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Cornish Tipi Holidays & Camping

· St Kew, Cornwall, England
20 acres hosted by Cornish T.
19 glamping pitches · 20 motorhome pitches · 65 tent pitches
Creature comforts
Enjoy the comforts of home at some sites—including flush toilets, showers, and a kitchen.
Cornish is a Star Host
Star Hosts are highly rated, responsive, and committed to providing incredible experiences.
Best in South West England: Finalist
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.

Rural Cornwall doesn’t exactly strike you as ultra-modern, a place ahead of the curve. Take this campsite, for example, arranged around a stunning spring-fed lake in the old Tregildrans quarry it has an altogether more timeless quality. The thick, mature trees, the emerald waters and the fern covered escarpments that tumble down into the lake could well have been painted in a picture many centuries ago. There’s no onsite shop taking contactless payment cards, no Wi-Fi, no playground. It’s all a bit 1920s. Isn’t it?

In fact, few campsites are as ahead of the curve as Cornish Tipi Holidays. Back in 2005 when we first discovered the site in our first edition of Hipcamp: Kids, the campsite had already been running for ten years and was championing something innovative. Set up in 1996 by Elizabeth Tom, it was the first commercial tipi campsite in England and was offering nights beneath the stars in a tipi before the word ‘glamping’ had even been invented. Today the 19 North American-style abodes are still going strong, with two different sizes on offer, but are now joined by regular camping too.

While fashionistas are throwing up Alice Temperley-style tipis and yurts across the great British countryside, Cornish Tipi Holidays, ever ahead of the game, are part of the new back-to-basic counter culture. Bring your own tent, avoid the crowds and pick whatever pitch you want – an open meadow space with fellow campers, a private, secluded clearing among the trees, a grassy patch with views… there’s a full 20 acres of beautifully rural space to explore, so you’ll easily find a spot to suit.

All of these campers have the same facilities as the tipi dwellers – hot showers and loos – while the campsite environment lends itself wholeheartedly to anyone with an imagination. It’s easy to spend entire days by the lake, messing about in a boat or fishing for trout (bring your own rods and licence) and life-jackets can be borrowed from the warden. You can even bring your own canoe if you want to. Hide and seek along the winding paths edged by tumbling blackberries or bright-yellow gorse is a must, while there’s also the larger ‘village field’ for children to charge about in, and the ‘top village field’ has a spectacular totem pole. In this wilder-than-wild environment, kids can’t fail to flourish. No surprise, then, to hear that Alice Temperley herself spent her honeymoon here. Now what on earth would Hiawatha have thought about that?

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126 Ratings · 118 reviews
Faith H.recommends
June 6, 2024
Railway 1 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Best Campsite in Cornwall
Hi, this is by far the best campsite I've ever used. I loved it because each pitch (unless you opt for the meadow sites) are private and done with such a great aesthetic sense of beauty, proportion, and highlighting or showing off the natural elements. I love the eco ethic as well, with compost loos (not smelly at all if people follow the rules) and nice touches like Who Gives A Crap toilet paper! Hot water for washing hands, and the showers are almost like an outdoor shower but with great pressure and HOT water - better than my shower at home. Best of all was the place is teeming with wildlife, particularly birds. Bring earplugs if you don't wish to be woken by a pretty impressive dawn chorus, including several competing cockerels! That was the only downside for me, as I'm very sensitive to noise. But it had its charms. Close to the seaside and so many interesting places and great places to eat. The lake is restful and serene, good for swimming or fishing. Highly recommend this place.
Sufian G.recommends
May 28, 2024
Very Well, maintained place with loads of activities
Calum K.recommends
April 22, 2024
Lake Woods 2 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Perfect balance of wilderness, tranquillity and functional facilities. Lovely location and the lake with free canoes/kayaks was so peaceful, toilets were clean and the shower and hot water worked flawlessly. Picnic bench and fire pit on every tent pitch was a great touch. Would definitely stay again and was for sure worth the extra money over staying in a random field somewhere
Graeme W.
April 8, 2024
75 - Wild Camping - Meadow Tent Pitch
Not fully open but beautiful
I'm sure it would be lovely in the summer. Our visit was during changeable weather in April and the lack of wind protection in the top meadow was a challenge for our awning. The basic facilities were great (toilets and Showers) but there was no cafe at any time and just being open for an hour or two a day would have changed the experience completely. We had no idea that there was a kitchen, as advertised? It would have been nice for the owners to come over and introduce themselves rather than being shown the field and then left to our own device. The setting is stunning in every way and it would look/feel so different in summer, as I said at the beginning.
Alec C.recommends
September 14, 2023
JACKIES- Medium Tipi - Private
Cornish Tipis review
We loved staying in the tipi, the spot was very nice, secluded in the woods, very peaceful, swimming in the lake and relaxing with a fire in the evening, the tip comes equipped with everything you need except bedding and towels
Mic ?.
September 3, 2023
Ashacre - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Back to nature
The site is very special - very unique. The lake is a wonderful place - with the free canoes and life jackets for all to enjoy. The Gastropod prepared very tasty food and catered to our gluten free needs. The wood fired pizzas are very tasty. The showers were hot with a good flow. The compost loos an experience. A few too many people clearly had not used them before and they were very very smelly…. Sadly the rain had done a good job in soaking the individual pitches and most were wading in mud with a few patches of grass. Ashacre was ok although we pinched a mat to help us not slip. The long walk to it was at times a bit treacherous too over exposed slippy tree roots - especially with the broken wheelbarrow given to move belongings. (Which we did a bodge repair job to). We love the back to nature vibe (we wildcamp!) but I guess if our summers prove to be as wet as this in the future - a few modifications to help combat this would be welcomed by campers - . As the walks around site were all very very muddy. Another couple asked to move pitch and thankfully one was free. We enjoyed our stay overall.
St Kew, Cornwall, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking

