Blisland, Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 4LH
Location, location, location.Mongolian chic on the moor’s edge.
Occasionally at South Penquite Farm, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, when it’s long gone midnight and there’s the sound of rustling in the undergrowth, you might find yourself wondering whatever happened to the elusive Beast of Bodmin Moor?
Supposedly a large wildcat that had either escaped from a sci-fi lab or was a throwback to some kind of sabre-toothed ancestor, it was reputed to prowl the moor scaring the wits out of anyone unlucky enough to cross its path. The story was at its height some years ago, and the hoo-ha has long since died down. But when you’re creeping to the loo in the middle of the night and hear a twig snap behind you, you’d better pray that the big cat hasn’t come back looking for a midnight snack.
Actually, within the boundaries of South Penquite Farm, any scuffling in the undergrowth is more likely to be one of the free-range chickens pecking around in your wake or, at worst, it might be the footfall of one of the horses grazing by the gate; but in the pitch blackness of a moorland night, you never can be quite sure.
Come daylight you can forget all about it and just enjoy the site: a fully certified organic 200- acre farm that takes sustainability very seriously, from using solar energy and rainwater to recycling absolutely everything – check out the roomy showers that are lined with psychedelic panels made from recycled yogurt pots and plastic bottles.
The farm education centre is a fantastic resource for learning all about organic farming and the local environment, while the bushcraft courses they run will introduce the whole family to field skills such as den building and cooking on an open fire.
Numbers are limited in the camping fields, so you shouldn’t ever feel penned in. Campfires set the tone of the evenings here, and there’s a whopping amount of space to run around in. As well as fellow campers you’ll also be sharing the fields with wandering turkeys, ducks and chickens – an endless source of entertainment for children, who also have a games barn, swings and a climbing frame to keep them occupied. Plus, there’s walking galore to be done even before you break out on to the moors, with a farm trail that brings you face- to-face with sheep, cows and horses, while taking in disused quarries, prehistoric hut circles and the banks of the De Lank River.
Since its beginnings as a farm site with just a basic loo and shower installed for the campers that flocked to Cornwall for the 1999 solar eclipse, South Penquite has adapted to the camping scene with style. Owner Dominic reckoned that once he had a family farm with a campsite on the side, whereas now he has a campsite with a farm on the side. And now, even here in the wilds of Bodmin Moor, you can opt for the luxury of one of Goldilocks and the Three Bears – four Mongolian yurts that occupy their own field. Daddy Bear and Goldilocks are the biggest, sleeping six; then there’s Mummy Bear, who sleeps four; and Baby Bear, a snug little place for two.And when you do lace up your hiking boots and strike out on to the rolling moors, it’s not the three bears you’ve got to watch out for. Er, is it?
The Owner Says
Great, but pity we can't return
Great campsite, stayed here a few years ago and would love to return. Sadly my well behaved dog is not allowed.....
We came planning on staying 3 nights and stayed 5! Beautiful, remote but absolutely spotless. Great facilities and little touches that will have us coming back time and again. Great value for money.
Camping as it should be
We campped here after my very experienced outdoor loving boyfriend suggested we take our first camping trip together and go enjoy Cornwall for the week-end. I use to love camping but have not been for a long time so when he found South Penquite we booked easily on line and I just went with the flow - well I am so glad he found them as its a fantastic little treasure. It has a lovely relaxed feel to it and is exactly as advertised and best of all you can have campfires - the icing on my camping cake !
The site gives you options where you want to pitch your tent and there is so much room you don't feel on top of each other as you canon other places . The owners are welcoming and easy going and the site is clean and well cared for.
We will be returning as a perfect place for a relaxed break.
Peace and calm on the Moor
What a find! We booked in for a couple of nights at South Penquite in mid-August and liked it so much we stayed a few nights longer. We loved the open spaces and being able to have a campfire. This was our first camping trip with the kids (1yr and 3yrs) and it was a complete success. Our girls loved the free range turkeys, the horses, and the friendly farm cat. The facilities are excellent - very hot showers (solar-powered) with enough space for the whole family to go in together and the music playing in the loos was the icing on the cake as far as my 3 yr old was concerned - she couldn't wait to go and brush her teeth so she could dance in front of the mirror!
South Penquite Heaven!
We have stayed on this wonderful campsite for two consecutive summers now (August 2013 & 2014). It is beautifully sited on Bodmin moor and we especially love the family atmosphere on site - loud music and noise is discouraged, but campfire singing, harmonica and guitar playing are all very welcome! We love the rustic feel, the lack of rules beyond respect for fellow campers, all wandering animals and the local ecology and the great sense of peace that can be attained on site. We hope to return year on year. Thank you Dominic and Cathy!!
