Stithians Lake Review (Camping and Watersports!)

Whether you want to paddleboard or camp, this Stithians Lake review details what the place has to offer!

Stithians Lake is a family-friendly activities site and campsite with a wide range of facilities and attractions. 

So whether you want to spend the weekend on a campervan pitch, try out glamping or take to the lake on a kayak, you’ll love Stithians Lake! 

About Stithians Lake

Stithians is a scenic lake situated between Redruth and Falmouth in the Cornish countryside.

One of the biggest inland waters in Cornwall, if you look at it from a birds eye perspective it’ll seem like it goes on forever.

However, at ground level, there’s a popular watersports centre and campsite with seasonal pitches. 

There are also some decent eateries around the lake, which have lovely waterside views and a fun holiday atmosphere.

I’ve been to some of the world’s greatest lakes, from Lake Atitlan in Guatemala to Lake Argyle in Western Australia, and while Stithians is only small in comparison, it’s a friendly, well-equipped lake that’s great for beginners who want to try out different watersports before taking to the waters around Cornwall.

Where is Stithians Lake?

Stithians Lake’s closest major town is Redruth (about a 15 minute drive). Falmouth is around a 20 minute drive on the other side. 

It is near to the village of Stithians, where it takes its name from.

Things to do at Stithians Lake

Things to do at Stithians Lake

There are loads of things to do at Stithians Lake! 

  • enjoy a range of watersports like windsurfing, canoeing or stand up paddleboarding
  • spend a weekend at one of the glamping sites
  • walk around the lake 
  • have a few lakeside drinks at the Golden Lion
  • stay at one of the tent or motorhome pitches for a few nights
  • do some of the nearby activities, like Heartlands in Camborne or Pendennis Castle in Falmouth

Stithians Lake campsite Review

I have stayed at Stithians Lake campsite four times in a tent pitch, so I can write quite a comprehensive review of the place!

The reason I have stayed here four times is that it is such an excellent campsite.

It has all the features you could want – spacious pitches, clean toilet facilities, good internet access (i.e strong 4G signal), parking by your pitch and an easy late arrivals procedure.

There are electric and non-electric pitches, and the price range is between £20-30 per night, depending on your choice of pitch. 

There is a toilet block washing-up area a short walk from the campsite. 

The five accessible toilets are all self-contained, with a loo, a sink and a shower in each small room. The showers are only one temperature, but they are nice and warm.

Toilet block Stithians Lake

Near the toilets, there’s a tap where you can get drinking water and bins with recycling. 

It’s also in an incredibly scenic location, looking out onto the lake itself! 

It’s never too busy, even in the summer holidays. They don’t cram pitches in like they do in other campsites in Cornwall. 

Plus, it’s got the water sports centre, the wild vibes cafe and the Golden Lion pub is just a short walk away! 

There isn’t entertainment like many of Cornwall’s holiday parks, but it’s a lovely mix of a back to basics quiet retreat with amenities like the onsite activity centre, cafe and pub close by. 

Stithians Lake water sports review

Stithians Lake Watersports

Stithians Lake is a great place to try a range of watersports. Go windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding or do several other activities. 

We’ve been stand up paddle boarding here a few times (it’s our go-to watersport of choice!), and we had a great time.

It costs £15 to rent out paddleboards for an hour. If you haven’t paddle boarded at all, you can ask for some instruction – if you have, you are given the boards and, once you confirm that you know what you’re doing, you can paddle out into the deep blue lake!

As it’s a lake, it’s usually quite a calm place for first-time paddleboarders to practice. One of the days we paddle boarded was quite windy but manageable. Plus, if you do have a windy day – it’s great for windsurfing! 

We are very amateur paddleboarders and neither of us fell in throughout the three times we did it – so that’s saying something!

The watersports centre was well organised, easy to use and we liked being out on the lake. If you want a bit more instruction, you can book instructor-led sessions. 

Toilet facilities are shared with the campsite, but there are also accessible toilets in the centre itself. Guests to the watersports centre can also use the onsite showers.

