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Balnoon Camp Site (St Ives, Cornwall)

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3 Reviews

Address: Halsetown / St Ives / Cornwall(West) / TR26 3JA / Tel: 01736 795431

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    3 Reviews
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    • More +
      22.07.2013 10:56
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      A lovely campsite within walking distance of St. Ives.

      *Balnoon Camp Site*

      We stumbled upon this lovely campsite by chance. Last week we decided to make the most of the heat wave and head down to Cornwall for a few days. Since the weather has been so glorious we wanted to take the opportunity to go camping. After staying in the Newquay area we decided to head further down the coast towards St. Ives.

      We didn't book a pitch anywhere; we just drove around and hoped to find somewhere nice. We found Balnoon by following a sign for camping down an isolated Cornish road at the top of St. Ives.
      The site itself is very small, the smallest in the area, according to a taxi driver we met. It seems to be in the owners back garden. Despite its small size, the pitches are very comfortable and spacious. It is not cramped at all. When we arrived the site was almost full and we just managed to get one of the last pitches. There were a variety or caravans, tour homes and tents already pitched up. The campsite was mainly occupied by couples or singles, there weren't any children and dogs were allowed on the site.

      Our first impression of the site was lovely. It was quiet and peaceful and the ideal get away for a few days. The scenery in the site was lovely and it was very well-kept. We were greeted by the owners, who were two of the friendliest people I have ever met. They were very helpful and eager to ensure that we had a nice stay at Balnoon. Their friendliness gave the whole campsite a lovely atmosphere and made us feel very comfortable.


      *Location*

      The campsite is situated approximately 2 miles above St. Ives. My boyfriend and I absolutely adore St. Ives but one of our pet hates is that it is so difficult and expensive to park your car there so we was overjoyed when we found out that you could walk there from Balnoon. The walk took about 40 minutes and it was through delightful countryside with views of the sea and St. Ives below. We walked down to St. Ives quite often and one night we walked down and then caught a taxi back to the campsite which cost £8.

      The location was ideal for us as we were in the quiet, relaxing countryside however it didn't take long to
      reach St. Ives. We love that area of Cornwall as there is so much to see with Penzance, St Michael's Mount, Carbis Bay, Mousehole and more, being so close by.


      *Facilities*

      The facilities at the campsite are very limited however it has everything that you need to have a lovely, comfortable stay. There are toilets and showers which were constantly spotlessly clean; there is only block for the whole campsite. There are two showers available and they are coin operated. It costs 20p for three minutes. I personally like this idea as I think it saves water in the long run. There is also a dishwashing sink, a chemical disposal point, electric hook ups and a room where you can go do your ironing/shave etc.


      *Tariff*

      We paid £15.50 per night which included 2 people, a tent and a car. We thought that this price was really reasonable as we had visited a few more which had been a lot more expensive. This is the highest tariff that the site charges and it goes down for other periods of the year. The site is open from the 29th of March until the 31st of October. There are extra charges for extra adults, children over two, electric hook ups etc.


      *Overall Opinion*

      I would definitely recommend this campsite to anybody who would like a quiet and peaceful getaway near St. Ives. The owners are absolutely lovely and the campsite is kept to a very high standard. The site is very couple/single friendly however there isn't anything for young children to do which was reflected in the selection of people who were staying there. I don't think that it is an ideal campsite for children however it is idyllic for couples/groups of adults. Everyone on the site was really friendly from the owners to other occupants and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. The fact that we could walk into St. Ives was a huge advantage as it saved us money in car parking and the stress of trying to drive around St. Ives' windy backstreets. We will definitely be returning!


      More information about Balnoon: http://www.balnooncampsite.co.uk/


      Thanks for reading : )

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      • More +
        29.07.2011 23:15

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        I came across this camp site while visiting the St. Ives area and highly recommend it. The owners are very friendly, the site is extremely well kept and the toilets and showers are very clean. I believe the previous reviewer have got this site completely wrong as we will be visiting Balnoon again.

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        18.10.2010 08:33
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        Not recommended

        The enduring popularity of St Ives means that it is difficult to find any type of accommodation in peak season, even a pitch on a camp site. We usually pick one of the many campsites a couple of miles inland from the town, and on this occasion picked the Balnoon Camp Site because of the possibility of being able to walk a couple of miles along the cliffs into the town and avoid the parking charges in the centre of St Ives.

        ~~Location~~
        The site is located approximately 2 miles from St Ives, in the middle of beautiful Cornish countryside and surrounded by green, rolling hills. Small, winding roads lead you by car into St Ives, where you will have to pay £5.50 to park all day in the Park & Ride car park. There is also a local bus which runs regularly to St Ives, and late at night a taxi home will cost you £7. Alternatively, it is possible to get to St Ives by walking across fields and along the cliffs. Penzance is 6 miles away and Lands End 10 miles away.

