Cotna Eco Retreat
Cotna Barton, Gorran, Cornwall PL26 6LG
Veiled (not hidden) in a quiet Cornish valley, Cotna is a small-scale glamping site ensconced on an organic farm. They offer eco-living without any posturing or grandiosity. The farm, established far longer than the glamping business, supplies salad leaves to most of the local pubs and restaurants and is home to hens, horses, cats and dogs, who add to the good-humoured hum of daily life. At the right times of year, Cotna boasts a plethora of seasonal goodies – including asparagus, aubergines, cucumbers and quince – much of which is housed in the long poly-tunnels that stand out among the green patchwork of the vegetable gardens.
Yet a sense of wilderness is still fostered at Cotna Eco Retreat – one of the real pleasures of glamping within its boundaries of traditional Cornish hedges. Pockets of fruit and nut orchards dot the farm where visitors have free rein to roam, exploring the oak and hazel woodland, the natural ponds and small streams that trickle away towards Portmellon and the proper working harbour village of Mevagissey, two miles away. This makes Cotna both a boon for families – wanting den building and wildlife spotting instead of plastic playgrounds – and also a romantic escape for those seeking out the more secluded side of Cornwall.
Within the orchards are two yurts (each named after a Cornish apple variety). Crafted from local ash, sail canvas and robust polycotton, each boast a magnificent central crown that pools in natural light. Inside they’re furnished to create an all-in-one sleeping, cooking and living space, each with a double bed and space for a further two matresses if necessary, while a wood-burner provides heating – as well as adding to the suitably snug feel of it all! For cooking there’s a gas burner and all the kit and caboodle you'll need plus, of course, Cotna organic eggs, fruit and veg for sale with sourdough bread baked to order.
The brand new couple's shepherds hut, Ismay, enjoys a prime spot within a peaceful valley beside a babbling brook, while the Strawbale Studio offers an equally atmospheric space. Inside, the honey coloured walls and uneven lime-plaster are evocative of the bales that form this eco-friendly structure, creating a wonderful warmth in the evenings as the lamplight casts irregularly across the walls. The accommodation includes an en suite shower, a hand-crafted kitchen, a big brass bed and the all essential wood-burner. In the adjoining barn, owners Dave and Sara share their passion and knowledge for green living, hosting a wide variety of courses and workshops, as well as giving guests the chance to get stuck in. Sara was a teacher in her former life and Dave is a trained Plant Biochemist, so you’re in the safest of green hands!
Of course, none of this should detract from the ultimate feather in this glampsite's cap – its enviable location on the south west coast within easy reach of the best beaches – yet it also competes with the very sights you came here to visit in the first place. After all, why visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan up the road when you have your own lost garden right here? Lost, but not hidden that is, in Cornwall’s most delightful glamping setting.
The Owner Says
Cotna Eco Retreat is spectacularly situated its own lush green valley close to several beautiful beaches here in Cornwall – Gorran Haven, Vault, Hemmick and Caerhays are all within a 30 minute walk along dog friendly coastal paths or quiet Cornish lanes. Relax in tasteful Cornish holiday accommodation and enjoy our delicious organic food – fresh salad leaves, golden organic eggs, sourdough bread, jams and chutneys. Or participate in one of our courses, learning about wild food foraging & cooking, sourdough bread making or no-dig organic gardening.
Enjoy your stay on the south coast of Cornwall camping (or glamping if you prefer) in one of our two beautiful yurts, or choose the slightly more luxurious self-catering Straw Bale Barn. Our yurts and holiday barn overlook our valley of organic apple orchards, vegetable and fruit gardens, streams, ponds and woodland. Nearby you can visit Cornish landmarks like The Eden Project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the proper little fishing village of Mevagissey. At the end of your explorations, relax with a drink or a meal at the excellent Barley Sheaf Pub, just a 5-minute walk up our track.
Our holiday yurts are the only two right on the South Coast of Cornwall! Both are named after Cornish apple varieties growing in our orchards. They are available from March through to October. Both can accommodate 2-4 people and there is also space for eco camping outside Tregonna.
The two orchards they sit in are contained by ancient Cornish stone walls, oak and hazel woodland, a running stream with watercress and coloured willow plantings. These magical and secluded surroundings make it an ideal place for retreats and quiet holidays—for individuals, couples or small groups of friends and family.
