Combining an organic farm and a glamping business sounds like the idyllic way of life - and John and Lizzie Ridout can testify that although it’s hard work, it’s incredibly rewarding too.
Based near the market town of Liskeard and the fishing communities of Looe and Polperro in South East Cornwall, Penbugle Wigwams and Organic Farm is set in a stunning part of this beautiful county. Daphne du Maurier, who penned the classic novels Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, found inspiration in the town of Fowey, close to Penbugle, and it’s easy to see why!
Lizzie said: “While the BBC have captured the beauty of our county in their recent Poldark productions, we know this part of the world is hard to beat. Nearby attractions include the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Bodmin Jail, while thrill seekers can head for Adrenalin Quarry or try some go-karting.”
The couple run their farm producing tasty organic eggs and native breed meat alongside their Wigwams, bell tents and peaceful grass tent pitches.
“Penbugle means shepherd’s hill in Cornish,” explained John. “The land which we farm is part of the Duchy of Cornwall Duloe Estate, and we are ably assisted by our children Maddie, Steph and Reuben.”
The couple have been farming in Cornwall since 2005, moving from Shaftesbury in Dorset to Penbugle. The farm includes 260 acres that is a fully organic home to the Cornshire herd of pedigree Red Ruby Devon and the Donhead herd of South Devon cattle.
Lizzie added: “We also have native rare breeds including three Dales Ponies, called Lucy, Amy and Ruby. Our sheep flock include Lleyn and Polled Dorset Sheep. And not forgetting our cluck of hens, kept in free range units laying the most delicious organic eggs which we supply to specialist outlets around Cornwall.”
The couple have also created a wetlands area on the farm, with assistance from the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. John said: “We’re passionate about what we do. We love farming and believe when it comes to making good food choices, information is the key. We know for example, that organic food can be slightly more expensive, although not always!”
So how does glamping go hand in hand with the busy day-to-day running of their farm?
Lizzie explained: “We have eight Wigwam cabins, which are open all year round, each sleeping a family of four or five comfortably. The quality of the cabins and the ethos – great holidays in the great outdoors – reflected our own passion for letting people unwind and enjoy their natural surroundings.”
Glamping guests enjoy the use of a firepit that comes in useful for some ‘al fresco’ cooking, while inside each Wigwam there is a kettle, fridge, toaster, panel heater, and comfy mattresses. Dogs are also permitted, accompanied by well-behaved humans!
Feeling crafty? Then visit their Ceramic Art Studio and have a go at creating a bespoke piece of pottery, open to guests and non-guests alike!
Visit Wigwam® Holidays on stand 230 at the Farm Business Innovation Show, taking place on 8th and 9th November at the NEC, Birmingham. Read more here.