. They moved to the farm over 15 years ago, during a turbulent time in UK farming. From the start, they faced a difficult choice: to push their cows for more milk in order to meet increasing supermarket demand, or to change their approach to farming completely. Fortunately – for us and for the 200 Friesians – they chose the latter, and their organic dairy farm is now open to campers for six months of the year.
Although the site is eminently accessible (just three miles from the M5 motorway), it feels like a true escape. Billingsmoor is one of eight working farms on the Duchy of Cornwall estate, nestled between Devon’s sandy southern beaches and its rugged north coastline. Overlooking 350 acres of rolling hills and grassland, the views here are breathtaking.
Not wishing to compromise the tranquility of this picture-perfect scene, Billingsmoor provides just five prized pitches, meaning campers never feel hemmed in. The elevated plots offer panoramic views overlooking lush fields and forests, while each off-grid pitch boasts a private toilet and sink (with cold running water) and a firepit and picnic bench. It's a car-free zone, too, meaning kids are free to run themselves ragged in safety (wheelbarrows are handily provided to trundle your gear to camp). The communal wash-block, laundry and kitchen facilities, meanwhile, are clean, modern and centrally-heated, while charming little touches like the onsite honesty pantry demonstrate a thoughtful attention to detail.
Curious campers have ample opportunity to learn about organic farming onsite. Meeting the amenable herd of organic Friesians, Kunekune pigs, sheep, ducks, geese and chickens will soon lift the heavy weight of urban life from your shoulders. Plus, as well as the varied programme of events – from walking parties to celebrations – an added attraction is the farm's forestry school, where you can master key bushcraft skills before cooking lunch and spotting flora and fauna. So, whatever your age, a stay at Billingsmoor offers a real education.
Each pitch is set within a 9mx 5m deep wooded area, with a private toilet and sink (with cold running water). Firepit and picnic bench included. There's a modern, centrally-heated shower block, as well as laundry facilities, and undercover washing up facilities. There is no electric hook-up, but electricity is available in both the communal shower block and kitchen area. Other highlights include the onsite honesty pantry and a forest school (pre-booking essential).
Tents, families, couples, dogs (on a lead at all times) – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes and walk-in bookings – no. Single-sex parties and large groups by pre-arrangement only (must book the entire site).
The nearby town of Tiverton boasts plenty of attractions, not least the Tiverton Museum (01884 256295) and Great Western Canal where you can take a traditional horse-drawn barge courtesy of the Tiverton Barge Co. (01884 253345). For little ones, the Devon Railway Centre (01884 855671) promises hours of train-based fun, while The Bear Trail (01392 881780) is a muddy all-ages obstacle course that all the family will love. For walkers the Devonshire Heartland Way can be picked up easily from the site, and there are two stately National Trust properties nearby in Knightshayes and Killerton. Keep things simple with a spot of wild swimming, or go to Coryton Cove, a secluded beach close to Dawlish, where dolphins have been spotted. Exmoor and Dartmoor are both within a 40-minute drive, and there's a weekly cattle market at Newton Abbot. There are photo opportunities aplenty at Clovelly, a pretty fishing village where Charles Kingsley was inspired to write the Water Babies.
Food & Drink
The Butterleigh Inn (01884 855433) – a 400 year old longhouse with log fires and a peaceful garden – is the pick of the local pubs. The Lamb Inn (01392 860272) in Silverton and the Fisherman's Cot (01884 855237) also come highly recommended, with both serving a varied menu of pub grub favourites. The Bakehouse (01884 35222) in Collumpton serves delicious cakes and fresh coffee and is a great spot to stop and watch the world pass by. For fine dining, head to the HH Restaurant (01392 461472) in Broadclyst, just outside of Exeter, which serves modern British food with a French twist. Celeb-chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage empire is also based round these parts, with the River Cottage Canteen & Deli (01297 631715) found in Axminster. Billingsmoor also operate a small onsite honesty pantry and pre-prepared meals can be arranged for your arrival (pre-booking essential).
Mid May – early November.
