Quiet camping meadows and a friendly café located beside some of Cornwall's most popular cycling routes
Opened in 2014, Elm Farm is far more than just a campsite. Capitalising on its prime location beside the Mineral Tramways cycle network, Elm Farm is a campsite-cum-cycle-centre with a cute little café thrown in for good measure. It’s a family-run establishment less than two miles by bike from the nearest beach – pick from Portreath and Porthtowan or explore secret swimming holes like Fisherman’s Cove – while, inland, trails weave you through the county’s 19th-century mining history, past moonscape quarries and ancient copper mines.
The site’s two camping meadows are simple, off-grid affairs and have been left purposefully alone in order to maintain their natural appeal – to people and wildlife alike. Buzzards are common, barn owls are sometimes heard in the night and stoats have even been spotted, hidden beyond the great elm trees that border the field and give the farm its name. With just 25 pitches there’s ample space for ball games, and the pair of family shower rooms and compost toilets are more than adequate, though the café has flushing loos if you prefer.
If you haven’t brought your own bikes for exploring the many routes on offer, you can hire them from the Elm Farm café and cycle shop. Campers get a discounted rate, while those who’ve booked one of the site’s two pre-pitched, furnished bell tents are given bikes for free. Even as you stride to the café, housed inside a cute, converted shed, your eyes are drawn to the landscape beyond. Laity Moor stretches out in the distance to Carn Brea hill, one of the highest points in the local area, from which you can see both the north and south Cornwall coast.
If you don’t fancy schlepping up the hill on your bike, you can stick to the easy ride down to the beach instead. Alas, you can’t cycle with a board under your arm but there’s a surf school at Porthtowan from which you can hire them if needed. So if you fancy throwing yourself into the laid back surfer vibe of the place, you’ve got no excuse.
Redruth, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Ali W.Joined in February 2017
41 Ratings · 44 reviews
August 1, 2022
Such a hidden gem! Lovely host, spacious pitch, beautiful surroundings and a stones throw from everything we needed to get to. Great vibe across the whole campsite, will definitely stay again :)
July 26, 2022
Lovely site. My go to in this part of Cornwall.
July 25, 2022
Brilliant spot to camp
Plenty of pitches available and as flat as needed to pitch a tent. There was plenty of toilets and showers available so we never had to queue. The toilets were always clean and never had a bad smell. The showers were absolutely brilliant, lovely and warm, great to wash the beach off at the end of the day. The washing up station had drinking water, so good to wash up, brush teeth and refill water bottles. The cafe and bike hire were an added bonus. Location is brilliant for Portreath and Porthtowan beaches. Not too far to drive for St. Ives, Penzance etc. Ali was a brilliant host and very accommodating when our next campsite ended up being below par, she allowed us to come back to Elm farm, right at the last minute. The fridge, charging points and ping pong table all made the stay just that extra bit more enjoyable! Plenty of pubs and eateries around the site, within driving distance.. we enjoyed a couple of games of Pool in one of the neighbouring towns. Lovely atmosphere and scenery around the site. Only downside were the 8 legged critters that liked to take sanctuary around the facilities, but that can’t be helped when camping! Can’t wait to visit again!
July 24, 2022
The dog loved it!
The site was beautiful and the atmosphere was great. We enjoyed the cafe being over the road and loved being competitive with the table tennis table. Our puppy loved the space and how he could meet as many people as possible. Although it was only 2 miles from our home, it was nice to have peace and quiet.
July 23, 2022
What a fabulous campsite!
Such a lovely setting, and the eco set up was fab. The folks there were super friendly, as were our fellow campers. Will definitely come back, and will hire a bike to explore at a slower pace.
July 22, 2022
Such a good site. Super friendly, great space, good location, warm showers and clean toilets.
From the host
Elm Farm Camping has provided an authentic slice of rural Cornish life for hundreds of guests over the years. If you’re trying to get away from it all, one afternoon watching someone trying to herd stubborn farm animals might persuade you that the stresses of the city aren’t really quite so bad after all. Our lovely camping pitches are positioned around the perimeter of two spacious fields which leaves plenty of space in the middle for the kids to play.
Many cyclists doing the Lands End to John o’ Groats trip use us as their first or last stopping point, but you normally have to get up pretty early to see them! The camping fields are supplied with clean drinking water and solar lights around the facilities. There are four composting toilets, four family size washroom cubicles with hot showers and sinks and two dish/laundry washing sinks all with hot water. There is also a flushing toilet and chemical disposal point for guests beside the cafe a short skip up the hill. Elm Farm boasts an abundance of birds and wildlife: buzzards are common as are barn owls, whilst foxes, badgers and stoats can often be observed. We are happy to advise you on the many beautiful coastal and country walks in this area.
If you venture over the hill that shelters Elm Farm from the sea winds you'll find the rugged North Cornwall coastline waiting. It takes about 30 minutes to walk to the cliffs. The campsite is just inland from 2 sandy north coast coves – Portreath and Porthtowan – that are great for surfing and family days out. The latter has a certified blue flag beach. Slap bang on the coast to coast cycle trail the site is ideal for cycling, so grab your bikes (or hire from the site) and head to Portreath on 2 wheels (you can detour off to Porthtowan too). Boards can be hired from the villages if you want to hit the waves. If you follow the cycle trail to the south coast it takes you to Devoran, while there are also various other local loops taking in the area's 17th, 18th and 19th-century mines – The Mineral Tramways network. There is also a north coast footpath. St Ives, St Michaels' Mount (01736 710507) and The Eden Project (01726 811911) are all within easy driving distance.
Food and drink
The Elm Farm Café & Bar is excellent. It offers a wide variety of refreshments including Lavazza coffee, specialist teas, freshly made cakes, light lunches and locally made ice-cream. and clotted cream teas. The bar is licensed, too, so expect Cornish real ale from Skinners Brewery and a glass of wine for your evening by the campfire. At times there may also be a cocktail of the day waiting for you in a jug in the fridge! For anything else, there are pubs and restaurants in Portreath and Porthtowan, so pedal downtown and take your pick.