Glynn Valley China Clay Works, Maidenwell, Cardinham, Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 4DW
Naming your new glampsite should be simple, right? Most owners highlight the one stand out feature, which sets the place apart. Easy. Unfortunately for Rupert and Fran – owners of Cornwall’s newest glamping venture – they’ve created a getaway with half a dozen headliners. Take the location; hidden by a disused china clay quarry, worked from the Victorian era until the 1940’s, the site provides exploring opportunities a-plenty for history buffs. Then there’s the accommodation itself: a converted shipping container from China, which once roamed foreign seas. Or how about the wildlife? From grazing Galloway cattle to migrating Canadian geese and swooping Sand Martins. And then there’s… ok, perhaps not so simple after all.
In the end Rupert and Fran opted simply for The Lake – “having your very own spring-fed lake to swim, row a boat or cast a line feels like the icing on the cake”. We think they picked wisely.
After a couple of wrong turns and some unexpected off-roading, guests arrive by car, which is swiftly abandoned – often for the entirety of their stay – before being warmly greeted for check-in. But this is no ordinary check-in: opening the industrial container lock-by-lock feels like unwrapping a giant, Transformers-like Christmas present, quickly morphing into a cosy cabin. Inside, the design is simple, functional and contemporary – probably owing to Rupert’s Scandinavian roots – and comes with a comfortable double bed, fully-equipped kitchen, double-glazed French windows, LED lighting throughout, and should the sun not blaze, warmth is supplied by a small wood-burner.
The ablution facilities, all stationed at the rear of the container, are designed to strike joy into the heart of the eco-conscious glamper. The hot showers – and we mean hot – are solar powered (the site is completely off-grid), and the water is pumped directly from the lake. Sorry, I mean your lake.
Any negatives? Well, the surrounding area comes under ‘Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000’, meaning you may see a dog walker or the odd solider scurrying through. Yes, you read that correctly. Survival courses – often the last exercise before being deployed to war – occasionally take place on Bodmin Moor's stark expanse, sometimes involving Chinook helicopters and mock battles! This is, of course, not everyone’s idea of serenity, but for most will make incredible viewing.
As for things to do in the area, when we asked Rupert for suggestions he replied, “Why would you want to leave?” And after spending a couple of hours exploring the crumbling Victorian ruins and watching in awe as moorland ponies clip-clop to the water's edge for an evening drink, we couldn’t help but agree. What you do here is up to you; drift away on the boat like Huckleberry Finn, build the evening fire or climb the short, but extremely fun, white sand mountain and make friends with the resident raven, who sits atop surveying the tranquil jade water below. Difficult decisions indeed. But not nearly as hard as naming your cool new glampsite.
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Perfect peace and darkness
The clay china tips add a protective feel to this wonderful hidden gem near Bodmin. The lake changes with every turn of light and the "cabin" could not be more cosy and comforting...perfectly equipped and furnished for an escape! Thank you to Fran and Rupert for your wonderful hospitality, we hope to come back soon! Lisa and Eddie
Thank you Rupert & Fran for creating this unique place. We enjoyed our couple of days at The Lake very much. It was beutifully decorated, comfortable, peaceful and we could just stare at that view all day long. We hope to return again soon. Rosa & Drew
My partner and I have just spent three nights at the lake and I can honestly say it is the most amazing glamping site ever. The lake is just beautiful with local wildlife and amazing views. the cabin is kitted out to a remarkably high standard with absolutely everything you could need. Rupert and Fran could not have been more helpful with a welcome pack upon arrival and even some homemade bread.
The site is off grid and feeds from the lake so Rupert and Fran literally provide everything you will need (including shampoo and conditioner) to ensure all eco friendly and biodegradable.
My partner and I camp in our own tent usually but are definitely glampers with a car packed full of so called essentials but can absolutely confirm that here you need only take yourselves, clothes, food and coal for the Barby. They really have thought of everything
We picked this site after seeing it on cool camping due to the apparent isolation and could not have been happier.
It was an extremely hot few days and even so we only had a handful of walking visitors stopping at the lake to refresh.
We had a wonderful stay here at The Lake! The container was amazing and had everything we needed and more! Rupert and Fran were excellent hosts. The Lake is just wonderful and exploring the surrounding area was lovely. We mixed our stay up with exploring the beautiful cornish coast and also enjoying the local area. The Cardingham woods are lovely for a walk/run with routes clearly marked out. We really loved The Lake, everything about it was amazing, and we really can't recommend it enough!! I could d go on and on!! We will be recommending to all our friends and hope to return again for another peaceful escape! Thank you! Marie Claire and Gareth
We had a wonderful time. So peaceful and the views are lovely. A perfect antidote to the city smoke, hustle and bustle. Rupert and Fran were very friendly providing all you could need. Exploring the ruins, climbing the hills, exploring the moor and enjoying the stars of creation. Along with boating and stitting on the jetty with your feet in the lake, what's not to love.
- Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
- Instant booking confirmation
- Trusted for 10 years
- Chance to win camping goodies in our regular competitions!