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Rated ★★★★★ over 21 reviews
Lovely setting, quiet, private and beatiful
Our first time camping just as a family and it was lovely. Jayne could not have been more welcoming, the stew on arrival was delicious. It's a working farm so it was lovely to feel in the middle of a different kind of activity. The elevated pitch meant great views and was still flat for easy pitching. Facilities for washing, a hot shower block, your own picnic table, fire pit and toilet gave it a camping experience without feeling it being "too rough". Lovely for a base if you just want to enjoy the country and a quiet, private, well equipped campsite. Cannot reccommend more highly, we'll be coming back for sure!
Lovely, peaceful, luxury!
Lovely setting, lovely people. A little bit of camping luxury set on a friendly, safe and secluded farm in the heart of the countryside. We had a great time and the kids thoroughly enjoyed exploring and chatting to the pig!
Great camping !
Billingsmoor farm has everything for an excellent camping experience. The positioning of the pitches are great providing the peace and privacy we are looking for in camping. The availability of a shed with individual toilet is extremely useful also by providing a dry space when it rains. The facilities area with the showers, kitchen and the honesty shop is super convenient and never busy because only a few number of guests is accepted to the camp site. This is a working farm and having animals around is amazing for the children. Our daughters are already missing the piggy, the sheep, the chickens, the dogs and of course the calves. They also loved the the hot croissants in the breakfast which were made available by Jayne who is also super friendly and helpful. This was our third time and we are already looking forward to come back again next year. Also to add that the location of the farm is great to explore new places in Devon each time. This time it was the Killerton House & Gardens and the Tree Surfers for us.
Great stay at Billingsmoor Farm!
My partner and I had a great week long stay at Billingsmoor farm at the end of June. When we arrived it turned out that the following day the owners were going on holiday for a few days and we were the only pitch booked during that period. This meant that we had pretty much the entire farm to ourselves during that period which was amazing. It felt as though we really were wild camping. Having a private toilet at the pitch was a great feature, and as the weather wasn’t great during our stay it meant we had a guaranteed dry area if needed. There is an honesty shop on site that has everything you might need and chilled too. I would definitely recommend an order of the breakfast baguette too. Camping on a working farm was an experience, and one of the animals included probably the worlds friendliest pig and “alarm clock” cows. This may have been due to Covid, but it felt as though there wasn’t too much to do within a short distance of the farm, and everywhere was at least a 20 minute drive away. That being said, you’re perfectly positioned for both the south and north coasts, and to nip into Exeter for the day if you’d like. We’ll definitely look to return when we head west again!
Billingsmoor Farm is one of the best campsites I have ever stayed at! Very small site with only five individual pitches, each equipped with its own loo and sink, and hot showers down in the farm buildings. Loads of space for the kids to explore, including a lovely woodland and stream. Jayne is incredibly friendly and helpful and clearly enjoys running the site, the honesty shop and cooking meals and breakfasts for campers. Beautiful views from the pitches across rolling green hills and fantastic footpaths straight from the site to the River Exe and local villages and pubs. I have already recommended Billingsmoor to friends and family, and it is a campsite I would return to. Thank you Jayne.
Beautiful campsite with your own bathroom
Owners very friendly and helpful. All spotlessly clean. Nice hot showers. Set in beautiful countryside though some narrow roads to get there. Would vist again.
