For the summer holidays this year, we were invited to a weekend stay at Wylde Valley Camping at The Wyldes near Bude, North Cornwall. Despite being avid campers for a number of years, both at camp sites and festivals, we’ve only recently entered into the world of Glamping. Our first glamping experience was last year and we absolutely loved it, so when we were invited to stay at The Wyldes we were elated. If you’ve not heard of The Wyldes, then you’re in for a treat.
For over 15 years, The Wyldes have been home to the music festival Leopallooza (not to be confused with Lollapalooza!), however following the COVID 19 pandemic, they had to mix it up a little. Insert Wylde Valley Camping at The Wydles; a brand new venture for 2021.
From an annual, large scale music festival, to beautiful, boutique weddings, The Wyldes is a versatile and unique event site, nestled in a hidden, wooded valley in North Cornwall, close to the town of Bude and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.The Wyldes
Something for everyone!
Nestled within 14 acres of natural, rustic farmland, amongst woodland and meadows teaming wildlife, sits the Wylde Valley camping site. Located near Bude, North Cornwall – an award-winning coastal town best known for life-guarded beaches and top notch pubs and restaurants – Wylde Valley camping offers something for everyone.
During our visit, we stayed at one of their luxury Bell Tents, which is located within their Bell Tent “village”. On site are also spacious camping pitches, with some that feature their own electric hook-ups, as well as space for camper vans. There’s also a fully-functioning shower and toilet block (with a private disabled toilet and shower room) as well as wash basins, freezers and a washing machine – but more on that later!
The Bell Tents
The Bell Tent Village is situated at the bottom of the campsite, next to woodland and a small stream. Named after rockstars, they’re a short walking distance to the parking area as well as the shower and toilet block. Our tent was suitably named ‘Queen’ and was located at the furthest point, making it feel incredibly private.
The village currently houses 15 Bell Tents of varying sizes – ranging from 6 meter to 4 meter. Each Bell Tent is “pitched” onto their own wooden patio area, which is generous in spacing, and takes glamping to a whole new level. If that wasn’t enough, you’re also surrounded by plenty of grass as part of your pitch to run around on.
Each pitch is 180 square metres (approx 12 x 15m) in size and each Canvas Bell Tent comes with a waterproof groundsheet. During our stay, we stayed in one of their 5 meter Bell Tents which featured the following:
- 1 x Double Bed frame with memory foam mattress and cotton bedding (13 TOG duvets and pillows).
- 1 x Single Bed frame with memory foam mattress and cotton bedding (13 TOG duvets and pillow).
- 4 x small storage shelves / bedside tables.
- 1 x large storage shelf.
- 1 x Large Mirror.
- Internal and External Solar Lighting.
- 1 x Power Point for chargers.
In addition, the Bell Tent is equipped with towels, blankets and other soft furnishings such as cushions, as well as a large waterproof mat in the centre of the tent. Included as part of your stay is also a fire pit on the decking, with wood for the first night. You also have the option to purchase outdoor seating at an additional cost. If you run out of wood, simply slip the folks a fiver and they’ll deliver a new box of wood.
Plus, when you book a bell tent, you have a choice of how you would like your beds to be configured. Information about the layout options can be found here.
A home away from home
After being shown around our pitch, and for the first hour after arriving, I was absolutely speechless. Not only are the tents absolutely gorgeous (I can’t get over the fact that I could have brought a plug with me), but the Bell Tent Village has a wonderful community feel to it. They are generously spaced – so you don’t feel like you’re in each others beds or being listened to – but they’re close enough to mingle and chat with other guests if you wish.
T took no time at all introducing himself and then later playing with another child during our stay. By the time we reached our last night, another parent asked whether they could scrounge a few marshmallows from us. Of course we obliged (the less we have to take home, the better!).
The tent itself was very roomy, even with the beds, furniture and our bags (plus us!). We were so impressed by the amount of storage available. Even with food, games and books we didn’t fill the storage.
