East Thorne Glamping
Kilkhampton, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 9RY
On the northern reaches of Bude, away from the bucket and spade brigades, beachside cafés and gangs of wannabe surfers, awaits a wilder, more desolate coastline; its crags and coves stretching to where Cornwall meets Devon. At the start of this territory lies Duckpool, a rugged little beach where the Atlantic swell pounds smooth, wave-hewn rocks. There are no trappings except for an ice cream van on the sunniest days, and if you strike out along the coast path you may only pass a few hardy walkers between here and the Hawker’s Hut perched on the cliffs at Morwenstow.
East Thorne, a ten-minute drive inland, is nothing like this wild coastline. But, after a day immersed in raw and desolate scenery, it can be comforting to return to modern conveniences and the company of fellow campers. For camping here is not about surviving in the wilderness or playing boy scouts. In this neat little community of ten yurts, where glamping, not camping, is the buzz-word, you can sip wine on the decking and watch children run around on the car-free green. If you remembered to leave a message on your chalkboard a fresh basket of wood will be ready to throw on the wood-burner, and you can even order a gourmet hamper ready for tea-time.
Each of the yurts comes pre-furnished with everything you could possibly need for your stay. Don't worry about bedding, pots, pans, lamps and cool-boxes. Instead, you can fill the car to breaking point with buckets and spades and spend your days building castle villages on the nearby beaches. Up to six people can be accommodated inside each Mongolian-style structure, with wooden double beds, sofas and soft furnishings. On the deck outside there is also a separate kitchen cabin with gas hobs and a BBQ.
The resulting site is a family-orientated yurt haven in a quiet slice of Cornwall. There's enough space in the meadows that every yurt has its own distinct, private spot, while covered dining areas and grassy space for ball games still allows for a sociable atmosphere. Children leave with grass stains on their knees and the smell of campfire smoke in their jumpers. You wouldn't want it any other way.
The Owner Says
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Real luxury in the great outdoors
I was lucky enough to stay at East Thorne for a long weekend in May 2014, with my two boys (14 and 7). The word glamping is over-used but at East Thorne, every comfort has been considered. I highly recommend a stay here. The yurts are fantastic, well-equipped and cosy. I had a comfy proper bed, while the boys loved their futons. You can BBQ and eat al fresco, or use the gas hobs in the covered area and eat at the table inside the yurt, so you're covered rain or shine. The toilets and showers are immaculate - the same standard as a quality hotel. The Blacks have created a great vibe, and are friendly and approachable, while not intruding. Every night a communal bonfire is lit, and the boys also loved the wood-burner in our yurt. Tintagel and some lovely beaches are close by. I would definitely come back again - and this would be my preferred place to stay in Cornwall.
Three children aged 4, 3 and 15 months and two delighted parents have just spent a wonderful week in a beautiful yurt, furnished with love and an attention to all the details to make our life easy. It was big, comfy, snug and fun, and amazingly convenient (even when it is pouring with rain). There are no cars on site, the children could run around freely enjoying the play area with their newly made friends, and we enjoyed some more civilised adult time around the campfire in the evenings.
Our hosts, Naomi and Adam, clearly love what they are doing and it felt like being part of the family with them joining us around the campfire and giving plenty of helpful advice, letting the children come and feed the sheep or hunt for the eggs.
There is a big sandy beach, Sandymouth, 2 miles down the road. We loved Tintagel, 40 minutes drive, and the Otter Sanctuary where we fed the deer.