The perfect balance
Jayne and Robert have perfected the rare balance of ensuring that campers feel cared for and looked after, while having plenty of space to themselves. For a week, we had a corner of this extraordinary countryside to ourselves; a universe of unbelievable birdsong, crackling campfires and endless green hills. We arrived in pouring rain and the weather forecast was grim. Jayne welcomed us with a warming casserole and put a kettle in the kitchen for us to fill our hot water bottles more easily (it takes a fair few camping kettles to fill four hot water bottles, which is especially tricky in torrential downpour!) It was amazing to have such brilliant facilities - as well as the outstanding views, each pitch has a fire pit and its own shed with a toilet and sink - so handy for sleepily brushing teeth before falling into bed after long countryside walks. Jayne is a talented and generous cook - as well as the casserole, we enjoyed jacket potatoes and chilli as well as delicious sausage and bacon breakfast baguettes to keep the cold at bay. The store is also great - there are wellies to borrow as well as lots of handy items to buy (highlights for us were marshmallows for toasting and logs for the fire pit). Everything was kept sparkling clean and nothing was too much trouble. We will absolutely be back again in the future and have already told our friends about it (against our better judgement, as we really would prefer to keep this place all to ourselves! 😁) Walking to the nearby Butterleigh Inn is highly recommended, though bear in mind that the way home is very steep uphill, especially after indulging in the crumble and custard! Thank you Jayne and Robert - can’t wait to see you again soon.
Perfect family camping
Billingsmoor is an extraordinary find. A working farm (we met calves only hours old) with incredibly welcoming hosts, the site is ideal for families. Our kids spent hours playing in the woods, building dens and making friends. The views from the pitches are glorious and having your own loo and sink at the pitch was great. Really excellent facilities which kept in top condition. Really would recommend this peaceful, beautiful and friendly site most highly.
A lovely weekend!
Robert and Jayne were such welcoming hosts and the camping pitch was perfect - amazing views! The whole site was quiet and friendly and the honesty shop had everything we needed. We hope to visit again and enjoy the tranquility. Thank you both!
Lovely large pitch with our own flushing toilet and running water made for a great start to our camping adventure. The honesty shop and other facilities are up there with the best we’ve seen. As regular campers we accept you never really know what you get until you arrive but we would highly recommend Billingsmoor Farm they welcome you on to their farm and deliver everything they promised and more Never before have we been able to order homemade treats or breakfast baguettes. Our teenagers laughed at our posh camping experience and loved the lemon drizzle cake as an afternoon treat. The baker in the family also produced the best scones for our camp site cream tea. Her scones were the best of the week and we had three cream teas!!!! The pitches are sheltered from each other with hedgerows and trees but are next to each other so you have to respectful of your neighbours. It’s location made it easy for us to have day trips out and even the rain didn’t stop play!!!
A beautiful spot, ideally located for exploring Devon
We loved our few days camping at Billingsmoor Farm - the views from the elevated pitches are stunning. It was also great to have our own private toilet on the pitch, whilst all the other facilities were excellent and very clean. The Honesty Shop was well stocked with all the essentials and the breakfasts provided by Jayne were delicious. The farm feels a million miles from the M5, tucked away down the lanes, but it's perfect for exploring the wider area. Thank you Robert & Jayne, we hope to see you again one day.
Wonderful Camping Experience Never Mind Rain and Moaning Cows
Billingsmoor Farm is so unique, set in the heart of Devon with sea and hills and touristy sites all within reach. On arrival – follow directions they provide, not your sat nav! – after driving up and down miles of narrow lanes you will be greeted by Jayne or Robert and shown to your assigned pitch (1 of 5) ample for a large tent or several small or medium size tents. I knew about the loo shed but was surprised to find it was a proper flusher not a compost or chemical one. Water, picnic table and firebowl all on this elevated east facing site of many views. Very pleased with all of this and wheel barrows to shift your kit, (no cars at the pitches). Also had use of hot shower block, Kitchen washing up area and freezer and fridge, electric points available. And a small “honesty” shop with most thing needed and some local cider, ale and Scrumpy! We also took advantage of the 25 GBP BBQ meat offer with nice local organic meats which for my wife and I was plenty, had some left to take home. We had a great 3 nights stay never mind the rain and would be happy to go again and recommend it to others especially those new to camping or with concerns during the CoVid 19 epidemic.
