Karow Meadow Cornwall

UK England South West England Cornwall Bodmin

  • Campfires Allowed
Off-grid, bell-tent camping for back-to-nature couples and families in North Cornwall

Eco-friendly, back to basics, back to nature — call it what you will, but there's a vogue for this kind of camping and when it's done well, it can be an amazing experience. And to do it well, you need to commit properly, which is where off-gridders Ellie and Liam walk the walk and talk the talk in their little slice of back-country North Cornwall. Their bell-tent meadow site is not only a passion project, it's their life, as the two hosts live on-site in a small caravan, showcasing their low-waste, natural-living aesthetic and expertise. If you want to go wild swimming or deer-watching (karow means deer in Cornish) or learn how to cook great one-pot meals over a wood fire, Ellie and Liam can help you out with that, confirming that "this isn't your typical camping."

The meadow site is a former tree nursery — there are plans to turn it into a sustainable smallholding — where five bell tents are sited on two adjacent fields, reached by mown paths through the tall grasses and wildflowers. Three of the tents are four-metre size, ideal for a couple plus an extra child's bed. The other two are five metres and could sleep a family with up to three kids. Everything is simple, cosy, rustic, and entirely off-grid — so no WiFi, electric power, or lighting in any of the facilities. The mattresses are on raised pallets and, while there's a cheerful, country vibe with the soft furnishings, there's not a whole lot more to the tents save bedside tables and a lantern or two.

A couple of minutes' walk from the tents are the compost loos and covered cold-water shower, cutely built from reclaimed and recycled materials. An inventively fitted outdoor kitchen-shelter has the gear to knock up simple meals and heat water, with communal barbecues and fire pits also available. Grab a fire tripod and you're set for open-fire cooking, which costs you a hundred quid a head in a fancy restaurant these days but is yours for the price of a bag of wood and some ingredients from the local farm shop. You're welcome to bring your own cooking stuff if you like — barbecues, burners, and fire pits — as long as they are raised off the ground and you stick to the mantra of 'leave no trace'.

It's true that this may not be for everyone — it's charming, homemade, homespun camping, not high-end glamping that some may be in the market for. But it's done with passion and soul, and for those willing to embrace a simpler way of life, even for just a few days, the rewards are enormous. Nature is ever-present — the local deer might appear at dawn and dusk — and there's something about chilling out, slowing down, and mucking in that soon grows on you. You'll learn to kindle up the rocket stove, heat water for a morning cup of coffee and a shower, and spot stars at night around a campfire. You'll make mealtimes a collaborative effort, listen out for the birds, and sleep soundly under canvas. When it comes down to it, there's not a whole lot else you need, and the outside world will still be there when you get back home.

Details

Facilities

The vision at Karow Meadow is that guests return to a more simpler way of living and being. The hosts believe that slowing down, reconnecting to nature and tuning in to the more humble enjoyments in life help to stop a racing mind, which in turn allows us to experience life in a more mindful manner. The available facilities reflect this.

All the bell tents offer a cosy spot to make base. You’ll find a double mattress rested on a handmade pallet bed, fresh linen, comfy cushions and throws to relax on after a day exploring and soft lighting for slow evenings. You’ll need to bring your bedding from home, but they’ve got the rest covered. Keep in mind the cooler Cornish evenings and pack an extra duvet to stay super snuggly.

You won’t need to pack cooking equipment for this trip - you’ll find everything you need in the outdoor kitchen, complete with a gas hob, communal undercover seating area, a small herb garden and the all important coffee making equipment. For the more adventurous, there’s a rocket stove to warm your morning drinks - just add some kindling, fire her up and await your well earned cuppa. Guests are welcome to use the communal BBQ’s, and can purchase charcoal directly to roast up your goodies. Nip to the local farm shop for seasonal veggies to grill up and enjoy around the fire pit!

You’ll find the majestic compost loo easily - it’s the shed on stilts, as well as the matching hand built shower unit. For the hardy bunch, just turn on the tap for a cool shower and enjoy the benefits of a cold water immersion. For those wanting home comforts, a wood fired shower is at your service! Warm your water on the kindling fed rocket stove and enjoy a hot wash down whilst peeking out at the blackthorn.

If you’ve braved a cold shower, warm up around the communal fire pit under the stars. And if you haven’t, you’ll still be welcome to a log seat! Fire tripods are available for grilling, cooking and one pot fire meals. Bags of wood are available to purchase on site, and if you’re not up for being social, consider booking the 5m bell tents which are tucked away with their own area and off-ground fire pit. Ellie and Liam are always happy to give advice about open fire cooking- it's their favourite way to cook!

