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Cornish Tipi Holidays & Camping

· St Kew, England
1 acre
104 sites
19 Lodging
20 RV
65 Tent

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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St Kew, 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
67 ratings · 104 reviews
Rachel T.recommends
May 6, 2023
Lake View 1 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
A world of its own
Fantastic. Felt in my own world. Thanks to the guy who checked on me when it was windy. I had been by myself and had an allergic reaction but was thankful for someone checking in on me. Water was great, went swimming and the staff were fab
Emma L.recommends
September 2, 2022
Nuttalls - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
The private pitches with water and fire pit, what more could you ask for. Plenty of toilets and the lake was amazing. It did get busy at times but plenty of opportunity to do some activities or have a paddle.
Marcos R.recommends
August 30, 2022
Overlake - MediumTipi -PRIVATE
Very good experience! Would definitely come back!!
Joe H.recommends
August 30, 2022
Railway 1 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
An amazing experiece
We really enjoyed our stay with Cornish Tipi Holidays. The site was beautiful with a private lake, the toilets and showers were clean and staff were very friendly and relaxed. We'll certainly be returning at some point and we would highly recommend to others.
Joe L.recommends
August 29, 2022
Lake Woods 2 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Brilliant campsite, with different areas, to cater to the needs of all varieties of campers (wild campers glampers, families, campervans... ) -really impressive.
Alice S.recommends
August 16, 2022
Railway 2 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Great plot of land, the lake was amazing and we loved the gastropub for breakfast. Nice large pitch with plenty of space for a 6 man tent
Holly W.recommends
August 14, 2022
75 - Wild Camping - Meadow Tent Pitch
Beautiful site!! Lush lake. Im a bit gutted I didn't do more research as We camped in main area and really wanted a private pitch. Me and my partner drove a long distance for 1 night and i got it wrong!! Doh.... But we will know for next time. If you get a private camp it looks stunning with ready available private fire. Had an amazing time on our new paddle board!! Didnt feel like uk felt tropical xx will come again
Hannah B.recommends
August 11, 2022
Sky 4 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Such a unique site with a great atmosphere. Good facilities, privacy, the perfect place to connect back to nature
Emma ?.recommends
August 7, 2022
Lake Woods 2 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Amazing site
What an incredible site! It’s got something for everyone- with private tucked away pitches and open camping fields. The lake is amazing and the on-site food is delicious and not too pricey. Do check if there’s a wedding on when you’re booking though, as that makes it not quite as tranquil as you might like!
Kelsea W.recommends
August 4, 2022
75 - Wild Camping - Meadow Tent Pitch
Camping with fires and a boat lake
Since our first visit we go almost every year. It’s a wonderful site. The lake is fantastic and a perfect day out alone, with the boats. On our last visit its improved even more, more toilets and showers closer to the meadow area, and cute lighting around the site and across the bridge, hot running water as always and just an overall lovely site. Would definitely recommend and I’m sure, we’ll be back again next year ☺️ Camp fires make it the full experience in the night,
James B.recommends
August 2, 2022
Streambank - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
The lake was amazing , loved swimming, fishing, kayaking and canoeing there.
Simon C.
July 31, 2022
81 - Meadow Campervan or Motorhome Pitch
Usually amazing
Amazing location, great lake to swim in, awesome cafe on site. Usually tranquil, however, check if there is a wedding on as we got no sleep with loud noises well into the early hours of the morning.
Dom E.recommends
July 31, 2022
Dykes - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
A quirky site
A really interesting site. Hilly private pitches and some meadow pitches too. We stayed in Dykes, a private pitch. Really great access for the loos and showers but the smell very occasionally wafted over! The showers ran cold throughout the stay. The staff relight the boiler as soon as requested but you have to walk to the reception to let them know. The site is great to explore and the lake is a real asset to the stay. The food at the Gastropod was really delicious but we found it a bit hard to book. We would definitely stay again, a wonderful site overall
Kellie C.recommends
July 24, 2022
Railway 4 Wild CampingPrivate Pitch
Railway camping
A perfect retreat, we had a private camping spot along the railway and was lucky enough to have some glorious weather, which meant a nice swim, kayaking and fishing on the lake. The kids loved it! Really quiet and peaceful, and very clean with all the amenities ypu would need for a wild camping trip.
