South Penquite Farm

UK England South West England Cornwall Bodmin

  • Children’s playground
  • Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Good walks nearby
  • Walking
Location, location, location. Traditional tent camping and Mongolian chic on the moor’s edge.

Occasionally at South Penquite Farm, on the edge of Bodmin Moor, when it’s long gone midnight and there’s the sound of rustling in the undergrowth, you might find yourself wondering whatever happened to the elusive Beast of Bodmin Moor?

Supposedly a large wildcat that had either escaped from a sci-fi lab or was a throwback to some kind of sabre-toothed ancestor, it was reputed to prowl the moor scaring the wits out of anyone unlucky enough to cross its path. The story was at its height some years ago, and the hoo-ha has long since died down. But when you’re creeping to the loo in the middle of the night and hear a twig snap behind you, you’d better pray that the big cat hasn’t come back looking for a midnight snack.

Actually, within the boundaries of South Penquite Farm, any scuffling in the undergrowth is more likely to be one of the free-range chickens pecking around in your wake or, at worst, it might be the footfall of one of the horses grazing by the gate; but in the pitch blackness of a moorland night, you never can be quite sure.

Come daylight you can forget all about it and just enjoy the site: a fully certified organic 200- acre farm that takes sustainability very seriously, from using solar energy and rainwater to recycling absolutely everything – check out the roomy showers that are lined with psychedelic panels made from recycled yogurt pots and plastic bottles.

The farm education centre is a fantastic resource for learning all about organic farming and the local environment, while the bushcraft courses they run will introduce the whole family to field skills such as den building and cooking on an open fire.

Numbers are limited in the camping fields, so you shouldn’t ever feel penned in. Campfires set the tone of the evenings here, and there’s a whopping amount of space to run around in. As well as fellow campers you’ll also be sharing the fields with wandering turkeys, ducks and chickens – an endless source of entertainment for children, who also have a games barn, swings and a climbing frame to keep them occupied. Plus, there’s walking galore to be done even before you break out on to the moors, with a farm trail that brings you face- to-face with sheep, cows and horses, while taking in disused quarries, prehistoric hut circles and the banks of the De Lank River.

Since its beginnings as a farm site with just a basic loo and shower installed for the campers that flocked to Cornwall for the 1999 solar eclipse, South Penquite has adapted to the camping scene with style. Owner Dominic reckoned that once he had a family farm with a campsite on the side, whereas now he has a campsite with a farm on the side. And now, even here in the wilds of Bodmin Moor, you can opt for the luxury of one of Goldilocks and the Three Bears – four Mongolian yurts that occupy their own field. Daddy Bear and Goldilocks are the biggest, sleeping six; then there’s Mummy Bear, who sleeps four; and Baby Bear, a snug little place for two.And when you do lace up your hiking boots and strike out on to the rolling moors, it’s not the three bears you’ve got to watch out for. Er, is it?

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Details

Facilities

Campfires allowed and wood can be purchased from the farm. New facilities include a shower block with roomy showers, a loo block (watch out for the psychedelic panels made from recycled yogurt pots), with a disabled toilet and shower, and covered washing-up areas. There’s a children’s play area, board games and books in a basic lounge area and a games room in the barn. As well as geocaching, there is a farm education centre, and family bushcraft courses are on offer (£20pp for the latter), along with art courses and photography workshops. You can also fish for brown trout on the farm’s own stretch of river between April and September, and walk the 2-mile-long South Penquite Farm trail, spotting sheep, cows and horses, and taking in standing stones, stone circles, a canyon and a quarry.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, glampers and groups – yes. Dogs – no.

Nearby

There’s no end to glorious footfall territory on Bodmin Moor so, if you dare face the wrath of the Beast, don your boots and strike out to the ancient standing stones of The Hurlers and The Cheesewring or the peaks of Rough Tor and Brown Willy (Cornwall’s highest points). Being on the Sustrans Route 3 between Bristol and Land’s End, the moorland tracks are very popular with cyclists and you can explore various trails on horseback from Hallagenna Farm (01208 851500). There are pony treks, which are ideal for kids (over 5), or hacking and trail rides for the more experienced. However, if the endless shades of green make you feel a little land-locked, you’re only a short drive from the town of Bodmin, and 25 minutes’ drive from the dramatic seascapes of Trebarwith and Boscastle, and the legendary, stupendously sited castle of King Arthur at Tintagel. Consider, also, a trip to Jamaica Inn, a few miles east, the eponymous inn of Daphne du Maurier’s novel and home to a great Smuggler’s Museum (which also has a room devoted to the writer). Jamaica Inn is also a good place from which to head out on hikes across the moor, and you can leave your car in the car park if you ask nicely. They even offer advice on circular walks you can do from the pub, one to the peak of Brown Willy, at 420m the highest point on the moor, and another an easy stroll to Dozmary Pool, a mysterious place where, according to Arthurian myth, Excalibur was returned to the watery depths.

Food & Drink

Sample some of the home produced mutton burgers and sausages from the farmhouse, or venture into the village shop (01208 851730) for local cheeses and, of course, Cornish pasties. Sausages, burgers and fabulously fresh seafood are available from the pop-up catering van that shows up at the farm every week. If you fancy something else there’s the Blisland Inn (01208 850739), which serves an extensive selection of cask ales alongside great bar snacks in the village of Blisland, about 15 minutes' walk away. The Old Inn, St Breward (01208 850711), is another cosy local serving decent home-cooked food, sourced locally, including a popular all-day carvery on Sundays; plus, if you don’t fancy hopping in the car you can walk here in 45 minutes or so. For a slightly more sophisticated menu but all the character of a 15th-century inn, it’s worth the 20-minute drive to the award-winning St Kew Inn (01208 841259); it’s pub grub, but a cut above most other offerings.

Opening Times

April–October.

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  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
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  • Trusted for over 10 years
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The Owner Says

We are a two hundred acre family organic beef and sheep farm situated high on Bodmin Moor in the very heart of Cornwall. As well as being a demonstration farm for the Soil Association, we offer camping, yurts and a range of bunkhouse accommodation throughout the year for families, groups hikers or bikers.
There is much to see on the farm which became fully organic in 2001. Since then we have continued to adopt an environmentally sensitive approach including solar heated hot water and rainwater harvesting for the campsite showers, a small wind turbine and a run of solar PV panels on a barn roof.
As well as running the cows and sheep, the farm is exceptionally rich in archaeological remains and wildlife. We also have many horses, ponies, chickens, geese, ducks and of course our faithful working collies without whose help we could not run the farm.

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Accommodation

Unmarked camping pitches so there is plenty of room for everybody to stretch out. Plus, yurts with stunning views across the moors, and a couple of bunkhouse type units.
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Location

Contact South Penquite Farm, Blisland, Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 4LH

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Getting There

Enter Cornwall on the A30 past Launceston and then take the first exit signposted to St Breward (several miles after Jamaica Inn). This takes you across the Temple Tor road bridge and onto the open moor. Follow this road without turning off (ignoring all turnings for either Blisland or St Breward) for approximately 3 miles and the South Penquite entrance lane will come up on your right. Half way down the lane bear right and choose between the bridge or the ford and then the farm entrance gate will be before you.

There is no public transport to our remote location. The nearest train station is Bodmin Parkway and the only option for the last 10 miles is a taxi.

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Why book with I Love This Campsite?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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