Whether you’re searching for a campsite near the surf, a family-friendly spot on a farm or a scenic cliff-top getaway, you’re bound to find a campsite to suit in Cornwall. To help you find the cream of the Cornish crop, we’ve asked Amy Woodland from coolcamping.com for her favourite places to pitch…
The feeling of sand between the toes, the smell of freshly caught crabs on the quay, the sound of seagulls above a harbour town and the taste of clotted cream ice-cream… holidays in Cornwall are the ultimate release from normal life. And there’s no better way to experience this incredible corner of England than on a camping holiday. Whether you want to pitch up in the Cornish countryside or camp slap bang on the coast, pitching a tent really gets your out there and puts you in amongst the scenery. Not only that, but it’s great value and great fun too. The experts at Cool Camping have spent years seeking out the best campsites in the country. Here are just five of their favourites in Cornwall…
Expect a warm Cornish welcome from Granary Barn’s owner, Tom, and his dog Flash, who, together, run this laid-back farm campsite where tents and a handful of campervans cover three fields. There’s also a farmhouse B&B and a cosy hotel-style bunkhouse, though we prefer the open starry skies of the south-west. By day, explore the Lizard Peninsula or the nearby harbour village of Porthleven, while, at night, raised pits allow for marshmallow toasting and fireside stargazing. Facilities are basic but always clean and the site is open all year round.
Set just inland from surf-centric Bude on the North Cornwall coast, this seven-acre space is the ultimate eco-friendly campsite. Solar heated showers, composting toilets, a permaculture garden and up-cycled amenities, make for a camping experience as green as the surroundings, while children will love getting hands on with the animals – rescued creatures range from alpacas to tortoises and sheep to rabbits. It’s a one-mile walk along Bude Canal to the main beach or ask on site for directions to a secret, more secluded spot just along the coastal path.
If you want a central base for all the best-loved attractions, then head for Elm Farm. St Ives, St Michael’s Mount and the Eden Project are all within easy driving distance of the campsite – home to 25 grass pitches and a trio of pre-erected bell tents – while the North Cornwall coves of Portreath and Porthtowan are less than two miles away. And if you don’t fancy driving, why not use pedal power? The campsite first started as a bike-hire shop and café, owing to its location slap bang on the Mineral Tramways cycle network, and still offers a range of bikes (and cakes) today.
It’s near impossible to get bored at Mena Farm – which makes it a great place to take the kids. Once the excitement of setting up camp has worn off, you can explore the site’s 15 acres, which include woodland and lakes in addition to camping meadows. There’s a small playground complete with a wooden fort, as well as a games barn with table tennis, table football, board games and books. Fish in the site’s small lake, collect eggs from the farm’s hens and pet the resident kune kune pigs, or hire bikes and explore nearby Lanhydrock – a National Trust-owned park with car-free cycling trails.
In harsh weather, this cliff-top campsite on Cornwall’s Roseland Peninsula can be pretty exposed but it’s worth it for the stunning sea views, revealed every time you unzip the tent. To the west is Veryan Bay and miles of craggy coastline, and to the south-east is the open sea. It’s an easy stroll onto the coastal path, with no fewer than three excellent beaches – Hemmick, Vault and Gorran Haven – within easy reach. Return to camp in time for a slap-up meal or Cornish cream tea at The Secret Garden (the on-site organic café) then settle back at your tent, pitched in one of three spacious meadows.
Based on their leading guidebooks, Cool Camping offer an online collection of the very best camping and glamping sites in the UK and Europe. Discover their full collection of campsites in Cornwall here