What is provided?
We provide much of what you need for your self-catering holiday in Cornwall. Cooking equipment & facilities; bedding – duvet & pillows for the double bed ; firebowl with firewood & kindling available; eco washing up liquid and handsoap. Cotna Taster Hampers available for delicious self-catering meals (see below)
What Should I Bring?
- Bedding linen, sleeping bag / duvets for single beds (can be ordered) towels
- Torch – important!! Preferably a headtorch
- Wellies / walking boots (it can get muddy)
- Indoor slippers / shoes for inside yurts
- Newspapers, for lighting fires
- Nightlights / tealight candles
- Firewood if you don’t want to buy from us
- Extra blankets, bedding or hot water bottles if it’s a cold Spring
- BUT if you do forget anything we will always try to provide it!
Is it Glamping?
Glamping evolved from glamorous camping on the festival circuit. So is it Glamping at Cotna? Well, the beds are comfortable, the decor is beautiful, it’s dry in the yurt, there is a wood burning stove to keep you warm, there’s all the facilities & equipment to cook indoors and there aren’t that many people around. However, the yurts are in a field, the toilets are compost loos, the hot shower sometimes runs cold if the gas runs out – and it’s Cornwall. So while the sun shines warm, it can feel like the height of luxury as you drink your sundowner & enjoy the sunset, but perhaps less so if a westerly gale blows or the Cornish mizzle descends. But just think, you could be sitting in a soggy tent instead of tucked up by the fire!
What do you mean by Eco Retreat?
Sustainability is at the core of our ethos at Cotna, and the reason our Eco Retreat exists. As you will see from your visit, we try our very best to create and maintain an oasis of natural beauty and tranquillity where diverse species exist alongside us humans. We are committed to avoiding pollution through recycling and reusing everything we can, limiting use of harmful chemicals and managing our waste responsibly. Please help us to reduce re-use & recycle:
- limit the amount of plastic you bring onsite eg water bottles plastic bags & packaging – we have a natural spring that supplies delicious, pure water
- use eco products for washing – we supply ecover washing up liquid and faith in nature shampoos
- use our recycling system carefully with clearly labelled bins in the recycling areas
Delicious home-grown organic food is a crucial part of Cotna Eco Retreat life; the growing, cooking and eating of it. You can buy food direct from us—the list of seasonal veg and preserves varies. Please ask about seasonal availability. Dried and preserved foods such as pasta, rice, lentils, muesli, as well as home-made jams and chutneys are usually available. The food we eat is vegetarian and has a fresh, gourmet, international feel. As we are a vegetarian smallholding we greatly appreciate that you keep the cooking of meat to a minimum.
We provide various Cotna Taster Hampers with our fresh seasonal produce for £15: Breakfast Hamper (warm sourdough, fresh eggs, home-made jam, milk & butter) Late Arrival Hamper with extra option of local cornish beer, wine or champagne cider from local Fowey Valley, Evening Meal Hampers – Italian (fresh pesto or tomato passata meal with salad) Indian (fresh ingredients & spices for either south Indian dahl or coconut curry – simple recipe included!), Garden Hamper (with a range of seasonal, organic vegetables and preserves). If you would like sourdough bread please give us advance notice.
Kiln dried firewood available at £6 a bag –
The barn can get very warm once the wood-burner has been lit, so please feed it conservatively. Water for the shower is heated by the back boiler on the wood-burner, and there is also an immersion heater to supplement the burner if needed, especially in the summer. Dave will initiate you into the workings of the wood-burner and if you need further help lighting a fire with it do ask!
Can we bring our dog?
Current season 2021 we’re afraid no dogs unless pre-agreed as we have regular escapee chickens & ducks. If we do agree, it is important that you keep them under good control. Please bring dog towels & blankets to try & keep the floors clean. And we request that your dog is never left alone in your accommodation.
We provide your own compost loo for each accommodation. They are all composting loos and pretty posh we hope! They are a constantly evolving design, but we now finally feel we have reached our ideal situation – each shed now has a separate loo for pee & poo which you can choose appropriately! Boys (and girls of of course!) are also welcome to “mark the boundaries” by fertilising our trees and hedges!
Our ‘tree-bog’ style of compost loo is basically a shed on stilts, with a ventilated collecting chamber for solids underneath. The nutrients from the solid manure are taken up by the trees and plant roots surrounding it. This type of “dry” toilet works with a scoop of wood chippings & the usual toilet paper after use, rather than water flushing, and is more efficient when the pee is separated. We therefore have a separate pee bucket with wood chips in, which help eliminate the smell and are a good activator for the compost heap! None of the toilets should smell too much; the odour should be earthy. If it becomes too pungent please add an extra cup of wood chips or tell us if it becomes a problem.
There are compost heaps above the veg garden; please put any uncooked food and peelings there. As cooked food tends to rot rather than compost, we try to feed this to the chickens (which we would encourage you to do too) but there is also a food waste & compost bin in the recycling area. Please ask if you are in any doubt as to where to put your food scraps.
There is a recycling area by our entrance (for glass, plastic bottles, tin cans, cardboard). There are also compost buckets provided for compostable waste (peelings, egg shells, paper etc). Anything edible (e.g. fruit, bread, pasties, cooked food) is gratefully pecked up by our chickens!
We have a number of bee-hives in the corner of the field above the entrance to the woods, and a bait-hive on the woodshed. They are usually very safe, but do occasionally swarm (May—July). If you see, or hear a swarm of bees do move aside and please inform us as we will need to let the bee-keepers know. NB if you think you may react badly to bee stings please inform us, and bring your epipen if you have one.
Chickens & Ducks
We keep approx 25 chickens and 2 ducks on the farm for their golden & happy eggs.
We have space for push-bikes by the tractor-shed. If you are bringing bikes please let us know and if you would like to hire them there is nearby Pentewan Valley Bike Hire on 01726 844242
Is there a local bus service?
See timetable for more info. There are two buses a day (24) to Gorran with Travel Cornwall. There are more regular ones to Heligan and Mevagissey. https://www.firstgroup.com/cornwall/plan-journey/timetables/?operator=6&page=1&redirect=no
Are there shops & cafes / restaurants nearby?
The local Post Office shop in Gorran (walking distance, up the track in the village) has most common provisions, newspapers and milk.
The Barley Sheaf Pub (01726 843330) offers excellent beer, good hospitality, and very good food.
A walk down the valley to Port Mellon there is The Rising Sun pub and The Shack takeaway cafe with excellent coffee, great food and cakes.
There are fish and chips and pasty places in Mevagissey (approx 4 miles).
The nearest supermarkets are in St Austell (approx 10 miles).
Link to Area page for further info