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Westermill Farm, Exford, Exmoor, nr Minehead, Somerset
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Westermill Farm, Exford, Exmoor, nr Minehead, Somerset

In 1938, fed up with army life, Great Grandpa Edwards paid a visit to an unkempt farm hiding in a Somerset valley. Even before his young daughter had scrambled through the farmhouse window to let him in, he'd decided that this was the place for him. On stepping inside, he said simply, 'This'll do'. Within a few years he'd planted thousands of trees, made a home for his cattle and sheep, and transformed the boggy land into something Hearing the subtle splendour of today's farm.

The campsite began as a favour to local Girl Guides in need of their camping badges, but swiftly evolved into a green means of diversification. Split into four adjoining fields at the base of the valley, it enjoys the clear, trout-inhabited waters of the River Exe swishing past, and sturdy protection of mottled hills on either side. Furthest from the farmhouse, the fourth field is perfect for those fancying a late night by the canipfire. Awaken lost hunter-gatherer instincts by foraging for wood and then building a crackle-tastic fire. By the time you settle down to sleep beneath a star-spattered sky, the neighbouring cattle may have morphed into woolly mammoths.

Westermill Farm, Exford, Exmoor, nr Minehead, Somerset

Exmoor provides a backdrop of varied scenic eye-candy and is eager to please visitors with its plentiful attractions. And for a true taste of locality, pitch up to the monthly skittles tournaments in Westermill's lambing barn. As prevalent in Somerset as cider, this addictive game is open to all, with the added trappings of beer, home-made grub, and the warm feeling that all proceeds go to local charities. In Great Grandpa Edwards'words,'This'll do'.

COOL FACTOR A secluded, riverside valley in Exmoor.

WHO'S IN? Tents, campervans, caravans, groups, well behaved dogs - yes.

ON SITE Campfires in the fourth field. BBQs off the ground okay. Roughly 60 unmarked pitches altogether. Each field has a spring-water tap. Two separate wash-blocks with toilets, free hot showers, and washing-up sinks. Washing machine ( £ 2) and dryer. Midges are quite bad on warm, damp evenings.

OFF SITE Porlock, Woolacombe, and Puttsburgh beaches aren't far. This part of Devon has some lovely gardens to explore, including Hartland Abbey (01237 441264; www. hartlandabbey.com), where the bluebells in April are gorgeous. Clovelly Court (01237 431781; www.clovelly.co.uk), with the famous village below, is a great place for a walk.

FOOD AND DRINK An onsite shop sells provisions including local bread, free-range eggs, meat reared on the farm, and local Sheppy cider. The best nearby pubs are the Crown Hotel (01643 831554; www.crownhotelexmoor.co.uk) in Exford and the Rest and be Thankful (01643 841222; www.restandbethankful.co.uk) atWheddon Cross, which does good food in generous portions.

Westermill Farm, Exford, Exmoor, nr Minehead, Somerset

GETTING THERE From Exford take the road to Porlock by the Crown Hotel. After 1/4; mile fork left. Continue along this road, past another campsite, and look out for the Westermill sign on a tree. The drive turns left off the road.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Train to Tiverton, then take bus no. 398 towards Minehead. This stops at Exford - the site is a 20-30-minute walk away. In summer the Exmoor Explorer open-top bus (no. 400) travels from Minehead to Exford.

OPEN Easter-November.

THE DAMAGE Adult £5 per night; child £ 3; car £ 2.50; dog £ 2.50.

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