St Ives – a family camping trip in the planning

This time next week (well probably around lunchtime), I will be cursing and swearing at my tent as I attempt to put it up for a week’s family camping holiday. The reason for the cursing and swearing will be several fold:

1. My family tent is a Vango Aspen 700 DLX. Its huge, its heavy and its an inner first…..

2. I will have the kids running around trying to be “helpful”

3. It takes at least half an hour to put this beast up and I will be keeping one eye on the sky whilst I do so

Having said all that, once its up there isnt another tent I would rather be in for a week’s family camping in the UK. The headroom is fantastic (2+metres), the bedrooms and large living compartment is double skinned and the front porch is massive. The other thing is that it is yurt shaped with many panels for deflecting wind and having had this in a really bad storm I know it is rock steady. Its not a tent for the fainthearted and it certainly isnt faff-free!

aspen 700 DLX

aspen 700 DLX

We have decided to attempt a week’s family camping holiday this year in the UK. Something we have not previously done as we tend to do 2, 3 or 4 day trips normally. Having seen how bad the UK “summer” has been its a risk. The only thing in our favour is that it is September next week and it seems that fate likes to cruelly twist the knife as the kids go back to school…  That is to say, normally September is a good month for weather. In fact, we have been going on holiday (in cottages etc) in this country blissfully ignorant of bad weather for the past 20 years. Ok, we did have one wetish week about five years ago but that was October. The reason for our good fortune with the weather? We always go in either May/June or September/October and we always go to Cornwall. I am trying not to “hex” myself because I know the law of averages will catch up with us soon but I just hope its not this year. I have checked the 7-14 day forecast and on first inspection it looks promising but I know how quickly forecasts can change…..

Weather for next week in St Ives Cornwall

Location Information Sun Information Moon Tools
Lat : 50.2N Lon : 5.5W ASL : 0m Rise : 6:30 BST Set : 20:13 BST — Select — Print Forecast SMS Forecasts Weather Sticky Metric/Imperial Videos
Forecast Time
Day From Until Temp Feels Pressure Rain Cloud Dir Speed Weather
Sun 6 Sep 6:00 11:59 15 °c 14 °c 1030 mb 0.2 mm 95 % 7 mph
12:00 17:59 15 °c 15 °c 1031 mb 0.3 mm 93 % 5 mph
18:00 23:59 15 °c 16 °c 1029 mb 0.1 mm 21 % 4 mph
Mon 7 Sep 0:00 5:59 14 °c 14 °c 1029 mb 0.0 mm 7 % 4 mph
6:00 11:59 13 °c 13 °c 1027 mb 0.0 mm 15 % 6 mph
12:00 17:59 16 °c 16 °c 1027 mb 0.0 mm 17 % 7 mph
18:00 23:59 17 °c 17 °c 1024 mb 0.0 mm 5 % 9 mph
Tue 8 Sep 0:00 5:59 16 °c 16 °c 1023 mb 0.0 mm 4 % 11 mph
6:00 11:59 16 °c 15 °c 1021 mb 0.0 mm 4 % 12 mph
12:00 17:59 18 °c 18 °c 1021 mb 0.0 mm 4 % 10 mph
18:00 23:59 19 °c 18 °c 1019 mb 0.0 mm 3 % 9 mph
Wed 9 Sep 0:00 5:59 17 °c 17 °c 1020 mb 0.0 mm 3 % 9 mph
6:00 11:59 17 °c 16 °c 1018 mb 0.0 mm 3 % 8 mph
12:00 17:59 19 °c 19 °c 1019 mb 0.0 mm 3 % 8 mph
18:00 23:59 19 °c 19 °c 1018 mb 0.0 mm 34 % 6 mph
Thu 10 Sep 0:00 5:59 18 °c 18 °c 1018 mb 0.0 mm 66 % 6 mph
6:00 11:59 17 °c 18 °c 1017 mb 0.0 mm 66 % 4 mph
12:00 17:59 18 °c 19 °c 1018 mb 0.0 mm 71 % 2 mph
18:00 23:59 19 °c 19 °c 1018 mb 0.0 mm 33 % 3 mph
Fri 11 Sep 0:00 5:59 17 °c 17 °c 1020 mb 0.0 mm 6 % 4 mph
6:00 11:59 16 °c 16 °c 1019 mb 0.0 mm 9 % 7 mph
12:00 17:59 18 °c 18 °c 1021 mb 0.0 mm 6 % 6 mph
18:00 23:59 18 °c 17 °c 1020 mb 0.0 mm 7 % 8 mph
Sat 12 Sep 0:00 5:59 16 °c 16 °c 1021 mb 0.0 mm 10 % 7 mph
6:00 11:59 16 °c 15 °c 1020 mb 0.0 mm 21 % 7 mph
12:00 17:59 17 °c 17 °c 1021 mb 0.0 mm 19 % 5 mph
18:00 23:59 17 °c 17 °c 1020 mb 0.0 mm 8 % 6 mph

