Polly Joke (or otherwise known as Porth Joke) is a quiet campsite situated in North Cornwall, at a cove set between soaring headlands, just a short walk from a serious peach of a beach. If you want a secluded campsite, quiet with less facilities, this is it. Although the campsite is near to Newquay, so you can experience the best of both worlds quite easily with a quick day trip. Generally though, it's a great campsite for north Cornwall and walking the South West Coast Path, which runs nearly through it! Yet it's chilled, back-to-basics vibe, gives this campsite a completely timeless feel.
Porth Joke campsite is delightfully hidden, and scenic, completely untouched making it a hidden paradise from the usual commercial campsites.
Altogether on a sunny weekday in May I’d say there were around 22 people there. Not bad.
A perfect spot for a bit of early spring Glamping. The track on the opposite the campsite uphill leads to West Pentire and the closest pub, the Bowgie Inn which is handy if you don’t want to cook.
We set up camp in the top field of Porth Joke, sheltered by the headland. The round structure in the picture above is a kids sandpit. Perfectly visible from all the surrounding pitches for easy supervision when cooking or enjoying a drink.
We pitched our rather roomy 5 metre Bell Tent (from Boutique Camping), and I couldn’t recommend a Bell Tent for the way it elevates a camping trip. Unlike plastic tents, the Bell Tent is an aesthetic gem, and a great motivator for some temporary interior design aspirations! We're fortunate to make that a reality as we have a big van, it wouldn't be impossible to fit everything in a family car! We'd packed reasonably light as it was only a two night stay, but we always take a double bed, mattress, and a full range of camping cooking equipment. We love cooking outdoors. Camping for me is all about the eating component, creating a workable kitchen in the wilds.
It's possible to hire a full range of cooking equipment and a dining table with our Holiday Bell Tent Hire service. So you can leave the boot of your car free for more fun stuff, like bodyboards or bikes!
After setting up our Bell Tent we headed down the narrow track to Porth Joke beach. Our first glimpse of the rolling blue Atlantic comes through the natural framing of the headland. No lifeguards, huts or cafes here, just a small beach with a shallow stream running onto it. The beach is dog friendly all year round.
We enjoyed a good few days of sunbathing, camp cooking, al fresco cocktails, reading and serious relaxation before our busy summer season starts. There is nothing like waking up in nature to rejuvenate your soul.
*Polly Joke is a name of endearment and familiarity, used by the Cornish locals. But to most it Porth Joke.