By: Blonde Two
To my mind there are two important elements to wild camping. There is the great adventure, middle of nowhere, brave woman element of it and there is the relax in nature side of things. It was my craving for the relax in nature side of wild camping that was more than fulfilled by our recent visit to Hole Station Campsite in Devon.
I have often wondered about the wisdom of camping on traditional campsites. Mr B2 and I did plenty of it when the kids were little and I spent many nights lying awake in my tent wondering why it had been a good idea to leave my solid house to move in really close to often noisy neighbours with only a couple of canvas walls between us.
If your idea of camping is to feel part of nature and enjoy the basics of life, a shelter, a fire to cook on and a tree in which to hang your hammock, then we Blondes couldn’t recommend Hole Station Campsite in North Devon more highly to you. A bit tricky to define, Hole Station isn’t a glamping site and it isn’t like any campsite I have known. The only way I can think to describe the beautiful woodland experience that Hole Station offers its visitors is that it presents a rare opportunity to live in the woods.
There are woods and woods of course but you get the sense, as soon as you arrive at Hole Station that the place has been set up, not for the visitors, but for the wildlife. Imagine wandering through a traditional English deciduous woodland, here an old oak, there the paper-thin new leaves of a beech. You can hear a greater variety of birdsong than you have heard all year and you have all the dappled shade your soul could long for. You have the urge to take your shoes off and wriggle your toes into the thick layer of leaf mould on the floor and you find yourself starting to want to stroke the trees.
As Greg took us up to our camp pitch (walking only) I was experiencing all of the above and was a touch surprised when the very occasional glimpses of tents and shelters I was getting through the trees reminded me that we were there to stay the night. Our pitch was down a little winding path off the main path (also beautiful and winding) and the whole pitch, despite including an ‘all you need and not more’ kitchen shelter, a fire pit, a tripod and a decent sized tent, was so cleverly woven into the fabric of the woods that it was hard to make out. Indeed, this proved a bit of an issue for me during a night time trip to the self-composting toilets as the pitch was so well camouflaged I nearly walked straight past it (the toilets, by the way, as well as sawdust, provided the most entertaining loo-notice-reading I have ever experienced!)
Visiting Hole Station campsite was a profound experience for me. It is a living example of how ‘replacing’ some elements of our lives can enhance them. Shelters that allow you to feel part of nature replace whole houses, gas stoves or fire pits replace fancy ovens and quiet, early bedtimes replace noisy gatherings. I should perhaps mention here that, at Hole Station, adults have replaced children, bad news for parents but good news for those seeking peace and quiet.
I could say more, loads more and I will one day because I intend to return to Hole Station Adults Only Campsite very soon. Even for just one night, it felt like home and it very definitely restored a love of pastoral England to a girl just back from New Zealand’s big skies and dramatic shores.
Hole Station Campsite… find what you need hidden in the trees.
If, like us Blondes you love to get outside camping, but don’t enjoy crowded campsites, why not take a look at the Nearly Wild Camping collection of campsites. All carefully chosen by the team for their closeness to nature and their ‘actually get away from it all’ setups. We Blondes look forward to visiting more Nearly Wild Camping sites very soon.
From time to time we Blondes are sent free outdoor products or given outdoor experiences to field test and promote on social media. We will always be honest about our findings and any products we don’t keep for ourselves find their way into our expedition stores. Great for us, great for you and great for our youngsters!