Visit Tamar Valley - Harford Bridge Park Camping Fields

Harford Bridge Holiday Park: A Haven of Tranquillity in Nature

Harford Bridge is a 16-acre ‘5-star’ camping and holiday park nestled in lush Devon countryside on the western edge of Dartmoor.  It’s around 2 miles from the historic market town of Tavistock and near the quiet moorland village of Peter Tavy.  The park stands as a family-run haven where tranquillity and nature intertwine. A place where guests can immerse themselves equally in the beauty of the Tamar Valley to the west, and Dartmoor National Park to the east. The pretty River Tavy forms a park boundary, and the slopes of Cox Tor tower 300 meters above its scenic meld of trees, hedges, and grass.  Further to the north, Smeardon Down dominates the skyline.  

In this article, we take a look at how, since 1985 and under the present family’s ownership, the park has been welcoming holidaymakers with warmth and hospitality, whilst upholding a commitment to preserve the environment. 

Visit Tamar Valley - Harford Bridge Park View to Cox Tor

A journey of passion and expertise

The park has evolved in the hands of the Williamson family who have nurtured and re-modelled it over nearly 40 years.  Back in the 1980s, it consisted of underdeveloped fields with caravans dotted here and there on the grass. Since then, a significant programme of hedge planting has transformed its appearance. Biodiversity is boosted with many resident birds, hedgehogs, and even the park’s flock of domesticated free-range ducks adding to its abundant charm. 

In the 1980s, Park administration used clipboards, paper, and pencils.  With the coming of computers and the Internet – bookings are now over the phone with an immediate e-mail confirmation. Or, more often, online by the guest themselves.  

For those who wish to remain ‘connected’, free Wi-Fi spans the park. What’s more a completely free, content-rich mobile app provides a host of information to ensure that everyone gets the best out of the holiday experience. Guests can also use the app to order freshly cooked pastries and baguettes from the park shop during their stay.  

This blend of naturalistic landscaping and easy access to services and holiday information hallmark a park that has transitioned to meet 21st Century expectations.  Yet retains at its core, a relaxing holiday experience with tranquillity and a naturalistic countryside setting. This blend helps ensure that more than 6 in 10 guests book return stays, with some even enjoying an annual holiday year after year over decades.

Visit Tamar Valley Harford Bridge Park Shop
Visit Tamar Valley - Harford Bridge Park Games Room
Visit Tamar Valley - Harford Bridge Park Hire Caravans

A Family Affair

The owner’s adult children have been hands-on since 2008, when day-to-day running of the park passed to Lydia, Nigel & Paul. Under their management, significant investment was made in developing the park’s facilities. Improvements include a reliable electricity supply and fresh Dartmoor water from a park borehole.  Elsewhere, new buildings replaced some that dated back to the park’s days as a farm and then a WW2 camp leading up to the 1944 D-Day invasion.  Back then the area was a base for an American Infantry Division that landed at Omaha Beach. 

Legacy buildings and infrastructure from those days are now either updated or replaced entirely.  They include an all-new games room and other service buildings erected since the 2019 pandemic.  These upgrades have been acknowledged with three consecutive Visit Devon Quality in Tourism awards – most recently a 2021/22 ‘Gold’ award.  

Preserving Nature's Harmony and Tranquillity

The driver for the management of the park is a commitment to operate in harmony with the environment. This ethos is recognised over the last two decades by a ‘Gold’ conservation award.  For the family team, the park’s uniqueness lies in the tranquillity on offer, one that encourages guests to wind down and reconnect with the natural world.

Harford Bridge Park is quite unlike the large, bustling holiday parks that appeal to energetic families, groups, and party-people. Whilst it invites visitors to embrace a slower pace and appreciate the natural surroundings there are thrills aplenty for adventurers, walkers, cyclists, and recreational tourists to discover nearby.

Whilst on-park, the River Tavy provides a backdrop for relaxation and can be accessed from two small pebble beaches.

Visit Tamar Valley - Harford Bridge park Camping Field
Visit Tamar Valley - Harford Bridge Park Escape Pods & Shepherds Hut

The rustle of leaves, birdsong, and a glimpse of dippers, kingfishers, and herons going about their daily business combine to create an enchanting atmosphere that is far removed from many guests’ everyday. 

The park is typically tranquil as opposed to busy. However, in July, August, and during bank holidays, the character changes and becomes a place where families and friends enjoy the outdoors and get social. So picking holiday dates to suit your mood is always a sensible plan.

Harford Bridge Park is not only a haven for humans but also a sanctuary for nature’s diversity. There is a strong resident breeding population of hedgehogs, and sparrows and swifts set up home in summer to nest and bring on their young.  At night many bats emerge to feed, particularly along the course of the river.

The family’s dedication to preserving this precious biodiversity is evident in the park’s operations. Investments have been made in eco-friendly infrastructure, service vehicles have been replaced with electric alternatives and roof-mounted solar panels increasingly offset grid-supplied electricity.

Getting about with ease

The park is ideally located for adventuring.  Guests can easily explore the area by car, bus, on foot, or bicycle.  National Cycle Route 27 runs past the park, and a bus that connects Plymouth, Tavistock, Okehampton, and the link to the Dartmoor Railway Line stops 150m from the park entrance.  The main A-road is far enough away so as not to spoil the peace and quiet, yet close enough for easy access by car or motorhome.

A Family-Friendly Retreat in Nature's Embrace

At Harford Bridge Park, a warm welcome is on offer to everyone, including the beloved family dog. At the heart of the park, little ones can discover an excellent play park, with climbing structures, slides, and swings. The nearby dedicated dog-walk features a tree and wildflower reserve that is planted with over 400 native broadleaf trees inviting visitors to follow its trails and explore the meadow.  

Heritage fruit trees have also been planted, including the Tamar Valley Black Cherry and heritage varieties of apple no longer grown commercially, but that have unique characteristics that deserve preservation.

An award winning stay

Visit Tamar Valley - Harford Bridge Park View to Cox Tor

Harford Bridge Park offers camping and touring, glamping and self-catering holidays that undoubtedly achieve a harmonious coexistence between us and the natural world.  Recent independently assessed quality in tourism awards at ‘Gold’ level verify its place in the top flight for parks of its kind – being small, well maintained, and harmonious with the managed landscape that surrounds it on the Western edge of England’s first National Park and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that bridges Devon and Cornwall. 

If you are looking for a tranquil holiday base that provides a naturalistic setting, yet offers the high-quality facilities usually associated with bigger parks, Harford Bridge should be very high on your pick list. Enjoy an idyllic Devon holiday that will transport you to an oasis of calm, yet provide sufficient diversity out and about so as to make for a truly “Memorable Devon holiday”. 

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