Exe Valley Glamping
Part of a long-established family farm, around 3 miles from the market town of Tiverton, and on the doorstep of the pretty village of Bickleigh, Exe Valley Glamping offers the perfect chance to get close to nature, enjoying a beautiful mid-Devon location on the banks of the river Exe. The glamping site is the creation of farmer Robin Grant-Sturgis and his son Patrick, who put their heads together a couple of years ago and came up with this gloriously situated glamping site by the river, which opened in 2019. Made up of three luxurious and spacious safari lodges, no expense has been spared in its creation and home comforts are a priority. Each lodge has has 3 bedrooms - one with a king-sized double, a second with twin beds (which on request can be joined to make a super-king), each with their own access to the shower & loo, plus a cabin bedroom with canopy double mattress and hatched doors – perfect for kids, who can use it as a daytime den. There is good quality bed linen and plump duvets, lots of towels, and if that's not cosy enough each lodge has a wood-burning stove too. The kitchenette has a gas burner and a small sink and refrigerator, but if you can't be bothered to cook then you can just choose from their comprehensive 'larder menu' – whether it's a breakfast hamper, pasta, pies, a barbecue pack, or just a bottle of local gin or vintage cider – and outside each lodge has its own firepit for al fresco dinners. Need anything else? Patrick is always around with his dog Sparrow and can usually find a way to make your stay more enjoyable.
Not only is Exe Valley Glamping a place where every comfort is close at hand, it proves that luxury glamping can also be sustainable, with as credible a set of eco-credentials as you'll find. Solar panels provide power, water heated with wood-burning stoves, waste water filtration and water from their own bore-hole. The thing that also set this glamping site apart is its position, which is uniquely convenient for the major delights of both north and south Devon. Close to home, the pretty village of Bickleigh is an five-minute walk away, and has a famously picturesque bridge and some chocolate-box thatched cottages (as well as the development at Bickleigh Mill, which has its own restaurant), while the pleasant market town of Tiverton is a short drive away and has plenty to see and do. Exmoor and its wild ponies are is just a short journey north, while Dartmoor is around 20 minutes to the southwest. In the other direction, Cullompton hosts the Bear Trail family attraction, while Ashclyst Forest is one of the largest woodlands in Devon, with the magnificent Killerton Estate at its heart. Even Exeter is only a short drive away, where you can do everything from visit the cathedral to paddleboard down to the sea. All in all a perfect – and perfectly comfortable – place from which to soak up the countryside and multiple attractions of Devon.
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The Owner Says
Welcome to Exe Valley Glamping. Set within 150 acres on our family farm. Exe Valley Glamping is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery and relax with friends & family - all without sacrificing home comforts.
Our favourite spot
Glampers only; families, couples, small groups, dogs (for an extra charge) – yes. Campers, campervans, motorhomes – no.
The local area
You park your car by Bickleigh Mill (01884 855 419) - a rural shopping centre and tearoom/bistro within a working watermill that’s worth a visit. From here you can join a footpath along the banks of the River Exe for picnicking and wild swimming - or to walk the three miles to Tiverton. The village is also home to the Devon Railway Museum (01884 855671), and Bickleigh Castle gardens (01884 855363) which you can tour if booked in advance. There’s plenty for active families to do, including walking, cycling, horseriding and the Dartmoor-specific sport of letterboxing with both Dartmoor National Park and Exmoor National Parks within a 20-mile drive of site. There’s also the Bear Trail (01392 881780), a family adventure-assault course, 10 miles away. From Exeter quayside, 12 miles away, you can hire bikes or paddleboards from Saddles and Paddles (01392 424241). For beaches, you can choose either of Devon’s coastlines. Saunton Sands is about an hours’ drive (42 miles) north of site. It’s one of North Devon’s best-loved surf beaches with three miles of golden sands. You can book surf lessons for the whole family with Surf Saunton (07837 906428). Budleigh Salterton is a closer, shingle beach (22 miles, approx 45-min drive) on East Devon’s Jurassic Coast.
Best local places to eat and drink
You can get the fridge and cupboards within your lodge stocked before you even arrive by pre-ordering (at least two weeks before arrival) from the Larder Menu at Exe Valley Glamping. For supplies whilst in situ, the closest farm shop is Exe Valley Farm Shop (01392 861239) a 10-minute drive away and there are plenty of shops and a couple of supermarkets in Tiverton. The town also has a farmers’ market on the fourth Friday of the month. For eating out you can’t get closer than The Fisherman’s Cot (01884 855237) and the tearoom/bistro at Bickleigh Mill (01884 855419 - open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea every day and for dinners on Fridays and Saturdays only). Both are just at the end of the woodland walk in Bickleigh. A little further away is the family-friendly Cadleigh Arms (01884 855238) and for a smart dinner, The Ring of Bells (01363 860111) is a recommended pub just over five miles from site at Cheriton Fitzpaine. To combine eating out with a little adventure try The Turf, a bike ride away from Exeter Quay or the River Exe Café (07761 116103) at Exmouth – reached by water taxi.
Why stay with us?
Each lodge has three bedrooms; a double with a king-sized bed, a twin room (which can be converted into a superking) and a cabin bedroom with a double mattress that’s perfect for kids. Bedding, bed linen and towels are all provided. Each tent has its own toilet and shower room. Hot water is warmed by a wood-burning stove that you’ll need to light yourself. The kitchen-living-dining area of the tent is furnished with a sofa, a dining table and seating. There’s a log-burning oven, a fridge, kettle and sink as well as cookware, enamelware crockery, glasses, utensils and cutlery. Outside, there’s a gas hob, and seating on the veranda and each tent has an off-ground fire bowl. Firewood for this, and the wood-burning stoves inside, are supplied and sustainably sourced from within the farm. Power in the tents comes from solar energy.
Three 3-bedroom safari lodges, each sleeping up to 6 people.
From £500 for a three-day (minimum booking) weekend or £800 for a week.
Open all year.
Exe Valley Glamping is around 10 miles from the M5 at Junction 27 and 7 miles between Tiverton and Exeter. You won't find the exact location on Google maps and there is no direct car car access. Instead, park in Bickleigh Village, where Patrick will meet you and transfer your luggage to his Land Rover while you make walk for 5–8 minutes through the woods to your tent.
There are mainline railway stations at Exeter and Tiverton Parkway, both around 11 miles from site. Taxis are available from both stations and buses stop at Bickleigh on the Exeter to Tiverton bus route. Tiverton Parkway Railway Station is outside the town and reaching Bickleigh requires a change of bus in Tiverton town centre.
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