This post is brought to you by Suzanne of 3 children and it, who kindly offered to write about their recent Yurt camping trip.
For the first 8 years of motherhood, I managed to escape camping holidays. Why swap your perfectly good 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom, more than comfortable home, for a cramped, rather smelly, canvas hovel?
Then the guilt-factor took over, in that horrible sneaky way that only he (a masculine label seems appropriate in this instance) knows how. My poor deprived children (then 3, 6 and 8) had never slept even one night in the great outdoors. I was, of course, doing them a disservice by not introducing them to campsite life.
So instead of borrowing a tent, like any sensible parent would do, we took ourselves off to the local camping exhibition; returning home 2 hours later, the proud owners of 1 x 8-berth tent and all the trappings that go with this new outdoorsy lifestyle that we were so intent on embracing.
Fast forward 5 years, approximately a dozen camping trips (in all weathers) later, and we were just about ready to hang up our tent pegs, when the in-laws invited us to go camping on a yurt farm in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Although slightly reluctant, the idea had a certain appeal: wooden floors; cooking equipment; proper beds; even a log-burning stove! And of course, the kids would love it (the clincher in most of our decision-making). What could go wrong?
We picked Easter weekend 2013, reportedly the coldest Easter weekend on record, with temperatures dropping as low as -5 degrees c. Even with a wood-burning stove and a husband who responded well to 2-hourly prods throughout the night, to ‘pop another log on’, we were freezing. Words cannot adequately describe the bone-chilling temperatures that we experienced but putting all of that aside, I simply must tell you about this place because it really was rather fabulous…
After a beautiful drive through the Brecon Beacons, down some incredibly long, windy and seemingly never-ending roads, we eventually reached The Yurt Farm, situated approximately 8 miles from Tregaron, owned and run by Laurie and Thea.
The yurts were strategically placed around a large, very exposed field, forming part of the owner’s working farm. As well as the 5 fully-equipped yurts, there was a converted railway carriage for 2 people and a wooden cabin, available for all guests to relax in and prepare meals if they wanted to. The cabin also came in pretty handy as a place to warm up every now and again!
Right next to the cabin were 2 showers with hot running water (assuming the pipes haven’t frozen and you’re not averse to undressing in sub-zero temperatures!) and 2 natural toilets complete with sawdust, instead of a regular flush (think “I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here!” )
One thing we were right about: our kids absolutely loved it! The whole experience was such a contrast to our normal life back in the South of England, that they all embraced it, with gusto – even the soon-to-be 13 year old! There were chickens roaming the fields, beautiful walks right on the doorstep, handmade tree swings, sand pits and best of all: endless freedom to roam and ride bikes, well into the evening. The owners, Laurie and Thea were incredibly welcoming and on the first morning of our stay, took all the guests on a tour of the farm – the kids even got to bottle feed the lambs.
It wasn’t quite the luxurious ‘glamping’ experience that I was anticipating BUT, if you’re looking to escape from it all and engage with nature at its best, you cannot beat this place – truly stunning and an unforgettable experience, in more ways than one!