By: Blonde Two
The Foreland Bothy (near Lynmouth) isn’t a shed anymore but it was once. These days it has had a glamping makeover, and now boasts a sink, bed platforms and glazed windows. And that’s about it really. Unless you count the self-composting toilet, which is round the back but delivers the best ‘loo with a view’ experience I think I’ve ever had (more on that topic later).
Southwest Coast Path accommodation
Mr B2 and I are currently campervan-less. Greta (the Granvia) decided she needed a new engine so has gone away to be pampered at the van spa. Keen to start wider exploring again, this gave us the perfect excuse to try out our second of the four National Trust bothies, all happily situated along the vertiginous North Devon stretch of the Southwest Coast Path. We had previously enjoyed a most relaxing stay at Peppercombe Bothy near Bideford, and were very much looking forward to another back-to-basics experience.
The vertiginous North Devon coastline
If you are one of the admirable beings who has walked the whole 630-miles of the Southwest Coast Path, you’ll probably recall the section around Porlock and Lynmouth with mixed feelings. It offers the most impressive of views, both across the English Channel to Wales, and inland to Exmoor. It also offers the steepest of paths. You can walk in to Foreland Bothy but we chose to drive. Well truth be told, I chose to close my eyes down the switchback, single lane track whilst Mr B2 did the driving. Please don’t panic, we did plenty of walking while we were there, it was just that we had booked three nights, and I wanted my camp chair.
Living the bothy life
If you’ve never stayed in a bothy, and don’t know if bothy life is really for you, I recommend trying one of the National Trust ones. There’s a certain excitement to walking into a Mountain Bothies Association bothy and not knowing who you are going to find there (or even if there will be space for you) but an exclusive booking in a private bothy does remove that element of uncertainty. With space for four friendly people and a couple of dogs, these National Trust bothies are all in fantastic locations, and all offer a perfect balance of adventure and security.
PLEASE NOTE: At the time of writing the MBA are requesting that none of us (members included) use their bothies except in an emergency. Please check the Mountain Bothies Association website for more information.
Back to bothy basics
The best way to imagine staying in a bothy is to think about it as a permanent tent, in a very beautiful place. Admittedly Foreland Bothy is quite a posh tent because it has a sink and some wooden bed platforms, but we’re not really talking glamping level here. Although there is running drinking water, there’s no cosy wood burning stove, and the loo (and its sawdust scoops) are round the back. You can’t cook inside at Foreland Bothy either but the outside view is so wonderful you won’t mind that. When we weren’t off walking, we spent a lot of time reading, chatting, and sipping coffee but probably just as much staring past the bright yellow gorse to the turquoise sea. We also cooked a fair number of sausages.
Book your very own bothy adventure
You’ll have to visit Foreland Bothy yourself to experience what it’s like to live in the Shed at the End of the World. You won’t regret it, your only neighbours will be guests at the lighthouse and the deer. Just a word of warning, all four of the North Devon National Trust bothies are proving very popular at the moment and are well booked across the summer. Autumn however, is a great time to explore the coast, and there are always the fantastic National Trust bunkhouses (all across the UK) if you fancy something a bit different.
Two Blondes Walking have an affiliate advertising relationship with National Trust Holidays.