Bryher Campsite is in the valley between Watch Hill and Shipman Head at the northern end of the island. To the east is the channel that separates Bryher and Tresco; and to the west are fields that lead down to the beach at Popplestones. The campsite has views of the harbour, Hangman Island and Tresco.
The tiny island of Bryher has two distinct faces. To the south and east are calm blue waters, where the boats come and go whilst sunbathers enjoy the sandy beaches at Green Bay and the secluded cove of Rushy Bay. The northwestern shores, however, are a jagged jumble of weather-torn rocks, beaten and broken by the relentless Atlantic waves. Gales sometimes lash this coast with thousand-ton breakers, and places like Badplace Hill and Hell Bay have earned their names through reputation.
The sandy bay to the island's south is backed by dunes and provides ample opportunity for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. Just beyond sits Samson Hill, the southernmost point of the island, with far-reaching views across the Scillies. The exposed, heather-covered plateau at the northern end of the island is dotted with prehistoric burial cairns.
“My father-in-law, Bert Stedeford, first opened up his fields to campers sometime in the 1950s. In those days the site was quite literally just a field. I took it on in 1970 and revolutionised things with a tap and a chemical toilet! We housed the loo in the old wheelhouse of the Faldore…times have moved on a bit since then, of course.” says Kathy Stedeford, who has owned and run the campsite for the past forty years.
The early days of camping on Bryher were certainly very rudimentary but today the site boasts hot showers, washing machines and dryers, not to mention modern
toilet facilities. It remains, however, an unapologetically traditional campsite. Kathy explains: “If it is swimming pools and manicured pitches that you are after, then Bryher Campsite may not be for you. However, if it is a genuine, old school camping holiday that is required, then you can’t do much better.”