Camping in Cornwall during Winter

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

Last November, my friend Ollie and I decided it would be a good idea to go camping in Cornwall, the weather wasn’t too cold and we had already visited in late spring and late summer to experience some beautiful hot weather, so a bit of rain and wind wouldn’t be a disappointment.

The drive down from the Midlands is fairly straightforward, M5 southbound all the way and many thousands of UK tourists take this journey regularly. The best idea is to start out early enough to avoid peak times or choose days where there aren’t holiday handovers like a Saturday.

We made it in good time, with a stop off for a bite to eat and toilet break, it was heavy rain all the way down and we debated whether a camping holiday was such a great idea, there were gale force winds predicted for our second night – Ooh err!

We stayed on the beautiful Ayr Campsite with stunning views overlooking the Atlantic and St Ives bay. We were officially the only people crazy enough to be camping during the bad weather (the words of the campsite manageress).

Cornwall St Ives Campsite

Cornwall St Ives Campsite

So we set up camp, Ollie had a £40 tent as did I, although my tent was about 10 years old, so i wasn’t too confident on how it would cope with the predicted 60 mph gale force winds coming in off the Atlantic. Gulp!

Ayr Campsite is superb, great facilities for touring caravans, motor-homes, static caravans and the campsite. We had the huge toilet and shower block virtually to ourselves with heated floors and nice hot showers all included in the cost. In summer the campsite can be up to £30 per night in peak season, but we paid just £12 each at this time of year.

St Ives town is a piece of England from times go by, it remains a very popular tourist town with arty types and holiday makers, perfect for families with five beaches around the bay and also the extremely long Gwithian beach just a ten minute drive away. St Ives beaches are some of the best in the UK, with white sandy beaches, very clean, and pearlescent blue waters.

Cornwall St Ives harbour

Cornwall St Ives harbour

You will find fishing boats, touring boats, dinghies, yachts, trawlermen, and not forgetting the essential Life Boat station.

There is something for everyone in St Ives, from traditional mariners pubs to quaint little restaurants, fish and chips shops, art galleries (including a Tate gallery), picturesque beaches, and cafes tucked away down cobbled streets. You can see why it becomes so very packed during peak summer months. Even the September music festival brings in the crowds.

Our stay was peaceful and relaxing as we had hoped, our first night camping was a little windy shall we say, but the second night was a near disaster. The gale force storm approached around midnight just as we had rolled in from the old Engine Inn pub inland.

The beer perhaps numbed our senses to the terrifying noise of the wind howling and snapping at the tents, which we had now set up against the hedge to reduce the effects of the storm.

Cornwall St Ives

Cornwall Clouds

I fell asleep the sound of Ollie laughing as the wind whipped around the campsite, I was awoken later with something hitting me in the head, I imagined it to be a seagull but who knows?

The morning brought calm, and to my amazement we were still alive, albeit with all my guide ropes snapped apart from one, the wind must have been ferocious.

In all, it was a brilliant little break, maybe I wouldn’t camp in 60mph winds again though, I’ll look into a Bed & Breakfast.

Article by Simon Lucas.


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