Hosted by Cornish T.

Joined in March 2017
From the host
Wake up to the sound of birdsong, go swimming before breakfast in the clear water of a secluded lake. Cook your bacon and eggs over an open fire while you plan your day, or just laze it away in the peace and quiet of your own personal tipi. You can always go fishing tomorrow, and walk along the cliffs the day after that… The site is a unique woodland valley folded around a clear, spring-fed lake created from the old Tregildrans Quarry. Our tipis and tent pitches are dotted about this secret 20 acres full of ferns, bluebells, oak and meadowsweet. Left in peace for many years there's been no modern chemicals or poisons on the land, meaning we've got bluebells, dormice, Red Admirals and shy woodland Jays for you to spot. It’s a place set apart from the rush and clutter of the modern holiday experience, with an atmosphere that makes you forget the world outside, and just lounge, ramble, or potter about in a boat. We're committed to giving you a genuinely individual service from first contact to your time staying with us. We established CTH in 1996. This was the first and we believe still is the best tipi holiday site in the UK. We know our area inside out and can always help with local knowledge or contacts if you need them. We want to offer our guests a sustainable holiday. A return to real camping means the lowest possible impact on the land and environment - our tipi poles don’t even break the surface of the earth. Your footprint while here could only be bettered by a survival expert. You don't have to fly! a major bonus, and we source all our wood, fish and canvas locally and work with local people wherever possible.
Nearby attractions
It’s a 5-minute drive to the some of the best sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and adrenaline-filled coasteering in the UK – all out of beautiful Port Quin. Try Cornish Coast Adventures (01209 880280) for routes and equipment. Head to Port Isaac (01208 880200), a great place for sea-kayaking, and buying scallops or crabs. Pick up the Camel Trail near Wadebridge (01460 221162) and explore the 16 miles John Betjeman described as ‘the best journey in England’. Lanhydrock House (01208 265950) is a Victorian mansion near Bodmin, with over 50 rooms to explore. On the south coast stop at Charlestown Shipwreck Centre (01726 69897) in the historic china-clay building. You can walk through underground tunnels and there’s an exciting collection of dive treasures.
Food and drink
The Gastropod our on-site cafe -  great for a lovely breakfast and evening meals such as Woodfired pizza night, Thali night , Taco night etc– all delicious! Check seasonal opening times.For groceries use the Spar in Delabole (01840 213897).  You can buy excellent pasties from either Aunt Avice's (great egg-and-bacon pie) at St Kew or Cornish Maids in Camelford (01840 212749). We’ve got a spectacular local pub just inland, 5 mins drive away, St Kew Inn (01208 841259) . The Port Gaverne Restaurant & Hotel in nearby Port Isaac offers great food and is right beside the sea (01208 880244).
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