Cotna Eco Retreat The Greener Camping Club

UK England South West England Cornwall St. Austell

  • 10+ metres between camping pitches
  • Distance markers in shared facilities
  • Contactless check in
  • Extra toilets/showers
  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • Individual toilets for glamping accommodation
  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Laundry
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
  • Beaches
  • Short walk to the pub
  • Walking
A unique haven of peace and tranquillity in Cornwall with comfortable eco-accommodation in yurts, a shepherd’s hut and a strawbale barn – all within a gorgeous 10-acre organic farm
It’s difficult to call places in Cornwall ‘hidden’ these days. It has a strong whiff of cliché about it and, given we’re talking about a 10-acre small holding, it also seems a slight exaggeration. Cotna Eco Retreat isn’t exactly something you can slip into your pocket and sneak away with, though we have to say we’d quite like to. If you could bottle the atmosphere they’ve got here you could make a pretty penny. Relaxing, friendly and, above all, sustainable, it’s a place that’s somehow both homely yet also a million miles away from normal life.

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.



Greener Camping

As a member of the Greener Camping Club the ethos behind our site is off-grid holidays in harmony with nature. However, we do provide electric charging points, shared fridge & freezer space, washing machine on request, your own compost loo and hot showers. Yurts include double beds (and bedding) with single mattresses, a wood-burner, solar LED lights, cooking stove and kitchen equipment. The Strawbale Studio includes king-sized bed, en suite shower, a kitchen, dining furniture and a private deck. Solar and wind energy provide power and water is all sourced from a natural spring on the farm. Sara and Dave can lend you bikes or take you foraging – courses on the farm include sourdough bread making, wild food forage 'cook & dine', vegetarian cuisine, sourdough bread making and land-based skills. Visit their website for further details.

When you book with us, a £10 membership fee is added to the price of your booking and you will be signed up to become a member of the Greener Camping Club. GCC membership year runs from 1st January to 31st December and gives you access to some of the greenest campsites in the UK. It also includes participation in the 'Trees for Life' scheme, whereby a tree is planted for every member who enrols! If you join on or after 1st September, your membership is valid until 31st December of the following year. If you're already a member, just email us your membership card and apply the code GCCM10 to your booking and the membership fee will be deducted.

Suitable For

Glampers, families, couples, solo-travellers, small groups. Camping pitches available by arrangement with yurt bookings.


Gorran Haven, Hemmick, Caerhays and Vault beaches are all within a half hour walk – Dave keeps the parish footpaths clear that lead you out to the coast and join the renowned South West Coast Path. Vault is a wonderfully long, unspoiled beach, a slight walk away from its carpark and consequently one of the quietest spots, while Hemmick is perfect for watching sunsets. The local villages are also well worth a visit; nearby Gorran Haven boasts an ancient harbour and an excellent old pub. Picturesque Portmellon is also within strolling distance – be sure to stop by The Rising Sun Inn (01726 843235), a perfect spot for a drink by the beach. Or head out to Dodman Point (01872 580553), where an Iron Age hillfort sits on the headland with its ruins and huge stone cross reached via footpath from Penare. The Lost Gardens of Heligan (01726 845100) are also walkable (around an hour each way) with over 200 varieties of fruit, vegetables and herbs, an intriguing subtropical jungle and vast, wooded grounds to explore. The world famous Eden Project (01726 811911) is half an hour in the car and, in the opposite direction, it's 10 minutes to Caerhay's Castle (01872 501310).

Food & Drink

Organic home-produced hampers are available on-site for breakfast and evening meals, with home-made preserves, sourdough bread and seasonal produce. Pure springwater also on tap. There is a good local farm shop, Lobbs (01726 844411) as well as post office shops nearby. It's a 5 minute walk to the The Barley Sheaf pub (01726 843330) just up the track. Built in 1837 by local farmer William Kendall and recently restored and re-opened by his great-great-great grandson, it's a fabulous little place serving food daily and with real ales on tap. And just a walk down the valley is The Shack serving great coffee and food, next to the sea and The Paddle Shed at Port Mellon.


25th March – 9th October. Strawbale Studio open all year.

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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 stunning 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 three 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 ones on the Roseland Coast of Cornwall! All are named after Cornish apple varieties growing in our orchards. They are available from March through to October. They can accommodate 2-4 people and there is also space for eco camping outside the yurts.

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.

The 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.


3 yurts (Gilliflower, Tregonna King & Fern Pippin), Strawbale Studio and a brand new shepherds hut, Ismay. Guests can bring their own tents as extra accommodation if necessary.

Gilliflower Yurt

Yurt or Ger Sleeps 2
Beautiful 16’ yurt with a light and airy modern feel

Tregonna King Yurt

Yurt or Ger Sleeps 4
A gorgeous 18’ Moroccan boutique style yurt

Fern Pippin Yurt

Yurt or Ger Sleeps 4
A lovely 18’ yurt with modern Scandinavian feel

Ismay Shepherds Hut

Shepherd’s hut Sleeps 2
Live the dream of a simple life, as shepherds in times gone by!

