Exmoor Camping in the Doone Valley
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Come and join Outdoor Lads for a weekend in the idyllic Doone Valley, situated within the Exmoor National Park.
The campsite lies on the border between the counties of Devon and Somerset, in a tranquil and picturesque valley surrounded by hills and trees, bordering Badgworthy Water, where it combines with Oare Water to form the East Lyn River.
The Doone Valley itself is most commonly known for being the backdrop to RD Blackmore’s novel, ‘Lorna Doone’, and the 17th Century grade II listed Malmsmead Bridge and the adjacent ford, have always been one of the better known visitor attractions within Exmoor National park.
The campsite amenities include free hot showers as well as free wi-fi (very useful as mobile phone reception can be somewhat patchy!).
Over the weekend I will be leading walks on both days, with the option of one or both starting/ending from the camp site.
If you don’t fancy walking and/or want to do your own thing, there is always the option to just relax beside the river at the camp site, or perhaps visit the harbour and village of Porlock (8 miles away) or walk around Lynton and Lynmouth (6 miles) and take a ride on the famous funicular Cliff Railway.
Dogs: Dogs are welcome on the campsite but you will be expected to be considerate of other campers and clear up behind them. There will be sheep in adjacent fields so please take this into account if you are thinking of bringing your dog, which will need to be on a lead at all times when on the site.
Campervans, Motorhomes, Caravans: Whilst this event is primarily a camping event, it may be possible to cater for these, but please be aware that the surrounding roads are not ideal for wider/longer vehicles. Please message the leader to discuss.
IMPORTANT! - Participation Statement
You MUST complete a Participation Statement, here, in addition to booking your event space before attending an OutdoorLads event. You only need to complete this Participation Statement once, not for each event you attend.
COVID-19 – IMPORTANT, Please read the following before you sign up to this event:
- Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who lives or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
- You must also immediately self-isolate and not attend the event if you or someone in your household or support bubble shows coronavirus symptoms or tests positive. You can find the NHS self-isolation guidance here.
- The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, a new continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of taste and/or smell.
- You may be subject to local lockdown restrictions, which you must fully comply with. Details of the location of these restrictions can be found here for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
- We do not encourage car sharing to events during the pandemic. Please comply with the safety travel guidance for England, Wales, and Scotland. Face coverings should be worn on public transport.
- OutdoorLads will support the tracing systems in place across the UK and attendance at an OutdoorLads event is considered permission to use contact details for this purpose if requested by the appropriate authority.
- All are required to practice social distancing – staying 2m (not 1m) apart at all times, including the lunch stop. Remember: Face, Hands, Space.
- Unfortunately, there won’t be any planned pub / café stops en route or at the end, and please don’t share sweets or snacks with others – we’re sorry!
- Please bring your own hand sanitising gel for your own use throughout the day. Use of face coverings is at your own choice, but please bring one with you just in case it's needed. Please bring any other PPE items required. Bring a disposable bag for any used PPE.
- Members are advised to bring their own small first aid kit for personal use..
- Be aware that opportunities for toilet stops may be minimal if facilities are closed.
- Please, please cancel at your earliest opportunity if you are unable to attend or are unwell, so that we can allow others to take up these valuable event spaces.
- Much as it's difficult - no handshakes or hugs!
COVID-19: Events Participation Statement
OutdoorLads draws your attention to the fact that travelling and being away from home increases the risk of receiving and transmitting Coronavirus, whilst it is present in the UK. You are likely to choose not to participate in OutdoorLads events whilst there is a risk of Coronavirus transmission. However, should you choose to participate in OutdoorLads events whilst the risk is present, you must be aware of and follow the law and government guidelines, both when travelling to and from events as well as when participating in events.
Please note that every person participating should be aware of (and accept) that those members perceived as ‘in charge’ or leading the event are not experts, do not need to be experts, and are not regarded by OutdoorLads, or themselves as experts, but are amateurs with some experience in the event type and who are happy to impart their knowledge. Any advice given should be considered with this in mind by the recipient.
By signing up to and attending an OutdoorLads event, you are confirming that you have read, understood and accept the content of this statement.
Please see our website for more information including an FAQ about our events.
Photo Credits: All photos taken by Colin Day and permission is granted to OutdoorLads for further use.
