You would be hard pushed to find two people less suited to staying in the countryside than my husband and I. We both suffer from chronic hayfever and allergies, we have no suitable footwear, we do not own fleeces and are averse to Hunter wellies. However, this weekend, stay in the country we did.
Don't you worry though, we didn't slum it. In fact quite the reverse, we glamped! Glamping is the new camping apparently. In this case we stayed in a lovely "yurt" courtesy of Tom from Yurtshire who let us stay in one of his beautiful yurts for the night.
However, despite the luxury of our surroundings, we were no natural campers. However I can report that when my husband drove off in search of a shop that sold a lighter (to light the fire), I managed single handedly to light the fire pit and the BBQ in less than five minutes (he claimed the matches he used were "wet). We both had a go at chopping wood, I was hopeless at it, the axe getting stuck in the bloomin' wood. I was nervous about swinging the axe too hard and too high in case I chopped my toes off. We also learned that you must not chop wood when wearing sandals or tiny pieces of wood can become lodged in your toenail and it really hurts. Really.
The setting of the yurts was stunning, off a country lane in the idyllic village of Markington in North Yorkshire, there were three yurts in a field with a surprisingly lovely compost toilet (I never thought I would say those words together), an outdoor shower, a hot tub and some friendly swans swimming on a large pond.
The hot tub worked by putting wood (more chopping) into a burner (very scientific description coming up) and lighting a fire which in turn heated the bath water. We all tried it out and although it was a chilly evening (in June!), we were perfectly warm inside the bath, getting out was another story, but it was only a hop, skip and a jump back to the cosy yurt. There was also an amazingly warm outdoor shower with shelves for your shampoo etc made of wood nailed to a tree, very good idea. There is something very natural and lovely about showering and bathing outdoors which I am no stranger to, having lived in Japan in my youth. Back then I thought nothing of searching for outdoor hot springs and bathing in them, there is nothing better for calming frayed nerves.
|Wood fired hot tub - it worked really well!|
|Outdoor shower! Note the handy shelf!|
Inside the yurt itself there was an amazingly comfortable and luxurious double bed together with a double futon and single futon which converted into beds for the children. It was festooned with sheepskin rugs and cushions to give it a really cosy romantic feel. There was also a cooking area with hobs, cutlery and plates so you don't need to bring the kitchen sink and you feel that you are staying in something civilised.
I have learned a lot about what to bring (and what not to) when glamping, here is my list for next time:
1. Bring socks.
2. Bring matches.
3. Do not bring a light floaty dress.
4. Bring an umbrella.
5. Do not bring a bag of salad, you will never ever eat it.
6. If you bring stuff for the BBQ, actually watch it and do not let it become incinerated.
7. Bring baked potatoes but do not put them in the centre of the fire, this will cremate them and you will be hungry and cry.
8. Bring lots of chocolate.
9. Bring wine.
10. Bring a bottle opener.
You can tell from this list that we are inexperienced and naive campers, come 10pm and I was crying out for a cuppa soup. However when we got into bed the effect was magical, there was a burner in the centre of the yurt which you can light (we didn't as I was worried about little hands finding their way onto it!) in case it gets chilly, but actually with four of us in the yurt we were warm enough, especially beneath the cosy duvets. There are lanterns with tea lights which are fastened to the edge of the yurt all the way round the inside which was a nice touch. When we finally switched the light off we could hear owls twit-twoing and the odd cry from bats circling above.
The boys absolutely loved staying there and to them it was an amazing adventure, however I wish we had an iPad or something to distract them while we were cooking and lighting the fires as it was quite hard to stop them wanting to join in! We ran round the field looking at the different plants and animals and watching the swans sleeping, for urbanites like us it was a completely new experience, but allowed us to keep some of our home comforts.
|Back to nature|
I really recommend Yurtshire for families, couples, groups of friends, anyone really! I can't think of anyone they wouldn't appeal to. In some ways I think I would rather go with just my husband as it was quite a romantic setting but then I wouldn't want to deprive our sons of the experience of glamping. We will definitely be going glamping again soon, I just wish we had stayed longer!
|Champers, wood and a fire, what's not to like?|
I received no payment to write this post however I did stay in a yurt for the night free of charge with my family.