Walk past Charlestown’s museum and along the short cul-de-sac behind it and you’d be forgiven for being sceptical about there being a campsite here at all, let alone one of the tastiest in the country. However, just beyond the final house, a gate opens up to a couple of tiny fields that command fabulous views out to sea and along the shoreline towards Black Head, the tip of a headland sporting the golden flash of a wheat field on its back.
Broad Meadow (Was it ever broad? Ancient sepia photos suggest not.) has two geese, a ’Posh Shed’ (self-catering coastal retreat), one permanent tent and plenty of space for people who’d rather bring their own. Since the owners limit the number of campers on site to a mere dozen, you get the distinct feeling of being one of an incredibly privileged few. This is especially true if you order a delicious breakfast basket (including freshly made smoothie) to be brought to your tent in the morning.
Basking sharks and grey seals are sometimes spotted in the bay (just ask to borrow the telescope) while peregrine falcons, sparrowhawks and buzzards contest the air space above. Swallows, sensibly, prefer to skim the surface of the field and are so used to company that they come quite close to feed.
In tiny Charlestown there’s some easy coasteering to be had; a gig club that allows beginners to have a go at rowing on novice nights (Wednesdays); and, for those who want to go it alone, sea kayaks and other water vessels can be hired.
(info supplied by the campsite)
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4 of 5 readers found this review useful.
2 of 2 readers found this review useful.
2 of 2 readers found this review useful.
We visited Broad Meadow on a whistle stop tour of Cornwall in the summer of 2013 from our neighbouring Devon, a place simply awash with campsites but all a bit too commercial for me, and Charlestown was our first stop. I am very particular about my campsite choices and really wanted to believe the great reviews, and to my delight I had no reason to doubt.
Charlestown itself is lovely and small, (and I had the best fish and chips I've ever had at the Wreckers Cafe on the main drag), and even though Broad Meadow is right on the edge, this does of course afford you wonderful views across the harbour and bay and it's a lovely stroll back past the Shipwreck and Heritage Centre.
The view is outstanding, and the quiet is just lovely. We were one of three tents and everyone is really well spaced out. We were very close to the pre-erected luxury tents (had a quick peek, looks very sumptous) but these were empty so no worries there. I'm sure if they were booked then Debs would have ensured we were a bit further away.
The toilet and shower facilities were brilliant - me and the wife wish to open our own campsite some day and we secretly noted down little tips and ideas (sorry!).
As we don't have lots of money (hence camping) and this was our first stop, we knew about the breakfast baps and had originally declined to indulge, and save money for the rest of the holiday, but then we gave in and ordered them for the first morning - they were brilliant, a huge hamper with fresh coffee and orange juice and an amazing egg bacon and mushroom wholemeal bap. I recall it was around £7 or £8 each for this, but you can just opt for muesli and yoghurt and other non piggy items.
Of course the proximity to Eden and beaches and just the rest of Cornwall made this an ideal place to start and we do vow to return another summer when we are keeping it local and not hopping overseas for budget hostels and dodgy airline flights.
1 of 1 readers found this review useful.
What an amazing honeymoon at Broad Meadow House!
1 of 2 readers found this review useful.
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1 Pre-Pitched "Posh Tent" ('Karsten' Multi-Dome) and 4 DIY Pitches, all with electric hook-ups.
Only tents and VW campervans accepted or small vans of similar size. Well-behaved dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead.
DIY Pitches have use of 2 unisex loos and 1 shower. The pre-pitched Posh Tent has a private shower and loo. There is a washing-up sink, mini fridge and freezer, recycling, free wi-fi and recharging points. Children will find plenty of room for games in the safely enclosed meadow. Campfires are not permitted but BBQS are allowed (off the grass; granite blocks available).
Charlestown Shipwreck & Heritage Centre (50 metres) – ‘the largest collection of shipwreck artefacts in Britain’; 01726 69897. Eden Project, Bodelva (4 miles – footpath route maps from campsite available) – one millennium project that appears to have been a great success. Each football-like biome takes you into a different region in the world, and there are large discounts if you arrive by foot or bicycle; 01726 811911.
Food & Drink
Pier House Hotel (free house), Charlestown (200 metres) – harbourside snug bar with highly recommended food and live entertainment Saturday evenings (01726 67955).
DIY Pitch: Adults £14 per night, U-12's: £7 per night, U-2's: free.
Pre-pitched Posh Tent, including breakfast: Couple: £95 per night. Family: £135 per night.
Complimentary: wooden picnic bench, parasol, Welcome Bevvie Basket.
Train station: St Austell (1.7 miles away) – Plymouth to Penzance line. bus no. 525 runs hourly from St Austell to Charlestown.