There are Independent Hostels in Dartmoor National Park and Exmoor National Park.
Both these National Parks feature moorlands, fantastic walks, great cycling and much more.
Exmoor National Park is also a Dark Skies Reserve.
Dartmoor National Park features mysterious stone circles, granite tors and abandoned medieval villages.
Dartmoor National Park & Exmoor National Park
Countisbury Hill, Lynmouth, Devon, EX35 6NE
This cosy National Trust bunkhouse with woodburning stove & electric radiators, sits on the A39 at Countisbury, close to Lynton & Lynmouth on the North Devon Coast. Surrounded by the dramatic Watersmeet Valleys & Exmoor, it is close to the South West Coastal Path & Atlantic surf beaches. Perfect for families, groups & walkers, the barn is just along the road from Exmoor Bunkhouse (also in this guide), so it can be used as an overspill for larger groups. The Blue Ball, an old coaching inn, is opposite.
Countisbury, Lynton, Devon, EX35 6NE
Owned and managed by the National Trust, Exmoor Bunkhouse is the perfect base for groups or families visiting Exmoor National Park. Located at Countisbury, the bunkhouse is close to the Watersmeet Valleys and the picturesque North Devon coastal villages of Lynton and Lynmouth.
Enjoy walking, horse riding or surfing on nearby Atlantic coast beaches. Larger groups can holiday together at nearby Butter Hill Barn, (also in this guide).
16 The Parks, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 8BS
Base Lodge is your perfect base for exploring Exmoor, the Quantocks and North Devon. The South West Coast Path starts in Minehead and there is excellent mountain biking. Guided biking, navigational training, climbing, surfing, pony trekking and natural history walks can all be arranged. Base Lodge is clean, comfortable with self-catering and a cosy log burner.
Princetown, Yelverton, Devon. PL20 6SL
Set in a beautiful secluded valley in Dartmoor National Park, Bachelors Hall offers groups of all kind the chance to experience the freedom of the moor and the vastness of the landscape. Formerly run by the YHA, it was completely refurbished in 2019. Sleeping 60 across 6 rooms and 2 pods it is centrally heated with a commercial kitchen and large separate dining room/classroom. Outdoor activities can be organised if required.
Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 8NA
Set in 30 acres on the North Devon coast, the farm boasts sea views overlooking Woolacombe, Lundy Island, Lee Bay, Ilfracombe, and the Welsh coast. A former stable block with all accommodation on ground level with raised sleeping areas with mattresses.BYO sleeping bag/bedding and warm clothing. There is a dining area and well equipped kitchen. Toilets/coin operated showers are in a nearby block. No stag/hen parties. Dogs welcome with sole use bookings. B&B, camping and a static caravan are also available on site.
Exmoor Camping Barn, Drapers Way, Wheddon Cross, Minehead, Somerset TA24 7ED
Situated on a small farm in the heart of Exmoor National Park Exmoor Camping Barn, a recent conversion of a 19th century stone barn, offers quality accommodation for 10 on a sole use basis. The Coleridge Way runs through the farm leading to miles of footpaths & bridleways. The nearest beach is 7 miles & the local pub is 3/4 mile away.
The Leonard Wills Field Centre, Williton, Taunton, Somerset. TA4 4HT
FSC Nettlecombe Court is a Field Studies Council centre in the Exmoor National Park. A Tudor and Georgian country mansion set in extensive grounds, it sleeps up to 120 in spacious dorms, twin and single rooms (many en suite). Due to Covid 19 rooms are currently offered on a B&B basis at very reasonable rates. Self-catering is only possible if you book the whole centre.
Heddon Valley, Jose's Ln, Barnstaple EX31 4PY
Heddon Orchard Bothy is a four person hideaway located deep in the remote Heddon Valley. Close to the South West Coast Path and Heddon’s Mouth pebble beach on the Exmoor coast.
Embrace this remote rustic accommodation by bringing your own bedding/mats, cooking/BBQ equipment and a torch for the starlit walk to the toilet/washroom. The welcoming Hunter’s Inn Hotel is just 50 metres away.
29 St James Place, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9BJ
Close to the picturesque Ilfracombe Harbour, this clean and friendly hostel offers fantastic facilities for walkers, cyclists, surfers, families, schools and activity groups. Providing self-catering accommodation with great facilities including, communal lounge (free WiFi), bike/surfboard storage, drying area and free parking. Ilfracombe is full of cafés, galleries, shops and restaurants and is home to Damien Hirst's statue, Verity.
Chitcombe Farm, Huish Champflower, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 2EL
A small family farm in West Somerset on the edge of Exmoor, Chitcombe Farm provides inexpensive, basic, warm & dry accommodation. Perfect after a day hiking on Exmoor, or event training.
