Beacon Cottage Farm

UK England South West England Cornwall St Agnes

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Children’s playground
  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Slap bang in the middle of some very intriguing coastal scenery

Cornwall offers the perfect seaside sojourn for any make or model of human holidaymaker: surf dudes and dudettes; sand fortress construction engineers (junior or senior); cute-village enthusiasts;ice-cream fans; and suckers for scenery. All will find what they crave from a seaside break in England’s southwest corner.

But Cornwall is not simply one place; its north and west fringes are very different from those on the south and east. The south of the county is sheltered, lush and lovely in a mild sort of way, with thatched villages sheltering by wooded creeks among the green folds of the rolling countryside – it’s many a gentlefolk’s dream of the perfect holiday destination. The north coast, on the other hand, faces the full wrath of the Atlantic, amid some of the wildest, roughest and most dramatic coastal scenery in Europe, and it’s here you’ll find Beacon Cottage Farm – an awesome location, where the raw, windswept, surf-washed seaside is for many the very essence of Cornwall.

That Beacon Cottage is knocked about by the wind in perhaps the rockiest, emptiest, and most beautiful section of Cornish coast just makes it even more impressive. The campsite itself is superb, with a choice of pitches either facing whatever the weather can throw at you – but with a stunning view – or sheltered from the elements in the orchard around the back of the farm. The facilities are top-notch, and the proprietors – the Sawle family – are a warm and friendly lot. Choose between a pitch in the roomy Ocean View field or the more intimate orchard, which is closer to the facilities but doesn’t have the views.

There is an eminently suitable beach nearby, indeed just 150 (very vertical) metres below the site. Also, less than a mile away along the coast path, Chapel Porth’s immaculately wild looks and clean, unspioled location is one of the reasons Beacon Cottage is such a glam destination for young families in the school holidays. Ice cream is provided from a stone hut in the small car park, but otherwise nothing else is allowed to ruin the beach’s genuine USP, which to be honest is much the same as that of the campsite – a remote position amid some of the most dramatic scenery in the land.

There’s a historic and rather melancholic side to the place, too, one that’s best discovered on foot. The former mining village of St Agnes is about two miles away from Beacon Cottage Farm along the coast path, which passes abandoned engine houses and mine shafts perched precariously on the cliffs along the way, before dropping into the rocky cleft of Trevaunance Cove. Here, in addition to the remnants of the industrial heritage, you’ll find another decent family beach, clean surf and yet more locally-made ice-cream for the kids (and hungry grown ups too).

From the cove, all roads lead back to Beacon Cottage, via possibly the most famous of Cornwall’s picturesque derelict engine houses, at Wheal Coates Mine. For those who are suckers for scenery, and those who have that all-consuming passion to see it from inside their boots, this is a walker’s Valhalla. How pleasing, then, that the campsite has a special rate for ‘backpackers’ and welcome walkers of all stripes with open arms.

Details

Facilities

Newly refurbished (2018) facilities, with toilets, showers (4 women’s, 4 gent’s), 3 family bathrooms and a laundry room. Washing-up sinks. Chemical disposal point. Ice packs, milk, eggs, gas and newspapers are sold at the farmhouse. No campfires, but BBQs off the ground are okay.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs – yes. Groups – no.

Nearby

Chapel Porth beach is just 10–15 minutes walk and is excellent for bathing and surfing and has lovely rock pools for children to play in. St.Agnes village is 1.5 miles walk along footpaths – a lovely little country village with individual shops restaurants, pubs and quality craft shops. A 3-mile walk along the cliffs is Blue Hills Tin Streams (01872 553341), where meaning is given to all the haunting ruins emblematic of this area, and especially the coast around Beacon Cottage. Geevor Tin Mine (01736 788662) near St Just was a large-scale working mine until 1990; these days the underground tour is the major attraction, while a café provides refreshment and the museum extra info. The Eden Project (01726 811911) near St Austell needs no explanation, but is just one of those places everyone needs to see at some time in their brief flight through life, and a really (really) great place to be on a cold, wet day. At Falmouth the interactive National Maritime Museum (01326 313388) is on the waterfront, and proves a great hit with children of all ages. Paradise Park (01736 753365) at Hayle is involved in conservation, breeding, and educational programmes (basically a zoo), but has a nice feel to it and makes a fantastic full family day out. Those seeking cuddly cuteness can do no better than the National Seal Sanctuary at Gweek, where they care for injured and orphaned seals from all over the UK, before releasing them back into the wild. Chapel Porth beach is just 10–15 minutes walk and is excellent for bathing and surfing and has lovely rock pools for children to play in.

Food & Drink

Within walking distance (between 2 and 3 miles), all in St Agnes, and all of which can’t really be bettered by getting in the car are… the St Agnes Hotel (01872 552307), on the main street, offering a decent selection of food and drink and serving bar meals in a traditional-looking dining room at reasonable prices; Taste (01872 552194) has a rather chic décor and is a place for special occasions (like holidays?), serving well presented grub with a slightly exotic Mediterranean-based theme. Meanwhile, down in Trevaunance Combe (the valley leading to the Cove), the Driftwood Spars Hotel (01872 552428) not only has bar food and a restaurant with a large menu and good children’s deals, but its own brewery. There are 8 beers brewed here, including Blackheads Mild, a traditional, but now rare, dark, malty ale; Blue Hills; and Alfie’s Revenge.

Opening Times

Easter/1st April – end September.

Location

Contact Beacon Cottage Farm, Beacon Cottage Farm, Beacon Drive, St Agnes, Cornwall TR5 0NU

Show Map

Getting There

From the A30, just past Blackwater, at the roundabout where the A390 joins, turn right on to the B3277 to St Agnes, and on entering the village at the first mini-roundabout take a sharp left into Goonvrea Road. Follow this for a mile, and then turn right into Beacon Drive (following the caravan site signs). Beacon Cottage is on the right.

There is a regular bus service (nos. 85 and 85A) to St Agnes from Truro, which is the hub of public transport in Cornwall, so take a train there.

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