Netley’s lotus belle, though, is only one side of the many sided site. Beyond it’s walls is a second luxury glamping option, two slightly smaller yurts in the trademark Mongolian shape. These too have charmingly furnished interiors. The latticed woodwork climbs up to the sloping ceiling that, though it has the traditional circular crown in the centre, has no centre pole holding it up, adding extra space for guests to use. Like the lotus belle, the yurts have a wood burner and double beds, but are slightly smaller, sleeping three to the lotus’ five.
Meanwhile the campsite stays true to those essential origins with just ten secluded camping pitches and a tents-only rule keeping the cumbersome caravans away. In total the handful of spots cover a two-acre space that’s been greening and organic for decades. The water here is pumped from a natural spring beneath the wildflower meadow and owners, Natalie and Martin, are still at work planting a forest garden and nourishing a hedgerow for foraging. It all has that small-scale feel that any top campsite should have – a real hidden treasure in the heart of Western Cornwall.
Though the experience aimed for is one of back-to-basics, with long-drop composting toilets and chickens scratching idly in the dust, the campsite isn’t left lacking. One of the farm barns houses an excellent shower facility and a washing-up area, plus there’s a healthy stock of board games, cards and colouring-in gear for kids, with books you can take back to the tent and while the hours away. They also have a small summerhouse with the rather wintery name of ‘the snug’. It’s a nice spot to chill out in the quiet – perhaps with that book if you still haven’t finished it!
Come dusk, the campsite is well located for enjoying the darkest of nights. It’s central location means it’s only a 20-minute drive to the coast and a convenient access point for most of the South West’s attractions, yet rural seclusion provides a silence and starlit sky that the beachside spots just can’t compete with. Calm the campfire, enjoy the skies and drift dreamily like the drowsy Greeks underneath the lotus tree. If it does cloud over, you can still enjoy the stars, one of them at least. It’s a 20-minute walk to the Star Inn – an excellent choice of ales and tasty food to match.
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