September | Travel

Cabilla, Cornwall

Enjoy 1000-year-old oak forest, 100 acres of which is classed as rare temperate rainforest

Susan Ward Davies

On wild and wonderful Bodmin Moor you can stay in the heart of a beautiful rewilding project run by Lizzie and Merlin Hanbury-Tenison (son of the renowned explorer/conservationist Robin Hanbury-Tenison), for chilled weekends or regular eco-retreats. On a mission to ensure their upland hill farm is sustainable for future generations, Lizzie and Merlin have sown wildflower meadows, created a native Cornish dark honeybee reserve, and reintroduced beavers, who have since had two kits. Beavers are a ‘keystone species’, which means they support the environment by creating new habitats for previously non-existent flora and fauna to flourish.


The crowning glory is Cabilla’s 1000-year-old oak forest, 100 acres of which is classed as rare temperate rainforest, where the trees communicate and heal each other through the wood wide web. This mycelial network is connected by fungi that spreads over the tree roots sending nutrients and messages to other trees across the forest.

Almost everything here is recycled, they compost, source most food locally (the future goal is to grow everything in a community garden), and partner with the local food bank with their Plenty Box (donated food) initiative.


For monsoon showers with underfloor heating, flushing loos and a shared kitchen, head to The Barns, where you’ll find a screening area and a library with board games and books to borrow. Outdoors, swim in rivers and woodland pools, try forest bathing and watch the beavers playing at sunset. Bodmin Moor is one of the UK’s six dark sky environments),  so cosy up by your own fire pit for some spectacular stargazing. We’re de-stressing just picturing it all. 


The Autumn Equinox Retreat runs from 28th Sept-1st Oct, and costs from £675 pp sharing.

Regular stays: from £240 for 2 nights), book through


You sleep in one of 12 luxury bell tents – all carpets, cushions and comfy beds – or the pretty two-bedroom, straw bale cottage.