Philipp P.recommends
July 16, 2022
Railway 1 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Perfect Campsite!
It was just perfect! Caught a rainbow traut in the private lake on the campsite and the kids loved it. Already booked again n for next week…
Ross G.recommends
July 9, 2022
Railway 1 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
We loved our private pitch with camp fire ready area. The camp site was lush and green with lovely hot showers, lots of wildlife to entertain our children, and a beautiful green lake to kayak on. We wouldn't hesitate to go soon l again. Best campsite I've been to.
Hannah H.recommends
June 20, 2022
Gosels - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Great Campsite
The campsite was beautiful! I loved that each tent had it’s own cove with some privacy. Also loved that there were chickens and peacocks roaming around the site. You can tell that the place is well looked after and the natural wildlife is protected.
Tess L.recommends
June 12, 2022
Lower Village Field 1 - Wild Camping Pitch
This campsite is beautiful - the lake makes it an incredibly special place and there are great beaches an easy distance away.
Eda O.recommends
June 7, 2022
Lower Village Field 2 - Wild Camping Pitch
Cornish was so lovely, we met with couple of sweet families with kids. It was so much fun for the kids and us. Lake was amazing!
Georgie ?.recommends
September 21, 2021
Lake View 1 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Had a wonderful, relaxing stay here - we were camping in Lake View 1 which has a fantastic fire pit spot overlooking the lake! Very romantic and peaceful, fantastic to be able to kayak/canoe/swim in the lake, lovely hot showers, great cafe on site too, and all the staff were friendly. Really recommend it. Only gave 4 stars instead of 5 as there was a dead fish floating in the lake, which ruined the romance slightly (!) and it didn’t look like the bin by our toilet/shower block was emptied at all in the three days there, but these are minor points - will happily return!
Danny ?.
September 14, 2021
The campsite is lovely, amazing facilities, the lake is beautiful and the staff are really welcoming and friendly. Could not recommend it anymore, shame about the weather we had!
Kat K.recommends
September 8, 2021
Lower Village Field- Wild Camping Pitch
We live in Cornwall and have camped all over, but Cornish Tipi Holidays is genuinely a world apart from the rest. The drive down steep tracks into the valley set the tone for adventure and our lovely partly wooded pitch complete with totem pole, fire pit and a kind of wooden mega lounger did not disappoint! The emerald lake is ideal for swimming and boating alike, and ourselves and children adored seeing rare birds and dragonflies abound. The woods are alive with squirrels and wildlife yet silent of any hint of noise pollution, ditto the sky absolutely spangled with stars. Toilets and showers were clean and even the compost ones smelt fresh. And they are abundant within the woodland which is ideal for kids! Completely fallen in love and recommend unreservedly. Possibly only improvement would be more paddles and oars as occasionally weren’t enough to go round, and do take a torch to the toilets and showers as they are not lit after dark! Aside from that utter camping perfection and a delight for water and woodland lovers. We stayed in the lower meadow right near the lake and loved it. The fact that cars aren’t allowed to be parked on pitches is excellent, the less reminders of modern life the better. Basically the ideal hybrid of glamping (hire a tipi with all stuff included easy peasy) and wild camping for those like us with all the gear and some idea 😂. We didn’t even venture to the cafe as preferred to cook over the campfire 🔥 but hear it’s great. Enjoy!!
Georgiana S.recommends
September 6, 2021
Lake View 1 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
The place is amazing and cheap the lake is so beautiful I felt so relaxed and chill I’ll come back soon.Was a perfect weekend for me and for my lovely husband.
Ianosh ?.
