Honey and I like to take our summer vacation in July, usually camping for the 4th of July and our anniversary. While we had a wonderful time camping in Scotland on our summer vacation in 2015, the heavy rain inspired us to plan our summer 2016 vacation elsewhere. We had a brilliant time in Cornwall in 2013 and thought about heading back. Looking for a campsite in the woods where we could have a campfire (this is harder to find in the UK than you’d expect!), Honey discovered that our best bet was just over the border in Northwest Devon’s ‘Ruby Country’.
We stayed at a small campsite (no hiking trails, but a great base for day trips) in Highampton called Hole Station, built on the land around a former train station that had closed in the 1960s. Things I loved about the place: camping in the trees (obviously), we felt very tucked back from the path in our campsite and the site already had a lean-to and bench set up by the fire circle, the staff were very nice and extremely helpful, an on-site food truck/outdoor dining area was open at meal times (with gluten free and vegetarian options) and perfect for a quick morning’s meal before heading out on an adventure, books and maps were available to read and plan day trips, and there was a charging station in an old phone box. They also had a lovely vegetable garden, chickens (providing the eggs for the food truck), and two goats. For me, it was a luxury campsite considering the quick walk to the car, composting toilets, or boiled water for dishes. The squirrels in the area are a mean gang, so each campsite has a filing cabinet for storing your food. This is great for tins, glass jars, etcetera, but mice can go anywhere they dig so store your perishables in the car or an airtight plastic storage bin (…with some cayenne rubbed around the edges once they start to gnaw away at it)!
The nearest town is the old market town of Hatherleigh. Hatherleigh is a small place with a supermarket, restaurants, and cafes, but it also has a weekly market. We went to the weekly market and then discovered that the Ruby Country Market (which only takes place about 3 times a year) was on that week so we headed back. The Ruby Country Market made the standard market a festive place, with live music and a huge number of indoor and outdoor food, craft, and goods stalls. I was impressed by the number of gluten free stalls there. One thing that Honey and I have seemed to make a tradition of is going to the local market while on holiday, loading up with local goods, and going for a picnic!