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Exploring the Cornish Coast in my van.

A couple of years ago we bought a vintage Mercedes camper van and discovered the unmatched pleasure of camping out on the Cornish Coast. The van is about as 70’s as it gets, brown stripes, big velvet flowery cushions and beige seats. We love everything about it, and it quickly became our home-from-home.

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Martin and I often spend our summer weekends winding our way through Cornish lanes looking for a scenic spot to spend the night. There is something quite fun about having a holiday only fifteen minutes from your front door - it reminds us of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place, but its also quite nice to know that if you forget your swimming costume you can always pop home..!

Pulling up into the field, we build our camp - and sitting on a deck chair, pour a Penzance Bathtub Gin and tonic and watch the sun go down. We tend to go to rural sites that have no service, so our phones are off and we can completely unwind. Going back to basics, you quickly start to enjoy the little things. We’ve found that a cup of coffee made on a camping stove tastes much more delicious than at home - and life doesn’t get much better than relaxing in a field with a good book and a G&T. 

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We are lucky enough that some of my oldest friends have vans too - so we are usually pitched up with them, eating good food and enjoying each others company. We spent last week camping with  Cleo and Matt (Cleo Mussi and Matthew Harris) dear friends from Goldsmiths College days, Cleo makes the most extraordinary and wonderful mosaics and Matthew dyes and stitches fabulous wall pieces. They are passionate Lindy Hop dancers, so we spent the evenings dancing in the field, and learning a thing or two about doing the Charleston.

I have made no secret of my love of cold-water swimming, which has become a big part of our getaways in the van. Waking up at the crack of dawn, and heading to Kynance Cove to watch the sunrise is one of my favourite things. Being able to stay in Cornwall’s hidden places means that you’re able to wander down to the sea and discover beaches that you would never stumble upon normally. It lets you explore where you live with a flexibility that can only be had by camping.


These short escapes give us time to enjoy simple pleasures and discover more of the secret coves and countryside around our home, and in doing so; reset and to relax. If you don’t have a van, I urge you to pack up your tent and have a camping holiday at your nearest campsite, you don’t have to venture very far to have a relaxing weekend away.

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