Posted on October 24, 2013
Discussing their winter “down time”
Well, we are now in to our last week of the season, before the Campsite Gates will close.
As we have been fairly quiet on site, we have all been busy getting on with jobs on and off the site. To keep team spirit up for the hard winter work ahead, we have made time for enjoying the beautiful area we live in.
Camp Dog Harvey is always thinking about his guests, and so we have enjoyed many walks, usually including a beach, and sometimes a pub for lunch.
Here are some snapshots of our recent walks, and the places we have been checking out on behalf of our guests
Walk 1 –
View walking down to Menabilly House
This walk was taken from the SWCP Plymouth-Falmouth SWCP Book, which we will be stocking in our shop next season.
Polridmouth Cove – Walk 1
Gribben Head – Walk 1
It was quite blowy on this walk and so pictures are not the best. Excellent walk, with crab sandwiches & chips at The Rashleigh Arms, Polkerris. Marks for this walk 9 out of 10.
Walk 2 –
Caerhays Beach in October
Portloe fishing village
Our next walk was on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon. It started and finished at Caerhays Beach. This beach is Camp Dog’s vision of “doggie heaven”. The beach is sandy, with gorgeous rock pools and big waves. Right next to the beach and all around the area are pheasants in abundance. The walk was along the SWCP, to Portloe, a gorgeous fishing village. Lunch stop was at The Ship Inn, Portloe. Whitebait with lovely fresh bread and a pint of the local tipple was enjoyed to ensure we had enough energy for the return section.
We did the same route back, just because the weather was so lovely and we enjoy walking the coast path so much. Another play on the beach, skimming and chasing stones, and then back to camp.
Beach 10 out of 10
Walk 8.5 out of 10
Walk 3 –
Rock pooling at Hallane Beach
This walk started from The Meadows. Camp Dog Harvey thought it was just his normal, but very lovely walk to the village along the river, as that is where it started. Once in the village we picked up the coast path heading towards Black Head. The views are fabulous, and there are some big ups and downs, but a lovely walk. We passed Polrudden Cove, as the clamber down does not look an easy one. Next we came to Hallane Beach, which is a gorgeous little cove with an old house right on the beach and a waterfall. Camp Dog Harvey had a paddle and a good climb over the rockpools. We headed back up passing through the beautiful hamlet of Trenarren, along the little Cornish lanes until back on to the Pentewan Valley Trail near to London Apprentice, where we headed back to camp.
Beach 10 out of 10 from Lynn. 7 out of 10 from Camp Dog, as not big enough for a good run, but great for rock climbing and paddling.
Walk 9 out of 10 from both, as Camp Daddy did not join in this walk.
Walk 4 –
Heading down to Hemmick Beach
Making the most of our new “Love my Outdoors” NT membership, we headed off to Penare. Parking here, we walked down to the most gorgeous Hemmick Beach. We spent a good while on the beach, before heading off on the coast path around to Dodman Point. Great views from Dodman Point around the coastline. It was then back over the fields, “Bull Walk” continuing with the glorious views before arriving back at Penare car park. On the way home we stopped off at The Rising Sun in Portmellon and had a drink outside. Camp Dog Harvey had a stroll on the beach, and a sea bath, and then we returned home.
Walk – 9 out of 10.
Hemmick Beach – 12 out of 10 from Camp Dog, and the same from us. We also had the beach to ourselves which was fabulous!
Walk 5 –
You won’t see that anywhere else.
We consider ourselves very lucky to live within walking distance of the Lost Gardens of Heligan. At the moment Heligan are celebrating harvest festival and so have some wonderful displays. The more formal gardens are always lovely to look at. However, the more outer area where the woolly back sheep, and the lost valley is make for very interesting walks. Camp Dog Harvey introduced himself to all of the animals, including the tamworth pigs, black turkeys and dexter cattle. We had butternut squash soup with a cheese roll for lunch, followed by coffee, and homemade cake. Camp Dog Harvey was very well behaved, so we took him for a run around on Port Mellon Beach before returning back to camp.
Other Meadows News
We are of course going to be an adults only site from 2014, which may be already old news. We have had some odd questions, as to what this means, and so……………..
Being a natural quiet site with an open stream and without play facilities, we are not really suitable for children, especially younger ones. However, and I feel I do need to clarify this, “adults only” does not mean a site full of naked people playing badminton, nor does it mean a “swingers” site. My apologies, but it had to be said although lots of the questions have made me smile!! We are not that keen on the phrase “adults only”. However, this is the most common search term, and we need to be “google” friendly in today’s modern internet world.
