uI have thought long and hard whether to remain completely silent about a place, or to broadcast it to as many folk as I possibly can. I have come to love a place very much indeed, and could easily secret it away and keep it to myself. The truth is though, that it is such a wonderful place, run by wonderful people, that it should be better known. It deserves more aficionados like me. I am talking about an idyllic campsite in North Devon. Nestled in to the hills of Exmoor, it sits at the top of the stunning ‘Valley of the Rocks’, and is a swift drive from the beautiful twins of Lynton and Lynmouth. I have jest come back from a four day stay at Caffyn’s, and want to share what makes it such a fabulous place.
For campers, whether tenting or vanning it, the site has it all. Several immaculate fields surrounding a lovely courtyarded farmstead, a well-stocked shop with adjoined cafe in a barn, and horseriding/bike hire opportunities aplenty. There is a large, spacious shower and washing up area, clothes washers and dryers, and even a communal freezer to store perishables that would fry in tent. There are all these facilities and more, in a truly beautiful location. Teased by sights of the sea and verdant rolling hills, the weather changes rapidly from bands of sunlight in to swathes of silver mist, often within the hour. Whatever the weather though, it feels a joy to be there.
All of the above would make it special in itself, but what makes it stellar in my eyes is the warmth and kindness of its owners and their son. They don’t know I am writing this, but I hope they would approve. All three custodians of this lovely place made me and my family feel at ease and happy, in everything from an initial hello to having breakfast in the barn one morning. There is a lot of Pop Lakin about Mr Caffyn, and Mrs C possesses a wonderful friendliness that made it a pleasure to talk to her. Young master C has a lovely combination of the above qualities, and together they gave us such a great deal of their time and energy. There is absolutely none of the awkwardness or stuffiness that one can find in some campsites. On the contrary, I felt entirely at ease and happy staying there.
I do hope that people read this and subsequently go to Caffyn’s to experience the place itself. I have deliberately omitted some of the many qualities and joys of the place, in the hope that what I have laid down will tantalize people to visit. I will end with three abiding memories of the place though. The constant, gentle wheeling of Swallows around the farm buildings. Being welcomed in to the shop like an old friend, whatever the time of day. Waking up just after dawn to a peach sky and an utter quietness. I urge everybody who reads this to grab a tent/load up the van and get down there. Their website is :
I am envious of your discovery, but equally very excited to be returning soon.
Copyright Tom Tide 2017