On a chilly May Monday night my wife and I decided to forgo our comfy double bed, duvet and central heating for a night of adventure. This wasn’t an extreme adventure requiring lots of skill, expensive kit and years of training but more about getting away from it all….for 12 hours. As Alastair Humphry calls it a micro-adventure (http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/microadventures-3/). No TV, no phone signal, no wifi well actually no electricity!
We were spending the night testing the new National Trust bothy that has opened at Peppercombe on the North Devon coast between Bideford and Hartland. We arrived at the bothy just before 9pm and were lucky enough to be treated to a beautiful sunset with the sun disappearing behind Lundy island on the horizon. The bothy is basic with no heating or electricity but has clean running water and a flushing toilet. (see photo for best loo with a view) (don’t forget to bring toilet roll ). Sleeping is on elevated wooden platforms (the bothy sleeps 4 and dogs are allowed) with roll mats and sleeping bags essential on your kit list.
After the sun had set and darkness descended I turned my small camping gas stove on for a cup of hot chocolate before bed. It wasn’t long before I got into my sleeping bag and drifted off to sleep. My sleep however was rudely awaken at about 2am by torrential rain falling on the roof, it sounded like hailstone however I’m sure it was just heavy rain! These squally showers continued for the next couple of hours meaning my sleep was decidedly broken. At about 5am after the latest shower we began to hear the birds tweeting and we were then treated to a fantastic dawn chorus while we happily lay in the warmth of our sleeping bags.
A morning cup of tea on my trusty stove followed and then we were out the door to explore. We headed to Peppercombe beach which is only a 5 minute walk away. Due to the winds and rough seas we decided to pass up the opportunity for a swim and some lobster hunting (I’ll be back though as I hear it’s a great spot for both) and headed back to the bothy for some porridge. With a belly fully of hot porridge we packed our bags, gave the bothy a sweep out and headed off to work (I was just in time for my 8.15 meeting) happy in the fact we’d had an adventurous night and feeling very alive (if a little tired!)
The bothy is a great place to escape from it all, whether you are walking the South West Coast Path which is some 250m away, looking for a camping adventure where you won’t get wet or like me just looking for something a bit different for a Monday night!
Rob Joules, General Manager, North Devon National Trust
If you want to have a small adventure of your own you can book a night in the bothy by calling our Holidays Team on 0344 335 1287.