Winter Camping Wonders…

When we first launched our new website in July 2017, we had a plan to post a monthly blog. So far though, they’ve been a little ad-hoc, despite our best intentions. Just because we’ve been quiet though, doesn’t mean that we’ve not been busy during the quiet Winter camping season.

Many of you may be aware that we had planned to demolish and re-build our secondary shower block this Winter. Unfortunately, bad weather and delays with our planning application have stymied us so far. I think it’s fair to say that our first Winter at Mena has been pretty awful weather-wise – we’ve had storm after storm after storm. Mainly bringing with them gale force winds and torrential downpours, but more recently, the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma have delivered us a foot of snow! We’re actually snowed in at the moment, which is one of the reasons I’ve finally sat down and put pen to paper. We’ve had a few incidents due to the weather – we lost the roof from the chem waste disposal area one night, had a couple of burst water pipes, and the piggies, Rodney & Del Boy, lost their sun-shelter when it took off and landed in the next field!

So, what have we been up to this Winter? Well, in between dodging storms, we have been very busy exploring Bodmin Moor and researching walks and trails that we can recommend to our lovely campers. Best beach we’ve found is Lantic Bay – beautiful stroll across the fields and out to Pencarrow Head. It’s a bit of hike up and down to the bay itself, but well worth it. We’ve also been out and about sampling some of the local pubs and cafes too. That’s been particularly hard work as you can imagine, but we didn’t mind taking that one for the team! Best find to date is the Rashleigh Inn at Polkerris – fantastic food, beautiful waterfront views, and lovely ancient pub with log fires – perfect!

In terms of site repairs, we’ve re-gravelled all our hard-standing pitches, laid a new driveway to the Old Farmhouse, tidied and re-seeded our pitches, re-furbed our garden studio and landscaped the gardens around it ready for renting, painted the shower blocks, cleared huge areas of overgrowth, cut back trees/bushes/brambles/bamboo/hedgerows, cleared weed from the pond, installed our lovely new signage for Mena, had our new site map drawn… Doesn’t sound a great deal written down, but believe us, we haven’t stopped.

And of course, we haven’t closed either. December and January were quiet, although we had a lot more guests at Mena over Christmas and the New Year than we’d originally anticipated. And in February, the half term brought families back to Mena – it was lovely to hear children playing out in the field with Ollie again.

So, what’s new for 2018? Well, we are now able to sell you discounted tickets for the Eden Project, and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Our partner, Explore by Bike, has now setup shop at Mena, offering bike hire and mobile bike repairs. Hopefully that will take away some of the pain for our families, who can leave the bikes at home. For the grown-ups, the Alfresco Lounge, offering freshly made cocktails served from Dottie the Caravan, will be visiting Mena once a week. Reward yourselves with a fab cocktail (or two!) at the end of a long day exploring Cornwall. In addition, we’re in conversation with a range of local, mobile, food stalls, so you don’t have to worry about cooking (particularly after indulging in a couple of cocktails – hic!). And of course, we will still be offering free fish and chip delivery in partnership with the Welcome Stranger in Lanivet. We’re also expanding our glamping offer with three new Lotus Belle Tents, in a quiet corner of the campsite, exclusively for adults. They’ll be up and ready for bookings from mid-May.

On a final note, Mena is now officially cool, having been selected by Cool Camping to be featured on their site. I think we can feel pretty good about what we’ve achieved in our first year in terms of improving our facilities and the site for our fab campers. Neil and I are always so grateful for your kind support and encouragement with what we’re doing at Mena, and we’re both really looking forward to welcoming you back very soon. Just one final request, please bring some sunshine with you, I think we deserve it!

Posted on: 2nd March 2018

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