What to bring
BBQ's are permitted on the site, as are fires, although only on the previously used spots (If you have some spare firewood for the fire please bring it along)
This list is not exclusive and if your a regular camper I am sure you will have your own list, if not:
Tent: A tent if of course essential when sleeping out in the open (It is the UK it could well rain). It's recommended that you have pitched your tent before, and have all parts of it, such as poles and pegs.
Sleeping Bag: You are going to want this keep warm at night
Sleeping Matt/Cott: The ground is hard and you'll get a much better nights sleep if you have something between your sleeping bag and the groundsheet.
Pillow: Whilst you could roll-up your spare clothes and use these as a pillow since your unlikely to be carrying your kit far to this camp I would bring one with you.
Food and Drink: You will need to cater for yourself through out the weekend so plan ahead. There is only a gift shop and Tea room in Malmsmead. If the weather is bad you will want a hot meal and likely hot drinks (Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate). If you prefer to eat out, the nearest pubs are in Brendon (Stag Hunters Inn and The Rockford Inn) and Countisbury (Blue Ball Inn).
Camp Stove: Depending on your catering plans for the weekend you may be satisfied with a simple single gas burner/Trangia, or you may need something bigger. Don't forget about the members discounts at Cotswold Outdoors who will be happy to assist you if you don't have something suitable. Don't forget your stove will need fuel.
Lighter/Matches: You will need some way to light the stove.
Torch/Lantern: You'll find it much easier to get in your sleeping bag at night if you can see where you are going. Check the batteries whilst you are at home or bring spare ones.
Water: Whilst fresh water will be available at the campsite you probably won't want to have to keep going back and forth to the tap so will want a suitable container and don't forget if you are going on the day walk to pack your water bottle or hydration bladder
Utensils/Pots & Pans: Again your needs will vary on what you are planning to eat but you will want as a minimum a Mug, Knife, Fork and Spoon.
Towels: Your going to want one for yourself, perhaps a separate one for your cooking equipment and maybe a spare
Wash-kit: You probably don't want to go all weekend without brushing your teeth, and most of us will appreciate at least a squirt of deodorant. There are hot showers on the camp site.
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Waterproof bags: keep spare clothing, electronics and anything else dry even when your rucksack or tent leaks by using Ziploc type food bags or, better still, outdoor activity waterproof bags
Folding/Camping Chair: Everyone likes to sit around the camp fire in the evening and this is much more comfortable than a log.
Day Rucksack: (Day Walk) typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: (Day Walk) waterproof and breathable hiking boots with good ankle support
Change of Footwear: If you've been in boots all day you will want something else to wear around the campsite.
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters you'll want one pair for each day you're walking, and a spare pair. You'll also want some other socks for around the campsite/evening wear. TOP TIP: Put clean socks on before getting into your sleeping bag if you are going to wear them at night. Any moisture in your socks will condensate in the colder temperature at night and its not comfortable.
Underwear: Unless you go commando you will probably want one pair per day and a spare pair.
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece). You'll probably want a couple of items for each layer so that you have a good change of clothes.
Trousers: Whilst on the day walk you really do not want jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK. Again a couple of pairs is sensible.
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry.
Day Rucksack: (Day Walk) typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Walking Poles: (Day Walk) always optional, love them or hate them, but give them a try and decide for yourself
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: (Day Walk) bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Mobile Phone: keep it in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies, and a spare battery/charger is a good idea or a power brick. The phone signal in the valley is poor and only just about detectable around the toilet/shower block, but you will get it on the top of the mountains during the day walk.
Cash: Whilst this is 2021, and most places do have card/contactless, it is always sensible to have some cash with you as backup, as the nearest cashpoints are located in Lynton and Porlock, both of which are 30/40 minutes drive from the camp site.
NOTE -- Due to Covid you may also want to consider hand sanitiser and spare face masks
Food & drink
No meals are provided. You will need to ensure you have sufficient food for the weekend and a method to store and cook it if necessary. BBQ's are fine if you would like to bring one with you.
On Friday evening I plan to have my Barbecue on the go, so even if you do not have one of your own, you are welcome to bring your own sausages or burgers to cook and eat.
There are no grocery shops close to the camp site, and the nearest pubs that serve food are about 15/20 minute drive away. And don't forget something for breakfast and for your packed lunch on Saturday (and Sunday if you stay for the walk)
You may also want to bring with you any alcoholic drinks for consumption around the camp fire in the evenings as the nearest shops are either in Lynton, Lynmouth or Porlock, all of which are a good 30/40 minute drive away from the camp site.