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We stayed at the site in August 2014 along with our two boys (aged 10 and 8). Staying on this site with no marked pitches brings a real sense of freedom. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The owners approach to camping sets them head and shoulders above the crapped conditions on many of their competitors sites. Would definitely recommend. Lots of lovely places to visit nearby too.
Really relaxing Bodmin
Had a fantastic holiday here last summer with our toddler. Farm was friendly and well organised. Staff helpful but unobtrusive. Beautiful location. Facilities perfect for requirements. Great having open fires in evening. Would highly recommend.
We stayed here, two adults two children as an overnight stop off, but wished we could have stayed for our whole holiday. Lovely space atmosphere and wilderness beyond. Best campsite washrooms ever, music to brush your teeth to and lovely showers. Would recommend without hesitation.
Excellent good quality facilities for real camping. Booking was easy and directions were good. All details thought of (enough hooks in the showers and a phone recharging facility). The atmosphere is good for the soul, chilled and being able to light a camp fire a real bonus. Not forgetting to mention the excellent lamb burgers. We'll be back.
Great to have a campsite that isn't dominated by dos and don'ts and rules and regulations. South Penquite is very chilled and very easy-going and is brilliant as a result. Lots of space and very safe and easy for kids, with lots to do - as well as the animals and country walks, the indoor sandpit is a stroke of genius. And the views over the moorland are worth the price of admission alone: worth going to the furthest of the three camping fields for the best sunsets. Showers and washing facilities are admirably clean and well kept, and the lamb-burgers are delicous. We'll be back.
Well, after a couple of years of holidaying under our own canvas the Gonzo family decided to go Yurting! After negotiating the surrounding lanes and stopping to watch the ponies and numerous foals we arrived at South Penquite Farm (with our ears still ringing with "Are we there yet?") We headed to the Yurt field via the camping field which contained a majestic Tee-Pee and the smell of open fires wafting into the air. Finding our adopted home for the next week, "Daddy Bear" tucked away in the corner of the field and nestled amoungst lush green hedgerows and Cornish stone walls. The silence broken only by the distant laugh of children enjoying exploring the open spaces on site and sheep in a far away field. Walking around the fields and amongst the tents are chickens, ducks and a very funny gang of Turkeys, who work their way around the site saying hello to anyone near them!
Opening the wooden door to our Yurt, we find a bright and colourful space which is a bit of a Tardis (sleeping 6). The bright decor includes Futons and scatter cushions and a centrally mounted wood burner with a shiny chimney exiting through a beautifully crafted skyview panel in the (Cornish crafted) structure of bent wooden spines and criss-cross walls clad in canvas. Our sons aged 6 and nearly 9 immediatly scrambled to "bagsy" which beds they were claiming as their own! Whilst they ran round in circles i made a cuppa on the cooking area with its 2 gas rings and well equipped storage area. Within minutes of our arrival, one of the farm cats came in to say hello and stayed for a bit of a stroke from the kids.
After unloading our car we went for a walk round the site, nearby we found a building which housed the Solar heated (and very warm) showers and washing up area. The shower rooms are clad in jazzy coloured recycled plastic and spacious enough to accomodate parents and kids in a split wet and dry room. We wandered further and came across the farm house where a friendly greeting was received from farmer Dominic. Just round the corner are the spotlessly clean toilets including piped radio Pirate Fm, and an adjacent room containing both a washing machine and tumble drier. Also a large chest freezer in which you can freeze your cool blocks and some rental lockers for charging up mobile phones for a nominal fee. Not that you will want to spend time on your phone, with the spectacular surroundings just a short walk along the Farm Trail where you will be treated to vast views of the moor falling away to the adjacent De Lank quarry and river running through the farms land. This also includes a Geocaching series which leads you through and around the farmland, river bank, woods and historic standing stone clad fields. Past friendly cattle and sheep leading you in a circular walk. We didn't see anyone whilst we walked around the trail, the only sound was the river falling over the rugged rocky landscape.
Back at the Yurt there was a large basket of firewood and kindling that was begging to be built into a campfire which the farmer allows and I must say is a rarity on most campsites. Our evenings were spent around the camp fire in a stone circled pit , toasting marshmallows and focusing up at the clear night sky. Only the hoots of owls and the occasional scurry of a rabbit can be heard whilst we watched shooting stars and a full moon.
The smell of campfires filling the air as the other campers all settle in for the night and cook (probably the best) farm's own Lamb burgers, which can be purchased from the farmhouse. Washed down with some award winning ales which we purchased from the Blisland Inn (in the village) which sell Demi-Jons filled with take away ales and ciders. The finest of local produce can be found in the local village of St Breward where the Old Inn provides a vast menu of deliciously prepared food which come in huge portions in friendly surroundings by the cheerful staff at Cornwalls highest Inn.
