Inner City Kids

Right, my mission for 2020 is to get as many Inner City Kids as I can to experience the wilds of Exmoor.

We have had several groups of Inner City dwelling kids at the centre over the years and it always amazes me how much they have missed out on. We have had 15year olds who have never been on a rope swing, 13year olds who have never seen a cow or chicken, most have never experienced a proper night sky. Night skies are a bit of the thing here, on cloudless nights you can see the Milky Way and on cloudy nights you can’t see anything, you won’t believe how dark a night can be with no light pollution, it terrifies some people.

Our little bunkhouse has 14 bunks and camping space outside for many more to stay. If you work with kids you get in touch, we work with several other groups who could help you bring kids here to experience the wonders of Exmoors Dark Skies.

The Plough and campfire spark trails over The Exmoor Centre

The Plough and campfire spark trails over The Exmoor Centre

The Milky Way over The Exmoor Centre

The Milky Way over The Exmoor Centre

Winter at The Exmoor Centre

Winter has officially started on Exmoor, we have had the first frosts and now the first snow of the season. We love the winter here, some of the best nights we have stayed out at the centre have been in the winter months, sledging and snowball fights, cold clear nights around the campfire stargazing and counting Satellites as they stream across the sky.

Winter campfires are just the best. These pics were taken a couple of weeks ago as we practiced our light sabre skills, A smoky campfire and a couple of cheap LED torches gives you hours of fun!

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We have plenty of availability over the winter this year, escape the relentless Brexit and Election nonsense and come and play around the campfire at The Exmoor Centre. Email us for details.

A bit damper than usual

Sometimes it does get a bit rainy on Exmoor and that can make getting to and from the Exmoor Centre a little more exciting.

Usually this ford can be crossed in walking boots without getting your feet wet in fact you are less likely to get wet feet walking through the river than trying to use the wobbley stepping stones. Today though the river was nearly 3 feet deep, no problem for our modified Land Rover and military trailer though so it was service as usual. Sometimes it does get deeper and we have had the water come over the Land Rovers bonnet a few times, that is a bit deep for the trailer though!

Luckily if you are on foot there is an alternative way to get to and from the centre from the west.


SneakyFox Outdoors ran our first Primary Schools Bushcraft Day of 2013 last week with Ilfracombe Primary School. You can read lead instructor Paul Blacks report on the SneakyFox website here –

StMary Lyncombe Exmoor Trust have secured funding through Heart of Exmoor ( )and Ilfracombe Rotary to put these free schools days on this summer. If you are interested in your school joining future free events at The Exmoor Centre please get in touch.

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Dark Sky

As there was nobody booked in at the centre this weekend we took the opportunity to nip out ourselves. With very little moonlight this weekend the night skies were amazing. Here are a few photographs showing the Milky Way and The Plough in all their glory, these were taken without a remote shutter release and on a wobbly tripod so they aren’t professional standard but they do give you an idea of what you can expect to see at The Exmoor Centre on a clear night.


Cooling off in the river

Fun at The Exmoor Centre

We don’t do Technology at The Exmoor Centre. Phones don’t work, Game Consoles and MP3 players soon run out of charge, there is no internet connection. What we do have is far better, just look at the expressions…

Wild swimming and larking about in the splash-pool upstream of the centre is a favourite, you soon get used to the chilly water. Night swimming is even better for the brave, lying in the natural hydro-therapy spa that is the white water of hoaroak water and stagazing is an experience you’ll never forget.

The zipline isn’t a permanent feature of the site, but its very popular when it is brought out to play.

The winter is the best time to be at the centre, being in a steep sided valley high on the moor we get morning frosts for 7months of the year! We don’t let bad weather get in the way of the fun though, just stoke up the woodburner and get out and play. Drying out and warming up over toasted marshmallows around the fire is part of the experience.

Outside at The Exmoor Centre

Outside the bunkhouse there is a brick built BBQ and eating area with picnic tables, this links through to the main campfire area.

At the back of the centre there is ample undercover drying space, sadly much used given Exmoor’s climate!

The main site area itself is fenced and provides a good level camping area and is ideal for games and team building activities. We have recently installed a gate giving easy access to the river as it is often used as a natural fridge or more often it seems for water-fights!

The outer site area provides additional wild camping areas and steep woodland that again can be used for team building activities, this outer area opens direct onto the moor giving access to one of the most remote and untouched valleys on Exmoor. We have recently added a temporary nature watching hide at the top of the site, this it is hoped will become a permanent feature when we have decided if its location is right.

The site is approximately a km from the nearest houses and has some of the darkest night skies in the world making stargazing an unforgettable experience for those more used to town life.