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Free Range Escapes

UK England South West England Cornwall Port Isaac

Cornish Tipi Holidays, Tregildrans Quarry, Trelill, St Kew, Bodmin PL30 3HZ

A private shepherd's hut retreat set in North Cornwall's most accidentally excellent setting; the overgrown Tregildrans quarry

Many of Cornwall’s most beautiful places are those that have been reclaimed by nature. The old tin mines – many of which are now world heritage sites – that blend, ruined, among the heather-clad hills; the old smugglers coves that have been storm-worn into rocky lairs; and old quarries, like Tregildrans on the North Coast, where bulging blackberry bushes and spring-fed lagoons have transformed the place into a vast natural playground.

There has actually been an existing campsite at the splendidly overgrown Tregildrans quarry for decades. And now, capitalizing on that same adventure-friendly setting, there’s also a brand new business on the block; Free Range Escapes, a single, private shepherd’s hut for couples in need of a glamping getaway.

Set in a flat clearing that was once part of the old railway line that served the quarry, Free Range Escapes is yet another testament to the way nature can reclaim, replenish and reward us with an extraordinary setting. On three sides mature trees lean in to enclose you in a green embrace, while, on the other, the shepherd’s hut window peeps out at cattle grazing a grassy meadow on the opposite slope. There isn’t a railway sleeper in sight.

Inside, the hut is a cosy couples’ retreat. Light wooden-clad walls, exposed ash beams, a built-in double bed and a Windy Smith wood burner give it a warm, country-home feel, with old-style brass light fittings, binoculars and bird books showing a keen eye for detail. Like the rest of the quarry, it remains a wonderfully off-grid affair – there is no WiFi and certainly no television – but solar-power means you can still use the shepherd’s hut lighting and charge your mobile phone or tablet inside.

Step out and you’ll find adventure at every turn. Whether it’s enjoying a campfire beneath North Cornwall’s famously starry skies, swimming or boating on the emerald-coloured lake or walking to the coast to refuel with fish and chips in Port Isaac, there’ll be plenty to fill your time. You could also bring your bikes and pop south to Wadebridge for a cycle on the renowned Camel Trail, another old local railway line that’s been put to excellent use.

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