“Go glamping in quirky lodges and yurts (self-catering; each sleeps 2-7) in the Yorkshire Dales, complete with a café serving homespun fare”
Sleeping up to 7 people each, the timber-clad Tree Lodges are set on the edge of a dense pinewood, a 10-minute walk from the farmhouse. Each has a veranda, shabby-chic furnishings and a slate-tiled bathroom with a shower. The beds are arranged in 3 tiers, accessed by a ladder: a double on the upper level, set under a sloping roof with a sky-light, 3 single mattresses on the middle level (ideal for kids), and another ‘secret’ double underneath with a curtain for privacy. The main living area has a table, benches, seating and a sink. There’s no electricity, but candles are provided. The wood-burner doubles as a stove, as well as providing hot water for the shower. It’s all very cosy and, thanks to the surrounding trees, very private.
Set in a field a little nearer to the farmhouse, the Mongolian-inspired Meadow Yurts (open April-October) sleep up to 5. They're timber-framed and canvas-clad, erected on wooden platforms with small verandas. Inside they’re open-plan, with a chunky wooden double bed and 2 singles that pull out from underneath it (plus the option of an additional bed if needed). There are colourful rugs, a giant bean bag and a wood-burner providing heating and basic cooking facilities. There’s also a sink with cold running water, but no bathroom; instead, yurt residents use shared shower facilities (spotlessly clean, with underfloor heating) in a building across the field.
Within the farmhouse itself is the Bunk Barn, a large space with wooden bunk beds sleeping 12. There's a tea- and coffee-making corner with a sink and kettle; shared shower facilities are downstairs. It’s ideal for hikers seeking a 1-night stopover (you can book individual beds), and can also be hired for kids’ sleepover parties or groups.
The Café/Bar occupies a beautifully restored stone barn with a pitched roof and exposed wooden beams. The main area has wooden tables, mismatched chairs and subtle lighting. This is overlooked by a mezzanine, where you’ll find a wood-burning stove and a piano. There’s also a kids’ play area, and double doors open onto a stone terrace with tables and lovely views.
For breakfast (8-10am), there are light options like 'Jam Jar' Yorkshire yoghurt with granola and Berries as well as hearty bacon, sausage or egg sandwiches served with tea, coffee or fruit juice.
The lunch menu (12noon onwards) includes light bites such as sandwiches, ploughman's boards and soups. Vegetarians are well catered for, and everything is made from local, free-range ingredients. There’s also a kids’ menu, plus yummy homemade cakes and locally-made Brymor ice creams. Dinner is sometimes served too, but it varies according season and days of the week.
Picnic boxes are available and you can pre-order a takeaway meals to eat in your yurt or lodge if you don't fancy cooking. The bar offers cocktails and local beers, including Black Sheep Brewery and Theakstons. During the summer months, Friday BBQ nights bring everyone together for a feast framed by stunning views and live music.
If you want to self-cater, choose a Tree Lodge or Meadow Yurt (not the Bunk Barn). The Tree Lodge's wood-burners have ranges, so you can cook food inside or on the top, and there’s also a calor-gas hotplate, a cold box (no fridge), and pots, pans and crockery. The Meadow Yurts are slightly more basic, with the stove working as a hotplate but not an oven. You can pick up supplies in Masham, 5 miles away.
This is the perfect place to escape with the kids, especially those who enjoy outdoor activities and nature. Children will no doubt relish the idea of running wild in the surrounding fields, and the unconventional sleeping arrangements will delight. There are lots of attractions nearby, and Swinton Bivouac runs regular children’s events covering everything from foraging to cake decorating.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
The Tree Lodges (private shower bathroom) accommodate up to 7 in 2 double beds and 3 singles, arranged in tiers and reached via a ladder. Each Meadow Yurt (shared shower block) sleeps up to 5 in a double bed, 2 pull-out single beds and an additional rollaway bed. Note that they are slightly more basic than the lodges, with minimal cooking facilities.
Exclusive use of the Bunk Barn is handy for large groups, as it can sleep up to 12.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The café has a kids’ menu, and hot meals are served from noon onwards (open Wednesday-Sunday only). Takeaway meals and picnics are available with 24 hours’ notice. The lodges and yurts have some facilities for self-catering.
The yurts and lodges are off-grid, with no electricity. Candles are provided, but it’s worth bringing torches. The ladders to the beds in the lodges may be difficult for very young children to negotiate