Somerset Yurts, Somerset
Somerset Yurts, Hill Farm, West Monkton, Taunton, Somerset
We asked Karen to go camping with a difference:
I have to confess I am not a camper; it conjures up my worst feelings, cold, damp and generally pretty uncomfortable! So would camping disguised as "Glamping" convert me? Well actually I could end this review here with a very emphatic yes!
Somerset Yurts have succeeded in creating a very glamorous camping experience. Located on a working farm overlooking the rolling hills of Somerset, this is one of those places that just feels a little bit special from the moment you arrive.
Full time farmer and owner of the Yurts, Mark, greets you on arrival with the kind of warm welcome that makes you feel like you are joining family friends. He showed us round the facilities, communal kitchen, shower rooms, and sitting room and talked us through the cooking equipment at the Yurt; BBQ and Gas Stove. All great and providing everything that you could need to enjoy camping in civilised style.
The magic moment came when we stepped inside, this really was a big WOW; the yurts are breath taking and beautiful in a romantic Gypsy caravan style. Unbelievably spacious, the interiors are stylish in a Cath Kidston meets authentic ethnic combo that just works perfectly.
Despite visiting in the middle of July the weather was cold, wet and blowy, (worst possible camping conditions) but in minutes the wood fire was burning and the Yurt was transformed into a cosy haven, absolutely glorious.
Space is another feature that surprises with the Yurts, a double bed is complimented by a double futon and there is ample space for a family of four. Add to this a good sized table and four folding chairs and you start to get a feel for the internal space. Lighting is provided by one electric and one wind up lamp, more than enough to create a cosy atmosphere. A plastic box stores crockery and cutlery and can be used to carry your dishes to the central kitchen for washing up, such a good idea. There is a small stock of tea, coffee and sugar which is ample for a short stay.
At this point I will confess I did not crack out the BBQ but we did dine on the outside decking on the thoughtfully provided deckchairs with a gentle glow from the hurricane lamps, it was absolutely idyllic. Board games filled in the evening before retiring to bed for a little bit of chatter and some quiet reading. Just in case you need it solar lighting guides you to the "facilities" for night time visits.
So to bed, the rain beating down by this time only added to the sense that you were somewhere very special, the wood burner continued to keep the atmosphere cosy and the many layers in the traditional Mongolian Yurt design kept the rain and wind at bay. So much so that I had the best night sleep I have had in a long while, perfect!
The next day brought more rain and wind but the wood burner soon got going again and the cosy feel was back in place, we boiled a kettle on the top, enjoyed warmed pain au chocolat and waited for the rain to stop. Once the weather was dry we took a trip to the showers, fantastic power and wonderfully warm and kept in tip top condition, this did not feel like a communal camping experience at all.
One thing to bear in mind is that this is a working farm. Mark is very happy to offer guided tours and show you his routines for milking but young children should be kept under a watchful eye, it is great fun for them to have the chance to be this close to the animals and have the freedom to run around but don't take your eyes off them! How amazing though for our little ones to have the chance to see a farm and its inhabitants up so close and personal, this alone can create some special memories.
So when it came to the time to leave did I enjoy my "glamping" experience? Yes I really did, I left this perfect little spot reluctantly. Mark and Emma have thoughtfully provided everything you need to make this experience comfortable, easy and relaxing, the location is beautiful and the yurts, well, just absolutely magical. I would go back in a heartbeat!
Things to make your visit easy, if you need supplies go to Sainsburys just off junction 25 before arriving at the Yurts, this saves you going back later. Local village pubs are good; Mark can recommend some great options. Walks, you are in the countryside and there are some great walks all around, grab a map and off you go! If you are staying for a few days there is lots to explore nearby for all ages. Finally who would I recommend the yurts too, well that is easy I have told anyone that will listen about them. This is a great place for friends to get together, take all 4 Yurts and enjoy a really relaxed weekend where everyone just mucks in and the children can play in a good old fashioned way. For couples there could not be a better alternative romantic getaway, and for those that just like the great outdoors, it does not come any more amazing than this.