        There are no shops close to the campsite but the Balnoon Inn can be found a few yards away. This large local hostelry seemed to serve evening meals only during peak season, but provided us with a lovely and fairly priced evening meal which included an extensive carvery.

        ~~Booking and Arrival~~
        I initially made contact with the campsite by email, indicating the dates that I wanted to stay and confirming that we were definitely coming. A letter arrived, saying "Thank you for your booking... I look forward to seeing you on your arrival". It included an information sheet and booking form and was signed by the owner, but the wording of the letter made me believe that the booking had already been made. The day before our departure I called to check details, to be told that no booking had been made, and that there was no room for us.

        After a short discussion, the owner (Judy) said that she could fit us in a corner of the site if we brought a small tent with us. We agreed.
        We arrived in pouring rain and strong winds. After a five hour drive, we were just very glad to be there, and rushed into the reception. Judy seemed strangely out of sorts - a surprise, as I had read reviews about her friendly and helpful nature."'I suppose I'll have to put my coat on and show you where to pitch", she grumbled as she reluctantly put her wellies on. She showed me a churned up mud patch in the corner of the field and mumbled "don't churn up my grass" as she stomped away.

        The friendly nature of this small campsite saved us; struggling with wet, flapping canvas and gale force winds, the other campers came to our rescue with mallets, cups of tea and support. I have never been so grateful!

        ~~The Site~~
        The site itself is very pretty; small and hidden away amongst two other camp sites. It is a level site with 2 fields divided by a hedge. The site is situated on the top of a hill, and although I am sure this provides magnificent views in good weather, unfortunately it meant that we spent three whole days living in a low lying cloud. The drizzle was constant and visibility about 4 feet. Several camper vans were very much present , churning up the grass and taking up a lot of space. The site is well maintained with nice flower beds and well trimmed hedges, but there was no protection for the grass and it got churned up into big muddy puddles by the cars. The grass was longer than is usual for a well-maintained site, and made our feet very wet in the rain.

        ~~ Facilities~~
        In her rush to get back to her TV, Judy had not had the time to tell us about the showers or the other facilities. There is, in fact, an information sheet about the campsite - where to buy milk, etc, but this was only given on the very last day (after I had wasted my time driving miles for provisions).

        There is a shop open during peak season, which sells milk, bread, bacon, eggs etc - but I did not use this as I was unaware of its existence until I left. Instead I drove 2 miles to the nearest shop in Carbis Bay or St Ives each morning to get provisions.

        There are two showers for the entire campsite. These are unisex and rather unusually situated in the open air rather than inside the toilet blocks. This means that if they are occupied and it is raining, you have to queue in the rain to have a shower. The showers are not free, but cost 20p for four minutes. I not only felt extremely exposed by the outdoor nature of the showers, but constantly worried that the water would run out before I had rinsed off the soap. The shower cubicles themselves are absolutely tiny, with only about a foot of changing space outside the shower basin. Although this did not bother me too much, another camper with a young baby spent a long time trying to think how she would manage the two of them in the shower, without having to open the door to give herself more room, but at the same time exposing herself to the whole campsite, which faced the external shower door with no protective lobby.

        The toilet blocks were clean and were separated into men's and women's toilets. Each side had 2 toilets and two sinks, but there was no hot water or soap provided. Lights were switched off after 11pm, so if nature called in the night, you had to pee by torchlight.

        A chemical disposal point was available next to the toilet block.

        There was one drinking water tap for the whole site, and this was cleverly raised up onto the middle of a flower bed, so that puddles of water would not form beneath. Another nice feature of the site was the small bins with bin liners that were placed next to each pitch. This simple addition avoided all of the problems with marauding night animals and soggy bin liners.

        Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a short lead at all times. This site is advertised as a Peaceful site, with no radios, TV or loud voices between 7.30am and 11pm. We found this to be true, although it gave the site a very cold non-community atmosphere.

        ~~Costs~~
        The pitch was expensive at £22.50 per night with no electric hook-up, and we definitely felt that it was poor value for money as there were no free extras at all. The site is very basic, but we have stayed at similar sites which cost less and still provided hot water and soap to wash your hands with.

        In Peak season, a pitch costs £15 per night, plus £3.50 per night for an electric hook up.

        In addition, it costs £3 per adult per night, and £2 per child per night.
        Awnings cost £1.50 per night, and additional cars cost £1.50 per night.

        ~~Overall ~~
        Although my children are now teenagers, most of our camping trips took place when they were little. Remembering the fun of those times, I always judge campsites by their child friendliness, and this one failed to impress. The small, pretty fields were not at all suitable for young children. There was nowhere they could ride bikes, run or play. Some sites we have stayed at have provided free Swingball, giant Jenga and other outdoor toys to make up for the lack of freedom, but this site seemed to positively discourage young families.

        Above all, I will remember for the bad tempered and grumpy owners. I have never been made to feel so unwelcome and I will definitely not return.

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