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.
Drinking water taps. Solar lights around the facilities, with 4 compost toilets, 2 family-sized washroom cubicles with showers and sinks, and 2 dish-washing/laundry sinks. There is also a flushing toilet and chemical disposal point beside the café (a short skip up the hill). Braziers provided and logs for campfires. Bike hire available at a reduced rate to campers.
Everyone! Campers, glampers, tents, campervans, motorhomes, caravans, dogs, groups, special events...
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 & 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.
April–October (glamping late May–September).
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Rated ★★★★★ over 29 reviews
We loved this site, really good location for beaches and walks, well sheltered from the elements, brilliant clean eco facilities, super friendly and helpful owners. Would love to come again!
Chilled and friendly
We wanted a campsite that wasn’t fussy, close to a beach and a pub - ticked all the boxes. We got there and set up, checked in with the lovely owners at 5pm, got a basket of wood and we had a lovely 3 nights. Toilets and showers were always clean, largest campsite shower I have experienced yet. We used the communal fridge freezer, didn’t hire bikes this time but probably will when we return!
Really lovely chilled out campsite
We have just spent a couple of gorgeous weeks at Elm Farm. The owners are lovely and nothing was too much trouble. We hired a bike and got loads of great tips about where to stop off for cake or a pint (and where not to!). Had delicious toast for brekkie at the cafe, and found the whole vibe of the place really chilled and friendly. Fantastic hot showers and there were plenty of compost loos so no queuing. Would definitely recommend and would love to come back.
So friendly and clean
This is a great smaller site. Relaxed with lovely fellow campers. The composting loos are always clean and the rainwater showers always hot. We were retuning campers and would definitely return again.
Beautiful eco friendly, dog & family friendly site
This is a lovely camp site. This site is well placed for beach, cycle and walk access and all forms 9f camping Inc vans allowed. Loved the simple yet well maintained compost loos and showers. They allow fires and dogs and children which is just perfect. Lovely open fields of a good size to feel well spaced out from other users but not too big. Lots of trees so good shade first thing in the morning. We only stayed 1 night so didn't really explore but there are walks right out the side of the camp fields. Lovely friendly owner and very relaxed. It was refreshing to be able to roll up on the booked day at any time we got there and no pressure to be off site at a specific time on day of departure. Proper camping! We will be returning for a longer stay.
Fabulous little site
Great campsite. Small and sheltered, kids could play safely. Clean eco facilities and great location right on the bike trail. Easy access to Cornwall’s beautiful beaches and kids loved the rope swing!
Peaceful, friendly campsite in the heart of the Cornish countryside
We really loved this place and wished we could have stayed longer. The owner, Ali, is absolutely lovely and her friendly and laid back personality infuses the site. The vibe is very relaxed and we were able to choose our own pitch on arrival and found a perfect spot in a sheltered corner. The area around the site has been allowed to grow wild so there was an abundance of wildflowers and birds. We were intrigued by the composting loos which turned out to be easy to use and very fresh! The bike hire shop and neighbouring cafe were an added bonus and we hired bikes and took an amazing trip through the surrounding mining country which didn’t disappoint. Hoping we can make it back again next year.
The campsite is lovely and the hosts too. We arrived late afternoon and we’re allowed to set up where we wanted, the camping fields were mown and tidy, and the tents well spread out. The host met newly arrived campers at the reception caravan during the afternoon and even had a card machine (definitely a bonus). The toilets were spotlessly clean and the water ran warm quickly! We didn’t stay long enough to try out the bike hire but it’s a definite for next time! Thank you!
Lovely, peaceful stay
My partner and I really enjoyed our few days away at Elm farm. The camp site had a very relaxing and calm atmosphere. The setting was lovely and we really enjoyed the half price bike hire. We were lucky enough to visit on an evening where a local pizza company staged a pop up event at the camp site cafe which was delicious. Hiring the fire pit and wood for £6 made for a cosy evening. The shower was plenty warm enough and the toilets were always clean and well maintained. The only small issue we found was the close proximity to the road (the camp site is one field back from the road). This is not a very busy road but nor is it a single track country lane and the sound of the traffic took a bit of getting used to. We live very rurally so are not used to this however I'm sure most people wouldn't notice the odd car. Over all we had a lovely time and would highly recommend.
