Spend some time away from it all by getting back to basics in a traditional tipi, deep in the woods near the Cornish north coast.
It’s difficult to come by a place with no 4G or phone signal these days, but in this connected world, some time to talk to our friends, jump into nature and communicate without Facebook is a rare and wonderful thing. Just a few weeks ago, myself and three of my best girls spent two nights under canvas doing just that.
Cornish Tipi Holidays offer the perfect solution to a digital detox. This beautiful, twisty-turvy forest maze, where the light trickles through the leaves, with camping pitches and tipis set amongst the green, is idyllic even in the rain.
Walking, bird watching and swimming in the lake are all highly encouraged here. As is skinny dipping, fishing, cooking over an open flame, and total relaxation.
It didn’t take us long to make our way to the onsite lake which is at the centre of the site. The lake, which is a glowing blue, sits at the bottom of an old quarry, where you can row out and explore caves, take a dip, or simply lie back and listen to the nature around you. Of course, we’re not the quietest bunch, and even the thought of cold water had half of us screeching with fear. The other half of our group though, could not wait to get their kit off and leap into the cobalt blue waters.
We soon retreated to our tipi site, lit a fire, cracked open the wine and settled in for a night of munching on food and good conversation. As the English summer hadn’t quite arrived yet, we huddled inside our tipi when the sun went down, and talked until we fell asleep.
The next morning was wet, so with our camping stove inside the tipi, we cooked up a storm of bacon, eggs and tomatoes to set us on our way. From here, we headed straight to Boscastle to wander in the rain, gorge on millionaire shortbread and tea in the National Trust Cafe, and stare out to sea as the storm came in.
We had an early dinner and pint at the St Kew Inn – which is just a five minute drive from the site and does excellent food if you don’t fancy your hand at campsite cooking or the weather is bad.
No cars are allowed on site, apart from on your first arrival when you drop your things to your canvas house, meaning that your getaway from the real world happens as soon as you settle in.
Everything you could need is provided – warm rugs to cover the floor, a cooking stove, pots, pans, utensils, kettle, gas. Kindling and fire wood can be purchased from reception, and there are hot showers and flushing toilets. You will need to bring a sleeping bag and/or duvet and pillow. A full kit list can be found here.
How to get there
Cornish Tipi Holidays are situated in North Cornwall, near Port Isaac, Polzeath, Tintagel and Boscastle. The site is easy to find by car, but bear in mind that the nearest train station is 18 miles away in Bodmin, and a taxi ride from there will set you back around £30. A map and details can be found at cornishtipiholidays.co.uk.
There are a huge range of options for all budgets and party sizes: wild camping can range from £18 per adult per night, to £22 per adult per night, depending on whether you want to camp in the meadow with other campers, or would rather hide away in the thick of the trees.
The tipis are priced on size, location, and number of people; they start at £160 for 2 nights in low season, to £980 for a large family in the height of the summer holidays. Discounts are available, but give them a call them on 01208 880781 to see if any apply to you.