Camping Under Canvas in Cornwall

When choosing the type of holiday you want to have in Cornwall, your accommodation comes very high on the list. Of course, your preference as to self-catering versus hotel, bed and breakfast against holiday cottage or holiday park v.s. camping will be one of the deciding factors. Frequently, however, your budget will be one of the immovable constraints on your decision. Camping can be a lot of fun, and is a great adventure for families with children. It has the added advantage of being inexpensive and very flexible. It can range from “wild camping” where you can pitch a tent for in the middle of nowhere, to highly organised parks where there are loads of facilities.

The standard of accommodation is up to you. You can provide your own tent, hire one on site, or experience 5 star “glamping” in a yurt.

However, if you haven’t camped in Cornwall, or perhaps, never camped before, there are a few things that are worth knowing.

The first is that you cannot camp anywhere without the landowner’s permission. Every part of Britain is owned by someone either an individual or an organisation. The National Trust, the Forestry Commission and the National Parks Authority are all very strict in not allowing wild camping but frequently have campsites which you can use. However, Dartmoor is an exception. Here small groups and individuals are allowed to camp for up to two nights in the same place without permission and there are special rules which you can get from here. In certain circumstances, camping is usually tolerated in more inaccessible places if you follow some elementary rules:

• Don’t camp on agricultural land unless you have permission and keep out of sight of farms and houses.
• Don’t light a fire without permission
• Keep the number of people small and be quiet
• Leave camp as you found it. Take all the litter (even other people’s)
• Carry out everything you brought in
• Carry out tampons and sanitary towels (burying them doesn’t work as animals dig them up again)
• Don’t dig drainage ditches around a tent or move boulders.
• Toilet duties should be performed at least 30m (100ft) from water and the results buried
• Preserve the environment
• Finally and most importantly – leave no trace of your visit

This form of camping, known as “wild camping” pretty well precludes the use of a car and therefore is really only experienced by serious hikers, and is not that easy to wild camping cornwall accomplish in Cornwall.
Cornwall is one of the most popular summer holiday spots in the UK so it has hundreds of campsites. These range in size from the tiny 4to5 pitch site to the very large accommodating 550 tents, caravans and motorhomes or more.

There are two basic categories of campsites; licensed and unlicensed sites. Licensed sites are required to provide certain basic facilities and fulfil conditions. These include the provision of drinking water, proper drainage, toilets, showers as well as facilities for the storage and disposal of rubbish. They also have to have fire precautions in place. A lot of permanent campsites such as Seaview International are extremely well organised and offer all the facilities you might want for a family holiday.

Unlicensed sites are usually open for a very limited period and have few, if any facilities. Many of these sites are, in fact, just farmers’ fields which they allow campers to use for a small fee.

If you have not slept out “under canvas” before here are a few tips that you might useful:

• Ground gets cold and uncomfortable after a few hours lying on it, so put something between your sleeping bag and the ground. An air mattress or sleeping mat is essential.
• Keep the tent’s flysheet closed all the times. If you have a light on at night all kinds of flying insects attracted to it and a mosquito buzzing around your ears when you are trying to sleep! Few things are more annoying.
• If you have permission for a fire or BBQ, try to pitch your tent some way down wind. This will help discourage the midges and mosquitos. Unfortunately, few campsites allow campfires due to the risk they present.
• Clear the ground where you intend to pitch your tent of any sharp stones or twigs and make sure that your tent’s groundsheet doesn’t have any holes.
• Always carry a couple of extra tent pegs
• Always have some insect repellent with you
• If you are hiking, wrap your sleeping bag in a waterproof bag. A heavy duty black bin bag will do. That way, even if everything else is wet, you will be able to crawl into a dry, warm sleeping bag.
• Never have a naked flame in a tent! This includes candles and gas stoves. Fire is a major risk when camping as is the production of carbon monoxide.
• Always have a torch, spare batteries and an extra bulb
• Make sure you have warm clothing and keep it in a waterproof bag


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