Stay & Enjoy

Under canvas: camping in Cornwall

Camping is a wonderful way to stay in Cornwall. Whatever your idea of the perfect Cornish escape under canvas is, you’re guaranteed to find a pitch that makes you happy here, in a county home to secret woodland campsites, gorgeous tipi tents, clifftop fields, working farms and sites just steps away from great surf.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some suggestions for campsites in the region. Of course, there are far many more exemplary offerings than we can feature here, but as a good start, both Cool Camping and Pitchup are excellent resources.

A walker and wild swimmer’s dream location, Treen Farm couldn’t be closer to the South West Coast Path. Grassy fields overlook the blue ocean and you can expect simple amenities and a friendly vibe. Walk along the coast path to the left to unearth glorious coves and cliff paths, or hike to the right to catch an evening of live music at the Minack Theatre. If you’re bringing your surfboard and are set on some wave-hunting, try Gwithian Farm Campsite, only a ten minute walk from Gwithian and Godrevy beaches’ three miles of golden sands, well-loved in Cornwall for their reliable surf all year round and with lots of space for beginners and pros to share the waves or to join a lesson with the local surf school. Alternatively, wake up to views across the ocean from Beacon Cottage Farm in St Agnes, a clifftop campsite where you can pitch your tent and park your surfboard just a few hundred yards from the sea.

Cornwall also does a fine line in glamping sites, where you can kip in comfort in a palatial tipi or a roomy yurt. Cornish Tipi Holidays in Port Isaac has its own lake at the heart of a woodland campsite – spend the day messing about on the water and the night sat by the campfire at your cosy tipi. Or escape to the woods at the Paddock Wildcamp, an off-grid bell tent camp near Newquay with campfires and yoga classes on tap.

Who says a Cornish campsite has to be coastal? Head to Bodmin Moor to find South Penquite Farm down a lost lane, a charming grassy campsite with a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. Ideal for tents, campervans and families. Or for something a little different, try Mousehole Camping, which doubles up as the local football pitch for most of the year.

The further south you go in Cornwall, the more wild and remote the terrain gets – and if you want to feel like you’re camping on the edge of the world, head to the Lizard peninsula. Tiny but charming Henry’s Campsite feels more like a garden than a camping spot and is the most southerly campsite in Great Britain. Full of artwork and interesting twists-and-turns, it even holds its own micro festival each summer.

If you want to escape even further, pop your tent aboard the Scillonian ferry and head for the Isles of Scilly for an island-hopping canvas adventure. On the largest island of St Mary’s sits the Garrison Campsite, once a historic fort where you can now camp among palm trees and spot wild rabbits. Bryher may be a tiny and car-free island but it’s still home to its own campsite, which also rents out bell tents. Or camp right by the water’s edge at Troytown Farm on the island of St Agnes, where you can spend your days swimming in the ocean, exploring the coastline by kayak (you can rent kayaks and paddleboards a few steps away from your tent) or just toasting marshmallows over a fire on the sand as the sun sets.

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