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Free Range Escapes

UK England South West England Cornwall Port Isaac

  • Campfires allowed
  • Adults only
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
A private shepherd's hut retreat set in North Cornwall's most accidentally excellent setting; the overgrown Tregildrans quarry

Many of Cornwall’s most beautiful places are those that have been reclaimed by nature. The old tin mines – many of which are now world heritage sites – that blend, ruined, among the heather-clad hills; the old smugglers coves that have been storm-worn into rocky lairs; and old quarries, like Tregildrans on the North Coast, where bulging blackberry bushes and spring-fed lagoons have transformed the place into a vast natural playground.

There has actually been an existing campsite at the splendidly overgrown Tregildrans quarry for decades. And now, capitalizing on that same adventure-friendly setting, there’s also a brand new business on the block; Free Range Escapes, a single, private shepherd’s hut for couples in need of a glamping getaway.

Set in a flat clearing that was once part of the old railway line that served the quarry, Free Range Escapes is yet another testament to the way nature can reclaim, replenish and reward us with an extraordinary setting. On three sides mature trees lean in to enclose you in a green embrace, while, on the other, the shepherd’s hut window peeps out at cattle grazing a grassy meadow on the opposite slope. There isn’t a railway sleeper in sight.

Inside, the hut is a cosy couples’ retreat. Light wooden-clad walls, exposed ash beams, a built-in double bed and a Windy Smith wood burner give it a warm, country-home feel, with old-style brass light fittings, binoculars and bird books showing a keen eye for detail. Like the rest of the quarry, it remains a wonderfully off-grid affair – there is no WiFi and certainly no television – but solar-power means you can still use the shepherd’s hut lighting and charge your mobile phone or tablet inside.

Step out and you’ll find adventure at every turn. Whether it’s enjoying a campfire beneath North Cornwall’s famously starry skies, swimming or boating on the emerald-coloured lake or walking to the coast to refuel with fish and chips in Port Isaac, there’ll be plenty to fill your time. You could also bring your bikes and pop south to Wadebridge for a cycle on the renowned Camel Trail, another old local railway line that’s been put to excellent use.



The hut features a fitted double bed, a wood burner, a dining table and chairs, a kitchenette area with a Belfast sink, 2 gas hobs, cutlery, crockery, utensils, tea and coffee, salt and pepper and there is electricity (though for low wattage items; no hairdryers please). There is no fridge, but a cool box is provided (frozen ice blocks can be collected daily from the main car park). There's a private space outside the hut with a firepit and garden furniture. It's a 3-minute walk from the mini car park to the shepherd's hut. Owner Gosel will meet you to show you the way. The shepherd's hut is based at Cornish Tipi Holidays & Camping (also known as Tregildrans Quarry), with 20 acres that includes woodland, open space and a lake (swimming and fishing permitted; boats and life jackets available to borrow). The hut has it's own private compositing loo and wooden shower shed and you also have full access to any of the other ablutions blocks on site. No smoking inside the hut.

Suitable For

The hut sleeps 2 people. Dogs are not permitted.


It’s a 5-minute drive to the some of the best sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and adrenaline-filled coasteering in the UK – all out of beautiful Port Quin. Try Cornish Rock Tors (07791 534884) for routes and equipment or carry on to Port Isaac (01208 880200) for more fantastic sea-kayaking options (and to buy tasty scallops and crabs). Pick up the 16-mile-long Camel Trail near Wadebridge (01460 221162) a superbly-converted old railway route that John Betjeman described as ‘the best journey in England’ back in its steam puffing days. North Cornwall Arts (01840 214220) runs plenty of children’s workshops to keep kids busy on a rainy afternoon, or try the intriguingly weird Museum of Witchcraft & Magic (01840 250111) at Boscastle Harbour, which is also excellent.

Food & Drink

There's a decent sized Spar in Delabole (01840 213897) for groceries. You can buy excellent pasties and exceptionl egg-and-bacon pies (among others) from either Auntie Avice at St Kew or Cornish Maids in Camelford (01840 212749). The Other Place in Fowey (01726 833636) does creative fish and chips, including scallops or calamari. For excellent Sunday lunch and good mid-week sandwiches try the Globe Hotel at Lostwithiel (01208 872501).


All year.

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Contact Free Range Escapes, Cornish Tipi Holidays, Tregildrans Quarry, Trelill, St Kew, Bodmin PL30 3HZ

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Getting There

From the north take the M5 to Exeter and then the A30 to Okehampton and Launceston. Turn right onto the A395 to Camelford. Just before Camelford turn right at Collan's Cross onto the B3314 to Delabole. Follow the road out of Delabole for 2 miles, then turn left for St.Teath at the Port Gaverne crossroads (do not take the first road on the left signposted St.Teath just after Delabole). Stay on that road (again do not turn left to St.Teath) curving around to the right, over the old railway bridge, then take the first right just before Nomansland cottage, with a sign over the entrance saying Cornish Tipi Weddings & Holidays. Please drive down the lane. Be aware Sat Navs do not work properly in Cornwall and although it will guide you most of the way, it is best to take these directions with you for the last few minutes of the journey.

The nearest bus stops are Port Gaverne, Port Isaac, St.Kew, Trelill or St.Teath – buses operate on a hail and stop basis. They will often stop on the main road and let passengers get off if you give them prior warning. Generally, though, due to the rural location, your own transport is recommended (though the site does host walkers exploring the North Cornish Coast footpath and they love it).


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 2 reviews


Absolutely Stunning

Stayed here for 2 nights with my boyfriend. Loved it so much, absolutely stunning location. Weather wasn’t great but still an amazing weekend. Thank you so much
Sep 24, 2018 by Imogen Evans

Tranquil getaway

I stayed here for 4 nights with my mum and we had such a lovely time. All the staff are wonderful, very friendly, helpful and knowledgable. The Elderflower Shephard's hut was a dream, I would easily live in it. Very cosy, comfy in a gorgeous little area that felt like our own. The freshwater lake is lovely to swim in and the whole place is a great location for exploring north cornwall. I will for sure be coming back here for a relaxing getaway!
Aug 21, 2018 by Siobhan

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