Elm Farm Campsite, Nancekuke, Redruth, Cornwall TR16 5UF
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.