Camping in Cornwall – An Unforgettable Experience

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What is the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the word ‘camping’? We probably all interpret the word very differently but in layman’s terms it is ‘the activity spending a vacation living in a camp, tent, or camper’. So what do folks around the world stereotype when they hear the word camping?

GUIDE TO CAMPING

From an American perspective, you probably associate campsites or RV parks as they are commonly known, as just an off the beaten path location that is a much cheaper option than staying in a hotel. But from a British standpoint, I can safely tell you that my experiences have been like 5 star luxury!

Camping in England

Camping in Cornwall – An Unforgettable Experience….The title of this post truly sums up the feeling I have about camping around England. I will go out on a limb and say that 9 times out of 10, camping in England will ultimately lead to a positive experience! Now that’s a bold statement to make you are probably thinking, especially given the beautiful (NOT!) climate that everyone associates with this part of the world.

But camping in England is much more than just pitching a tent on a patch of grass, it is an unforgettable experience with a variety of incentives that make your stay all the more enjoyable. All of this makes up for the wet and wintry conditions you can expect to experience during the Summer months! After all, it wouldn’t be England without the odd rain shower!

Many of you British citizens will also argue that camping in England doesn’t necessarily mean you are staying in a tent. Whether you have a touring caravan, RV/camper van, rent a static caravan or you have the good old tent and sleeping bag combination, there is a campsite (or caravan site as we Brits refer to them!) waiting to welcome you.

Throughout my childhood years, my parents would take me to a variety of caravan sites in Cornwall, Devon, Isle of Wight and even the Fylde Coast in North-West England. We stayed in our own touring caravan which pretty much felt like our very own house on wheels that we would pull behind our car and stay for 1-2 weeks before returning home. Memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life and certainly put my in good stead to appreciate English caravan sites!

Camping in Cornwall

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However, my last ‘camping’  experience in England saw Heather and I travel around the country with our backpacks and tent in tow (ok, so we borrowed my parents Toyota RAV also to get around but it was still an outdoors adventure for us!)

Spending time along the Cornish coastline was high on our bucket list and after much research we decided to stay at Trevella Caravan Park which we honestly didn’t know much about but because it received rave reviews online and it was in a perfect location to explore the rest of Cornwall we opted to pitch our tent there.

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Everything about Trevella was positive. The on site bathrooms were in pristine condition – the experience enhanced even more because they were individual rooms with a shower, washbasin and toilet! A crazy golf course, TV and game room and on-site restaurant provided plenty of activities to ensure that you didn’t have to go far to enjoy your holiday break.

Rain or Shine?

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As I mentioned earlier, the key aspect about camping in England is that you have to forget about the British climate and just enjoy yourselves, in many ways embrace the conditions otherwise you will likely get very depressed! Unfortunately, we followed this same philosophy or so we thought until the heavens opened one night and we faced the dreaded reality that our tent was leaking.

Imagine being stuck on a Cornish campsite in the middle of the night with thunder and lightning and water starts seeping into your sleeping bag.

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Needless to say the following day was spent shopping in St. Austell to purchase a new, upgraded version of our tent which hopefully would prove to be a little more watertight. Throw a few car issues into the mix and I have to admit this was probably one of our most serious relationship tests to see how we both reacted with each other in the face of adversity – four years later and we are still together, so figure that one out for yourself (sorry Heather, I told you that new tent would fix the problem!)

My tip for you whenever you consider backpacking around England, make sure you grab your tent and sample some of the best British caravan sites especially those in Cornwall because I am convinced you will not reget it.

29 COMMENTS

  1. This did put a smile on my face. Cornwall and the weather can be so unpredictable – glorious sunshine one minute; downpour the next. We do love camping though and there is no better way to see the English countryside than by travelling around numerous campsites and as you mentioned some are quite luxurious. We have stayed in some where we have no more than a concrete shed for a toilet block moving up to another campsite and we find we have underfloor heating in the shower block!
    Tam Gamble recently posted…An Evening in Harrogate with… Robert GalbraithMy Profile

    • That’s British weather for you isn’t it Tam 🙂 We are so looking forward to heading back to England again sometime soon, preferably during the summer so that we can grab our tent from my parents house and just go exploring more of England’s beautiful coastline and countryside.

      It’s crazy though how many of the modern caravan sites are really go that extra mile to ensure their amenities are top notch! It really does give them a competitive advantage I think.

  2. I’ve only ever been to England once, and that was for a business trip, so I didn’t see much of the countryside aside from speeding by it in a train.

    To me, camping has always been in a tent, in the woods, preferably away from technology and noise. While I used to be vehemently opposed to RV camping, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see the attraction. I can see, with the…interesting…weather in Cornwall, the attraction of RV camping. You know…just in case.

    But real, true camping will always involve a tent for me!
    Chris – Part Time Vagabond recently posted…No Excuses: Redefining how we view travelMy Profile

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly Chris that camping is stereotypically all about the tent and our experiences around Cornwall and surrounding counties really emphasized this! But I will say that as we move to possibly a more ‘modern day’ camping style, RV’s or as I refer to them caravans/camper vans are definitely going to be popular especially in certain parts of the world e.g. England, purely because of the climate. But….opting for this approach is not necessarily the most cost-effective because staying in a static caravan for an example can be expensive, especially if they are fully kitted out with all the extra amenities!

