Tales from Lane End

Woodland Creatures

At Lane End, we have a fenced woodland area for dogs (and people) to explore. There are easy paths to stroll down beneath the maturing trees, where you can let your dog roam free. The paths lead to a corner of the wood where we have let a pond develop.  A couple of years ago we made a quiet place to sit here, to watch the dragonflies and birds flit about. The firepit is in this sheltered corner, ready for campfires and marshmallow toasting all year round.

The Woodland Pond, Boat Seat, Firepit and a Tinker

The woodland is also a good place fror making a bivvy, and we have a brilliant one made by one of our favourite guests. Built last year, she made some improvements to it this year when she came back to stay with her family.

Peyton’s Bivvy 2022 (est 2021)

Now towering above our heads, the trees have grown from the tiny saplings we planted nearly 30 years ago.  The wood is a haven for wildlife, including hedehogs, pheasants, and so many birds!  We love to see the jay family, our lucky magpies, the growing woodpecker brood and all the wagtails, doves, goldfinches, greenfinches, practically every kind of tit, sparrows, blackbirds, thrushes, robins and wrens who have made their home here. Wrens are surprisingly bold little birds who make their presence known if you get near one of their various nests. We had one nesting in the gunnera near Pitch 8 and crikey, did he tell us about it. We didn’t know, but the male wren will build more than one nest and install a female in each of them (busy boy). He obviously loved his spot by the pond as much as we hear our human visitors do when they stay on Pitch 8.

A wood is full of life, no matter the season. We love the changes ours goes through, causing us to slow down and take notice. Spring brings snowdrops, primroses, daffodils, bluebells and the promise of Summer. With Summer, the woodland floor is covered with cow parsley, pink campion, speedwell and buttercups. You can see this now – it looks beautiful. It is wonderful to see the bees, hoverflies and all the other insects we don’t know the names of making their home here. Even the nettles have their place, attracting red admiral, small tortoiseshell, painted lady and comma butterflies – nettles are food for their caterpillars. There will be sloes and blackberries in Autumn and the changing leaves bring a backdrop of gold, orange, red and brown. Winter shows off the beautiful bones of the trees, and the fir and holly provide colour, shelter and food for the resident wildlife.

Mickey’s Path – lined with primroses in Spring

As we watch the woodland change and the seasons come and go, we are reminded how incredible nature is and feel very lucky to be part of it. We hope you enjoy our woodland as much as we do. Your dogs too (obviously).   

Big Trees and Small Tinkers

Curious Dog

Our straying spaniel, Butch, would like to apologise to all our guests for taking himself off on his own to meet you all this week. He knows the rules about dogs being on leads but he found the lure of new friends irresistible. We have reminded him that he would expect all visiting dogs to be on their leads when sniffing about, so he needs to follow the rules too. He’d forgotten that it’s not always just his garden, that he has to share and play nicely.

Apologies if he found his way onto your pitches and nosed about, he is a curious boy and can be very deaf when he chooses. But we do appreciate not everyone likes dogs (which is why we made the rules in the first place).

Please feel free to let your dogs off their leads in the fenced woodland, where they can explore to their hearts content.

Welcome

Welcome to our new website, where you can choose your place to stay. This is all new for us, having begun our booking system on scraps of paper and juggling and re-juggling pitches to suit our guests. We are now giving you free reign to choose where you would like to pitch up. You can view photographs of our pitches and we have tried to provide relevant information to help you choose your preferred spot. We will gradually be adding more images as the year goes on.

We look forward to sharing Lane End with you. In the last few weeks, the trees, plants and wildlife have sprung into life and everything is looking beautiful. The occasional rain we have had in between the sun has nourished the wildlife here, I am not sure it has ever looked so lush and vibrant.

We are beginning to get busy now and encourage you to book soon to avoid disappointment. We hope you will love it here as much as we and our returning visitors (human, furry and feathered) do.

Amenities

Shared Amenities

  • Campsite information and store, including washing machine, freezer, microwave, toaster, toys, books and local information
  • Drinking water points
  • Chemical toilet emptying point
  • Hosepipe
  • Trolleys for ferrying belongings to camping pitches or glamping pods
  • Waste and recycling point
  • Putting green
  • Woodland walk where dogs can be let off lead (please pick up waste)
  • Firepit
  • Various seats and tables placed around site to view ponds and sit under trees
  • Space to play

Campsite Facilities

  • Wetroom with shower, toilet and sink
  • Toilet and handbasin
  • Dishwashing area

Glamping Pod Facilties

  • Wetroom with shower and sink
  • Toilet and sink
  • Dishwashing area

Bideford

Make Bideford your base and you’ll have the best in pubs, music and restaurants to satisfy every palate. This historic harbour town is packed with independent shops, local produce and the picturesque quay, which draws visitors during every season.

Bideford was once Britain’s third largest port and while it still has maritime connections, these days, it is more widely known as being a thriving shopping centre, with a historic Pannier Market as well as being the home to the Atlantic Village outlet, where you can find your favourite brands at bargain prices. Bideford is the perfect place for a spot of retail therapy, between the brand names at the outlets and the quirky shops that line the streets, you’ll find all manner of interesting items and unique gifts.

Great base for exploring
If exploring and setting off on your own adventure sounds up your street, make sure to choose Bideford as your base. From here you are well placed to explore some of the best beaches in North Devon, including those at Croyde Bay, Westward Ho!, Putsborough Sands and Woolacombe where you can indulge in a variety of watersports, embark on nature trails and take in some of the spectacular views on offer from the North Devon AONB. If that wasn’t enough, there are regular trips from Bideford across the Lundy Island, the home of Devon’s puffin population as well as a host of other rare and protected species of bird. The charming harbour area is home to a number of organisations offering pleasure cruises around the harbour and you’re also close to the surrounding towns and villages such as Appledore, Instow and Clovelly, which are all charming and full of interesting heritage attractions. If you want to explore the rest of the region, take a trip over the bridge on the old road which crosses the river and links you to the wider area.

Bideford is also a great place to stay as you can easily access the start of the Tarka Trail and Exmoor’s National Park is just a short journey away.

Cultural hub
Bideford is the former home of the author Charles Kingsley, who regularly mentioned the towns and villages of North Devon in his work. Bideford also made its way into his writings, he noted that it was a town full of white houses, while there are few white houses these days, you will find several pastel coloured homes which are delightful to look at. One thing that hasn’t changed from Kingsley’s writings though is Westward Ho! which was named from one of his books.

Plenty to see and do
As well as the nature attractions, such as the many walking and cycling trails and the ferry trips, Bideford also has a range of theme parks and family friendly attractions offering plenty of adventure, thrills and activities suitable for the whole family.

So, whether you want to stroll along the quay and admire the expansive waterfront, or take a stroll around the fortnightly farmers’ market, you’ll never be short of things to see and do while visiting Bideford. For the kids and younger families, make sure to visit Victoria Park which boasts a wonderful children’s play area and free splash pool which is popular on sunny days.