St Ives will be the destination (again). The reason? Its a wonderfully sublime place and surrounding area. St Ives has mostly escaped the disease of most UK seaside towns and is relatively idiot/moron/knuckle-dragger free. Go 20 miles up the coast to Newquay and it all changes……. The light quality is fantastic and is one of the reasons for the abundance of artists who have made their way down to this area for year after year. The town also boasts a Tate Gallery and 5 (yes five) different beaches. If you dont fancy lying on the golden sand all day, or mooching through the snug streets, you can always make your way out of town and head along the coast road to Land’s End. In itself, Land’s End is disappointing because of the “fun park” that has been plonked down there but the road from St Ives to Land’s End takes you along barren cliffs with the Atlantic Ocean pounding against the rocks and you are surrounded by heath and moorland with the odd Tor rising out of the landscape. Its like Dartmoor by the sea.

St Ives Town and Harbou

St Ives Town and Harbour

We have been going to St Ives every year without fail for 12 years now and we never tire of it. I am looking forward to spending a week with my family in advance of me coming back home after my job has kept me away for the past 18months. To be honest, I would like a glorious week but will settle for a mixed bag as it just encourages us to be creative about what we do and where we go. Sometimes watching the seas pound a deserted beach on a roaring windy grey day can be just as uplifting as a still sunny one.

Just not every day eh?


About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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6 Responses to St Ives – a family camping trip in the planning

  1. Old Winter says:

    September is the new August for all sane thinking people.

    I have not been to Lands End since the funpark development, but it looks a classic case of what happens when somewhere gets public attention.

  2. backpackbrewer says:

    yes you are right OW. I hope that St Ives doesn’t go downhill in that way. That’s one of the reasons why I am opposed to any extension of the motorway system into Cornwall. Oh and theme parks are another of my favourite rants. I cant for the life of me understand why people want to go to them. They are expensive, ultimately unfulfilling and always full of people I do my utmost to avoid in my normal life so why would I want to spend my holiday time mixing with them?

  3. alan.sloman says:

    Hi Dave – have a splendid time – but… that’s hardly lightweight is it?

    I love the fact that there are theme parks – Bring them on! It means that all the peole who like that sort of thing aren’t cluttering up ‘my’ sort of place – a bit like an engine sump, really?

    Of course, they could see ‘my’ sort of place in exactly the same way – so we are all happy!

  4. Hi. I have a blog at where I feature people’s posts about camping, and I would like to send my readers your way. Of course I would give you credit for quotes and would link back to your site.

    Thanks for considering this,

    Jean B. in SC

  5. backpackbrewer says:

    um, it certainly isn’t lightweight Alan, no denying it….. 😉

    Still car camping is fun as you can be a slob for once and have all the comfy things in life to hand like a sun lounger and a real pillow!

    And yes I do agree with you on the theme park score. Ghastly things but if they amuse some people, then as you say, it leaves the quieter, more real places to you, me and other like-minded folk…..

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