Wending our way to the West Country – Day 5

Dawlish to Holeacre Campsite, via Castle Drogo

Even on holiday reality catches up eventually – the day started with a visit to Sainsbury’s on the outskirts of Dawlish. It was actually quite a nice Sainsbury’s, with lots of sustainably felled wood in the roof, but walking supermarket aisles feels like a waste of a life. We had already booked our campsite for the night, a Caravan and Motorhome Club 5-van site in northern Dartmoor called Holeacre, so we made our mission for the day a visit to nearby Castle Drogo. The GPS-led journey was a little interesting in a motorhome, since the castle is located on narrow country lanes, but a little judicious over-ruling of GPS-lady’s instructions got us there without too much drama.

Castle Drogo

Castle Drogo – work in progress

I had no idea what to expect – my homework over lunch told me that this was a relatively new castle. Started in 1911 it is in fact the newest castle in the country. It also turns out that right now not much of the castle is visible from the outside.

Restoration work at Castle Drogo

Due to an enormous restoration project tackling problems in the roof, pointing and windows most of the building is encased in a tent. It sounds as though the restoration is to a large extent correcting faults that have existed since the building was created. While we weren’t rewarded with a sight of a magnificent building from the outside, we had the opportunity for an in-depth view of the restoration with a trip to the top of the scaffolding – an unusual treat. A fair amount of the inside of the Castle was open, so it was another interesting National Trust experience.

Holeacre Campsite

Holeacre Campsite – well worth a visit

This is a beautiful, spacious flat grass site with a wonderful view to the west over the sheep pasture in the next field. It’s the only campsite I’ve ever been to which has hand sanitising fluid at the toilet emptying point – there’s a good thought!

A signpost called Clifford

An evening walk down the hill towards the river revealed a signpost named after me, and extensive riverside walks.

Sadly we will only be spending a single night here – definitely one for the future.