River Dart Country Park, Ashburton, Devon

River Dart Country Park in Devon

Words cannot adequately describe my love for the River Dart Country Park in Devon as a fantastic family holiday destination. It is the most expensive camp site we have ever visited and it was worth every penny. We stayed here in August 2016.

River Dart Country Park in Devon

River Dart Country Park is a couple of miles north of Ashburton in Devon, and is signposted from the Peartree junction on the A38, and is within the Dartmoor National Park.

We would have loved to have stayed longer here but by the time we found out about it, we could only get booked in for three nights. We are planning to return next year as it was so awesome, and well worth the five-hour plus journey from Yorkshire.

The River Dart Country Park is open to the public during the day with an entrance fee, so it’s not overrun but still lively. There is a brilliant pirate adventure lake with rope swings and a barriered beach area for little ones. There are adventure playgrounds, nature trails, and also paid activities such as canoeing and kayaking, water zorbing, and high ropes.

River Dart Country Park in Devon

The campsite

The campsite was lovely – roomy pitches, nice ground, clean and plentiful toilet blocks with family bathrooms and washing up areas, and a choice of EHU or non-EHU pitches. There are a few different areas you can be placed – we were on the Village Green, equidistant between two amenity blocks, a short walk from a tots playground, and with some lovely views over the surrounding Devon countryside.

The view from our tent at the River Dart Country Park in Devon

Considering how many other families were on the site – I’d say there were over 200 pitches and it was full the week we went – it was very quiet on a night, and no trouble anywhere during our stay. It was fantastically well looked after too.

There is a pub on site with food throughout the day, and a pool table. The shop next door is well stocked but we couldn’t find everything we wanted here – Newton Abbot and Totnes would be your best bet for a supermarket. We popped by the Morrisons at Plymouth whilst out for the day.

The Sawmill at River Dart Country Park in Devon

Staff were really helpful and friendly, and we honestly could find no fault with our camping break. The WiFi wasn’t the best, but then it never is at these places. That was about it.

Things you should bring to River Dart Country Park

  • Wetsuits and boat shoes. – the pirate lake is fab but it’s stony underfoot and shoes are recommended.
  • An inflatable – lots more fun to be had with one of these
  • Bucket and spade – the little beach is great for making sandcastles
  • Fishing nets – the fish aren’t very big but the girls had lots of fun fishing for tiddlers. There are lots of streams at River Dart Country Park for paddling in and exploring.
  • Tennis rackets and balls – the courts are free to hire, but you have to pay to borrow the equipment – if you like tennis, then bring your things!
  • Plasters and antiseptic cream – the opportunities for fun are endless, but we ended up having to buy a pack of plasters and some cream whilst there. Should know better by now really.

What to do at the River Dart Country Park

There’s loads to do at River Dart Country Park. Here are some photos from our trip of what we did and what you can do too

Pirate lake at River Dart Country Park in Devon

Pirate lake had a boat to climb on, planks to walk, a beach, and an obstacle course across the water. We spent a huge chunk of one day here, and even though it rained, the girls had loads of fun – they were already wet, right? We just sat under a tree to keep an eye out.

Fishing for tiddlers at River Dart Country Park in Devon

The girls have always wanted to go fishing, and to be honest, we don’t know the first thing about proper fishing, so we used River Dart Country Park as an opportunity to start with the basics – nets and searching for tiddlers. We can’t really describe what we caught as fish but they had a lot of fun. We did chuck them back in again once we’d had a closer look – there’s no danger of them being used for dinner!

The high ropes course at River Dart Country Park in Devon

River Dart Country Park has a high ropes course and zip wires. These cost extra but are not extortionate. We have done Go Ape! fairly recently though so we gave this a miss this time around.

Kayaking and canoeing at River Dart Country Park in Devon

We took the opportunity to have a go at kayaking and canoeing. This also cost extra but as we don’t get chance to do it very often, then we were more than happy to pay. Unfortunately, the rain decided to kick in just as we got into our boats, so we ended up wet through without even having to fall in the river. Great fun though!

Water zorbs at River Dart Country Park in Devon

While we were busy getting wet on the canoes, the five year olds were having their first try at water zorbing (additional charges apply).

Days out from River Dart Country Park

Not only are there things to do on site, but there are also a few places to visit off-site. Here are the ones we have tried……

Miniature Pony Centre, Dartmoor (30 minute drive)

Crealy Adventure Park, Devon (30 minute drive)

Dartmoor Zoo (30 minute drive)

The play areas

The adventure playground at River Dart Country Park in Devon

River Dart has two main play areas – one with an amazing play fort and lots of swings, and a very good zip wire. There is also a fenced off part for tots. We spent a lot of time over this side trying to master the obstacle courses.

The low ropes and anaconda slide at River Dart Country Park in Devon

Over the other side of the park up a bit of a hill there is a low ropes course, and a very fast anaconda slide.

The nightlife

The nightlife comprised the onsite pub-restaurant with a TV and a pool table. We were so worn out each day that we just stayed in the tent, had some drinks, and paid homage to the peaceful location by getting lots of well-needed sleep.

We would highly recommend River Dart Country Park for a family camping holiday and we are currently trying to get booked in for a whole week next year before it sells out again.

The cycle hire centre at River Dart Country Park

For more information about River Dart Country Park please visit http://riverdart.co.uk/ 

Country Kids


Joanne and the girly gang review family days out around the UK and beyond, with a little help from their friends.

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  1. Oh I’ve heard of this place before – it sounds amazing. It’s just a bit far from Manchester . . .

    1. It’s not honest! Ok, well it is but it’s worth the trip 🙂

  2. I love this! We do a fair bit of camping and it’s great to find recommended sites. This looks right up our street as once we’re pitched up we like to leave the car where it is for the week and just explore. Looks like we wouldn’t have to go far at all here.

    1. We didn’t! We’re going back this year for longer so we can actually see more of Devon.

  3. I would love to take my kids camping, they are now at the perfect age. And having dodgy wifi could be a benefit for all us, for quality bonding time.
    The site looks lovely, zorbing and pool tables, I would have just as much fun as the kids 🙂

    1. Us adults loved it too!

  4. Wow, that looks amazing. Amy wouldn’t want to come home. I can’t believe how much there is to do. Do they have any accommodation? I’m not too keen on camping… 😉

    1. What? Not keen on camping? Erm…I think they have some rooms in the big house but I didn’t see any pods. Get a tent. Go on. You know you want to.

  5. Love Devon, can’t believe we’ve never been here 🙂

    1. Well you should try it as it’s fab!

  6. You can’t beat a bit of camping, and this place looks perfect for it! So much to do! 🙂

    1. Loads. Bit disappointed we didn’t see more of Devon but it was a shame not to be on the site

  7. Oh that looks a great place to camp!

    1. It was. Thanks, Becky 🙂

  8. I would love to camp here, one to cosider for next year, I think!

    1. You best be quick. looks like it’s booking up fast

  9. Aww this is lovely. What a beautiful place and I love the trees. Looks like there is so much to do x

    1. The trees were indeed beautiful. Thanks for popping by

  10. What a wonderful place to visit, I love that the pitches are roomy and that there is enough room for a family (sometimes you can feel quite cramped).

    1. YES! Lovely big pitches are my fave 🙂

  11. What a truly beautiful place – it looks like there is so much to do too! I love those trees which they use for the high ropes, they are beautiful.

    1. It was gorgeous!

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