A Backpacker’s Guide to Camping in Cornwall, England

This post comes with a personal touch – having not just travelled through Cornwall, one of my best mates is Cornish and proud of it. It’s a great part of the world. In case you don’t know it, Cornwall is at the very western end of England and has beaches a-plenty, genteel towns and lots to do! It is renowned for its mild climate and enjoys coastlines on its north and south – meaning you are never far from a beach.

Tips for backpacking in Cornwall.

Tips for backpacking and camping in Cornwall.

From the surfers’ paradise at Newquay and Fistral beaches to the rugged cliff lines where you can enjoy long walks (interspersed with a stop at a quaint pub); from enjoying its unique culture and history to sampling traditional Cornish ice cream, pasties and even local ales; from picturesque harbours to a world-class food scene, Cornwall is an ideal place for a camping holiday.

The Cornwall Flag!

The Cornwall Flag!

Whether you are a history buff interested in the bronze age standing stones, Celtic crosses, huge granite burial chambers and holy wells in the far west or a watersports fan, there is something to suit everyone.

So, where to stay in Cornwall (Kernow)?

There are a huge range of campsites, from the small, basic sites to large, luxury ones – meaning there is something suitable for everyone whether a backpacker, a couple or a family, as well as every budget type.

With so many options, it can be difficult to know where to start. The following considerations may help you narrow down your choices:

  • do you want stay on a small, quiet site or one of the larger holiday parks that have more facilities?
  • do you want to pay a bit more for luxury accommodation and award winning facilities or are you happy to stay somewhere clean but basic?
  • are you going there for a particular purpose? For example, if you are looking for a fishing holiday, then a holiday park such as Perran Springs offers three well stocked fishing lakes, as well as a choice of accommodation;
  • what is your budget?
  • who is going on the trip? If you are a couple looking for long cliff-top walks and cosy pub meals, then your choice of site may be different to that of a family looking for a holiday park with lots of activities to keep everyone happy;
  • location – Cornwall has the Celtic Sea to the north and west, and the English Channel on the south. It borders Devon on the east over the River Tamar. Inland there is lots of breath-taking countryside, small villages as well as bigger towns for shopping. What you want from your holiday will dictate where you stay, though do note that if you have a car, it is very easy to travel around Cornwall;
  • are you driving to Cornwall or using public transport? If you are using public transport and not planning on hiring a car when you get there, then check how far the campsite is from the nearest railway or bus station. Some sites can be in quite secluded areas – great if you want peace and quiet, but also difficult to get to without a car;
  • if you want to take your dog/s, is the location pet-friendly? There are many places that accept pets, so you won’t have to leave them at home.
A backpacker's guide to camping in Cornwall.

A backpacker’s guide to camping in Cornwall.

Once you have compiled a shortlist of suitable campsites – if you go online there are literally dozens to choose from – just don’t leave it too long before you pick the one most suited to you. Cornwall is such a popular place, especially during the UK Summer months, you may wish to book your chosen holiday park quickly before it gets full up!

6 thoughts on “A Backpacker’s Guide to Camping in Cornwall, England

  • Hi The Guy – yep a long time ago for me too – I actually planned to charter a flight from St. Ives to the Scilly Isles one time (around 2008) and it fell through. A story for another day but Cornwall (Kernow) is worth a look. One of my best mates is from Perranport. Safe travels. Jonny

  • The Guy – It was for a football supporters club back in 2009 – we planned a football trip to the Scilly Isles – it would have happened had I not had my depression just as it was about to be confirmed. You never know what will happen in life. Safe travels. Jonny

  • We visit perran springs every year, we have since it was first opened and will continue to do so. We enjoy the relaxing idealic park, it is clean, friendly and very welcoming. You are very close to some of cornwalls best beaches, including perranporth one of the most famous family beaches in cornwall.

    If you are looking for a clean, friendly, site, with first class ablutions (at no extra charge) then this should be your first choice. I promise you won’t be disappointed, we never are.

    In fact every year more of our family join us, what started with 2 of us now consists of nearly 20 and still growing.
    Alejandro P. Hamblin recently posted…Best Lightweight Backpacking Sleeping BagsMy Profile

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