Trelispen Caravan & Camping Park

UK England South West England Cornwall St. Austell

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Children’s playground
  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
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.



10 electrical hook-ups and a facilities block with 7 toilets and 4 showers. The block also houses a washing-up sink, free-to-use washing machine, tumble dryer and communal-use fridge-freezer. BBQs allowed as long as they are off-ground but no campfires.

Suitable For

Everyone! Tents, campervans, motorhomes, caravans, families, couples, dogs (on a lead at all times)...


The closest beaches are ½-mile away in the village of Gorran Haven. It’s a 2-minute drive or a short but hilly walk on country lanes to the village which also has a couple of shops selling buckets and spades, café and general store. The sheltered sand and shingle of Vault beach, just west of the village, is recommended by Talwyn and Mike along with sandy Hemmick beach which is a little further – but still only 2 miles away. Vault and Hemmick are separated by Dodmans Point – a headland with the remains of an Iron Age Fort and great walks. The fishing village of Mevagissey is 3 miles north-east along the coast with pubs, shops and a little museum (01726 843568). It’s 5 miles and a drive of about 10 minutes to The Lost Gardens of Heligan (01726 845100) and The Eden Project (01726 811911) can be reached in about 30 minutes by car. The market town of St Austell is 10 miles away. Here, you’ll find the St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre (01726 66022) and Wheal Martyn Clay Works Museum (01726 850362).

Food & Drink

The Barley Sheaf pub (01726 843330) is ½ mile up the road in Gorran Churchtown and serves food at lunch and dinner. In the other direction down the hill in Gorran Haven, you'll find the shop-cum-café, Cakebreads Bakery (01726 842048), serving fry-ups, Cornish pasties and sandwiches. There’s also takeaway fish and chips from The Haven (01726 843555) and eat-in dining at The Llawnroc Hotel’s Gwineas Bistro and bar (01726 843461). Talwyn and Mike recommend the Cornish cream teas from Melinsey Mill Tearooms, 10 miles away in Veryan, and say it’s worth the 30-minute drive to Porthcurnick Beach to eat at The Hidden Hut. A simple café with outdoor seating only, it serves lunch and the occasional book-well-in-advance feast night and known as one of the best places to eat by the sea.



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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.


40 flat, grassy, sheltered pitches, including 10 with electric hook-up.

Grass Pitch with Electric Hookup

Grass pitch with electricity Sleeps 6 8 Available
A flat grass pitch with electric hookup suitable for tents as well as for caravans and motorhomes with a small additional fee. They're scattered throughout the site and if you have a preference for which area of the site you would like to stay in please indicate that with a note in your booking and we'll do our best to accommodate you.

Grass Pitch (No Electricity)

Grass pitch Sleeps 6 15 Available
Sheltered flat grass pitches suitable for tents, caravans and motor homes. We do not allocate specific pitches so feel free to choose where you'd like to stay, the back of the campsite has beautiful views over the surrounding countryside and the front of the campsite is convenient for facilities.

Check Availability


Contact Trelispen Caravan & Camping Park, Gorran, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 6NR

Show Map

Getting There

From St Austell take the Pentewan Road (B3273) heading towards Mevagissey and the Lost Garden of Heligan. When you reach a crossroads with Mevagissey signposted left and Gorran Haven signposted right, start following signs to Gorran Haven. Continue along this road, all the way through Gorran Churchtown. After passing the pub, church and a sharp left corner, take the next road right, signposted for Gorran Haven. Continue for 200 metres before turning left off the main road on to a single-track road. Trelispen is about 50 metres down the road on the left.

The nearest railway station is at St Austell (0345 700 0125) 10 miles away. The number 471 bus takes a scenic route to Gorran Haven and Gorran Churchtown a few times a day – but there’s no service on Sundays.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 13 reviews


Would stay again

Very peaceful, laid back campsite. The facilities aren’t modern, but always very clean and perfectly adequate. The site isn’t big and you are given an allocated space so you can’t really spread out too much. It was mainly families with young children when we stayed so there was no late night noise but we were woken up at 6am on a couple of mornings by young children. Not a problem for us as we’re early risers. Would definitely stay again. Gorran Haven is just down the road and a real laid back place, a good spot for fish and chips in the evening as the sun sets.
Jul 26, 2021 by Laura Round Verified Review

Exactly as described would certainly recommend the site fab location for coastal walk and visiting points of interest or just to shop for groceries

Great place just to chill out. Friendly staff to greet you every day(Donna). Basic facilities kept clean always hot water for washing dishes and shower. Free use of washing/drying machine. Easy access plenty of room for tent and parking. Good ground drainage and flat. Small site very peaceful within easy walking distance to pub and village though very steep hill
Jul 24, 2021 by aekeelan Verified Review

Excellent chilled out camping

The site is really lovely, it has an old school vibe to it that is charming. The facilities are spotless and the use of fridge/freezer/washer/dryer have been invaluable in 30 degree heat. The showers have cleaning spray in them and the washer is free to use which is an AMAZING bonus after a day at the beach with salty bath towels! Donna was on hand all week to check if everything was ok and came back to strim the grass around the swings, so that my son could play on them. Defo another visit needed soon.