Wonderful weekend away!
Booked the lake as a surprise for my wife for a weekend break. What a fantastic setting with just the lake and the wildlife for company (apart from a few dog walkers during the day). Warm welcome from Rupert and Fran on arrival with a welcome pack of essentials waiting for us. The cabin itself is well thought out with ample space for 2, a great wood burner and kitchen with gas oven. Gas boiler provides all the hot water you could need and solar panels and batteries provide plenty of power for lights and phone charging. Water on site is from the lake so fine for washing in but not for drinking. Drinking water was provided but worth taking a few bottles yourself too if there for more than a couple of nights. Lots of lovely countryside for exploring from the cabin and a great pub in St Neot nearby too. Well worth a visit for a truly unique, peaceful and relaxing experience. Thanks to Rupert and Fran for building such a fantastic retreat and deciding to share it with us!
Everything we wanted
We were beyond happy with our Lake-experience, the cabin is luxurious, cosy and equipped with everything we needed: a comfy bed and fantastic views of the lake and sky. It was an amazing experience, waking up to this beauty. The location is very remote, exactly what we wanted, and made our stay even more relaxing.
Fran and Rupert were very accommodating and friendly, super approachable and super helpful. They can be reached anytime and always made sure we were okay and had everything we desired. We could not recommend this lakeside trip more to anyone who is after a relaxing, isolated escape to scenic beauty.
[also, definitely get the boat!]
Alex and Feny
This place is a must, really was 100% perfect in every aspect, spotless,equipped with all you would need and more, extremely cosy and comfortable, best of all the location is amazing. The perfect getaway. In the words of arnie i'll b back.
Perfect Weekend Away
Had the best weekend at the Lake - exceeding all expectations. The container is kitted out with everything you could ever want and has been impeccably converted into a comfy, chilled cabin. Great location with amazing views of the lake. Would definitely go again. Thanks again to Rupert and Fran who made the stay even more special by being great, attentive hosts. Jack and Juliette X
Such an amazing place, if you really want to get away from it all, in comfort this is it. The container/cabin is remarkably well appointed, the bed comfortable and doubles as an oriental divan during the day with copious cushions to loll around on. The kitchen has all you could want in terms of equipment to cook a great meal, and the fabulous wood burner keeps you toasty if the weather is bad, which it was sporadically. If that was not enough, you are provided with ground coffee and hot chocolate and marshmallows. We did manage a couple of short walks mainly around the clay pit ruins and did some bird spotting, but just watching the changing light on the lake was fascinating. The lack of sound apart from the odd bird tweet or pony snort was so welcome after the general noise of a working week. Oh and my husband loved running back from the shower in the nude, it's a boy thing...... and you could, the ponies didn't mind.
unique lakeside cabin
Even with the relentless rain over the new year we had a great stay at the lake in Bodmin. Many thanks to Rupert and Fran for their hospitality and help.
This is a lovely secluded place to stay with great views over the lake and walks right out of the door of the cabin. The disused quarry itself is great to walk around and you are near to all the best walking in Bodmin, as well as the North and South Cornish coasts. The cabin has been lovingly converted and is very cosy and warm despite what the elements throw at you. Highly recommended. Richard.
We stayed at the lake for 2 nights in late December to get away from everything for a few days before Christmas. On arrival we received a warm welcome from Rupert followed by a quick yet thorough tour of the site. It has everything you could wish for. The place has a warm feel, great facilities and is very relaxing. At night we could see the stars clearly and we even had a sunny day to explore the lake and the ruins. There is plenty to do in the surrounding area and we never felt the need to leave the site. We had everything we needed right there and we didn't see one person during our entire stay. Rupert occasionally kept in touch via text to ensure we were comfortable and had everything we needed. We truly had an amazing stay and will definitely be returning again for another visit. Thank you to Rupert and Fran for this lovely, secluded place and warm hospitality.
Douglas and Emma
Amazing, Unique and comfortable!
We stayed in the superbly converted shipping container by the lake at the beginning of December for 2 nights. Rupert and Fran were very welcoming and helpful giving us a small tour of the container and its amenities, and occasionally texting to check we had everything we needed and we were enjoying the stay.
We were very surprised at how well finished and cosy the lodgings were, the thought put into this wonderful space made the stay extra comfortable, they really had thought of everything you would need and more! The area was so relaxing and the beautiful remote landscape made us feel completely in our own little world, which was lovely. The container really was completely off grid but felt so much like a home from home, we often forgot we were glamping especially with things like the shower being just as powerful and warm as a household shower and the instant hot water in the kitchenette, complete with gas oven and hobs, kettle, sink, and any utensil you might need.
We really did have a lovely stay in such a picturesque landscape with ruins to go walking through, a boat to row the lake and fish (even the rod was provided in the container!) the container was a perfect addition to the landscape and so warm and cosy, we will definitely be looking to stay again and try it out in the summer too! Thanks Rupert and Fran for a unique and great way to spend our weekend.
Max and Kat