If you ever fancy a weekend or some time away with your family to escape the humdrum and noise of city life, then a relaxing yurt holiday nestled within the beautiful Somerset countryside might be just the ticket.
Sitting at the foot of the Quantock Hills, Somerset Yurts is situated on green farmland and is easily accessible to families from the south-west.
There, families have the chance to switch off, get back to nature and enjoy the simple life: good clean air, big skies, countryside walks, plus peaceful evenings spent watching the sun set over the nearby woods sitting around the campfire toasting marshmallows and enjoying a glass of wine!
Children can also run free and play in the acres of green space surrounding them, plus enjoy time at the farm and play on the straw bales and watching the cows being milked.
The yurts themselves are cosy and warm and are all complete with double beds and double futons and woodburners. There is an excellent on-site Facilities Barn with kitchen and bathroom facilities, including power showers!
If this sounds like the ideal family holiday or weekend away, do read on to find out more from Mark Cavill who, along with his wife Emma, runs Somerset Yurts…
Hi Mark, please tell me a bit about you, your family and Somerset Yurts.
Hello, so Somerset Yurts is run by my wife Emma and myself, with occasional “help” from our 3 boys, Will, Tommy and Oscar (8, 6, and 3).
Emma and I met at college in Taunton, and then moved away from the area, living and working around Reading and London for about 12 years after University.
In 2010 we decided to leave our corporate jobs and move back to Somerset and take on the family farm, and start a family of our own.
We were looking for diversification ideas for the farm, and stumbled upon Yurts. We bought one and set it up in the garden at the Farm to test, and found we really loved them.
It was so relaxing to stay in when we came back from Reading at the weekend: a glass of wine, and the woodburner going, was a world away from the traffic and stresses of the week!
We were certain that other people would love escaping to the countryside for a relaxing yurt holiday so we launched Somerset Yurts in 2011 and it’s been a great fun business to run alongside the dairy herd here at the farm.
Your farm sounds amazing, please tell me more!
The farm is just under 250 acres. We run a dairy herd and sell our milk to the company that makes the Somerset Brie you see in the supermarkets. Our herd is approximately 150 cows who spend the majority of the year out grazing grass around the farm.
My Grandfather took on the tenancy of the farm back in the 1950’s so as a family we’ve been here for the best part of 70 years.
We’re really lucky to have the opportunity to farm here, it’s a beautiful location at the foot of the Quantock Hills, but easily accessible being about 15 minutes from the M5 / Taunton.
What activities can children enjoy when staying at your farm?
Children love the open space of the Yurt field, running free and playing games, really getting back to nature and switching off from the devices. We provide a few games, colouring books etc, but it’s great seeing them exploring the Yurt field and making up their own games.
The barn next to the Yurt site usually has some straw bales for children to jump around on. We’ve even had children using them as an impromptu stage and putting on a small play for their parents!
We’ve got a campfire area here so there’s great fun to be had around the campfire with marshmallows etc….supervised of course!
Whenever possible we also like to show people the farm. Depending on the time of year they can meet some calves and see the milking process. Children love seeing the cows and I always get lots of great questions about how the milk is made, and what happens to it.
Please tell me more about your yurts.
We’ve got five Yurts, a Geodesic Dome and 2 Safari Lodges. Four of the Yurts are authentic Mongolian Yurts – they have beautifully painted woodwork and felt lining and are really special inside.
The fifth Yurt is a UK made one which we really fell in love with. It’s different to the Mongolian ones, but equally spacious, warm and enchanting. We recently stayed in it with our family to test it out..and can confirm it’s lovely.
The Safari Lodges went up in 2018 so it’s our first full season with them. They’re really spacious, with their own kitchen and bathroom so you are fully self-contained and there are wonderful views out over the valley from the deck outside.
How comfortable are they?
They’re really comfy. They all have double beds and double futons, table and chairs and a few other pieces of furniture to make your stay comfortable.
You will find a woodburner in each to keep you nice and warm, and a regular electric supply for a bedside light, and to keep essential items charged!
Supporting the Yurts is our facilities barn. There’s a regular kitchen set up there with oven, microwave, kettle, fridges, pots, pans, cutlery and tables and chairs in case the weather isn’t playing nice. It also houses proper flushing loos and lovely power showers 🙂
In your opinion, what’s the very best thing about staying in a yurt?
When we first got the Yurts, we found there’s something really special staying in the circle structure of a Yurt when you’re used to square rooms!
As mentioned above, a glass of wine, the woodburner, and the peace up here really provide a great place to relax and switch off. Watching the sun set over the nearby woods while sitting around the campfire is pretty special too 🙂
What is the surrounding area like and what can families do there?
There are lots of options locally – and of course it depends on the sort of thing you’re looking at doing.
We’ve got Hestercombe Gardens, Fyne Court, and the West Somerset Railway all within about 15-20 minutes drive.
We’ve written about our visits to each of those on our site:
The North and South coasts are both about 40 minutes away if you’re looking to get to the beach.
We recently went fossil hunting at Kilve beach, and took the boys to Dunster Castle which were both fun days out.
Many families simply enjoy the freedom and privacy on offer at the yurts themselves; the site is spread over two fields and is about 3 acres in total so there’s lots of space. Children can happily play and entertain themselves playing football on the mown area of grass, going on scavenger hunts, or playing make believe games under the shelter of our living willow dome.
The Quantock Hills, (the first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Britain!) are really fantastic to explore, with Cothlestone Hill only around a 15 minute drive from the yurts, with amazing views, and often Exmoor ponies to spot!
We have plenty of OS maps in the barn for you to borrow if you do fancy a day out exploring our beautiful Somerset countryside.
There’s also more themed parks easily accessible – feel free to call for other ideas!
How can Bristol Mum readers find out more about Somerset Yurts?
I guess the easiest thing to suggest would be to visit our website www.somersetyurts.co.uk – any questions we’d love to hear from you – my number is 07811 350176 and we’re on all the usual social media sites as well.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
If you’re not yet ready to come down and stay with us, visit the Somerset Yurts website and sign up to our newsletter, there’s a form near the bottom right of the home page to sign up.
We send out updates about once a month, including our late availability deals and offers (and of course you can unsubscribe at anytime) so it’s an easy way to keep in touch – we hope to see you here soon 🙂
For more information about Somerset Yurts, please visit http://www.somersetyurts.co.uk/.
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