Both yurts were expertly crafted by Joel Cudsen of Avalon Yurts in Somerset – from local ash, sail canvas and robust polycotton. They are amazing constructions - there is something very special about staying in a round space! They copy the Mongolian yurt design, managing to contain sleeping, cooking & living accommodation comfortably while maintaining a sense of space and light from the central crown. Both have woodburners and solar lighting.
Sara and Dave are running a very special place. We feel lucky to have found it and spent time there (and with them and their lovely cats and dogs). We stayed in the strawbale studio for two nights. It was so cosy - with a lovely old woodburning stove, and a simple but useful kitchen. The bed was really big and comfortable - not your typical camping bed! We had Sara's breakfast hamper; it was delicious! Homemade jam, fresh organic eggs and salad leaves from Cotna, and some of the best home-baked sourdough you'll ever taste! We bought two more jams to take home with us (and are already running out!). We also did Sara and Dave's wild food foraging walk and cooking experience. It was one the highlights of our honeymoon! Dave is SO knowledgeable on all plants, and has many interesting facts and stories about each. Sara is a wealth of knowledge on wild-food cooking. Together we made delicious, surprising food from what we had foraged. We had a wonderful evening eating and talking together; Sara and Dave are fascinating to talk to. Their commitment to a sustainable, eco-friendly, homegrown way of life is so inspiring. We just love Cotna and will be back! (If you get the opportunity to try Dave's home-brewed cider, don't pass it up!)
Best ever family holiday!
We spent a truly magical week at Cotna with our 3 young boys, the eldest who summed it up perfectly by saying "it's like staying in paradise!" The gardens are beautiful as are the yurts (we stayed in Fern Pippen).We loved having Sara's freshly Baker sour dough bread with homemade blackcurrant jam for breakfast every morning, then freshly picked Cotna salad for our lunch. The boys loved 'helping' Dave with the chickens/horses/salad picking/weeding and would have been happy to spend all day at the site, if we hadn't dragged them off for walks to numerous stunning beaches. Cotna is a magical place where we enjoyed lots of campfires, stargazing and time and space to relax in beautiful surroundings. We have left feeling peaceful and relaxed - all agreed best family holiday ever!
Our Favourite place in the UK
We've been back now so many times to this magical space. Either in the Yurt, Shepherds Hut or Straw-bale studio we've had an amazing time. Our favourite is probably a sourdough bread and freshly laid eggs breakfast on the sun-drenched Studio deck, before a spectacular walk to Vault Beach - far from the madding tourist crowds. Sara and Dave are incredible hosts, and well worth making the time for a chat (if you can catch them wizzing around running an organic small-holding). The sustainability and care for the land is very evident, and I was happy my stay was environmentally constructive, and supporting this amazing place.
No better place to be..
We stayed at Cotna for 4 days and had a great time. We love everything : the cosy yurt, the beautiful valley and woodland, the peaceful space, the starry nights and the babbling brook, the bountiful vegetable garden, the picturesque walks to the coast, our lovely hosts and the super friendly locals at the pub on the open mic night :) We have two teenagers and a dog and everybody had a fantastic time. We'll be back!
THE MOST RELAXING HOLIDAYS YOU WILL EVER EXPERIENCE!!!
Cotna Eco Retreat is THE place i would recommend for everyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city!! It is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by beautiful scenery!In cotna you can find the peace you seek.It is a real heaven. Sarah and Dave are so kind and willing to help you everytime you ask for it although they are pretty busy taking care of the valley and the animals. You must try the homemade bread,the organic eggs,the homemade jam as eveything is homemade and organic. There is a list in the leaflet given to you with the homemade things they make.Try the tomatoes and the salad leaves.Everything tastes sooo delicious! Apart from the food in the campsite, cotna is situated very close to coastal beautiful villages(gorran haven,portmellon,mevagissey,carheys castle).You can reach these places also on foot as there are public footpaths which lead you there.In Cotna there is a leaflet with the local walks.It is absolutely worth it!! Cotna is situated in Gorran Churchtown which is a small picturesque village with a beautiful church.You must pay a visit several times to the Barley Sheaf pub(excellent food,excellent place,one of the best pubs I have ever been) In Cotna you will find the serenity and peace you are looking for.It may not be luxurious but it is made out of love. Enjoy your time!!You will not regret it!!