As the lockdown restrictions begin to lift within the UK, it’s looking more and more like this summer is the summer of staycations. This is largely due to the traffic light system for travelling abroad, which at present is a little too unpredictable. With that in mind this summer I have chosen to explore more of the UK for 2021 and share with you how amazing the UK is when it comes to all the ways we can experience our own backyard. Starting with my recent stay at Wytch Wood Campsite in Somerset.
Disclaimer: I was invited to stay at Wytch Wood Campsite in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion on my experience whilst staying on-site. To find out more about how I work with brands you can read see my disclaimer section.
Wytch Wood Campsite
During my stay at Wytch Wood, there were 15 pitches, I believe that there will be a few more to be added during this year.
I had the very first pitch which was great because to get to it, you have to go over a mini bridge which makes the area a little more magical and it’s in its own little secluded location, so other campers won’t have to pass you to get to the trails or their camping pitches and as a bonus, there is plenty of shade from the trees surrounding the area for those sunny and rainy days.
Top Tip: If you’re a first-time camper, it’s important to set your tent up at home first or you will make the mistake I did and spend 3 hours trying to set the tent up because the instructions were not clear.
Wytch Wood Campsite – Facilities
Wytch Wood Campsite is a completely off the grid campsite with a focus on being more environmentally friendly, so you could say that it’s almost wild camping with a few facilities to give you some home comforts.
The facilities include;
- 8 Compost toilets positioned around the campsite
- Mobile shower block with three showers with biodegradable shampoo and soap provided
- 4 wash-up stations next to the shower block with biodegradable washing up liquid provided
- Bin and Recycling Area
- Filtered drinking water from a natural spring
- Various common areas to socialise with other campers on site
- Hardstanding Car Park
Additional Covid Safety Measures
As is the way of life at the minute, Wytch Wood has taken extra precautions to keep the spread of covid to a minimum, which you will see below;
- The site operates on a track and trace, where you scan an nhs bar code (make sure you have the NHS-Covid 19 App).
- All the pitches are spaced out to give you a socially distanced stay.
- There are disinfectant sprays in each toilet as well as at the washing up basins
- You have to book a time slot in the morning and in the evening to use the shower blocks.
- The Wash Basins and Shower blocks are cleaned twice a day and the toilets are cleaned once a day.
What to do on the Campsite
The whole point of camping is to get outside and enjoy nature and Wytch Wood Campsite is not short of nature as well as the sheep and horses, you may be lucky to catch a glimpse of some deers and be able to do some bird watching as well as stretching those legs and exploring the site.
Walking and Trails
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be Bear Grylls or an experienced hiker to walk and explore the trails at the Wytch Wood Campsite. The campsite has several footpaths which will take you on an adventure through various woodland trails and fields.
As it says in the title Wytch Wood Campsite is situated on a working farm called Blackmore Farm and has been farmed for nearly 60 years by the Newman family. It’s not a petting farm, but on one of the trails you can walk amongst the sheep and you can see the horses running around in the paddocks.
Axe Throwing and Archery
Whilst I stayed at Wytch Wood Campsite we had the pleasure of being invited to take part in Axe throwing and Archery which was run by RKS Unity and it was great fun. Ritchie the owner of RKS Unity was great at getting everyone involved and demonstrating how to do all the activities.
Although this is not every week I am sure that this can be booked either directly through RKS Unity or with Wytch Wood directly.
You will be able to read more about this experience soon as I will be writing about it in my next post.
Ice Cream Van Visit
I wasn’t on-site for the Ice Cream Van as I was already en route back to London. But every Friday during peak season a special visit from the ice cream van comes to camp, which is great for those scorching summer days.
Grabbing a Bite to Eat
So there are a few options for grabbing a bit to eat the first is to cook for yourself this can be done over the campfire, each pitch has its own campfire pit and there is a big communal one also. You could also use a camping stove (note to all you newbies, make sure the stove connection actually fits the gas canister before you go, I learned this the hard way).
If you don’t fancy cooking on-site you can always cheat and order a takeaway to be delivered, Han and I ordered from Crewkerne Kebab and Pizza House and were impressed with the food and the other option is to order from Domino’s Pizza (Yodelling for a Dominos doesn’t work).
There are a few pubs and restaurants in Crewkerne. I visited Billby’s twice whilst I was there, once for breakfast and on another day for some lunch. (Fun Fact about Billby’s, Sir Winston Church is said to have had secret meetings in the building during the war).
If you have a vehicle you can drive further out and head to one of the other village pubs, Han and I drove out to The Windwhistle Inn in Chard which was a 10-12 minute drive from the campsite, you could eat inside as well as sit in the beer garden and enjoy the view.
Activities To Do Off-Site
If you have a car, motorbike, bike or you’re happy to catch a Taxi there are plenty of places to visit.
The closest and easiest town to get to is Crewkerne. It has two big supermarkets (Lidl and Waitrose), A few pubs and plenty of places to grab a bite to eat.
You can also do your washing there in the self-service laundrette which I did and it cost me £8.00 for one washing machine and to use the dryer for 1 hour.
Other worthwhile places to consider during your stay (I didn’t actually do any of the suggestions below but I wanted to give the options);
- South West Deer Rescue Centre
- Crewkerene & District Musem
- Go for a swim in the Aqua Centre
- Visit Ham Hill Cider Distillery
- Forde Abbey House and Gardens
Overall Thoughts on Wytch Wood Campsite
Wytch Wood Campsite is great for those who want to experience camping but are not ready for full wild camping, it’s also great for those who want to visit a campsite that is not overcrowded with lots of people.
I did three nights on my own where I felt completely safe and surprisingly didn’t freak myself out. I was then joined for two days by my friend and fellow blogger Han from Han meets world, we had a nice relaxed time which was a well-deserved break with a difference after being stuck indoors like the rest of the world over the last year.
I have to give a big thumbs up to Elise who is the owner of Wytch Wood campsite, she works so incredibly hard to ensure that the site is clean and safe for all the guests and she does this all on her own, come rain or shine. But most importantly for me having worked in the travel and tourism industry for over 20 years, is that I like that Elise takes the time out of her very busy day to walk around to each pitch and visit each camper and speak to them and make them feel welcome and if there is anything they need and I witnessed that throughout my stay.
Now that I have done my first adult camping trip, I absolutely would return to Wytch Wood Campsite and truly believe that if you’re looking to go camping this year or you’re looking to staycation in the future then Wytch Wood should be on your list of places to stay.
Getting to and from Wytch Wood Campsite
Wytch Wood Camping, Blackmore Farm, Crewkerne TA18 8QP
I caught a train from Clapham Junction from Crewkerne Train station which cost me £34 return as I booked it a month in advance and took 2 hours and 30 minutes and no changing.
When you arrive at Crewkerne train station you will need to book a taxi, as there is not a taxi stand outside the station. Prices may vary, but I used MP taxis.
The trip from the station or from the town centre takes around 10 minutes depending on the traffic. This cost me £9.00 from the Train station to the campsite and I was charged the same price from Crewkerne town centre.
Having a vehicle is 100% needed if you plan on going off-site to explore. There is a car park on-site that visitors can use, just need to make sure that you check your tire pressure as the road leading up to the site is very gravely.
I would keep the hiking to the campsite. I followed google maps and it just wasn’t safe, as it takes you to busy roads with no footpaths, I got to a point where I ended up hitchhiking into Crewkerene town centre, which I have never done in my life but I had no choice. (I’m not gonna lie during that time I was genuinely praying that I was not gonna hitchhike with a serial killer, luckily that wasn’t the case and I survived to tell the tale, thanks to the lovely person that stopped for me)