To yurt or not to yurt?
Fancy an offgrid, digital detox? Like the idea of sleeping under the stars and switching off from Instagram? Country Bumpkin Yurts could be the place for you.
What do you get when you take an empty field and plonk, three mahooosive yurts there? A pretty fun and fab glamping experience that’s what.
If you don’t like the hassle of pitching up a tent and wriggling in and out of sleeping bags (me, me, me) but do like the idea of sleeping under the stars, loo no further than Country Bumpkin Yurts.
The glamping site is based on a Waterloo Cottage Farm in Great Oxendon – a few minutes drive from the centre of Market Harborough. There are just three round tents on the site leaving plenty of room for outdoor activities (bring some with you) handy if you want to wear the kids out.
Each yurt is based on a wooden platform, covered with canvas on the outside and thick sheep’s wool on the inside. Inside you’ll find a log burner, shabby chic furnishings and cosy beds. There’s also a wood-burning hot tub which anyone staying on site can use.
Our hosts were Jen and Lara – two friends who have known each other since they were four. Jen loves glamping and Lara always loved the idea of opening up a cafe so, in 2017 Country Bumpkin Yurts was born.
I’m a complete novice when it comes to glamping, but what I loved was their passion to keep things as eco-friendly as possible. Heating in the ‘eco-yurts’ is from a wood burning furnace for when the temperature starts to dip, the outdoor hot tub is wood-fuelled (all the wood is sourced responsibly). Two shower rooms come with modern compost toilets added to minimise the environmental impact and lighting in the yurts is solar powered. Even the furniture is up cycled and reclaimed.
We were staying in the Nutkin Yurt which comfortably slept the four of us and we still had enough room for the kids to play. We had to reschedule our initial stay because of high winds and torrential rain and this time we ended up with the exact opposite – sweltering heat over the August bank holiday. Inside our yurt, it felt like it was 100 degrees and Mr Muddy had his doubts about staying over in the heat, but the kids were completely unfazed. I, on the other hand, was slowly melting away in the corner.
The yurt was beautifully decorated and really welcoming with fresh flowers, candles and bunting hanging up around the yurt but if you’re taller than 5 foot, just remember to hunch when you walk inside as there’s not enough head-height.
The glamping site has access to a shared kitchen that comes with the basic appliances – kettle, toaster, a 2-ring hob, a fridge and microwave as well as pans, crockery and cutlery (all included in your stay) as well as a BBQ so alfresco eating is a great option here as there’s also plenty of dining space outside your yurt.
Our spacious yurt could comfortably sleep 6 people – for us, it was made up with a double, two singles and we still had enough room for a travel cot. The bed was super comfortable as were the plush pillows, the duvet was incredibly soft and luckily for us, not too thick in the heat.
Plus, there’s no wi-fi in the yurts or electrical points so you can completely switch off from social media too. Bliss!
Just on the doorstep (literally) is Waterloo Cottage Farm Shop. It’s open from Wednesday through to Sunday and you can pick up everything from bread, cake, booze, ice cream, cheese as well as a range of meat all ethically sourced and straight from the farm (apart from the chicken) handy if you want to throw something on the BBQ. The shop shuts around 4pm so make sure you pop in before closing to stock up.
The Canvas Cafe is open six days a week and serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea. There’s a great selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes and they work hard to minimise their carbon footprint so most of the produce comes directly from the farm or local small producers.
Jen and Lara can also arrange little extras such as breakfast hampers and afternoon tea delivered directly to your yurt.
If you’d prefer to eat out, stylish pub/restaurant, The George is literally down the road – less than 400 ft to be exact and serves excellent seasonal fare or you can always head into Market Harborough.
OUT AND ABOUT
You can take advantage of the wood-fired hot tub and play garden games till you’re exhausted or venture into the beautiful town of Market Harborough. If you’ve not quite had enough of the outdoors, head to Wistow Maze (open weekends only until 22 September). This Muddy award-winning 8 acre maize maze has a fun Quiz Trail hidden amongst three miles of intricate pathways and will keep you and the kids busy for a few hours. Opposite you can head to the garden centre, have coffee in the cafe or mooch around the indie shops.
Kelmarsh Hall is a Grade I listed country house built in 1732 which has beautiful gardens and lovely tea room too. If you fancy perfecting your wing, head to Market Harborough’s 18-hole golf course plus there’s plenty of fishing lakes to explore or follow the popular walking and cycling route through Brampton Valley Way.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: A romantic break, those who want a digital detox and some fresh air, girlie weekends away – it would be a great place to book up for a big family or friends reunion as you could book up all three tents and have the whole site to yourselves. Four-legged friends are also welcome.
Not for: Those that cannot live without their luxuries and those that don’t like sharing their space with spiders and other creepy crawlies.
Cost: The tents start from £110 a night and there is a minimum stay of two nights. Ginger and Pickles and Nutkin can sleep 4-6 people while Puddleduck can sleep two people. Check-in days are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Country Bumpkin Yurts, Waterloo Cottage, 34 Harborough Rd, Great Oxendon, Market Harborough
LE16 8NA. Tel: 07375 024 672.