We welcome “growns ups” of all ages, who want to enjoy this beautiful area of South Cornwall. We can cater for some rallies, and we do not object to small group bookings, provided all are happy with our camping etiquette as we are a quieter site. This area is ideal for walkers, cyclists, and those wanting to visit the many many places local to us with our fabulous location, in particular gardens. The Meadows Campsite, is great for camping and caravanning for Mevagissey and Pentewan Sands. We are also a great campsite close to the famous Eden Project, and we are dog friendly.
Groundwork has begun………………….
Clearing for new stream side pitches
Work “down field”
Work “down field” has begun. The digger, and digger driver John have been working hard. There is a large area that first has to be cleared, and this is well under way. Lots of dead wood has been taken down over the bank, and masses of brambles pulled up. We have recovered a couple of old Vintage Fergi Implements along the way, together with a set of windows, and 2 trailers. There have been further sightings and so there are more finds to come.
Vintage Fergi find!
Here are some pictures of the work taking place, and our finds along the way.
We have put in hand our plumbing and electrical winter work. On the list are four extra electric hook up points on the “shower block” side, and fans for the shower block. On the plumbing list is an extra sink for dishwashing, and replacement of the small basins in the shower block with bigger ones. All quite minor work. We shall also be putting up some more shelves by the basins and hairdrying station at the request of the ladies.
Manning the booking line
The team will be around and about on site this winter so good for those who like to book well in advance. To book one of our pitches, or one of our gorgeous caravans that we have to rent, you can contact us here. Alternatively please telephone 01726 844383 and we shall book you in, so you have something to look forward to.
Posted on October 15, 2013
Last week, and so far this week we have enjoyed lots of sunshine in the Pentewan Valley. Mabel Caravan has indeed been basking in the sunshine, getting acquainted with her new surroundings.
We are about to start where we left off in May, when opening the Meadows Campsite gate took place. Since opening, all “big jobs” were put on hold whilst we looked after our guests, and the day to day running of the campsite.
This year has been about learning, getting stuck in to running a Campsite, putting our own stamp on the place, and most importantly looking after our guests. The natural beauty of the site has helped, and the fabulous location, being able to walk on the coast path to Mevagissey and Charlestown, and walk to Heligan Gardens. However, with all that we have learnt fresh in our minds, we are now getting ready to move on to the next stage of this adventure to give our guests even more to enjoy next season.
Our sunny communal deck (icluding wood burning stove) , hot powerful showers, and “grass protecta” pitches have been given very favourable reviews this season. Lots of people have also fallen for “Lottie” our Caravan who joined us in late Spring, and has had many guests, and the wildlife especially the owls have been very popular.
We have of course been saying throughout the season, that The Meadows is still very much a work in progress. Of course, natural beauty is a great feature and everything we have done, and will do won’t spoil that in any way, but we want to further enhance it. We also want to make a feature out of the far end of the site, as this land has not been managed for many years.
Last week, we firmed up our plans, and located the right machinery within our budget to recommence ground-works. A old, but fully working digger and dumper are arriving early next week, as they will make tackling this work far easier. Camp Daddy will be in charge of the digger, and watch out, as I will be driving the dumper truck, with Camp Dog as my co-pilot.
This is the area, we saved for later
Starting at the point we left off, our first job is to expose the remainder of the stream right up to where it meets our small wooded area. This area is currently just a mass of brambles, very similar to the area cleared before we opened. Earlier in the year when clearing the brambles for the deck and office, we found a Toyota Starlet, and not a toy one!! Already down the bottom, we have had glimpses of a hay turner, horse trailer, and a front tractor bucket. The hay turner looks like it could make an interest feature for up-cycling, and might sit alongside our vintage David Brown plough currently being restored.
Working with the Local Authority and Environment Agency we are also de-silting our stream later this month. There is not much life in there at the moment due to the silting up so by doing this we hope to encourage lots of new activity,including hopefully the Otters of the valley, and improve the flow. Our stream side pitches have been very popular this season, and so with more stream exposed, there will be more pitches on this side for our guests to choose from. John is also going to put his woodland management skills learnt in Norfolk to use before he goes rusty and coppice the woodland.
That is just the start………………………………………… the winter list is a long one! The idea is if we start early, we can space it out, and fit in some nice walking, general exploring and foodie fairs in between. My National Trust “Love the Outdoors” sticker arrived this week, and I intend for us to make good use of it.
Right here, for the before pictures before battle of the brambles recommences.
Other Meadows News
We are now open for 2014 Bookings. We are set to open in the middle of April next year in time for Easter. Our website will be updated in the next few days but you can telephone, or contact us here at any time should you wish to book early. For returning guests, please do not hesitate to let us know your preferred area.
