The Yurt Retreat could probably bag the award for best location of any British glamping site. Tucked around the edge of a woodland, below an ancient hill fort on the border of Somerset and Devon’s rolling countryside and Dorset’s spectacular Jurassic coastline, it’s a location that’s so peaceful it’s almost impossible not to slip into a slower pace of life as soon as you've arrived (not least for the fact there’s not a bar of WiFi or mobile signal to connect you to the outside world).
Remote setting aside, The Yurt Retreat is anything but basic. There are four luxury Mongolian-style yurts, each of which is made from hand-sculpted wood and styled completely differently with handmade and vintage furniture. Forget airbeds and sleeping bags here, Cedar, Hazel, Larch and Willow come with sink-into handmade double beds and sofa beds, if you’re sleeping four. Wood-burners provide a focal point in the yurt and warm you up nicely on chillier evenings. Best of all, though, you get your own private bathroom. There are also two expansive shepherds’ huts available for rent, both of which have access to a large, fully-equipped farmhouse kitchen (with all the cutlery and crockery you need, as well as an oven and hobs) and a luxury double solar shower and lounge.
If that’s all a bit rural, and you’re in need of a gastro pub or two, then nearby town Crewkerne is only two miles away, with the Lord Poullet Arms being just a short walk across a field. Upping the glamour stakes a little (it's well worth making a note to pack more than just your wellies) is Mark Hix’s Oyster and Fish House, Wild Garlic and the River Cottage just down the road.
- Getting away from it all – if only for the weekend
- The Yurt Retreat is an adults-only campsite – no kids allowed
- The range of fabulous places to eat nearby
- You might feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, but it's actually just off A30 and A303 so it’s very accessible
- Twitter addicts beware - you can only pick up very sketchy mobile signal
- You can’t buy food on site
Need to Know: The Yurt Retreat
Number of rooms: Four yurts (sleeping four in each) and two oversized shepherds’ huts with kitchens and bathrooms (sleeping two in each).
Check-in/check-out times: 3pm and 10am (or 11am on Sundays)
Room service: No
Swimming pool: No
Dogs welcome: No
Eating and drinking: It’s only self-catering, but in a very luxurious sense. Each of the yurts has a barbecue and there's a large, communal area with an Alice in Wonderland-style oversized table seating about 20 people.
Near to? The Yurt Retreat is perfectly situated to explore some fantastic countryside, being the gateway to the stunning Jurassic Coast which has been granted World Heritage status (it’s not hard to see why). It's also just half an hour’s drive from Bridport, with its independent cinema, Art Centre and Literary Festival. For thrill-seekers there’s a Go Ape Treetop Adventure Centre in Exeter and watersports opportunities in Weymouth, both of which are about an hour away.
Getting there: The nearest station is Crewkerne, an hour's train ride from Exeter St David's and a two-and-a-half hour ride from London Waterloo with South West Trains (Southwesttrains.co.uk). There are also direct trains from Salisbury and Exeter and there are usually plenty of taxis on arrival. It’s an hour-and-a-half journey by car from Bristol or Bath.