Gorgeous, peaceful, everything you need to have an amazing holiday/break

The campsite has everything required and more, decent shower block, washing up and washing facilities, and a fridge freezer which we took advantage of in the 30degree heat we had when we were there. Donna was a massive help and checked in to make sure everything was ok without imposing. There are beautiful coastal walks on the doorstep, a lovely local pub and great scenery all around. I highly recommend renting Kayaks and taking them down the coast from the next village along (Portmellon).
Jul 22, 2021 by AmyBick Verified Review

Lovely peaceful site

Spent a week here. Site was quiet, relaxing and the facilities were well maintained and spotlessly clean. Super helpful staff made everything so easy. Highly recommended.

Lovely basic campsite.

We spent 3 nights here just after it had reopened. It is in a good location, being only a 15 minute walk to Gorran Haven, which is a lovely little harbour village with cafes etc. From Gorran Haven there is easy access to the coastal path with fantastic walks and views. Donna, the manager was very welcoming and friendly and checked in with us regularly. The facilities are fairly dated and basic but clean and there was plenty of hot water plus a washing machine and dryer. The pitches are large. This is an ideal site for those wanting to get away from it all.
Jul 9, 2021 by Steve and Wendy Nelson

Hidden gem

Great campsite in a lovely location with nearby walks & access to Gorran Haven beach, which was far less crowded than others. Friendly, helpful manager (Donna) & the free access to a washing machine & dryer was a great touch, especially as we had lots of rain. Showers/toilets are basic, but clean with lots of hot water. Wouldn’t hesitate to return.

Relaxed and care free

Okay, so the amenities are more utilitarian than fancy - but everything worked as it should and we were very happy with them. The Warden was very cordial: greeting us and thanking us for our stay. We enjoyed our time at Trelispen and will probably return sometime.
Sep 23, 2019 by Paul Adams

Relaxed, basic - what else do you need?

Very relaxed and simple site, there's a perfectly serviceable and clean solid built toilet and shower block with a couple of loos and shower cubicles for each of the boys and girls areas. There's plenty of on demand free hot water (which is more than I could say for sites with far more facilities!) and a washing room with wash-up sink, washer/dryer and fridge freezer - much more than I expected for what is after all a back to basics site. The idea is you arrive, pitch up and get yourself sorted - a friendly face will wander along around 7pm (or maybe 10'ish the following morning) and check all is well and take your money if you haven't paid online - love it! Gorran Haven is the perfect place to start a walk up and around Dodman Point. Stunning scenery and you can start out from the site, turning left for a mile or so and eventually meeting up with a footpath straight down to the coastal path, hamlet and beach (much better than walking the road into the town). There's a shop, come postoffice, come cafe, come bar, a lovely beach cafe and a chip shop (I sadly didn't get to sample!). Quite a busy, bustling little place where you can pick up most things, and of course spend as long as you like on the beautiful beach. A few minutes walk in the other direction from the site is Gorran, with the very friendly Barley Sheaf pub ideally placed for an early doors pint - the food here was excellent, certainly a notch or two up from pub grub without being expensive. The locals don't seem to bite and quiz night is Tuesday 😊 Overall a lovely place to base yourself, the roads are easy going to the site and only narrow in places -considering how close you are to the coast and this IS Cornwall after all! Mevagissey (don't take the coast road however unless you like adventures - the waves at Portmellon don't restrict themselves to the sea!), the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Charlestown are all a few minutes drive away. I'll be coming back to explore a bit more for sure next year, as the Roseland Peninsular, St. Mawes etc are again just on the doorstep! But don't tell anyone, I want Trelispen to stay nice and quiet please! 😊
Sep 21, 2019 by Tim Woodward Verified Review

Not so cool camping

Toilet and shower facilities very tired, one of the gents loos is loose and leaking from around the soil pipe connection, loads of broken tiles in the shower, no hand drying facilities, only one washing up sink, no loo paper 3 times within our week. On the plus side, washer and dryer free to use, plenty of hot water. Electric pitches have taken some hammer over the summer; muddy bare patches and would benefit from marking out (good fences make good neighbours!). Location itself is good, near to Gorran and not far to Heligan and Mevagissey. The site is fairly exposed to the wind, particularly the electric pitches in the middle.
Sep 16, 2019 by Ratty

Chilled, quiet and real camping.

Facilities are basic but clean within a maintained small site. Not exactly a sea view as portrayed in the pictures but peaceful and pretty and within a 10-15 minute walk to the beach. Would recommend if you want real camping in a peaceful setting.
Jul 22, 2019 by Kelly

Lovely Campsite

This is a lovely chilled campsite. It's in a quiet location and although the facilities are basic everything is clean and well maintained. We really enjoyed our short stay here.
Jul 22, 2019 by Phil Verified Review

Lovely relaxed campsite

Just back from a lovely stay at this campsite. Its basic and chilled and we will definitely be back. We stayed for a 4 nights and wish it could have been longer. Ray looks after the site and checks in on everyone. The toilets and showers are basic but clean and adequate. Theres a free washing machine etc it anyone needs it. The site is basic but has a lovely chilled feel, proper camping! just how we liked it. Goran Haven and the coastal paths are about a 15min walk and the whole area is beautiful. The Vault beach (along the coastal path to the right of Goran) is quiet and beautiful.

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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