Where: South Penquite Farm, Bodmin, North Cornwall.
How Much: Fri and Sat nights: Adults £8, Kids £4. Other nights: Adults £7.50, Kids £3.50. Kids under 5 always free
Campfires: Yes, fire pits. Or wherever, it seemed.
Wood: Wood and kindling available at the farmhouse. We brought our own so not sure how much it was. People next to us collected loads of wood on the moor.
Types of camping: No caravans. Tents and campervans ok.
Facilities: Showers, toilets, laundry facilities, games/toy room, games barn, kids play area, mobile phone recharging lockers.
This was our first stop on our tour of Cornwall. As we passed Bodmin and approached the moor the rain pelted down and I re-considered the wisdom of booking a campsite high on a moor, even if it is August. I love a good bit of wild moorland, great for hiking, nature spotting and just a really good sense of wilderness. But this was our summer hols, could this have been an error?
It was a bit tricky to find, mainly because the directions can be misinterpreted. (Take the second turning to St Breward – is that the second turning which is to St Breward
the second turning which has a sign post to St Breward? – The latter it turns out!) Anyway, perhaps a blessing in disguise as when we finally rolled over the mini bridge and approached the farm gate the rain had subsided and the sun was beginning to break through, phew.
First impressions are good. There is an attractive, well designed shower block, a small children’s play area and plenty of space. We approached the farm house, there are signs telling you to pitch where you like and book in during certain hours. In fact its worth popping in to the courtyard and checking as there is often someone there ‘out of hours’. We easily found a pitch with plenty of space around it, a fire pit and a good view. Choose your pitch carefully , although we did have a great view, it was rather an exposed spot, we are high up here. There are more sheltered spots with less impressive views.
This campsite has some really great facilities. The showers are spacious, well designed, attractive. Easily the best campsite showers I have ever seen. The toilet block and washing facilities where similarly outstanding. I don’t normally make a big thing of facilities but these have been created with so much care and they where always squeaky clean, I can’t ignore them! My only tiny gripe was the piped music in the toilets, strange and unnecessary.
Other Attractions on site
Also on site is a games barn, with limited interest to younger kids but still an added attraction. (They could perhaps take some notes from Ewleaze who just equip a barn with piles of straw bales and some ropes hung from the rafters.) There is also a small play area with swings and a climbing thingy plus a handy room equipped with lego, board games, cars and a cool toy castle. A very nice touch especially in this location which does after all have, well you know ‘weather’. There are loads of free range hens, ducks, etc plus the chance to see the wild ponies frolicking round the edges of the campsite.
This campsite was pretty close to perfect, however, it was perhaps a little too perfect. A few rough edges could have made it a better experience. In this fairly remote area it would have been good if the site had felt a little wilder. There is a lovely little stream just outside the site, if only it could have been easily accessed from the pitches. The games room was supposed to be for supervised children only and the games in the barn where a little jaded. Having said that they had thoughtfully mapped out a couple of walks around the organic farm with good directions and including a short walk along the fast moving De Lank River.
Of course there is all of the moor to explore, a couple of small picturesque villages and lots of wildlife. We didn’t explore Bodmin town, but it is the start of the Camel Trail, an excellent traffic free bike trail and bikes can be hired in Bodmin.
It is roughly a 30 mins drive to the cool surfing beach of Polzeath. Approx 40mins to Padstow and 30mins toPort Isaac.
In summary: In all a nice, well run site and with plenty of space, good facilities and in reasonable driving distance of very popular areas of Cornwall such as Padstow etc. On the downside Bodmin Moor is high and does attract bad weather and if I’m going to put up with that I would like a bit more wildness to compensate! So if you are camping in North Cornwall it is definitely worth a visit. Just pack your raincoat.