6 of the best… Yurts and Bell Tents

For the ultimate in camping (or rather ‘glamping’) choose one of these luxury yurts and bell tents for a memorable night under canvas…

Lake Yurt, Poundsgate, Devon

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Perched on the edge of a small lake, surrounded by woodland, sits this pretty and traditional Mongolian yurt. Perfect for couples or a family, it can sleep up to 5 (it has a double bed and futon). The yurt comes with a well-equipped kitchen, woodburner and cosy interiors to keep you warm, plus laterns and candles for romantic lighting (there’s no electricity). The site contains one other yurt but you’re guaranteed privacy and a peaceful stay. Dartmoor National Park is close-by for walking, horse-riding, and cycling.

Bath Bell Tents, Timsbury, Somerset

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This is the bell tent that comes to you! The owners will pitch up the tent at the location of your choice within one hour from Bath. The luxury tent comes fully equipped with everything you need for a unique stay including comfy airbeds, bedding, rugs, throws, cushions, solar-powered lights and a lovely tealight chandelier. If there’s a large group of you, you can book the full four sleeping tents and create your own bell tent camp!

Bluebell Yurt, Goonhavern, Cornwall

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This cute little yurt has been lovingly furnished with beautiful rustic wooden furniture, a well-stocked cupboard and fridge, plus flat screen TV. Enjoy breakfast or warm evenings sitting on your private decking area complete with barbeque, or stroll around the camp which boasts an outdoor heated swimming pool, garden and children’s play area. The ‘Woodshed’ contains the camp’s communal kitchen, washing machines and shower facilities. Sleeps up to 4 in a double bed plus two single futons.

Coracle Yurt, Lyme Regis, Dorset

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This special yurt, set within its own private woodland clearing, is for couples or singles only (no kids allowed in this one!). Complete with double bed, luxury bedding, electric blanket, log-burning stove, heated towel rail, reindeer skins and electricity sockets (if you really can’t do without your phone or tablet). The Coracle Yurt, by Crafty Camping, also has its own private decking area with hammock, barbeque and outdoor seating/dining area. Apparently the piping hot tree showers are something to be experienced, particularly in the rain! Try one of the wood craft courses run by Crafty Camping, go trout fishing or explore the Jussaric Coast. This area is also a foodie’s dream with River Cottage Canteen and the Mark Hix Restaurant in the nearby area.

The Wren’s Nest at The Fire Pit, Dereham, Norfolk

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Not technically a yurt or bell tent, this is a ‘bender tent’, beautifully handmade using locally harvested hazel branches. Ignore the unassuming exterior because this really does provide the ‘wow factor’ once you step inside, including an unexpected mezzanine level! With cosy seating and woodburning fire, this two-storey tent sleeps 6-8 people in its double bed, single bed, pull-out sofa bed and triple bunk bed. Extra pitches around the tent can be booked if you want to create your own mini festival. A barbeque, communal fire pit, hot water facilities, natural play area and double decker bus (yes, really) complete the unique experience. A gourmet coffee bar is promised for this year…

Acacia Yurt, Axebridge, Somerset

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This Moroccan-style yurt is glamorously decorated with throws, wall-hangings, cushions and rugs. The yurt comes complete with a log-burning stove, seating/dining area, a double bed and two sofa beds (it sleeps up to four), and all cooking equipment and crockery etc to prepare simple meals on your camping stove or on the outside barbeque. Sip your morning coffee outside your yurt and enjoy the view over Cheddar Gorge, or huddle around the campfire at night sampling the local cider and produce from the neighbouring farm shop.

For the latest prices, availability and booking, click on the hyperlinks or search via www.holidaylettings.co.uk


Brunch at The Toucan Cafe, Minehead, Somerset

Before heading back home from a lovely week in a rural farmhouse in Somerset, a quick pit-stop at nearby Minehead uncovered this Toucan mural, The Toucan Cafegem – The Toucan Cafe, the perfect place for a healthy and hearty brunch.

Located on the main high street and upstairs from the accompanying Toucan Wholefoods health store, The Toucan Cafe serves an entirely vegetarian menu. The bright, colourful (handpainted bird murals are everywhere) cafe is spread over three small, but very light and airy, rooms so you should be able to grab a seat (if not, they are good at takeaways). When Goodtrippers visited on a Friday morning, the place was buzzing with locals, many of whom appeared to be regulars.

Organic and healthy food

We ate a delicious (and incredibly filling!) falafel sandwich with hummous and chilli sauce, served with a much more interesting salad than your average obligatory garnish (mixed leaves and homemade dressing came to life with the addition of sprouting seeds and pumpkin seeds). Also on the table, a ‘full English’ breakfast vegetarian style served with wholesome chunks of their lovely granary bread. This is filling stuff (in a good way!) which rather put paid to our plans to buy lots of foodie goodies from the nearby farmers’ market to eat on the way home (we did that anyway, just not eating it until the next day!).

Parrot mural, The Toucan CafeThe rest of the lengthy menu includes a range of organic veggie snacks and treats – homemade soup of the day, gluten-free savoury muffins, mezze plates, superfood salads, toasted paninis and sandwiches called things like ‘The Bugs Bunny’ (grated carrot, alfalfa sprouts and more if you’re wondering), and their own McToucan Burger (vegetarian, of course). Drinks include a good range of coffees (including flat whites), herbal teas, fresh smoothies and other soft drinks. There is also an extensive range of homemade cakes and other sweet treats – it would make a lovely afternoon tea spot.

If you’ve already stocked up on health foods and natural skin care products downstairs in the shop, there’s always the Toucan therapy rooms on the second floor ready to take your bookings for massage, Reiki and reflexology (although perhaps not immediately after brunch….!).

The Toucan Cafe is open 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. Tel: 01643 706101, E: enquiries@toucanwholefoods.co.uk

‘Good’ credentials:

  • 100% vegetarian menu
  • Organic, wholefoods
  • Fairtrade coffee
  • Health food shop downstairs
  • Complementary therapy rooms upstairs

Toucan Wholefoods outside

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