Helford River Camp 2019

The main family camp this year is Helford, where we camp on a farmer’s field which has access to the Helford River two hours either side of low tide.

This is one of Cody’s regular and most popular camp site, for those who’ve not been before, the field is reasonably flat at the bottom end and a steep slipway has been cut down to the foreshore in the SW corner.

Opening Times

The site is available to us from Saturday 27 July to the Sunday 11th August inclusive. Throughout our stay we will need to remember that the unspoilt character of the Helford River area is carefully monitored by the local conservationists, and that there are oyster beds below the low water mark near our camp site. On previous visits we have found that we can avoid conflict with the oyster bailiffs by refraining from launching and recovering our boats during the two hour periods around low water (low water at the river entrance is 10 to 15 min before LW Falmouth). As with all our camps, we will need to leave the site as we would wish to find it. In the event of prolonged wet weather, we should take care not to create muddy tracks when driving out of the field, perhaps leaving cars at the top of the field.

Site Facilities

  • tap water at the top of the field.
  • grey and waste disposal on the field for Elsan waste disposal.
  • access to the foreshore via a steep cutting.
  • a gentle slope.

Site Restrictions

No dogs or pets of any description are permitted at camp.

The camping field is tent only. It may be possible to accommodate other sorts of camping vehicle, and usually only in extenuating circumstances, with the permission of the land owner, via the camp organisers.

Dinghies should be stored in a line near the top of the slip but leaving enough space for operation of the pulley system.

The slip way to the beach is steep and can be very slippery when wet – please use the ladder and handrail.

Vehicles should be parked across the slope of the field so that in the event of handbrake failure the vehicle will remain stationary.

For some mobile phone providers, users will not pick up a signal on the campsite and a walk 200m up the hill may be necessary to get reception.


The sailing area is spectacular, including potential destinations of

  • Gweek
  • Ferry Boat Inn
  • Tremaine Quay
  • Coverack
  • St Mawes
  • Falmouth
  • Maenporth
  • Carrick Roads
  • (Overnight destination Truro)

As well as excellent local sailing in Helford Passage itself.

Camping at Helford

Typical Camp Activities

This is the sort of things that we get up to on camp – none of these things can be done at a single location, but these are the sorts of things our family camping programme tends to offer.

1Set up camp. Local sailing PM
2Shakedown Sail – local fleet sail to nearby destination
3Long fleet sail – 20 to 26 miles, experienced adventurers only. Local sailing for families
4Long fleet sail – meet families who have travelled there by car
5Pirates Breakfast – early morning adventure for kids under 8, followed by a waterfight for all. Afternoon paddle to local venue
6Family walk, local sailing
7Day out at the beach, sand castle competition, body boarding
8Fleet sail to a local beach with kids and picnic.
9Long fleet sail – over 20 miles
10Fleet sail with families for brunch at a local town. Fun games on the field for all ages, including egg and spoon and egg sandwich, welly throwing, tug of war, ridiculous games where everyone gets wet.
11Late evening fleet sail and paddle to a pub, night sail and paddle back in absolute pitch black looking for phosphorescence in the water, navigation lights are a good idea
12Regatta – series of sailing races culminating in an all-in swimming / canoeing / sailing relay race. Camp fire in the evening.
13Sail to a pub for ice-cream
14Chicken Run – a sailing game where the aim is to arrive at the finish line at a particular given time. Pub lunch.
15Treasure Hunt, Walk, Local sailing
16Camp closes

Joining instructions will be sent to members about two weeks before.

Recent Posts

Lake Road to Sandbanks

Two boats took to the waters of Poole Harbour from the Lake Road slipway on Saturday 4th January.

The forecast was for F3-4, overcast, 8C and with a chance of rain. We slipped at 10am, and sailed to Cleaval Point (not enough water to be able to get to land), then a long and lovely run onto Sandbanks for lunch at the Caff Cafe. We were all a bit chilly, and a sit down in a warm cafe was just what we needed. Food was hot and good, service excellent. With about 3 hours of daylight we chose to sail not the direct circumnavigation of Brownsea Island, but back through the more interesting Blood Alley, where the chances of a wind shadow were less. The wind was variable in both direction and strength as drizzle clouds passed over Hamworthy and Poole, changing the wind direction. Since the second ebb had gently started, it was an intellectual battle of minimising oncoming tidal currents and squeezing everything out of the gusts to get to the Western end of the island. The others took their sail down and rowed into the wind, then hoisted for the long single beat back to Lake Road.

On our way to Cleavel Point

We returned four minutes before the passage plan had suggested. Surprisingly, we sailed 10 miles during our tour of Poole Harbour.

Having packed up we repaired to “The Yachtsman” Public House for soft drinks and chat before heading home.

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