The story of camping at Polmanter started in 1968, when John and Sheena Osborne moved to the dairy farm just outside St Ives.
Following the lead of the previous owner, they opened up one of their fields for camping. This was camping at its most traditional and basic: just a patch of land to pitch your tent on, and certainly no loos or showers.
But, the combination of location and warm family welcome quickly made Polmanter popular, and the Osbornes began to introduce more facilities. Helped by their four sons, John and Sheena began to develop the farm into the campsite you see today. The cows would have been very surprised to see their milking shed transformed into a bar, and part of the farmyard became a swimming pool!
Because the Osborne boys grew up at the campsite, it was only natural that one of them would take over from their parents. Phill Osborne now runs the site, and since 1998 has managed it alongside his wife Becki, who divides her time between Polmanter and working as a GP.
Phill and Becki have two young children, as well as Bella the Polmanter Springer Spaniel; and all three have had an influence on the site’s facilities. The kids helped design the new indoor and outdoor playgrounds, and the family’s own experiences of camping led to family-friendly developments such as the much-appreciated baby baths. Bella claims some credit for the canine shower and free dog waste bags.
The family live at the heart of Polmanter, and Phill oversees every element of campsite life. Phill and Becki take great pride in Polmanter – it’s their home after all – and they always want everything to be the best it can be. The Osbornes are supported by Polmanter’s fantastic team of eight permanent staff and a further 30-40 colleagues who work here each summer.
Meet the team…
One of the special ingredients here at Polmanter is our amazing team of staff.
We are fortunate that our seasonal team love Polmanter as much as we do, returning year after year. We know that regular guests really get to know the team, and both visitors and staff enjoy seeing familiar faces!
Jon and Tracey have lived and worked at Polmanter for 9 years, and have welcomed their 2 children and dogs Seth and Dolly during that time. Tracey has been associated with Polmanter for far longer however, having holidayed here with her family since she was a baby!
Jon is our assistant manager, and Tracey leads our reception team alongside her work as an artist.
Luke heads up our grounds team, filling the shoes of long-time employee Andrew who still joins us on busy weekends through the peak season, even though he has officially retired!
Tracey, Matthew, James, Vicky and Rhea provide a warm welcome and wealth of local knowledge in reception.
Lynne and Mike are joining us for their 10th season in 2018, filling our new shop with all the camping necessities and an increasing range of Cornish goodies.
Gareth, Vicky and Graham, Pete and Trudy and Pete and Sue, all live on site for the season, working hard to keep the facilities and grounds in top condition.
Chef John has joined us to lead the new team at the Stable Bar, assisted by a great front of house and kitchen team to support us in our new venture of opening the Stable Bar all day in the mid and peak season.