A great get-away with plenty of space
We had an amazing time camping at Billingsmoor Farm. Very welcoming hosts, great facilities and brilliant set up with awesome views. Good size pitches that were able to accommodate 2 large tents and really handy to have the private toilet/ sink for each pitch. Kids loved seeing all the animals (cows, chickens, sheep, pigs etc) and making dens in the the woods
Fabulous peaceful camping with all the little necessities covered
We had a fabulous 5 days here. The setting is beautiful and tranquil with gorgeous views and our kids happily stomped off to the woods on their own and with the other kids. Having your own loo and wash basin the absolute height of civility and the honesty shop, kitchen area and hot showers meant it was super comfy and easy. The kids adored having their own chickens to look after and the excitement of eating their own eggs! Jayne couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly. Really handy geographically as it’s an hour to the north and south coast or Dartmoor so day trips a plenty. This was the perfect campsite for a family trip and we will be bsck next year.
A great place to camp
This was our first camping trip our 4 and 6 year old and it was a great experience. Having a loo and sink next to our tent ensured we were able to enjoy ourselves without worrying about late night trips out to the loo in the dark. The girls loved seeing the cows and other animals, talking with Robert about the farm and playing in the field. Our hosts were lovely as were the other campers. It was a real privilege to stay in such a beautiful place. We will be back again soon.
Peaceful thoughtful family camping venue
Really wonderful place to stay - a cross between camping and glamping (where you bring your own equipment). Each pitch has own loo in a small shed (also useful shelter for things) and is provided with a fire pit and wooden table. Communal facilities include washing up room (with fridge and freezer), showers and a shop supplying wood, cooking basics, meat and fresh croissants in the morning! Lovely warm and friendly owners. Although close to the M5 for access, the farm is tucked down country lanes so it is a properly secluded hideaway. We went with another family and had a wonderful long weekend. Thank you!
Perfect family camping experience
This campsite is so convenient and well organised. The pitch where we camped was really big and private with great views and the private loo per pitch is great. The honesty shop is well stocked with everything you could need including fire logs for the campfire provided. We are novice campers and were not very prepared but everything was there. Facilities were so clean and were lucky to meet the 3 day old calf. There is also a small forest with swings which is so safe and fun for kids. Our 6 year old loved it. We stopped off from London on the way to Cornwall and would love to return. Thanks to all at Billingsmoor and see you again. I would advise to arrive in daylight and not in the dark! Laura, Barry and Tom
Brilliant location with excellent facilities
This was our first experience at camping as a family with two young girls of 7 and 4. The private site and wonderful views were great. Having the private toilet and sink on our pitch was amazing so we didn’t have to worry about any toilet accidents as everyone could go whenever they wanted. The ground at the pitch was a bit hard and bent a couple of pegs going in but a bit of moving around overcame this without too much issue. Having breakfast rolls and croissants made for each each morning meant we didn’t have to worry about any cooking for breakfast. The little honesty shop also was great for getting little bits and bobs to keep us going. Showers nearby were also clean, spacious and worked well. Girls enjoyed walking round the farm to look at all the cows. All in all a fantastic small camp site with great facilities and friendly hosts, would very much recommend staying here and would stay here again.
Best campsite ever!
What a gem of a site! We had a fantastic 3 nights at Billingsmoor Farm. Quiet and peaceful, beautiful views, wonderful facilities, surprisingly well stocked shop and very friendly owners. We would all love to go back.
Excellent, Peaceful and Spotlessly Clean
A fantastic campsite with just a few tent pitches - camp fires encouraged in fire pits provided. Well stocked shop. Great facilities. Stunning views in a peaceful location. We will definitely return. Thanks Robert and Jayne!
Probably our best UK camping experience ever
We had a wonderful time at Billingsmoor. The setting is picturesque, the hosts are delightful, the clientele limited to a small number and the facilities fantastic. We spent 2 very chilly nights over the May bank holiday at Billingsmoor farm. Having your own loo and basin for each pitch makes life with small children so much easier. The fire pit and table were also wonderful. It's a proper camping experience but with the little extras that host Jayne has added to each site really made the experience pleasurable. Having your own loo (with loo roll some tissues and hand soap thrown in) plus a nice communal kitchen area, shower block and reasonably priced honesty shop elevate this from a basic camp site to a really lovely experience. Our kids also loved exploring the woods and seeing the calves fed and asked when we can go again before we'd even left.