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A unique haven of peace and tranquillity in Cornwall with comfortable eco-accommodation in yurts, a shepherd’s hut and a strawbale barn – all within a gorgeous 10-acre organic farm
It’s difficult to call places in Cornwall ‘hidden’ these days. It has a strong whiff of cliché about it and, given we’re talking about a 10-acre small holding, it also seems a slight exaggeration. Cotna Eco Retreat isn’t exactly something you can slip into your pocket and sneak away with, though we have to say we’d quite like to. If you could bottle the atmosphere they’ve got here you could make a pretty penny. Relaxing, friendly and, above all, sustainable, it’s a place that’s somehow both homely yet also a million miles away from normal life.

Veiled (not hidden) in a quiet Cornish valley, Cotna is a small-scale glamping site ensconced on an organic farm. They offer eco-living without any posturing or grandiosity. The farm, established far longer than the glamping business, supplies salad leaves to most of the local pubs and restaurants and is home to hens, horses, cats and dogs, who add to the good-humoured hum of daily life. At the right times of year, Cotna boasts a plethora of seasonal goodies – including asparagus, aubergines, cucumbers and quince – much of which is housed in the long poly-tunnels that stand out among the green patchwork of the vegetable gardens.

Yet a sense of wilderness is still fostered at Cotna Eco Retreat – one of the real pleasures of glamping within its boundaries of traditional Cornish hedges. Pockets of fruit and nut orchards dot the farm where visitors have free rein to roam, exploring the oak and hazel woodland, the natural ponds and small streams that trickle away towards Portmellon and the proper working harbour village of Mevagissey, two miles away. This makes Cotna both a boon for families – wanting den building and wildlife spotting instead of plastic playgrounds – and also a romantic escape for those seeking out the more secluded side of Cornwall.

Within the orchards are two yurts (each named after a Cornish apple variety). Crafted from local ash, sail canvas and robust polycotton, each boast a magnificent central crown that pools in natural light. Inside they’re furnished to create an all-in-one sleeping, cooking and living space, each with a double bed and space for a further two matresses if necessary, while a wood-burner provides heating – as well as adding to the suitably snug feel of it all! For cooking there’s a gas burner and all the kit and caboodle you'll need plus, of course, Cotna organic eggs, fruit and veg for sale with sourdough bread baked to order.

The brand new couple's shepherds hut, Ismay, enjoys a prime spot within a peaceful valley beside a babbling brook, while the Strawbale Studio offers an equally atmospheric space. Inside, the honey coloured walls and uneven lime-plaster are evocative of the bales that form this eco-friendly structure, creating a wonderful warmth in the evenings as the lamplight casts irregularly across the walls. The accommodation includes an en suite shower, a hand-crafted kitchen, a big brass bed and the all essential wood-burner. In the adjoining barn, owners Dave and Sara share their passion and knowledge for green living, hosting a wide variety of courses and workshops, as well as giving guests the chance to get stuck in. Sara was a teacher in her former life and Dave is a trained Plant Biochemist, so you’re in the safest of green hands!

Of course, none of this should detract from the ultimate feather in this glampsite's cap – its enviable location on the south west coast within easy reach of the best beaches – yet it also competes with the very sights you came here to visit in the first place. After all, why visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan up the road when you have your own lost garden right here? Lost, but not hidden that is, in Cornwall’s most delightful glamping setting.

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The Owner Says

Cotna Eco Retreat is spectacularly situated its own lush green valley close to several beautiful beaches here in Cornwall – Gorran Haven, Vault, Hemmick and Caerhays are all within a 30 minute walk along dog friendly coastal paths or quiet Cornish lanes. Relax in tasteful Cornish holiday accommodation and enjoy our delicious organic food – fresh salad leaves, golden organic eggs, sourdough bread, jams and chutneys. Or participate in one of our courses, learning about wild food foraging & cooking, sourdough bread making or no-dig organic gardening.

Enjoy your stay on the south coast of Cornwall camping (or glamping if you prefer) in one of our two beautiful yurts, or choose the slightly more luxurious self-catering Straw Bale Barn. Our yurts and holiday barn overlook our valley of organic apple orchards, vegetable and fruit gardens, streams, ponds and woodland. Nearby you can visit Cornish landmarks like The Eden Project, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the proper little fishing village of Mevagissey. At the end of your explorations, relax with a drink or a meal at the excellent Barley Sheaf Pub, just a 5-minute walk up our track.

Our holiday yurts are the only two right on the South Coast of Cornwall! Both are named after Cornish apple varieties growing in our orchards. They are available from March through to October. Both can accommodate 2-4 people and there is also space for eco camping outside Tregonna.

The two orchards they sit in are contained by ancient Cornish stone walls, oak and hazel woodland, a running stream with watercress and coloured willow plantings. These magical and secluded surroundings make it an ideal place for retreats and quiet holidays—for individuals, couples or small groups of friends and family.

Both yurts were expertly crafted by Joel Cudsen of Avalon Yurts in Somerset – from local ash, sail canvas and robust polycotton. They are amazing constructions - there is something very special about staying in a round space! They copy the Mongolian yurt design, managing to contain sleeping, cooking & living accommodation comfortably while maintaining a sense of space and light from the central crown. Both have woodburners and solar lighting.

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