We love people. We love how one person's visions and dreams can affect so many others. Their imagination sculpts their plans. Their passions stop them from falling asleep in their day to day lives and give us something to live for at the weekend!
The best part about having these thoughts is watching them evolve into a reality. Putting your dreams out there allow them to get swept up by the whirlwind of collective minds. This is when things get really interesting. From small acorns grow a great oak tree blah blah blah! Are you following? Let us begin....
The team at the Kudhva are some of the people I've been describing. Nestled in an old slate quarry in the hills above Tintagel, North Cornwall is a hideout to trump all other hideouts. Kudhva translates from Old Cornish to "Hiding Place" and you really feel tucked away from the hustle of modern life when you're here. The site itself was a quarry in the late 1800's and although it had a short industrial life, the work done there has left some beautiful scars on the environment. The Prince of Wales engine house sits proudly on the hillside with the piles of loose slate seemingly defying gravity to stay on the slope. On arrival you leave your car at the bottom of the road and walk up the woodland path or the driveway to the reception area.
You find yourself in the reception and it is as if you've been transported to another world. There is no desk, no health and safety formalities to be read to you, no rules and no nonsense. The newly built wooden and metal structure houses the communal area with hay bales for seats, a large dining area, stacks of firewood, a modest but perfectly capable kitchen area and the most beautiful dog called Winter, (more about him later!).
Louise met us here and sat and chatted to us about what Kudhva could offer us. We were immediately hooked. Her enthusiasm bubbles over and it's amazing to see her so excited about meeting new people and sharing her passions with each and everyone of them.
After we chatted for a while she showed us where we would be staying. We'd seen the pictures on their website, Kudhva, but we couldn't believe our eyes when we set eyes on it. We stayed in K4 which is the Kudhva nestled at the bottom of the hill. We walked down the narrow wooden walkways over the woodland floor and in a small clearing sat our Kudhva. We didn't know what to expect from the inside so couldn't wait to climb the ladder up to the pod.
The architectural hideouts are designed to be a sustainable part of the environment. You've chosen to become a part of the hillside and the shelters allow you to feel it. Inside, the entire shelter is lined with light and fresh wood. The large windows look down and across the trees. Ours even had a view towards the sea. The comfortable seating area was the perfect platform to sit and watch the Cornish countryside pass by. In the corner of the room was a small ladder that took you up to a double bed and again it had windows looking over the trees. Due to the Kudhva's being on stilts and the shelter themselves being tall you tower above the trees. I can honestly say its one of the best views i've ever had! Each Kudhva is provided with fresh bedding and towels, a torch and a candle. They do get very dark at night so an extra torch or lantern is advised if you are not 100% confident in the dark. We just let the moonlight guide us!
There are so many things to explore and do whilst on site including wild swimming, a hot tub, a hidden waterfall, a moonscape like walk, forest paths and thats not mentioning the evening campfires and enjoying the star covered skies.
The site also has Tentstile Tents which can be used for an even more "wild" experience. See their website for more details.
Food is normally eaten in the communal area. All pots, pans and plates are provided. It's the perfect place to meet and chat with the other people staying. The toilets and showers are there too.
With so much to do on site, and limited time it, was hard to pick what to do. We opted for the waterfall in the quarry. We got some tips from Louise and made our way. The path is purposely difficult to find and harder to negotiate but with decent boots and some strong thighs we climbed down to the waterfall. The water cascaded down the cliff into the quarry floor. Here it has formed a small pond. The path took us almost into the fall and then up the quarry side. Looking down into the water without a soul near us we truly felt isolated.
The entire site is perfect. The Kudhva's are super relaxing and change your perception of what it is like to be in the wild. The communal area has just the right amount of comfort whilst still making you feel a part of the woodland. You can tell when staying there that the place has even more to offer, so 2018 will be an exciting time for Louise and the rest of the Kudhva team. We could see things starting to change with new sign posts for the walks getting made and more shelter from the Cornish weather being constructed. It's always a work in progress when working alongside nature instead of fighting against it.
I mentioned earlier about Winter the on-site dog. He can only be described as one of the most gentle and beautiful dogs I've ever come across. He honestly was a highlight for me.
Sundays at Kudhva in summer are special. The Sunday Service Sessions are a coming together of the best music, food and people from the area. Drinks are consumed, music is danced to and laughter is shared.
I'd like to end where I started. With dreams. The Kudhva's have come about because of passion, determination and bloody hard work. It's paid off. The site is amazing. We simply can't recommend it enough to anyone wanting to explore the Cornish coastline and get a slice of natural heaven at the same time. We used Kudhva as a base to explore the coastline on one of our days there and you can read all about that soon.
In short... Go online and book your stay. You will be so happy you did.
Bearded Outdoors would like to thanks Louise and Fliss from Kudhva and the kind people during the Sunday Service Sessions that gave us a lift back to the car.
For more from Joe visit: www.beardedoutdoors.net