Yurt and tipi camps have been springing up all over Britain. They range from a single canvas structure pitched in a farmer's spare field to multi-tent sites spread over tracts of woodland and with all the activities and facilities you'd expect at a modern campsite. Here are our top ten favourites.
Larkhill Tipis, West Wales
A wind- and solar-powered yurt and tipi camp on a smallholding in Carmarthenshire (and pictured above). Three tall tipis, each with several futons around a central wood fire, are positioned in their own landscaped terraced area surrounded by a wild-flower meadow, while two mushroom-shaped canvas yurts – made from local ash and oak – are tucked away in woodland. There’s also a solar-powered log cabin for hot showers.
Tipis open from April to October; yurts closed in February and March only. For more on prices, availability and the surrounding area see www.larkhilltipisandyurts.co.uk.
Full Circle Yurts, Lake District
Three Mongolian yurts in the beautiful grounds of Rydal Hall, a historic house between Grasmere and Ambleside. The yurts are made by a Mongolian yurt-maker in Ulan Bator and have been shipped to the UK by the owners. Each yurt has a wood stove, a gas cooker, a bookcase and several beds (double and single pull-out mattresses on wooden stacks) around the perimeter. The estate also manages its own campsite on the grounds and guests have access to all the usual amenities, such as a shower block and dishwashing facilities which draw on the local spring water.
For further info on the yurts, location and rates see www.lake-district-yurts.co.uk.
Cornish Yurt Holidays
Two handmade, stylish yurts tucked among oak and hawthorn trees on the western edge of Bodmin Moor. The camp has no electricity, but a wood-burning stove in each yurt provides lots of heat and there are lanterns to help you find your way around the futons and huge floppy cushions. There’s a small compost toilet yurt and a cosy bathroom yurt, where you can soak in a roll-top bath by the heat of a crackling wood fire under the night sky.
Open March to October. Campcraft courses available for children in summer school holidays. For more info, including prices and availability, see www.yurtworks.co.uk.
Barefoot Yurts, Sussex
Two modern Mongolian yurts (accommodating one group between them) at the edge of woodland near Rye in the Sussex countryside. One has an ornate handmade oak bed and wood-burner, while the other is the sitting room, with a large table, sofa and a central stove. Next door is a log cabin with a shower and a fully equipped kitchen, which has a cooker, barbecue, fridge, sink and running water. The owners provide home-grown fruit and veg, and you can order a box of local dairy products.
For bookings, rates, directions and local attractions see www.barefoot-yurts.co.uk.
Swedish Kata tipis, geodesic domes and tunnel tents (all pitched on elevated decks) at a modern campsite near Cardigan Bay. See www.coldatnight.co.uk.
Cornwall Tipi Holidays
Britain’s first and biggest tipi camp: forty North American tipis scattered throughout a wooded valley near Port Isaac on Cornwall’s north coast. See www.cornishtipiholidays.co.uk.
Orchard Acre Farm, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
A single 6m tipi on a small farmholding near Lower Lough Erne. Organic hampers can be ordered. See www.orchardacrefarm.com.
Tamar Village Tipis, Devon
Three tipis on a working farm overlooking the Tamar Valley, decorated with traditional Native American artwork. See www.cartwheelholidays.co.uk/property/tamar-valley-tipis/.
Ardfern Tipis, Scotland
Three tipis on a hill by Loch Craignish on the west coast. See www.ardferntipis.co.uk.
Yurt Village, Dorset
Six Mongolian yurts (with double and single futons) in woodland, 1.5km from a beach. See www.yurtvillage.co.uk..