Check Availability


Contact Cotna Eco Retreat, Cotna Eco Retreat, Gorran Churchtown, Cornwall

Show Map

Getting There

A30 St Austell. Follow Satnav to Lost Gardens of Heligan PL26 6EN. Continue along Gorran High Lanes, turn left at Gorran Church and follow bumpy track around back of church. Follow footpath signs to Galowras Mill. Turn right down track at Standing Stone. Try to arrive before dark!

The nearest train station is in St Austell (0845 748 4950). The 471 bus (operated by Travel Cornwall) runs 3 times every day. The 24 bus to Mevagissey is operated by First Kernow. For taxis try Mevagissey Cars (07513 774529).


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 18 reviews


A great family holiday

"We stayed at Cotna with three generations of our family aged from 13 to 82 in August this year We were lucky enough to be able to book the whole site for two weeks. It is a truly idyllic spot, with lots of space, far more than we have found at other sites. Cotna is a working smallholding which is run on ecologically sound principles. Nothing is wasted, the benefits of nature are everywhere put to good use, including a steep slope collecting solar energy. Dave and Sara, the proprietors, are welcoming and helpful and provide a high standard of comfort in the yurts, the straw barn and the Shepherds Hut. Each unit has its own kitchen, shower and toilet. There are two adorable and well behaved spaniels who paid us many visits and two or three nice cats,. Waste food is eaten by the chickens and ducks and all other waste is systematically recycled. We bought many of the lovely products from the smallholding including salad and vegetables, home-made jam, home-baked sourdough bread and apple juice made from the fruit from the orchard where we sat under the trees reading in the afternoons. Obviously we tried to always respect the ecological principles upon which Cotna is based but there are no petty rules and regulations and we felt very relaxed there. There is wifi access in and around the Straw Barn, a whole raft of charging points for phones is available in a barn so it is very much in the 21st century. Dave and Sara could not have been more congenial hosts and though they obviously run the whole place as a commercial enterprise it is clear that they also enjoy what they do and value their guests as part of this ecologically sound holistic enterprise For us booking direct with Dave and Sara was much easier than going through a booking site.”

A paradise of tranquillity

Enveloped in a fabulous space. Parking up Daisy the dog came and welcomed us, soon followed by the lovely owners. Walking down through the orchard to the yurt and our stuff in a wheelbarrow, I could feel stress and tension flowing away. Shoulders relaxing and breathing deeper on each stride. 3 nights of bliss on a super comfy bed ensured we slept soundly. Eye mask and ear plugs were helpful ensuring a deep and refreshing sleep. A stunning position, beautiful places to explore. Came away with cotna s lovely apple juice and yummy homemade bread. I can imagine anyone not loving this place.

Amazing Break - Natural and Wonderful.

From the second we arrived we felt relaxed. The welcoming committee of Dave and two dogs (Daisy and Billy) made us feel right at home in an instant. Gillyflower yurt is wonderful, with its gas stove, log burner, firepit and picnic bench outside. Nestled in its own little young orchard it's a great way of feeling close to nature, and distant from everyday society. When the skies are clear and the stars come out at night, it's breathtaking. The natural and eco setup of the whole site is great. Composting loos, hedgerow showers, organic produce grown on site. It was more like a break from society than a holiday. Ive never felt so totally relaxed. Thoroughly recommended, and will definitely be returning next year.
Aug 23, 2020 by Matt Howard Verified Review

Idilic, beautiful space with lovely hosts

We took a punt on this as a last min booking after the lockdown. The space is a beautifully cared for (mostly?) off grid setting with a market garden, chickens and lots and lots of space. We loved the privacy and the peace, Sara and Dave were warm hosts and offered such things as excellent 'hampers' which we thoroughly recommend you try - the Italian was perfect. We hope to go back some time for a week of bliss. Thank you for a perfect week :)

Magical moments in tranquility

We stayed for 4 days in the delightful strawbale studio- which is so well insulated, we only had the fire on twice, and once was becuase we needed our towels to dry before we left. The gardens are an absolute joy, and we took great delight in helping to collect the apples which were falling readily, and steadily! We had a vegan breakfast hamper and the blackcurrant jam was of particular note- the best I have tasted i think! I believe Cotna has the ideal location- woodland walks from the door, you can walk to the sea, and also only 30 minute drive from Eden Project (and 10 min drive to heligan). We will definitely be back!
Sep 16, 2019 by Lucy and Adam

Peace, and tranquility; a pure delight!

