Beacon Drive, St Agnes, Cornwall TR5 0NU
Cornwall offers the perfect seaside sojourn for any make or model of human holidaymaker: surf dudes and dudettes; sand fortress construction engineers (junior or senior); cute-village viewers; ice-cream lickers; and suckers for scenery will all find what they crave from a break by the briny in England’s south-west corner.
But Cornwall is not simply one place; not with its north and west fringes being so very different from those on the south and east. The south of the county is sheltered, lush, and very lovely in a mild-mannered sort of way, with thatched villages sheltering by wooded creeks among the green folds of the rolling countryside – it’s many a gentlefolk’s dream of the perfect holiday destination.
Beacon Cottage is on the other side of Cornwall, on a hillside directly facing the wrath of the Atlantic, amid some of the wildest, roughest, and most dramatic seaside scenes in Europe. This is not a ‘nice’ place, but an awesome one, where the raw, windswept, surf-washed seaside is, for many, the very essence of Cornwall.
That Beacon Cottage is knocked about by the wind in perhaps the rockiest, emptiest, and most beautiful section of Cornish coast just makes it even more awesome. The campsite itself is superb, with a choice of pitches either facing whatever the weather can throw at you – but with a stunning view – or sheltered from the elements in the orchard around the back of the farm. The facilities are top notch, and the proprietors – the Sawle family – are a warm and friendly lot. There is much more room on the Ocean View field than in the more intimate orchard, but the facilities are nearer the latter. It all depends what the priority is: view or shelter?
For the surf dudes and dudettes, sandcastle builders, and ice-cream lickers there is an eminently suitable beach for every one of their preferred activities, about 150 (very vertical) metres below the site, and less than a mile away along the coast path. The ice cream is provided from a stone hut in the small car park, but nothing else is allowed to spoil Chapel Porth’s immaculately wild looks. The convenience of such a fantastic, clean, and unspoilt beach is the reason Beacon Cottage is such a glam destination for young families in the school hols, but the genuine USP is the situation – amid not only some of the most dramatic scenery in the land, but also those haunting, melancholic, and historic industrial scenes.
The former mining village of St Agnes is about two miles away from Beacon Cottage along the coast path, which passes abandoned engine houses and mine shafts perched precariously on the cliffs along the way, before dropping into the rocky cleft of Trevaunance Cove. Here, in addition to the remnants of the industrial heritage, you’ll find yet more small-scale ice-cream licking opportunities, clean surf, and a decent family beach.
All the historical roads lead back to Beacon Cottage though, as that classic, and possibly most famous of Cornwall’s picturesque derelict engine houses, at Wheal Coates Mine, is the one nearest the campsite. For the scenery suckers, and those who have that all-consuming passion to see it from inside their boots, this is a walker’s Valhalla .
The Owner Says
We stayed here for several nights in September. It's remote and wind swept, but brilliant because of it (though it was quite hard to erect the awning for our campervan in the breeze!) The coastal path, right outside the campsite, is amongst the most dramatic, with disused mines and shafts. Lovely site, with spotlessly clean facilities. We were here at a less busy time, so it may get over-crowded in peak season, but I'd certainly recommend it. Also, I saw a badger! Supposedly they visit the site fairly often.
An excellent campsite. Facilities are good, not hugely up-to-date but good enough for us with clean toilets, sinks and large warm showers. We chose a tent pitch with a sea view and it was an excellent view. Perhaps a bit exposed on a cold windy night but we got lucky with the weather! St Agnes is a good 25 minute walk away but is a nice little town where we could grab some nice pub meals. The walk along the cliff path directly in front of the campsite is stunning. A must. A quick drive over to Perranporth gave us the chance to don our surf gear and experience a busier town environment for the day.
In summary this campsite gave us everything we were looking for. A quiet pitch, with a view, with nice clean on-site facilities all for a price that fairly reflected those offerings.
This might be my favourite campsite I have stayed at, the location was excellent and the site itself very picturesque.
We stayed for the Easter weekend so, being fairly early in the year, were a little worried about our tent being exposed to the wind. Nevertheless, we chose not to go for one of the more sheltered garden pitches and I am pleased we did, as it was lovely to have a view of the sea in the distance.
The campsite is a nice size, meaning everything is close and it is without that commercial 'holiday park' feel. We were welcomed by the friendly and helpful owner who offered us tips on getting to the town and where to eat. The laundry and shower facilities were simple but very clean and well-kept, the ladies had a free hairdryer in too. The camping areas are separated by dry stone walls and the showers and office building are in the same style as the farmhouse building on site. When we went the walls were lined with daffodils, it's an extremely pretty site. By night, being remote means the stars are bright and clear too.
It is a very pleasant 30 minute stroll to St Agnes, a lovely little Cornish seaside town with a handful of shops, cafes, pubs/restaurants and a beach. We enjoyed a nice lunch at the St Agnes Hotel and were greatly amused by the pet dog racing event going on along the beach. In the other direction, the coastal paths to Chapel Porth make for a great walk as the coastline is beautiful, wild and very dramatic. A long sandy beach at the busier town of Perranporth is only a short drive away.
Well worth a stay!
