Review: Camping at Treen Farm, Cornwall and The Minack Theatre

 
I travelled to the very bottom of Cornwall this week. As its a bit of a trek from even my house in mid-Cornwall we decided to stay a night at Treen Farm Campsite and take in the sights and sounds of the campsite and the surrounding area.

It’s located within very easy walking distance of the ‘near tropical’ beach at Porthcurno and the outdoor stage which is The Minack Theatre, just a little further away. This is the reason we ended up choosing to camp here as a friend of mine was performing at the Minack and we thought we would make a little trip of it and spend a couple of days down there. What an excellent decision that was…

Cornwall Beach Porthcurno
 
Treen Farm is a family run campsite and has been in the family for five generations. It has an interesting past and in World War 2 was commandeered by the RAF and used for a RADAR station. The buildings they use at the campsite were built by the armed forces and are still in use today. Some of which, like the one below, have been decorated with fantastic murals depicting the local sights!

Treen Farm Campsite Cornwall
 
There isn’t an advanced booking option so I recommend that you turn up nice and early (especially in the summer months) to ensure you get a pitch. We paid just £13 for the two of us and my van which, in April, is a fair price. We were walked to our pitch which was a very generous size, had sea views and had a very useful picnic table.

The shower block, toilets and wash area were all very clean and well kept, with fast flowing hot and cold water in all. The campsite has a small shop which stocks all your essentials as well as luxuries like freshly baked croissants and Cornish Pasties!

VW T4 Van Camping Treen Farm
 
In the evening we set off on the short walk to the Minack. Treen Farm connects with the Coastal Path over a couple fields and stiles. From here you follow the edge of the cliff round until you are presented with a superb view of Porthcurno beach and on the other side of the bay the edges of the Minack. After admiring the view for a while we made our way down the steep path to the beach.

Porthcurno beach is one of the Cornish beaches which, if you didn’t know where you were, could be mistaken for a tropical one. The sand is pristine and golden, the sea is crystal clear. I wish I’d brought some gear to go swimming as it looked so inviting. Once we had finished dossing about on the beach we made our way up the rather exciting climb to the Minack.

Cornwall Beach Minack Porthcurno
 
There are two ways up to the top: a rather precarious cliff climb and a more gentle walk up the road. We opted for the rocky adventurous route. When you go to the Minack everyone tells you to wrap up warm as you are sat down at night, exposed to the elements for quite some time. So wrapped in a gazillion different jumpers, climbing to the top of the cliff did make me rather hot!

The Minack Theatre was created by Rowena Cade who, from 1931 until she died in 1983, planned, built and financed the amazing venue. It’s continuously been improved and developed since then. It hasn’t lost any of its charm though and is a fantastic place to go. I would recommend it as one of the top five things to do in Cornwall.

Minack Theatre Porthcurno
 
Here are a couple top tips for visiting the Minack:

  • Wear lots of layers. It can be mighty cold, especially if the weather turns bad, so wrapping up warm is a must. A big blanket to snuggle up with your companion is a good idea too.
  • Bring waterproofs or failing that, a lot of bin bags. Bin bags make excellent makeshift ponchos!
  • Take a cushion or something soft to sit on, the granite and concrete seating can definitely make your posterior a little numb!
  • You are allowed to bring in your own food, so make the most of the gorgeous setting and pack a picnic.
  • They also let you bring in your own drinks , including alcoholic ones! A Thermos full of tea and a couple beers or a bottle of the wine definitely help against the cold.

My friend’s show was fantastic, I’m not heavily experienced in the world of theatre but even I really enjoyed it. They sang a huge selection of songs from different musicals in different styles. When they started the sun was just beginning to go down but by the time we got to the interval it had set and the atmosphere had changed as the sky went black and the moon lit the stage.

Minack Theatre at Night Porthcurno
 
Once the show had finished, we made our way to the Cable Station Pub in Porthcurno and met my friend and the rest of the cast for drinks. It was cool hearing about the performance from their point of view and congratulating them on a great show. After a few pints of the gorgeous, Cornish, Skinners Ale we made our way back to Treen Farm. Luckily, the chap at the campsite had reminded us to bring torches for our return journey in the dark. This was essential, especially when climbing back up the hill.

It was my first night in my VW T4 van since making new magnetic curtains. They had taken a fair bit of time to make and I was a bit nervous that they wouldn’t work as well as I’d hoped. Fortunately, they were superb and were one of the best things I’ve made for the van. They are basically foil insulation sandwiched between two layers of fabric. High power magnets are then sewn inside the hem. This means that you can throw them onto the van windows and they stick to the metal rim of the window, really good if you don’t want to have curtains up in your van all the time but still want a warm, black out curtain when you do sleep in it. I’ll be covering exactly how I made them in a separate article.

Anywho back to Treen Farm Campsite and the Minack. They are both superb and I highly recommend both. If you are going to watch a show at the Minack you should make a night of it and stay at Treen Farm. Conversely, if you are staying in the gorgeous West of Cornwall you should stay at Treen Farm and if you are there, definitely make the most of it with a trip to The Minack.

VW Transporter T4 Magnetic Curtains

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