Wild Vibes cafe

Wild Vibes Cafe

The Wild Vibes cafe is the onsite restaurant.

It offers tasty breakfasts, delicious snacks and light lunches, with plenty of veggie and vegan options.

Their vegan breakfast consists of avocado, hummus, pine nuts, tomato, mushrooms and sourdough and is absolutely divine. I can feel my mouth watering now as I remember it! 

They also do delicious coffee and smoothies. 

The cafe opening times are:

  • Monday-Friday 9am-3:30pm.
  • Saturday & Sunday 9am-4pm.
  • Food served 9am-2pm everyday.

The Golden Lion

The Golden Lion is a short walk from Stithians Lake campsite and is a wonderful spot for dinner or just for a few lakeside drinks. 

With local drinks including Cornish ales and Rattler cyder on tap and a huge food menu, there’s loads to love here!

We’ve eaten here twice – once I had the veggie grill with halloumi, and another time I had the roast. 

Myself and my partner agreed that it was the best pub roast we’ve ever eaten, with properly-sized portions of food! 

Nearest places to Stithians Lake

The closest Cornish beaches to Stithians Lake are probably those in Falmouth, such as Swanpool Beach, Gyllyngvase Beach, Castle Beach and Maenporth Beach. These are about a 20 minute drive away. On the north coast, the beach town of Portreath is about 30 minutes drive. 

Other nearby attractions include the towns of Redruth and Camborne, which have the Edward Pool Mine, Redruth Meadery (an enjoyable place for dinner!) and historic town centres. 

Or, head to Falmouth for Pendennis Castle and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall – and a fantastic food scene. 

Pendennis Castle: one of the best things to do in Falmouth

You could also do a day trip to the Lizard and see Kynance Cove, Lizard Point and the Gweek Seal Sanctuary, amongst other must-see attractions

Stithians Lake FAQs

Stithians Lake

Can you walk all the way around Stithians Lake? 

Yes, one of the many outdoor activities at Stithians Lake is walking and you can explore the whole lake on foot.

There are a few lovely lakeside trails, including a circular 10 kilometre track. Most people walk this trail in a clockwise direction.  

Can I kayak at Stithians Lake? 

Yes, there is a range of activities on offer including kayaking. You can book watersports on the SW Lakes Trust website.

Can dogs swim in Stithians Lake? 

No, dogs shouldn’t swim in the reservoir. This is because there is some blue algae present that can be toxic for dogs. Humans shouldn’t swim in the lake either!

However, the campsite is dog-friendly – just keep them on leads when you are by the lake. 

Can you fish at Stithians Lake? 

Fly fishing is the only type of fishing that is permitted. Contact South West Lakes Trust for more information and to arrange permits. 

Is Stithians Lake good for a family holiday? 

Yes, Stithians is perfect for a family camping holiday! 

There’s plenty of space for kids to run around at the campsite, and older children will love the watersports on offer. 

The Golden Lion pub has food options for everyone and is the perfect setting over the water!

It’s also in an excellent position to enjoy the South Cornwall coastline and attractions in Redruth and Camborne. 

Can you cycle around Stithians Lake? 

There are miles of cycling routes in the area, and you can cycle most of Stithians Lake, but you will cross the dam near the campsite rather than cycling the whole way round. 

You can see some other cycling tracks on Komoot.

When was Stithians Dam built? 

It was officially opened on 19th July 1962.

Should I book the campsite in advance? 

Yes, Stithians is quite isolated so it’s a good idea to book in advance. If you are visiting in the summer, it’s best to book a few weeks before arrival to guarantee that you can get your preferred pitch type.

You can book directly on the South West Lakes website. Book direct for best prices.

You can also book onsite activities in advance here – although we’ve always booked them while at the campsite and not had a problem. 

Who are South West Lakes Trust? 

South West Lakes Trust is the guardian of a few lakes across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. 

Nearby sites include Tamar Lakes, Siblyback Lake and Colliford Lake. 

Some lakes and reservoirs are just for walking around, whereas others, like Wimbleball Lake and Roadford Lake, have more facilities. 

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