Beautiful views but at a price
After reading the reviews and seeing the photos of Beacon Cottage, I didn't hesitate in booking. Indeed the place has beautiful views right down the coast and over the tin mines and is very convenient for breathtaking, coastal Walks. Facilities are a little dated but adequate, clean with push button free showers, free use of a hairdryer and there is a laundry on site.We stayed on goose field which is overlooking the sea and has great views but can get very windy, so I would only recommend this field if you were in a van or very sturdy tent. The orchard or one of the other fields would probably offer a lot more shelter. There are various take away vans that come on various evenings, which is nice when you want a break from the barbecue and I can thoroughly recommend the fish and chips. Fantastic!
A good 30-40 minute walk will bring you into St.Agnes a lovely, dog friendly little town to enjoy a few hours and meals, as there are a handful of pubs and restaurants, local shops and pretty much everything you would need, except any major supermarket. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
All in all, I loved the area and the campsite had pretty much everything you need and is very well tended. The only criticism I would have and is a deal breaker for me, as to whether I would return, is that it is the most expensive campsite I have EVER stayed at! We payed £34 per night, without an awning, this would have been extra on top, as too would be a gazebo. For 2 of us in a camper van with 2 dogs and an electric hook up, just for 3 nts, was £102!! Maybe the owners should revise their pricing structure, maybe they should just keep the cash rolling on in, whilst people are still willing to pay these extortionate rates but maybe it's to keep the riffraff away, like me!
Amazing Gem !
We have just spent our first family camping experience at Beacon Cottage and what a Treat! Wonderful views from the site, great welcome from Kevin. Immaculate showers and toilets at all times. Everything you " might " need is there, from ironing table,laundry basket, hair dryer etc.. We had chosen a sheltered pitch and I'm pleased to say I'm glad we did, surrendered by beautiful flowers and more protected from the wind. Lots of great walks and cycling routes around. Charming people in St Agnes, highly recommend a kayaking trip in the caves. We've loved it so much that we extended our stay, and we will come back again. Thanks Jane for this lovely hidden treasure.
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We stayed here for 1 night whilst touring in a Campervan. The site is clean and well run with stunning views out to sea. There is a large childrens field with a small wooden play are. Clean toilets and showers. Chapel Porth beach is a 10 minute walk away. we did not visit this beach as we had our dog with us and dogs are not allowed here. Therefore we drove 5 minutes to Trevaunance cove, which is great for rock-pools and surfing. St Agnes itself is a beautiful small village with a fantastic butchers and veg shop and a few pubs. Would highly recommend St Agnes and Beacon Cottage.
We stayed here in a hired campervan in Late May last year (we stayed just one night on a tour). It's an absolutely beautiful place, just a walk across the road takes you to the ocean and the mines that stand on the cliff top. The facilities were clean and warm. I would definitely go back.
We stayed at Beacon Cottage in July 2012. We had a delightful week there, apart from the weather which was typical of the English summer. The onsite facilities were perfect, the showers were always very clean and they also have a washing up and laundry room. This was very useful due to the rubbish weather, as with most campsite you have to wash up outside. The pitches are set over 3 fields, I think? all with stunning views. We stayed in the orchard section, as being a younger couple wanted some privacy! Another great addition to the site was the fish and chip van that comes round midweek, we loved this - also a good way to meed other campers as you mingle around the van waiting for your grub. As for things to do off site, you are spoilt for choice. We chose to take long walks along the cost on most days, stopping off at different at beaches and coves. We would definitely go back again.
We visited here a couple of years ago and found the views beautiful, the local area amazing and the surfing great. However, we found the owner to be quite rude and for that reason we would never consider returning. We will visit St Agnes again but never this campsite.
We only started camping in 2011 and we have stayed at a good amount of camp sites, but Beacon Cottage is the only one we have stayed at more than once and will be staying at many more times over the coming years. Jane and the team at Beacon cottage should stop and take a bow, I work in customer services and I have never been made to feel so welcome anywhere in my life. There was no task to large in order for us to enjoy our 3 trips there last year (including a booking out of season). The site and facilities are 5 star with a choice of sheltered or open sea view pitches, being "glampers" we opted for the shelter. A very short walk from any of our pitches took you to the showers, laundry room, family bathroom, extra toilets and the office / shop. They are so clean it was a pleasure to use them, I am a night owl and like a shower before I hit the hay and there was always hot water at any hour, and do to the nice solid structure, dry stone walls on the site and general layout it is impossible to hear a peep from the shower block which suits me down to the ground. No part of the site has passing traffic due to the layout, if there’s a vehicle near your pitch then it must be your neighbours. There was even a really good fish & chip van that came to site on the Monday. Beacon Cottage is well located on some great coast line with some local beaches & the clearest views of the ocean, just down the road is the village of St. Agnes. And as "Glampers" we enjoy a good BBQ or a nice meal out and St Agnes did not disappoint. I recommend trying out the fish restaurant next to the pub, some of the best salmon I have ever had. Also there’s a star bucks on the way out of the village. Well located for days out to Newquay and St Ives. It was really nice to see a mix of campers and everyone was really friendly, there was lots of walkers and cyclist as the local area is worth a look and there’s some easy to reach places & beaches on foot or by bike. An extra attraction is the lack of night glow lighting which were used to in the big city, I have never seen so many stars as I have at Beacon Cottage, it was breath taking - stars all the way to the horizon. I hope this review inspires you to pay Jane and the team a visit, if you can try and get a pitch near the bungalow its worth it as the guys on site play some good guitar in the late afternoon while you BBQ.