September 2, 2021
A disappointing stay in a very expensive campsite - tents are packed in small areas without any marking. I have not been so close to other tents since festival days - it's a very noisy campsite. The "no amplified music" policy is completely ignored by most campers, with no attempt whatsoever by the staff to enforce it - the facilities are too few, hot water only works if nobody else uses any other hot tap (ie never as they are so few facilities), and despite the high usage the staff admitted that the toilets are only cleaned twice a day - having a firepit is nice. It's not as nice when there are 50 firepits at the same time in such a small area. You cannot breathe... Conclusion: the lake makes nice pictures for the website. Reality is very different, you can get much better for that money. With a third of the people, that could make a great campsite, it's a shame. Warning: the tent area is next to the wedding marquee. Good luck when there's a wedding on...
Kate W.recommends
September 2, 2021
Railway 1 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
Wild camped in Railway. It was a lovely private space with plenty of room, table and fire pit, water. Loos and showers are pretty fine. We loved the lake, we swam and used the boats and had a great time. The Gastropod cafe was delicious and friendly. All the nights with different foods was awesome and breakfast was a huge hit. Defrost be back, kids loved it.
Fiona A.recommends
September 1, 2021
Lake Woods - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
The lake is beautiful, lovely to swim in, always a decent amount of boats, kayaks or canoes to share between everyone. Plenty of rainbow trout to catch. We stayed in one of the lake view spots, showers and toilets and the lake were very close. Toilets near us were flushing and showers were very nice and hot! However, the toilets up the top of the site are not flushing, which i think are more environmentally friendly but i prefer normal ones. Went to the café at the top for pizza night which was great! Car parking was quite a problem though. If we arrived after 6pm there was very minimal - no parking. Had to park in an unofficial spot with no choice :/ Site wasn't too noisy at all, lots of privacy at our pitch. Had a campfire nearly every night which was one of the best parts of the holiday, in a fire pit provided at our pitch.
Sam ?.
August 31, 2021
This was our first camping trip away in our campervan and I have to say other campsites have a lot to live up to after our visit to Cornish Tipi Holidays. We were based in the Campervan section of the campsite which was perfectly located to the hot showers and both the compost loos and flushable loos which was very welcome for any midnight trips to the toilet!!! We loved visiting the lake, we had a couple of outings in the rowing boats that the site supply (free to use) for a morning row and to take in the beautiful scenery. My partner also enjoys a spot of fishing so was able to make use of the lake in the morning and evening when the trout were about. We also visited the gastropod cafe for breakfast which had delicious meat and veggie options (we are vegetarian so really appreciated the amount of options). Overall, a beautiful campsite with plenty of facilities. Staff are friendly and really helpful. We never had any issues at our staff and wouldn’t hesitate to return.
Ben R.
August 29, 2021
This place is sold on Instagram photos. Lake is amazing but the rest is really basic. Camping in the “Skies” means a 200 yard walk to poor quality drop toilets with no light or running water. No hot water for washing up. Camping in the woods also means damp, slugs, wasps etc. Go for the lake, but the rest is disappointing.
Andrea B.recommends
August 23, 2021
Sky 8 - Wild Camping Private Pitch
We loved the lake and the swimming, and the boats were a bonus. Members of staff were friendly and helpful. It was just so peaceful and many days we did not have to venture out of the campsite as it was just lovely. Showers were warm. We pitched our tent on one of the Sky's and we liked the privacy , and it was good to have the fire pit and the picknic bench. It was a bit like going back to my family summer cottage situated in the middle of the woods near the bay, the only thing we missed was a basic wood burning sauna :)
Cinthya F.recommends
August 23, 2021
Sky 3 - Wild Camping - Private Pitch
We loved staying here. The staff was amazing at all times, very friendly and super helpful. The lake is lovely and the kids enjoyed it so much! There's boats and life jackets available and even though the campsite was busy we didn't find the lake to be crowded at any point. The toilets were clean and the showers were always hot and at least one was always free.
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 unique. A 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 clothed in ferns and bluebells, oak and meadowsweet.  Left in peace for many years there's been no modern chemicals & poisons on the land, meaning we've got bluebells & dormice, Red Admirals & shy woodland Jays for you to spot. It’s a place a world 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 a little local knowledge or contacts if you need them. We want to offer our guests a really 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).
Hipcamp is created with ❤️ and hope for our future.