  3. That was certainly a proper British camping experience by the sounds of it. I love your account of how it “tested your relationship” – I can imagine that’s a polite, politically correct way of putting how it was at the time. Funnily enough we are currently checking out yurts at the moment, so we are very much in the spirit of the great outdoors. Have you ever camped in a yurt?
    Jackie De Burca recently posted…Castellon de la Plana Travel GuideMy Profile

  4. I’ve only been camping a few times and it was always in the UK and I loved it. Luckily each time the weather was on my side. I’m looking forward to sleeping under canvas again at Blogstock next month, near London. They’re providing the tents so I certainly hope they are water tight. We may be having glorious weather now but who knows what August will bring.
    Kathryn Burrington recently posted…A mini guide to Singapore’s street foodMy Profile

  5. Can I admit here…that I’ve never been camping in my life?! I know, it’s quite shocking. But my family was never really into camping while I was growing up, and I have a little bit of a bug-phobia. I do love the outdoors though and spending time outside in nature & forests! However, camping in an RV or having a bit more comfortable tent sounds totally fine to me! The type of camping you describe sounds great!
    Lauren recently posted…Vegan Ice Cream at Great Escape in Watkins Glen, NYMy Profile

  6. We obviously love camping. Not because it’s so comfortable but rather because you are right out there, in the middle of nature. You are in the freshness of the world instead of tucked away in a hotel room with airconditioned or heated up air. We’re going camping on our next roadtrip in a couple of weeks time and can’t wait, it’s been way too long for us! We’ve camped in Scotland (and one night in England on the way back to Newcastle) and generally found the campsites there quite luxurious. We prefer the more basic ones but they are not always around ….
    antonette – we12travel recently posted…the we12travel libraryMy Profile

  7. Ha ha, you just can’t escape the British weather can you, but at least you had fun. Last time we camped in Cornwall it rained for 7 days solid and we hardly even saw the sea through the mist. But we LOVE Cornwall, and camping, so it didn’t put us off. We just made the best of it and saw parts of the county we wouldn’t usually…castles, yachting on a catamaran, and of course lots of tea shops and pasties. Rain is all part of the adventure, and one of my favourite sounds is rain on the tent canvas when we’re all snuggled inside. We usually camp on the Lizard peninsula as it’s less busy than many other parts of Cornwall, really missed it this year so perhaps 2015 will mean another trip down south.
    Heather Cole recently posted…Driving a Susuki, Lao styleMy Profile

  8. Wow, what beautiful pictures! I’m a huge camper, and I would love to go in England sometime! It’s so nice to be in tune with nature (even if it is a bit rainy), and I feel like it helps you appreciate a place you’re traveling to that much more. You get to understand the feel of it, the smell of it. Camping is a way to uncover a place’s soul. 🙂
    Jessi recently posted…Why Ljubljana Should Be On Every Bucket ListMy Profile

  9. I love how you’ve managed to highlight the positive side of it 🙂
    Weather in England is not always exactly friendly but that’s part of the package – let’s say it’s a feature which give a defined personality to the experience 😀
    I’m not much keen on camping, I have to admit, even if actually I’ve never done it as an adult. I guess it should be an experience I should add to my list, sooner or later.
    Instead I’ve been in Cornwall and I must say it’s one of the most amazing parts I’ve seen so far of this utterly amazing country!
    Serena @ BlackCatSouvenirs recently posted…Newcastle – or how a cat from Turin has befriended with the GeordiesMy Profile

  10. Great blog but you’ll piss a lot of Cornish people off saying Cornwall is in England. The Cornish, after many years of campaigning have finally gained recognition as a national minority in Britain, just like Wales, Ireland and Scotland, and a great deal of their qualifying criteria was based around the historic distinctions between Cornwall (Kernow) and the country next door – England. Cornwall is next to England just like Wales and has never formally been annexed to England and remains to this day as a distinct constitutional entity called the duchy of cornwall.

  11. Having been washed out on a number of recent camping trips in Canada, I have to admit the shine is being rubbed off this activity! I think I’m slowly gravitating more towards cottages these days so I can try to both enjoy the great outdoors and also get some warm, dry sleep!

    • The weather really does have an impact on your mood each day. There is nothing worse that waking up in the morning to hear rain crashing down on your tent or even worse, feeling raindrops fall through the tent. That’s what happened to us at one point so we had to get a new tent. But honestly it’s all about the camping experience and when you are rewarded with gorgeous weather as we were on several occasions in Cornwall…well, it makes it all ok!

  12. That is awesome that there are caravan sites that you can camp at in different locations. I would love to plan a caravan vacation with my family. Caravan parks sound like a great way to relax and be able to travel.

  13. […] Camping in Cornwall was one of the best experiences during our month long England road trip. We stayed at Trevella Holiday Park in the quaint village of Crantock, just outside of Newquay. It’s no surprise at all to hear that Trevella is an award winning campsite as the pristine condition of the whole park was a pleasure to be part of. […]

  14. I would go with MOUNTAIN CAMPING IN GRAN CANARIA if I have the chance. This is interesting. I love the idea of camping and being a part of nature. Whenever I have a chance, I always go with my families. Indeed, I am struggle about what essential gears should I bring on a 3-days camping. Do you have any suggestion on this?
    Thank you for your info and please keep it up.

  15. I have never really been to England, but I have camped a lot in the US. Cornwall seems to be totally unpredictable when it comes to the weather patterns. We will be going to the Grand Canyon in July, and we are so excited. Maybe after that we can plan on coming to England after. Thanks for the great pointers.
    Sherman recently posted…Best Garmin FishfindersMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for your kind comments Sherman! Camping in the Grand Canyon sounds awesome, I’m sure it will be a little toasty in July but wow, what an amazing experience. You hit the nail on the head with the weather in Cornwall and pretty much anywhere in England…the only thing you do know is that the weather in England is unpredictable and more than likely will rain at some point!

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