This week we ventured out to Fowey to Sams for an early end of season, yes we nearly made it meal with our visiting friends. John devoured an excellent home-made burger, although he has saved the Beast for a returning visit! I love fish and have heard soooooo many excellent reviews of the tempura red mullet that I just had to try it. It was fantastic, and being a salad and an olive lover, the salad was as good as the fish. We shall definitely be returning, and it was a lovely autumn evening, so we had a stroll around the harbour afterwards. Sams is not dog friendly, and so we did feel a little mean, but Harvey is always happy to spend time in the boot of the landy as long as he has a pillow to lie on.
We shall be stocking this book in our shop next season. By then we will have walked walks 3-14 inclusive with only 15 walks in the book! These walks are all those very local to us here. It seems the book was written especially for The Meadows Campsite guests.
I am also preparing a folder containing other walks which guests will be able to borrow, and then return. I am going to include a place where guests can add a comment on the walk, so you won’t need to just take our word for it that the walk hardly has any ups, and is a fairly easy one!!
News from Camp Dog Harvey
The log burner has been installed, and has already been fired up every night since. That is my winter sunshine sorted, and I am one happy camp dog. I am of course in pole position when it is lit.
For all the changes taking place this whilst camp gates are closed, I shall be looking after the interests of all of those on four legs. A majority vote was passed this week that all dogs will still visit free of charge.
To sign off
As mentioned in our last blog, we will now be an adults only campsite as from 2014, even though this was a hard decision for us to make.
As mentioned above, we are now taking bookings for 2014.
Please keep your eye on our blog, over the next few month, so that you can see the changes as they take place, and I promise to keep the camera close at hand.
Posted on October 7, 2013
Usually I am very upbeat when I am blogging, but this is a difficult one.
For those who have been following our adventure, you will be aware that this has been our first season. We took a very big personal gamble buying “The Meadows”, and we have learnt so much from day one. We are so committed to the Campsite, and indeed people often comment that it has the feel of staying in an extension of our home! However, business is business, and can be tough at times especially for new ventures, and we want to be around for a long time yet.
Firstly, we want to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to every one who has stayed with us this season, and made our time so enjoyable. The weather on the whole has been kind, and we have learnt so much, along the way. We did only have 12 weeks between purchase, and opening and so we always had our work cut out just to get open. Running a campsite, is a full on job, but a very enjoyable and rewarding one, and we have, by working very hard managed to run it as a small team of three (including Camp Dog Harvey). All feedback, that our guests have been kind enough to share with us, has been very much appreciated, as you are the experts.
The Pentewan Valley is a beautiful place to be, and the area is a wonderful one with lots going on. The two neighbouring parks have also changed hands this year, and most people are also familiar with Pentewan Sands holiday park in the village, so there is a lot of choice. All of these parks, are very geared up for “families”, and are run by a much bigger team.
Being a small site, run as a couple, we cannot compete, nor do we want to with our neighbours. We want to continue running the campsite, as a small, natural site further enhancing the natural features of the stream, and wooded area. With four “family friendly” parks, within a few paces of our site, and two more within just a mile or so, we feel we have to stand out and be different to survive!!
We have made a decision, partly with our “business heads” on, as we have really enjoyed families staying with us on the site. As from next season we will be a campsite/touring park for “grown ups” and “dog friendly”. This means we can offer something different in the Valley/wider area, and also continue running the site as a couple ( and Camp Dog, of course) . The latter is also very important to us , in leading a simpler life which is what we wanted to do.
We hope that our guests will try and understand our decision. Feedback was invited this season, and we had lots of requests for a “children’s play park”, and all options open to us have been considered.
I am in the process of updating our website, but need some assistance, on the technical aspects, so it may be another week or so. This is the major change, and there are a few other small changes. For this winter, there will be a lot of further improvement work carried out on site, and plans are already in place. There will be no “resting on our laurels”, but lots of walking of the South West Coastal Path is also planned.
News from Camp Dog Harvey
Back to being Site Foreman on 1 November.
My theory is that the above decision has been taken in the interests of my waistline only. Who will feed me all of my treats now?! Boot-camp starts on November 1st, and I am shaking under the desk at the thought.
For all of my past and present guests on four legs, I can personally reassure you that there are no real changes for you.
If, we have not upset you, with the above news, and any grown ups (between 18 & 105), would like to book for 2014, then we are now taking bookings. You can either contact us here, or telephone Lynn, or John on 01726 844383. For any parents wishing to throw tomatoes, or similar at us then please try and see this as a positive. We know now that grandparents take a far more active role, and you now have a Campsite you can escape when the opportunity arises for a romantic weekend away. For those those families who stayed with us, and who fell in love with the area, which we do understand, our neighbours are much better experienced at running “family friendly” sites, and have special facilities for little people, and more people to look after them.