We, a family of 4 and 2 dogs, stayed in the Gillyflower; a 16ft Yurt in the orchard. The feeling of tranquility wraps around you on arrival. Our yurt was surrounded by apple trees, and a woodland framed by willow; very private. As seasoned campers we are used to being self sufficient, we didn’t really have any expectations, the traditionally decorated yurt however was spacious, with a double bed, and 2 single mattresses, table and chairs, wood burner, and cooking area inside. If we had experienced bad weather, which we didn’t, we would have been very toasty and dry, and there was plenty of space. Outdoors there was a picnic table and campfire area, just perfect for watching shooting stars, being dive bombed by bats, and listening to the owls and crackling fire once the sun has gone down. We had our own washing up area, and a short walk across a stream led to a own compost loo, not in the least smelly, and our 3 and 7 year old managed procedures perfectly unaided. The hot shower cabin with plenty of hanging space for towels and clothes was fabulous. Seasoned wood was available to purchase for £3 a bag. The location is simply beautiful and a very quick drive led us to Goran Haven for a pre breakfast swim and a frothy coffee in the Mermaid cafe. We absolutely loved our short stay and wished it was for longer. Dave and Sarah you have got it just right!
Sep 3, 2019 by Louise

Absolutely fantastic!!

This place is amazing. It's so peaceful with just the sound of nature. The yurt was fantastic and well equipped. Loved the eco toilets which don't smell which is obviously a huge bonus. Plenty of walks around and area is beautiful. Dave and Sara are really nice, helpful and friendly.
Jun 18, 2019 by Welsh bird Verified Review

Fantastic location very private

Fantastic location very private site. We loved our yurt it was well equipped wood burner, cooker, hot water bottle for cold nights. Useful info in the information book. Loved the animals horses, chickens , cats and dogs particularly Daisy. Very relaxing place . Hot shower but toilets were a bit smelly. Sara and Dave are very welcoming, however more could have been explained to us at the beginning. For example we found out we could use fridge freezer and coolers on site. On the last day we discovered we could have had a breakfast delivered in the morning. Overall we had a good time . Thank you Sara and Dave. Good luck with your project and business.
Aug 20, 2018 by Paul

Back to nature

After two weeks in Cotna I couldn’t be more relaxed. A stunning location that fills your head with aspersions of leading a self-sufficient carbon neutral existence. Everyone & everything from Sarah & Dave (the owners) to the three dogs, three cats, chickens & the horses are so welcoming & accommodating. Stunningly tasty veg & fruit that is all grown on site is in abundance & can be provided at little notice individually, or as part of specially designed hampers (I recommend the curry hamper, very tasty) that give you everything you need to make a delicious meal, from veg plot to mouth in minutes. Perfectly located in close proximity to stunning local beaches as well as the fishing town of Mevagissy & only half an hour from the lovely town of Truro. The first time we’ve been here, but not the last.
Aug 10, 2018 by Steve Neilson

Beautiful location - Oustanding!

So good to be one with nature. The wood burner was particularly nice and warm on cooler evenings and the shower was really good too! On our next visit we will want to experience making Sara’s superb Sour Bread (one of the many workshops available) and will def look at a longer stay - I hear the Keralan curries are a real treat too! We really did enjoy the amazing setting and Sara & Dave’s recommended walks that took us to several local beaches (the coastal circuit was the best). The boys enjoyed running free and feeding the chickens. Hollydog the Black Lab has had an amazing holiday too, both without too many rules and restrictions. Just before leaving, my 9 year old wrote in the visitors book ‘An amazing wilderness and lovely beaches which we enjoyed swimming in, I hope we come again..’ Say no more.

Beautiful location.. Outstanding!

So good to be one with nature. The wood burner was particularly nice and warm on cooler evenings and the shower was really good too! On our next visit we will want to experience making Sara’s superb Sour Bread (one of the many workshops available) and will def look at a longer stay - I hear the Keralan curries are a real treat too! We really did enjoy the amazing setting and Sara & Dave’s recommended walks that took us to several local beaches (the coastal circuit was the best). The boys enjoyed running free and feeding the chickens. Hollydog the Black Lab has had an amazing holiday too, both without too many rules and restrictions. Just before leaving, my 9 year old wrote in the visitors book ‘An amazing wilderness and lovely beaches which we enjoyed swimming in, I hope we come again..’ Say no more.

Stunning grounds

Great few days at Cotna! You get the sense that it's a very special place. Beautiful grounds, just-out-of-oven bread in the breakfast hamper, tinder and fire wood ready to go.. everything was perfect. Sara and Dave are very accommodating. Highly recommend!
May 31, 2018 by Tom Oswald

A true retreat

This is a very special place, the kind of place where you arrive and you feel no need to leave as it gives you everything you've been searching for. Its a beautiful little valley with its own natural springwater filtered through all of the taps and food grown on its own soil with the love of Sara & Dave and the people who help on the land. We left feeling nourished and inspired and I attended a mini yoga retreat there which was just lovely. Highly recommend if you want to connect back into nature and take some time out. We stayed with our baby Hari and all of us loved the Cotna experience. There are beautiful walks to the sea and nearby villages too but you can really just relax, check out the animals, forage and cook the lovely food grown in Cotna. Highly recommend all of the food hampers for breakfasts and dinners and Dave's homebrew cornish cider!
Sep 27, 2017 by sarah

Idyllic Cotna

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!)
May 8, 2017 by Simon

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!
Apr 23, 2017 by Hannah

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.
Apr 10, 2017 by Stephen Murphy

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!
Apr 4, 2017 by verobrune


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!!
Jul 26, 2016 by Evangelos

Why book with Cool Camping?

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  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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