Fabulous Friendly site
We stayed for 8 nights and had a fabulous holiday. Brilliant location close to many beaches and attractions. All the facilities were great including the environmentally friendly toilets and showers. All of the people from the campsite, cafe and bike hire were lovely. Thanks again to Duncan for allowing our 2year old Son to join his band on Wednesdays pizza night.. we’ll be back next year, already talking to family and friends about joining us.. cheers
Out favourite site so far
A really brilliant site. All the staff were so great, the location is stunning and easy to get to loads of interesting places. Excellent beaches nearby and the cafe linked to the site was a real bonus. We've stayed at a lot of sites on the Cool Camping webiste. They've all been good but this was by far our favourite.
Back to nature
We loved our back to nature glamping experience! The bell tent was great, well equipped and the bed was lovely, best sleep i've ever had camping. The host was very willing to help if we needed anything. The campsite wasn't too busy and it was nice and spacious. Facilities were good and very eco-friendly. We loved the cafe and the staff were great to chat to. I loved the sausages!! Bike rental was great, again very knowledgeable and helpful staff and the bike rides e had were awesome. Loved having a fire every night! I would recommend this campsite to others.
Chilled summer escape
What a lovely camp site!! So chilled out and relaxed....Choose your own camping spot and make yourself at home. The toilets and showers are pristine and very eco friendly. The staff are so very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about the local area. Each morning we would take a little walk to the cafe for an amazing breakfast, before either hiring a bike for the day, £10 each whilst camping, then taking a walk or drive to one of the lovely beaches. It was the summer holidays when we stayed but the beaches where never overrun and the car parks always had a space (machine was even out of order a few days, so had free parking but not expensive otherwise) We had made to order pizza, from outdoor pizza on site, with local beers and live music, sat outside in the sunshine. It was great chatting with other campers, a real homely feel. We will definitely be back....this site is run with love and it shows...... thanks for a great stay Elm Farm
Great price, location & friendly staff
We stayed here for 4 nights in August. For the price this place is lovely - two main fields surrounded by trees in a quiet area. It’s very family oriented so lights are typically off by 9/10pm. Shower and toilet facilities are lovely and clean. There’s a cafe and bike hire as part of the camp across the road - £10 per day for campers. The staff were all super friendly and couldn’t do enough to help. The cafe food was also fabulous with local produce (bacon and egg bap is a must). Do try to cycle trial along the only mining railway route - just lovely! Easy walking distance to two lovely beaches where you can catch a beautiful sunset.
Relaxing, friendly, enjoyable, great facilities
My 12 year old and I had a brilliant stay for 3 nights in August. The site is peaceful even when busy and has enough space for all. The showers are hot and spacious and the composting toilets feel no different to non composting ones but with the added bonus of being eco friendly. There is plenty of hot and cold running water at all times. More importantly it is really welcoming. The cafe is great - my 12 year old voted his bacon and sausage bap the best breakfast he’d ever had and the coffee is amazing as was the glass of chilled white after a day out cycling. The bike shop is well stocked and the team are really knowledgable. I hadn’t been on a bike for decades and managed the coast to coast approx 22 mile trip with the promise of a ‘comfortable saddle’ which didn’t disappoint! The trail is easy to follow with a bit of instruction and a map just incase, which they supply. We spent a day surfing in Porthtowan which was beautiful and nearby Portreath was also lovely and easy to cycle to (2.5 miles) if a bit more crowded. Watching the shooting stars whilst roasting marshmallows over the open fire was another highlight. In short, it’s lovely, thank you and we can’t wait to return.
Wonderful short stay
Wonderful friendly site. I walked here from Redruth station and found pretty good transport links. Quiet and peaceful, all the facilities were great and egg sandwiches from the cafe were delicious.
