Tried and Tested: Wild Camping at Kudhva
This time last month we were lucky enough to be amongst the first people to ever spend a night in a Kudhva - an architect-designed asymmetrical wooden stilted structure in wild and rugged North Cornwall. We weren't totally sure what to expect as the site was not officially open at this point, but we felt very privileged to have the whole place pretty much to ourselves for the night and excited to have the chance to stay in such a unique and mysterious setting.
Prior to our arrival at Kudhva we spent the day in nearby Boscastle, exploring the fascinating Museum of Witchcraft and Magic which is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Then we moved on to enjoy a couple of drinks at the extremely scenic location of the Port William pub in Trebarwith Strand - a stunning little cove with sandy beaches and natural caves, landmarked by Gull Rock and a popular spot for surfers who were out in force to catch the late afternoon waves.
Kudhva's founder and creative director Louise Middleton met us to guide us to the site in the impressive Kud Truck (an enormous beast of a 1970s classic American crew-cab truck which will also be providing lifts to the beach for surfing Kudhva guests - perfect!).
After following Louise up a track lined with foxgloves and gorse, we parked and made the last part of the journey on foot, up the gentle incline to Kudhva. Louise showed us around the sheltered communal area of the site where monthly Sunday Service sessions will be held from noon until sunset, with DJs, good food and good times guaranteed. I could just imagine relaxing back on one of the big tree hammocks sipping a cocktail and soaking up the atmosphere ...
We moved on up to our home for the night, the Kudhva, which means ‘hideout' in Cornish. The name is perfectly apt - revealed in all its glory as we made our way up the path through the trees, this imposing futuristic structure looked strangely at home in its wild, peaceful setting. Raised eight feet off the ground on stilts, it has been designed to take full advantage of the spectacular views from the balcony area and from the enormous triangular window inside. We had sea views over to Trebarwith Strand and Gull Rock on one side, and gorgeous green countryside with grazing sheep on the other. I could just see the tips of some wind turbines turning over the hill opposite, which was strangely hypnotic.
After sharing a nice cold glass or two of Prosecco and talking us through the basics, Louise left us to our own devices. The truly amazing 45-acre site on an abandoned slate quarry is a dream for budding explorers; the wildflower-dotted landscape changes with the weather, and the sea and countryside views are sublime. We set off for a wander and discovered the beautiful grade II listed engine house, onsite 40ft waterfall and reservoir (wild swimming fans take note!) and the cave where more daring campers can stay in a Tensile tree tent suspended over the top of the quarry (other locations are available for those less brave souls).
An hour or so later we headed back to our hideout, brewed a cuppa via the campfire kettle and enjoyed the sunset before settling down for the night. The sleeping platform is above the living area and accessed by a ladder, and had plenty of room for two. We must have had a comfortable and peaceful night's sleep as I don't remember much about it! Waking up to soft morning light and birdsong was truly glorious, and if it hadn't been for the long drive back to the other side of the UK I could quite easily have spent a good few more days exploring, campfire cooking and shirking my work responsibilities on a tree hammock.
Louise and her team have big plans for Kudhva, and we're sure the site will change and evolve as much as the landscape around it does naturally, so we can't wait to see what the future has in store for this little corner of wild Cornish heaven.