“Come on, come on! That’s it, do it, keep going, c’mon baby. Just. A bit. More.”
That’s pretty much how our Glamping trip started. He* wasn’t talking to me – he was talking to our new beloved ‘Gracie’, a duck egg blue VW camper van. Why, what were you thinking?
Anyway… our VDub for the weekend was seriously nifty. I LOVED her. If I can scrape together a spare £35K (hmmm), it would be money well spent on actually buying one of these cruising queens.
Guy had had a pretty rocky start to his relationship with Gracie. A few hours on the motorway going at 50mph had got him riled somewhat and, by the time he picked me up for the adventure, he was talking to the van like an old lady does to cats. Or my Mother to herself.
So off we pootled out of Leeds and headed north. But where were we going? You see, I had no idea what the weekend ahead held. It was Valentine’s weekend and I was just told to ‘be prepared’. Good job I was a Girl Guide in my childhood. After squealing in delight at seeing Gracie, all I could do now was wait…
An hour later and we were in total darkness in the middle of woodland. Gracie’s tyres crunched carefully along the bumpy country path and at this point I thought he’d just decided on a random spot to park for the night. Well, it was a campervan – so you could pull out a double bed and there were cushions, blankets, a cooker – it really was a marvel! But then I caught a glimpse of light. We weren’t alone? Guy flashed me a cheeky smile – one that says, ‘ha ha you still don’t know what we’re doin’ do ya?’. Erm, no.
A really friendly couple and their kids, even the dog, came out to greet us. They shook our hands and were making pleasantries and I just grinned inanely back, thinking who are these people? But then, I’ve got it, I thought – we’re going camping. There was a field next to us and they must be the campsite owners. Aha!
Only, we weren’t quite going camping. I don’t think it can be classed as camping when there’s a double bed, a love seat and a table and chairs in the tent. This is the glamorous version of camping – glamping. Geddit? Now this is how to do the outdoors. After making the careful trip across the farm in the dark, the cheerful couple proudly presented our circular, trellis-walled lodging.
Our abode for the weekend was a Yurt. Even though many people say ‘what on earth’s a Yurt?’ when I tell them about this weekend, yurts have actually been around for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, deriving from central Asia (the word ‘yurt’ itself has Russian roots). They’ve survived the ages because they’re portable, which I’m sure was fairly useful for the nomadic herders on horseback, and they’re easy to set up. So the site owners told us anyway. I’m personally painful to watch when trying to construct anything, apparently.
Flickering candles were dotted around giving it a honey glow and there was a wood burning stove to keep us toasty. We cosied up in our own little warm world, each wearing a head lamp so we could read. What a sight we must have looked, but boys, this kind of together time will earn you serious brownie points with the ladyfolk!
The site owners even offer to bring you your evening meal. Yes please! We filled our boots with home cooked steak pie with creamy mash potato, veg and real proper gravy followed by a huge apple pie and custard. Nom nom.
It was so quiet; peaceful, tranquil. So much that we fell into the deepest sleep, our bellies full, under thick layers of duvet and a sheepskin throw.
The thin layer of transparent material at the top of the yurt was our gentle alarm clock, nudging us awake and letting us know it was morning. I opened one eye and saw my breath. But I was still snug and warm, just my nose felt like ice. Being the gentleman he is, or the little kid who likes to make fire, Guy got up to get the wood burner going. I pulled on my wellies and opened our hobbit sized door to a stunning morning to fetch the brews.
With the Yurt warming up and a cuppa char in hand, we sat happily drinking in the morning sun. It’s incredible how a little farm in North Yorkshire can make you feel totally new and ready to take on the world. I didn’t think the day could get off to a better start. But then I saw the farmer coming towards us, his playful pooch bounding ahead of him, with two huge plates of Full English. Now that’s food for the soul.
*This adventure involves my intrepidatious partner in crime, Guy. Don’t want to keep writing ‘my boyfriend’, because that gets tedious and sounds naff on repeat.
Want to go on this adventure too?
- We cruised around in a retro VW camper van, hired from snailtrail.co.uk
- We glamped it up with York Yurts – yorkyurts.com