Trelispen Caravan & Camping Park

UK England South West England Cornwall St. Austell

Laid-back, classic camping in a quiet spot, half a mile from the beaches of Cornwall’s Roseland Peninsula

No one can put their finger on exactly when the first campers pitched their tents at Trelispen but, like so many things in Cornwall, the legend has endured longer than the facts. It was sometime back in the 1960s that a couple of walkers strayed half-a-mile from the coastal path, looking for a place to pitch their tents. They stumbled upon a sheltered spot among the sheep and cow fields of Gorran, found the farmer and the rest, as they say, is history.

Walkers on the now clearly-signposted South West Coast Path still occasionally turn up at Trelispen. And, thanks to the campsite’s policy of keeping five of their 40 pitches unreserved, they will almost always find a spot. The site is now owned by Talwyn, the granddaughter of the farmer who first allowed tents, and her husband Mike and it retains its original laid-back atmosphere. Campers are trusted to be as self-sufficient as those first visitors, while Ray, the friendly kayak-hire guy from nearby Gorran Haven, pops up to take payments and check everything’s in order a couple of times a day.

This is a site that’s stayed true to its roots and not much has changed since the early days. It’s still a pitch-where-you-like kind of place – unless you’ve booked one of the 10 electric hook-ups (then you’ll find your name on a chalk board). The facilities block may have been brought right up to date but Trelispen is staunchly clubhouse-free – the closest you get to a kids’ club are a set of retro swings. And the nearest thing to an on-site shop? The young fruit trees that environmentalist Talwyn has planted to provide PYO sometime in the future. This is old-fashioned camping at it’s best; suitable for campers who don’t need anyone to hold their hand and who arrive prepared for their stay.

It’s not just the campsite that’s stayed unchanged. Trelispen is roughly halfway between inland Gorran Churchtown and coastal Gorran Haven, neither of which have a cash machine. It’s a short but hilly stroll to either village but Haven has the bigger draw with its sheltered beaches, fish and chip shop, café and, of course, Ray’s kayak hire. To the east there’s the classic Cornish fishing village of Mevagissey and to the west, stunning beaches at Vault and Hemmick where seals, shoals of mackerel and dolphins may share the water with you. The Lost Gardens of Heligan are a 10-minute drive away and a few minutes further on is comparatively bustling St Austell, with its brewery, shops and museum. It’s even got a cash machine.

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The Owner Says

Located on the beautiful south Cornish coast, we're a small, rural campsite with 40 flat, sheltered pitches for both camping and caravans. We're on the Roseland Peninsula in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with plenty of stunning nearby walks and we're only half a mile from the sea if you like to swim, surf, dive or kiteboard.

We have space for 10 electric hook ups, so it is always wise to book one of them if you need power. We have a basic toilet and shower block which will meet your needs but without too many frills and there are laundry facilities on site if you find you're running out of clean clothes!

We've recently planted some fruits trees, and are hoping to get a good crop of fruit for our guests to pick themselves and enjoy free of charge.

We love the safe beautiful beaches nearby, Vault and Hemmick are our favourites and there are regular sightings of dolphins and our friendly local seals.

Enjoy stunning walks around Dodman Point and its Iron Age hill fort; the Lost Gardens of Heligan which are only 10 minutes away and getting lost in the country lanes only to stumble on a hidden Cornish fishing village where you can usually pick up a great ice cream.

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