Glamping in an Amazing Space - Rusty the Tin Tent

‘We missed the turning! I told you to drive slower.’


One quick U-Turn later and we’re pulling into the driveway of Barefoot Glamping, a site I’d been longing to visit since seeing it on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, the Channel 4 program that follows people creating quirky and unique shelters, from camper vans to glamping, garden rooms to full renovations.

It had stopped raining when we pulled up by the branded sign and the luggage barrows had been thoughtfully stored upside down so we didn’t have to lug our luggage in damp trolleys but the neatly mown path through the seven acre field was a bit squidgy. And that was the first adventure – what an entrance, high hedges surround the parking area then a beautiful wildflower meadow separated us from our weekend’s accommodation. We followed the path around, past the honesty shop (we’ll raid that later) to the structure I recognised from the TV.

Rusty the Tin Tent Review

Rusty the Tin Tent isn’t your usual holiday home. It’s a crazy container-cum-cabin with a canvas stretched in a hyperbolic parabola to give a tent-like persona and a sheltered deck. Even before we get in I note the quirky deck accessories; handmade wobbly wire that I later learn is a welly boot rack, pallet coffee table with low-rise lounge chairs and hand-painted rock letting us know we’re in the right place. 

Barefoot Glamping Rusty the Tin Tent

Stepping through the double-glazed patio doors I fall in love with the feel – rustic, handmade but oh-so-cosy. I never understand how other people seem to be so effortlessly cool. I mean, I’m sure lots of thought and effort went into this place but with all the will in the world I could never create such a space. But I’m glad I get to stay in it.

Rusty glamping utensils

Through interior double doors there’s plenty of space in the kitchen extension to dump bags while we have a nose. It’s very clever what they’ve done here, adjoining a cabin to the back of the main container living space to house a large kitchen, toilet and separate shower-room. And the design detail is everything. There isn’t a generic part you can buy in a superstore to be seen, just endless inventive ideas and glamping-appropriate accessories; scaffold pole table legs, upcycled ladder towel racks, recycled tin can utensil holders – simple but beautifully done. It’s not crappy or unkempt in a charity-shop chic way, it’s quality; well-designed and very clean.

George Clarkes Amazing Spaces

We spot the little signature on the wall, proof that George Clarke was here and pinch ourselves that we are too. I leave Other Half lighting the log-fired stove as I nip across the way to investigate the honesty shop – what a great idea. The blackboard wall lists all on offer with prices and I’m surprised to find among the pasties and local produce, branded clothing and accessories for sale. The owners own a design company and have created a whole brand around their glamping places to stay (Hobie and Woody are also on site), Barefoot Glamping.

Rusty Honesty Shop

The plan for the first night is to just chill. The weather didn’t give us much else of an option anyway, but we were snug cuddled around the fire on our comfy chairs, reading long-awaited books and revelling in just doing nothing. It was an unusual experience climbing the little ladder onto the sleeping nook – a proper sprung mattress meant for a good night’s sleep with handy little reading lights above our heads. And there was a surprising amount of headspace! Before we switched the lights off, I had one last look at our quirky surroundings; chipboard walls and industrial light fittings and had a cringey little smile to myself.

Rusty glamping ceiling detail

We were up early the first morning, clad in sheepskin slippers and thick dressing gowns against the morning chill, but the sun was shining and the sparkling dew across the long grass was quite a sight. A hot shower later and we were set for the day’s activities (which mostly involved walking). We meandered through the further five acres of wildflower meadows surrounding us, noting the fire pit and herb boat and views out to sea, before deciding to venture a little further afield. It’s only a mile or two into the centre of nearby Mullion, but there’s plenty of distractions in that short drive (we’d thought of walking, but the owners describe the hellish-sounding hill around Poldhu and dangerous Cornish roads so opted for wheels). Mullion Golf Course, behind which is Church Cove, a tucked away little beach with an amazing little (fully functioning) church on the sand! Very surreal. Then there’s Poldhu Cove with the super steep, tight cornered road leading down to a long flat beach, home to a shack serving THE BEST hot chocolates. 

Rusty glamping herb boat

Coming up out the other side of Poldhu you end up in Mullion, a little town with a couple of pubs and some little shops for groceries etc. But our mission for the day was to make it out to Lizard Point, the most southern point in the UK (well you might as well go all the way when you’re down this far). Parking up in the town square and being dragged past all the knickknack shops by my partner, we hit the coast path and walked the path to the point. Stories of Choughs (pronounced chuff!) and seal-spotting ensued with a surprising amount of binocular-wielding people gathered around the tiny shop and old lifeboat launch. A spot of lunch at the café back at the start of the track put us right in the mood for souvenir shopping (Us? Me.) before the blue sky promised a lovely evening for a barbecue so we set back to stoke the coals.

Rusty glamping barbecue

As nice as the surrounding area is, we decided that we need not leave this little corner of paradise for the rest of our time here. There’s something so serene about this place, the antithesis to our everyday and something you don’t find very often. So we spent the rest of our time here chillaxing, toasting corn cobs on the rock BBQ and taking hot chocolates around to the firepit to watch the sun go down over the sea. If we ever have kids, we’d bring them back here. The freedom and abundance of nature is something every child should get to experience. And it should be done barefoot, of course.


Katie was at Rusty the Tin Tent in May 2019

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