Tag Archives: national trust

Weekend at a Bothy in North Devon

8 Aug

A few weeks ago a few pals and I stayed in a National Trust bothy in North Devon at Peppercombe.  

  
The first night was warm and sunny and we were treated to a dramatic sunset with lit up Lundy Island like a glowing ember glimmering before the fire goes out. 

  
Half the group set about making camp as the other half went to find dry wood (not so easy in England) to make a fire. A pile of wood collected (and arranged by size like a strange xylophone) and so began fire making. Thanks to cotton wool kindling and a couple fire lighters fire was quick to make. My nightmare is being in a Bear Grylls ‘The Island’ style set up – it seems to take those poor people days to make fire with just a wooden bow and string. But still we felt like survival experts as a roaring fire kept us toasty while the sun disappeared below the sea horizon and the moon glimmering on the sea kept us company. 

  
Once the fire died down and the chill crept in we shuffled off to bed in the stone bothy. Think camping, only your tent is made is stones and your door doesn’t have a zip. I fell asleep quickly. There’s a different sort of quiet when you have no phone signal, no background light or noises other than the sound of the sea and the moon for a night light. Deep sleep was broken by gentle bird song that became a booming dawn chorus! Even heard a wood pecker – very rare. 

  
After a morning trip to the toilet (or ‘loo with a view’ thanks to its window to the sea and Lundy Island) we wandered off to nearby (6 miles) Clovelly. This has to be done once in your lifetime. Imagine a fishing village from 1857. You’re there. Complete with cobbled roads and no cars. We saw a couple turn back after 50 steps. Reason? One of the couple had worn heels. Silletoes and a steep cobbled road do not mix unless you’re into breaking you’re ankles. I recommend walking boots or trainers. 

  
From Clovelly we walked the South West Coast Path south west for a rugged view back to Peppercombe. 

The second night was was completely different to the first. Heavy rain set in at 7:30pm. So we were confined to our four walled stone tent. However, being seasoned English weather campers (and having checked the met office prior to leaving) we were prepared for such eventualities. Out came the games (Carcassonne) and an early night once that had finished. Lundy disappeared under a cloak of mist. 

  
Thank you National Trust for restoring Peppercombe bothy. Such a lovely place to spend a weekend. Who’s having an adventure this weekend? 

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