Suitable For

What this site is suited for: small, intimate groups, families, couples. There are no age restrictions at Karow Meadow, but under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult. Please see full T’s and C’s for further information.

What this site is not suited for: large groups, parties, pets, campervans, caravans, tents.

Nearby

Karow Meadow is conveniently located right off the A30, with only 20 minutes drive to both the North and South coast of Cornwall. This location is perfect for exploring the best of Cornwall whilst also avoiding crowded campsites and long queues. The site is well situated for guests who are keen to discover the wild side of Cornwall. Attractions such as Bodmin Moor, Respryn woods, Cadrinham woods, the Eden project, the Camel Trail and the Saints Way walking path are all within 20 minutes drive. Travel a little further afield to Goren Haven, the Roseland Peninsula, Padstow or the beautiful beaches of Newquay. 

Food & Drink

The Real Food Garden -  http://www.realfoodgarden.co.uk/about-us/

Camel Trail Tea Gardens - https://www.cameltrailteagarden.co.uk/

Lanivet Inn - http://www.lanivetinn.co.uk/

Port and Starbord Fish and Chips http://www.theportandstarboard.co.uk/

The Eden Project Cafes - https://www.edenproject.com/

Open

September–October.

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The Owner Says

Karow Meadow is an eco-friendly campsite in North Cornwall offering cosy bell-tents, compost toilets, woodfired showers, an outdoor kitchen, a rocket stove and a firepit for starry nights and cosy mornings. Nestled away in the meadow are 5 bell tents, fully kitted out with off the ground beds, soft lighting and cosy décor. Everything you find at the meadow is hand built by the hosts and their friends, using as much reclaimed and recycled local materials as possible.

Karow Meadow caters to couples, small intimate groups and families. This site is suited to those who welcome a wild and rustic off-grid experience. Situated amongst meadow grasses and wildflowers, the facilities at Karow Meadow have been built with adventurous guests in mind. Use the rocket stove to warm your hot water for a shower, or take some time out to see how many insect species you can find in the meadow. If you are quiet and lucky enough, you’ll find out where this campsite got its name. Karow means deer in Cornish, and at dusk or dawn these mystical creatures can be spotted resting in the long meadow grass.

Hosts Liam and Ellie are both Cornish born, and after some years travelling and studying International Studies, returned home to pour their passion into Karow Meadow. You’ll often find Liam with his head in the compost heap or wormery - with his passion for the natural world at the forefront of everything he does. Ellie Is often found on the yoga mat, making seasonal wildcrafts, dreaming up new fire food recipes or cold water swimming. They’re both on hand at the meadow, living full time in a small caravan on the land. Ask them for advice on local nature, low waste living or natural places of interest nearby.

Karow Meadow isn’t your typical camping. Whilst there is no wifi, electric or flushing toilets, you’ll experience a snippet of low waste, eco friendly living. Bring a power bank if you wish to stay connected, or go the whole hogg and switch the phone off. Despite the site being close to a road, the sound of meadows full of insects, birds and other wildlife brings nature to the forefront of your stay here.

Accommodation

Three four-metre bell tents, sleeping a couple plus one extra child's camp-bed if required. Two five-metre bell tents, sleeping up to three adults or a couple plus up to three children.

Oak

Bell tent Sleeps 3
4 metre bell tent.

Elder

Bell tent Sleeps 3
4 metre bell tent.

Holly

Bell tent Sleeps 3
4 metre bell tent.

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Location

Contact Karow Meadow Cornwall, Redtye Cottage, Lanivet, Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 5JA

Show Map

Getting There

Use postcode PL30 5JA. After reaching Cornwall Services... From Newquay, drive along the A30 and take the exit towards Victoria/ Roche/ B3276.

Many national train and coach routes pass through Par, Newquay and Bodmin. If you are arriving in Cornwall via public transport, you can find local trains throughout the day from Par, Newquay and Bodmin to either Roche or Bugle train stations which are both within 5 miles of Karow Meadow. From here, a short taxi journey to the site is necessary. Harmony Private Car Hire take pre-bookings on 07909 558623.

Although Cornwall isn’t known for its amazing public transport links, you can find daily trains from both Roche and Bugle which will get you to Newquay in 35 minutes, Par in 20 minutes and Bodmin Parkway in 40 minutes. Par has direct travel links to Penzance, Plymouth, Exeter and London. The hosts are more than happy to give advice on public transport should you wish to use it during your stay. 

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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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