Treen Farm has been in the Halls family for time eternal. During the last war, one of the fields on the cliff top was commandeered by the Royal Air Force as a communications post. A few military buildings were constructed on the land, rendering it useless for farming – but perfect for camping.
Since then, campers and cows have co-existed at Treen Farm and the camping field has been updated. A fancy tap with running water was installed in 1974, and there are now even toilets and hot showers. The spacious site is a comfortable field’s length back from the cliff top so isn’t overly exposed, but there are sea glimpses over the hedges that gives the site a sense of place.
What you can’t see are the beaches, but you don’t have to go far. The nearest is Pedn Vounder, a tiny, isolated cove of golden sand accessed by a 10-minute cliff-top walk and a five-minute rocky scramble from the campsite; it’s never busy, but it does get cut off at high tide, so keep an eye out. At low tide, you can walk along the sand to Green Bay and the larger Porthcurno beach, a popular family favourite and much more accessible.
If that’s not enough beach for your buck, it’s just 10 minutes in the car to Sennen on the north coast, where Whitesands Bay provides a huge, sweeping arch of yellow, fluffy sand and one of Cornwall’s best surfing spots. Bliss. Bucket-and-spade summer days don’t come any better than this.
Treen used to be a popular tourist destination thanks to Logan Rock, a 70-tonne lump of granite naturally balanced so that it could be rocked back and forth. People came from far and wide to try their strength at rocking the stone, until in 1824 testosterone and bravado got the better of a bunch of drunken sailors who pushed it clean over into the sea. Local residents were outraged at this act of mindless vandalism and the ringleader of the sorry gang was ordered by the Admiralty to return the stone to its rightful position at his own expense. It was a project that took considerably more time and energy than the original drunken prank, and nearly bankrupted the young sailor. Needless to say, the rocking action has never been the same since.
Thankfully, modern-day attractions in the area are enough to topple a wobbling rock from its position as principal tourist draw. Alternative diversions include the the Minack Theatre, an open-air auditorium cut into the cliffs west of Porthcurno. Its dramatic cliff-side setting and the backdrop of the crashing sea makes the Minack a unique theatre experience – and like the fine beaches here, it shouldn’t be missed.