The Hay Barn, is a dormitory style open plan barn whilst The Cart Shed is an open plan chalet. Both have well equipped kitchens, bathroom with showers, seating areas and central heating. BYO pillows and sleeping bag.
45 Ford Street, Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor, Devon, TQ13 8LN
A small, friendly eco-hostel in the centre of Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor National Park. Popular with cyclists, hikers, bikers, wild swimmers, artists and photographers, A beautifully converted stone stable, with solar-heated showers, kitchen, courtyard, BBQ and secure bike shed. High open moorland, rocky tors, ancient burial sites, stone circles, woods and clear rivers close by. Moretonhampstead has shops, cafés, art galleries and pubs. On the Cicerone LEJOG, Dartmoor Way and CTC cycle routes.
Lighthouse Road, Countisbury, Lynton, Devon, EX35 6NE
Foreland Bothy on the National Trust Foreland Point Estate on the Exmoor coast offers very basic accommodation, but rewards you with a fantastic location right on the South West Coast Path.
Treat it like camping but without the tent, so you need to bring camping mats, sleeping bags and cooking equipment. There is a composting loo but no hot water. The perfect location for a night or two for those who want to escape technology in this wilderness under some stunning dark skies.
West Combeshead, Harford, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 0JG
Harford Bunkhouse & Camping offers comfortable budget accommodation on the edge of stunning South Dartmoor. An ideal choice if you are planning to start the Two Moors Way walk from south to north. Run alongside a working farm, the bunkhouse offers dormitory style accommodation with self catering facilities for up to 50. The campsite is on two of the farm’s meadows. There are also two camping pods and a cabin which sleep up to 6 people each.
Hollam, Dulverton, Somerset, TA22 9JH
A mile outside the town of Dulverton on Exmoor, Northcombe Camping Barns nestle in the Barle river valley with good canoeing, walking and bridleways. A perfect base for groups on Exmoor. The barns sleep 16 and 28 in partitioned dormitories. Smaller groups can be catered for. Heated by wood-burning stoves with a well equipped kitchen, you just need to bring your own pillows, sleeping bags or duvets.
Steps Bridge, Dunsford, Devon, EX6 7EQ
In secluded, native woodland on the eastern edge of Dartmoor, the cabin has been a hostel since the 1930s. Friendly and peaceful, with a homely living room, wood burner, self-catering kitchen, picnic tables, BBQ and fire pit. Walk straight from the door to Heltor and Blackingstone Rock or along the river to Fingle Bridge and Castle Drogo. Cross stepping stones to Dunsford village. Near Moretonhampstead and Exeter. On the LEJOG cycling route.
Week Farm, Bridgetown, Dulverton TA22 9JP
Formerly a granary on a working farm, this eco-friendly bunkbarn is close to Winsford Hill and Wimbleball lake. Perfect for exploring Exmoor on foot, bike or canoe. Hot water, central heating & WiFi included in price. Well equipped, open-plan kitchen/dinning with seating for all. Large drying room. Outside BBQ area and small field with campfire. BYO bedding & towels. Sleeps max 25 - sole use only. Free logs for the stove and camp fire. Enjoy Exmoor’s dark skies.
The west country has two lovely National Parks in the form of Dartmoor National Park and Exmoor National Park. Both are famous for their ponies which roam wild on the moorland areas. Although smaller than other UK national Parks these two still pack a punch and are very much worth a visit.
Dartmoor National Park, is wholly in Devon and is famous for it’s granite tors, bronze age stone circles and areas of mystery. The mixture of wide open moorlands and deep river valleys results in a variety of habitats and thus a rich wildlife making the area a nature watcher’s paradise. The moor is dotted with market towns and medieval villages which contrast with the wilds of the moorland habitat surrounding them. Dartmoor prison is a famous landmark as well as Hay Tor a granite outcrop which offers spectacular views over the National Park and the south Devon Coast.
Exmoor National Park is partially in Devon and mostly in Somerset. It has a stunning coast line on the Bristol Channel. The small towns on Ilfracombe and Minehead sit right on the edge of the National Park and the coast has a number of National Trust properties which are open to the public. Exmoor National Park offers the visitor great cycling and walking within it’s stunning woodlands, beautiful moors. Rock pool lovers will be rewarded with stunning rock pools teaming with wildlife after Europes highest tides have receeded. Exmoor boasts the longest wooded coast in the UK as well as England’s tallest tree and the highest seacliffs on the British Mainland. You can explore Exmoor via the South West Coast Path which starts in Minehead or cross it on the Two Moors Way from Lynton. Exmoor National Park is also a dark skies reserve so perfect for stargazers who want to be guaranteed a properly dark sky.