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West Middlewick Farm (Nomansland,Tiverton, Devon)
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Ellie and her family were on their third visit to West Middlewick Farm this year. She's given her dad strict instructions to wake her up each morning in time to feed the lambs and help out with anything else in need of an enthusiastic pair of hands here. In fact, Ellie has become such an able farmhand she's even been given her own set of overalls. Because at this working dairy farm,just outside the sleepy hamlet of Nomansland near Tiverton, campers and their kids are encouraged to take an interest in what goes on around here. The farm itself sits between the camping fields and the facilities block, so you'll inevitably wander past and find popping your head into one of the barn doors irresistible, with their welcoming labels and friendly residents. Getting to know the animals and helping with their care comes hoof in hoof with a stay at West Middlewick, and has done since 1933.

West Middlewick Farm (Nomansland,Tiverton, Devon)

As Ellie s parents found out, this refreshing ethos is a huge hit with kids, with some actually begging their parents to leave the beach early so that they're back in time to watch the cows being milked and to help distribute the pig feed. Rabbits in hutches sit on the driveway, chickens roam freely by the barns, and companionable cats prowl around on the hunt for attention. The atmosphere is one of community and conviviality; adults chat cheerfully while their children race around together.

And it's not just the kids who get caught up in the West Middlewick way; adults of all ages return year on year to fuss the animals and relax at this no-frills site... By now Ellie and family will be on at least visit number six.

COOL FACTOR Lend a hand on a friendly farm.

WHO'S IN? Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs (on leads and if good with other animals), groups (in lower field) - yes.

ON SITE The site slopes down from the farm. The upper field has a large space in the centre for playing, and track for cycling round, as well as hook-ups and water taps. The more informal lower field has taps and hook-ups at the top. Facilities are a walk away from the site, near the farmhouse. One ladies' block - loos, basins, 2 hot showers (£1 for 10 minutes; 20p for 2 minutes), disabled loo/shower room with baby-changing. Around the corner are 2 washing-up sinks and a washing machine (£4). The gents' has loos and shower (also metered). There are 3 wooden cabins sleeping 6 in another field. No campfires, but BBQs off the ground okay.

OFF SITE Head to Tiverton Castle (01884 253200; www. tivertoncastle.com). With over 9 centuries of history, this compact castle is informative as well as fun. Or find out how honey is made and bees are kept at Quince Honey Farm (01769 572401; www.quincehoney.co.uk).

FOOD AND DRINK The ivy-coveredThelbridge Cross Inn (01884 860316; www.thelbridgecrossinn.co.uk) down the road does cream teas, bar snacks, and has an a la carte menu featuring mouth-watering fish and fowl mains.

West Middlewick Farm (Nomansland,Tiverton, Devon)

GETTING THERE Take the A361 towards Tiverton (off the M5).After 7 miles take the B3137 from the roundabout towards Witheridge, for 9 miles. A mile after Nomansland you'll see the farm on the right.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Train to Tiverton, then bus no. 155 will drop campers off at the farm.

OPEN All year.

THE DAMAGE Pitch plus 2 people Ј8-Ј10 (extra £2 if it's 1 night only); extra adult £2; child £1; dog £1. Hook-up Ј2-Ј3.

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