Three years ago I was searching for a campsite to stay in. My requirements were simple; peace, woodlands and a river if possible. After hours of fruitless internet searches I found my answer, the Exe Valley camp site, and bonus of all bonuses (for me anyhow) no under 18s. Having been to various different areas in the Southwest I’m not exactly sure how I managed to miss Exmoor for so long, the scenery is stunning, people friendly and the wildlife top notch. Within an hour of pitching the tent that first time I was hooked, and still am. It didn’t matter that it rained in biblical quantities, it didn’t matter the wind could have sent the tent flying like some sodden out of control hot air balloon because I loved it. I could sit watching that River Exe all day. I go there for the wildlife of course, and possibly the reason I can’t stay away is that I need to photograph that damned otter! I know he exists I’ve seen the footprints on the riverbank. But, until that day comes I can fill my time with the dippers,wagtails, buzzards and elusive voles that sneak around the tent at night, not forgetting the roe deer that came bounding down the river on my last visit, or maybe even nipping into the Badgers Holt for a quick beer or 3. All this of course is from one small area, the vast open parts of the moor up at Dunkery are great and I’ve had a lot of fun looking for deer and the odd moo or two up there. On a last note, and one that slipped my mind until just now, is if you happen to live in a normal suburban area you’ll realise when you get home how it never really gets dark. Exmoor gets DARK, I mean really dark, and that owl you just heard in the distance? It may be closer than you think.
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