This spherical, zeppelin-inspired ‘tree tent’ is burrowed in Warleggan Valley, Bodmin in the 20 acres of idyllic woodlands known as Broom Park Farm. With a babbling stream dotted with stepping stones, the odd little waterfall here and there, sprawling carpets of bluebells and wise-looking old trees, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Site of Special Scientific Interest is remarkable. It has the kind of charm that instantly nurtures an affection for this little corner of the world.
Being such a remote spot, the farm is a tad tricky to find. I’d strongly advise people to plan their route to the farm using their GPS device before leaving, then print off the route to have it in paper form too. I was using my phone for directions but in the last 10 minutes of our car ride, the 3G and signal got very sketchy. The farm is down a discreet side road and is not signposted. In fact half way down this bumpy, gravel track there was a sign saying ‘no motor vehicles beyond this point’. It wasn’t until we did a few laps of honour around the countryside lanes and asked a local for help that we found the farm. I’d say have any routes to attractions you want to visit in paper form too, just in case.
The Eden Project is a straightforward, roughly 35 minute car ride away, as is the beautiful seaside town of Looe. As we only had one full day and two half days in Cornwall, these places occupied most of our time. We also checked out Carnglaze Caverns and whiled away a few hours playing some intense rounds of Scrabble.
The weather was poor, very very poor. The rain was relentless but, luckily, Cornwall is the kind of place that is beautiful no matter the weather. As the foliage got greener and lusher, it just made us feel cosier tucked away in our little tree house.
This quirky little tree pod was the brainchild of Ed and Jitka. We were welcomed solely by Ed and didn’t get to meet his wife. I was slightly disappointed by the hospitality. There were no welcome signs, or pointers to direct us to our hosts. It would have been a nice touch if they had a welcome area, perhaps a small reception in an outhouse, or just a sign to say ‘guests this way’. We had to knock on their side door to alert them of our arrival, which felt intrusive. My boyfriend and I struggled a little to carry all our bags across the meadows and into the forest, an offer to help move the luggage would’ve been greatly appreciated. The self-sufficient nature of a camping holiday, combined with the bad weather, meant we didn’t expect to see much of our hosts. However, to not hear or see them at all took me by surprise. We had to walk right by their house multiple times a day to reach the toilet/utility block in a separate meadow and, despite even walking straight past Ed while he mowed the lawn, we didn’t get anything more than a wave, even when we tried to initiate a little conversation. The basic manners were there but, for the amount we paid, it would’ve been nice to have a warmer welcome. I don’t doubt they’re lovely people, it’s just a shame because, to create such a retreat, they must be wonderfully clever and creative and I’d have loved to hear about the background and history of their beautiful home.
The whole concept of the tree pod really appealed to me and the way it was executed was beyond my expectations; it was wonderful. Enveloped in cedar cladding, with it’s characterful wooden staircase, the sphere really does tug on the heartstrings. It’s not just charming though, it’s zeppelin-inspired engineering means that it can withstand a lot of weight, whilst minimally impacting the trees that it’s attached to. A small, wooden hut at the foot of the ladder shelters the cooking area. Complete with a gas powered, 2 ring stove, crockery, cutlery, camping chairs and table it is basic but stores everything you need! A shower, two toilet cubicles, sink, washing machine and fridge can all be found in a metal unit, a 5 minute walk from the pod. This unit is clean, practical and has a little tub of tea bags that, as typical Brits, we smuggled back to the pod!
With it’s traditional wood burner, tea lights, dimmer light switch and selection of board games, the tree tent is the perfect abode for cosy nights in. Being a slightly introverted, forest-loving bookworm who can get slightly overwhelmed by life, it was a perfect little break full of reading, playing games and cherishing quality time with the best company. Who knew this little pod, hung 3 metres above the ground in the middle of nowhere, could win such a special place in my heart.