With its central Cornwall location it was easy to reach both coasts of Cornwall in roughly 20 miles to Padstow and Newquay on the north coast and the same again to St Austell and the awe inspiring Eden Project on the south coast. But wherever you visit you will always be looking forward to returning to the farm and its solitude which we all agreed is where priceless family memories were made!!
Many thanks to Dominic and Cathy , please don't change a thing!
The Gonsalves family, Bournemouth.
This is our favourite campsite by which all others are judged. It's in an amazing setting, which is just so peaceful and laid back. The owners are very welcoming and have always been very flexible with us in terms of our booking arrangements. We've camped at this site and stayed in one of the yurts, both of which were great experiences. The yurts are very well equipped, and comfortable, and the camping pitches (well there aren't any to speak of) so needless to say you never feel cramped. Our little boy loves all the animals and the games room! The shower facilities are the best ever. They are proper hot, and they are family sized. You can actually get dry properly in them, which is a rare treat when camping. We would highly recommend this campsite and will keep returning.
We love this campsite, probably our favourite campsite in Cornwall. Not the best location for the beach, but certainly lovely place to stay. Have had ducks and chickens come into our tent. Lovely relaxed feel to the place. Nice, clean showers, with lots of space. We've been back to stay loads of times. Highly recommended.
What beautiful views
I love arriving at a holiday destination when the destination is way better then than you'd ever imagined. The site really is in the middle of nowhere, on top of a moor facing sweeping views down to the Camel Estuary, Padstow and beyond. Our stay coincided with some lovely summers days and after burnt orange sun sets, the night sky came alive in the near darkness of the moor. The cloak of night crackled and sparked with our (permitted) camp fire [Logs and firelighters available at the farm] and if i had remembered the marsh mellows they would have toasted up just fine, instead the Havana Rum warmed the coolness of the still moorland air.
Most campers have tales of character building toilets and no go shower blocks, but no such tales emanating from South Penquite. The Showers are hot, perhaps too hot and are powered by the Sun... Yes really. The loos are colourful, clean and feature Pirate FM as the in khazi entertainment..
The beaches of North Cornwall and the busy Rick Stein(tm) themed Padstow are only a Flip Flop's throw away.
We are already booking next years pitch, I hope nothing changes.
Our favourite campsite.
This campsite is what camping is all about for our family. There's lots of space so you can pitch the tent where you like, build a fire and then relax while the kids disappear off to catch a chicken or make a secret den in the hedgerow.
It feels like it is in the middle of nowhere but then one night, the most amazing pop-up fish cafe appeared in the barn. Tables popped up, chairs appeared and suddenly we felt almost sophisticated. Still one of our best ever holiday meals.
Also, down on the basic level the showers are really big, very private and have endless hot water. We are the cleanest, happiest campers when we're at Penquite. We've been here twice now, and will be heading back again this summer.
Just a note, to thank you very much for this past week’s camping – we had a great time. I know we were really blessed by the wonderful weather...but your farm and its facilities were no less a part in the experience! Great to have a family friendly site in a lovely location, children enjoyed the animals and we applaud what you’re doing with the eco-friendly/organic approach. The Smith family, Winchester
HI Dominic & Cathy Just a quick note to let you know that our stay with you was excellent, your campsite was relaxing, well maintained and beautiful. It was refreshing to go to a campsite that was actually focused on the campers whilst maintaining a Eco friendly existence. My wife in particular loved the great showers and restrooms. Fab for kids, safe areas, wonderful array of small farm animals wandering round, my Godson was amazed. Once again thanks and we will be back.
If you are seeking a 'get away from it all and relax' campsite with excellent facilities and fantastic standards of maintenance, you will find it here at South Penquite. There are no numbered pitches, which results in a freedom to camp 'where you want' and leaves lots of room between one pitch and another. An added bonus for the children was the opportunity to hold a campfire; with logs, kindling and firelighter, we had plenty of wood to have a campfire for three nights, for an extremely reasonable cost.
Set in beautiful surroundings, the farm offers its own walk, not only through rich archeological and historical sites, but also around breathtaking scenery, following the DeLank river and looking out over several stunning areas of Bodmin Moor.
Camping here offers a real sense of the farm spilling out in to the campsite, with free range turkeys, ducks, chickens, fowl and friendly cats sharing your camping experience with you. It's beautifully quiet and tranquil and even a full campsite feels peaceful. Break out the marshmallows and the walking boots; it's an experience that we will definately repeat for years to come!
Awesome location right on the edge of bodmin moor! fantastic ammenities and beautiful views combined with friendly owners, their gorgeous dogs :) and the friendliest band of ducks you will ever meet.
Close to Eden Project and Gardens Of Helligan, Bike friendly and lots of walks to do in the surrounding area. Being able to have a fire makes all the difference not to mention being able to buy everything you need to make it from the farmhouse including lamb burgers! A Must stay if you are in the area, its a little out of the way up a winding road but well worth it.