Very clean toilet and shower block. Loved using the eco toilets. Plenty of hot water in the showers. Site wasnt too busy. Very helpful and knowledgable staff. Good selection including vegan food and booze. Wednesday was pizza night, where a local company make pizzas on site. My vegan pizza was delicious. Hired bikes, at the reduced camper rate, and cycled the coast to coast route, only 11 miles and pretty flat. Good tree protection at the site and we easily withstood the test of a storm. It was a 2.5 mile walk to 2 really nice beaches, one of which had a great chippy and pub. Well situated for visiting other places. We drove to Newquay, Perranporth, Turo, Lands End and the Poldark mine. We had a great holiday and would definitely recommend Elm farm.
This is a small but perfect campsite. We stayed for a week with young children (4, 8. & 10). The kids teamed up with others and spent hours hanging out by the rope swing with games of football and cricket in the middle of the field. The pitches were large and not too crowded in. Facilities were great and very clean. The owners were very friendly and helpful and the cafe was excellent, as was the bike hire place. The guy that runs the bike hire was super friendly and helpful, making sure we all had bikes that fitted properly. If you are into cycling with the kids this is the place for you. There are miles of quiet mostly traffic free routes to explore. We did the coast to coast and cycled to the beach. There are two lovely beaches within a few miles. Can’t recommend this campsite more highly!
Lovely setting, lovely site and ethos
Loved this place for our family. Really ecological and good facilities. Showers are basic and a little open to the elements but they were clean and hot. The rented Brazier was a welcome addition and just over the road is a lovely cafe and bike rental. Excellent access by bikes or walking to nearby beaches and trails. Definitely would come back and recommend to other families
We stayed 5 nights in the Bell tent and what a wonderful 5 nights they were!
Everything was fab from start to finish. Ali was so warm and welcoming, all the little added extras were a fab bonus. We have stayed at quite a few campsites and can always find something that didn’t quite tick our boxes but Elm Farm is the very first one where we can’t fault it! We would most definitely recommend it and will hopefully return in the future 🏕
Great eco campsite
I often leave campsites feeling that they could/should be doing more to lessen their impact on the environment. I did not feel that here - it was totally guilt free camping! The site was relaxed and quiet and Ali was super helpful and friendly. I loved this site & will definitely be back.
The place is really good, services are fantastic and the location is really good everything is close. People working in the camping is fantastic and helpful. Definitely I will stay again.
We need more eco camp sites like Elm Farm
We stayed one night and wished we had more time there. There was a warm welcome and this site is eco camping with style. Fabulous modern composting loos and lovely warm showers which are family sized - great idea even if you don’t have kids. Dog friendly.
Response from Elm Farm
Thanks for your review Sheila and we hope you come camping here again soon!
Great experience. Highly recommend
Dad with 3 kids had great time camping here. Owners and helpers friendly, kind and generally lovely. Spent week exploring coast with beaches. Bike rental gets you top bikes. Cafe has great food. Kids want to know when we can go back! Many thanks to all.
Lovely campsite in perfect location for cycling
This is a lovely, quiet campsite in beautiful surroundings. The bike rental service was excellent and it's ideally located for visiting beautiful beaches. Brilliant facilities although be prepared to queue for showers as there are only two. Thoroughly recommend.
Very helpful owners, great location, super showers.
Owners were very helpful when updating my booking. A quiet spot and we didn’t want our time to end there.
Response from Elm Farm
Thanks Simon, glad you enjoyed your time and please come again!
A well kept campsite with flat pitchings and fantastic and basic amenities. Everything we wanted.
Response from Elm Farm
Thanks Vicky, pleased you enjoyed your stay!
The beauiful natural environment.
Hot showers, super friendly owners & staff. This year, no compost loos but porta loos, which are fine. Great food & plenty of advice from the cycle shop.
Friendly owners, great location
Nice sheltered camping fields and site is easy to find and well located. Lovely little cafe and very friendly owners. Down sides, the compost toilets were awfully smelly (which is not normal) the ammonia was eye watering and if you take a discounted hire cycle you get the ‘left overs’ after the full paying customers. We were kept waiting for ages and given bikes that were far too small for us