The beds themselves were incredibly comfy – which really does make or break a trip in my opinion – and we appreciated all the lighting dotted around our pitch. The only thing we didn’t prepare for was the cold at night – which was surprisingly bitter at 3am. With this, I would recommend bringing extra blankets and layers, as well as any fluffy pyjamas. That being said, what the Cornwall does to you with the cold, The Wyldes make up for in Sunrises and Sunsets!
The Camp Site
Although camping is not new for The Wyldes, this year they are venturing into ‘Pop-Up’ Camping. With this, they have expanded and upgraded the site to include stone tracks throughout the campsite. There’s also a brand new toilet and shower block, which features flushing toilets and hot, dual headed showers, as well as a wheelchair accessible toilet and shower room. Outside the block boasts wash basins, two freezers, a washing machine and baby changing facilities.
There aren’t many rules on site, but the ones that do exist exist purely to make sure you’re safe and have the best time whilst you’re there. For example, cars are prohibited from driving around the site after 9pm and noise is requested to be kept to a minimum between 10pm and 9am. Dogs and other pets are also prohibited, but The Wyldes make up for this with wildlife. During our stay we spotted a few bats, plenty of birds and could hear farm animals in neighbouring fields – it was glorious.
There is no Wifi on site and 4G is hit and miss, but for me this is perfect for distraction-free holidays. There is phone signal, however, which means you’re not completely “off-grid”.
Leave No Trace
Wylde Valley Camping pride themselves on being as eco-oriented as possible, with sustainability at the centre of how they operate. With this, they encourage guests to recycle wherever possible and be considerate when using glass. They also ask to limit shower time and the use of disposable BBQs, and to leave no litter behind.
But that’s not all. They also celebrate:
- Having a 0% landfill policy. To be precise, 90% of their waste is recycled and the remaining 10% converted into fuel pellets.
- Free drinking water is located around the site.
- They also sell re-usable stack cups at their bar area (open on Fridays). They do not sell plastic water bottles.
- Buildings within The Wyldes site are built using reclaimed and recycled materials wherever possible.
- LED lighting, reducing overall power consumption. A majority of this is also solar.
Camping, as it should be…
We’ve been to a few camp sites over the years, and out of the ones we’ve visited of similar size this is by far the nicest (and cleanest!). For example, the toilet and shower block is cleaned twice a day (11am and 9pm) and staff are always welcoming and happy to help. With this in mind, we felt incredibly safe letting T take himself off to the toilet or go to the freezer. He would often walk to the taps to re-fill his water bottle or chat to other guests whilst waiting with me to shower or brush his teeth.
If you need to go off-site for whatever reason, there’s a well-equipped local shop on the “main” road. There’s also a petrol station and a pub. Further down the road is also a camping shop, which is handy if you forget your stove! Bude, which is the main town, is less than 30 minutes away by car. Bude also has a fabulous beach and sea pool, as well as plenty of shops and places to eat.
A mini festival!
On Fridays there’s live music on site, a bar, and a local Pizzeria is on site between 5pm and 9pm! This part really was the cherry on top and just what we needed after our long drive. If you don’t fancy coming along to the mini festival, no problem, the music is not that loud from the camp site and stops around 10pm.
Different from the rest!
The Wyldes really have thought of it all. When thinking about any criticisms, or things I would have liked to have seen, the only thing I can think of was the inclusion of hand sanitiser dispensers! But then that’s not surprising coming from me. But that really is it.
We stayed from the Friday and were genuinely sad to be leaving on the Monday. We had so much left to see and do. T had the best time, too; making new friends, sitting by the camp fire and generally taking every day as it came. He was feral and thoroughly enjoyed his routine s’mores at the end of each day. He is quite down that it’s not continuing at home.
We truly had the best time at Wylde Valley Camping; we’re already looking at our next trip for next year. I was so impressed with the quality of the camp site as well as the general ethos of The Wyldes. It’s the little things that made our experience at The Wyldes different from the rest. We felt incredibly safe and welcome as a family; it really felt like a home away from home (and then some!).
We were invited to a complimentary stay at Wylde Valley Camping. This was in exchange for an honest review, as well as social media coverage before and during our stay. All thoughts, opinions and imagery are our own unless stated otherwise.