“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees and people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”” Sylvia Plath
The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Hidden Valley Yurts, was how peaceful, lush and green my surroundings were. I was a world away from the rat race, my mind felt at ease and the weight on my shoulders was lifted. Mike (the owner of Hidden Valley Yurts), met us in the car park, we jumped into his mini truck and proceeded on an exhilarating truck ride down to our home for the next 3 days. I’d never experienced glamping before, so whilst I wasn’t sure what to expect, I was ready for whatever adventures lay ahead.
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When we stepped into the Yurt my first impression was how beautiful the furnishings are and how spacious it was. Which is ideal if you’re like me and don’t comprehend the true meaning of packing light. There were plenty of nooks and crannies to store away all the items I just had to bring.
Being warm and cosy is right at the top of my ‘must have’ list when I’m planning a trip away from home. Each yurt is heated by a log burner if the weather calls for it. And a delightful addition of the yurts are colourful ponchos. Ponchos might not be for everyone, but we remained toasty whilst wearing ours and whilst the fire established itself.
When it comes to light, I’d recommend bringing a torch or head torch, but if you forget, fear not there’s a torch in each yurt. The natural light comes in from the viewing point at the peak of the yurt. During the evening’s we sat sharing stories and laughter, with the twinkle of the fairy lights and the warm glow of the lanterns.
If you’re a fan of privacy, Yurt 1 offers its own kitchen and toilet’s, plus each yurt has a glorious outdoor decking area with added extras such as a chimenea, built in BBQ and wood store. The yurts sleep between 5 and 7 people with plenty of space to spare. Yurt 2 became my temporary residence with 3 other ladies and it stole a little piece of my heart.
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Once we’d dropped off our bags and taken in our new surroundings, I headed off to the kitchen area as I was in desperate need of tea. I had prepared myself for limited mod cons, but my eyes lit up at the sight of a coffee machine, microwave, fridge freezers and a couple of ovens plus plenty of preparation space.
Each Yurt is allocated a cupboard and ample fridge/freezer storage, don’t worry if you’re trying to pack light or have a long journey, Tesco can deliver directly to you. Forgotten to pick eggs up whilst shopping, don’t worry. The lovely hen’s at Hidden Valley Hurts lay fresh eggs daily for visitors to enjoy and there’s plenty of local businesses who can provide various dairy delights such as cheese and ice-cream.
It is with regret that I didn’t get the chance to use the Pizza oven, bake my own bread or enjoy a BBQ around the huge campfire – Although, I’m very confident it’s an experience that would leave me on cloud 9.
“Nature is not a place to visit. It is called home” – Gary Snyder
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As Hidden Valley Yurts is located in 80 acres of forestry, there was no excuse not to get outside and explore the forestal area, meet the highland cows and enjoy the fresh air. Mike the owner of Hidden Valley Yurts was on hand to give us a tour of the area, enabling us to discover secret campfires in the middle of nowhere and familiarise ourselves with our surroundings.
If you’re visiting with children, they could easily spend days exploring, building dens, following the streams and playing hide and seek in the woodlands. There’s no WiFi, which is a good thing as it encourages us to take the time to talk, read, walk and focus on being a touch more mindful. Fear not, there is signal and some 3G for those that need to keep a connection with the outside world.
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During our stay, we were very fortunate to be given a sneak preview of ‘The Lake House‘ which is the ideal property if you like the idea of visiting the are but want the creature comforts of a staying in a house. Offering amenities such as a TV, WiFi and complete privacy. The Lake House offers a more luxurious feel with soft, stylish furnishings, a beautifully laid out kitchen, two bathrooms and the ability to sleep up to 6 people. Not forgetting, the added bonus of a stunning decking area with your very own lakeside view, including sun loungers, seating and a BBQ.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re anything like me, you need a whole array of little questions answering before you start your trip and fortunately most of these are answered here. The Wye Valley has a huge amount of activities on offer, from long walks, canoeing, gorge walking, scrambling and historical buildings to explore, you can find a whole list here.
Questions I’ve been asked include:
*Where you cold? – No, once we got the fire going the yurt remained at a nice temperature, I don’t think the fire would be needed as frequently during the summer months.
*Are there showers and toilets? – Yes, there’s two showers and a bath, with very hot water and two standard toilets and two composting toilets.
*Can you get phone signal? – I’m on the 3 network and I was able to connect to 3G and make calls/send texts.
*Is it crowded? – No, there are only 5 yurts and this means you’ll have plenty of personal space without the feel of being on an overrun camping site.
There’s something about sleeping in a Yurt that I’ll never forget, its rounded curves brought us together, whilst the open view of the sky reminds us to keep looking up at the stars.
Have you ever gone glamping before? Or is this something you would consider?