Before the end of the summer we managed to squeeze in one last mini break, kids and dogs came along too. We were so lucky to discover an exclusive and secluded hidden gem of a getaway – that I almost don't want to blog about it. 'Somerset Garden Yurt & Gypsy Caravan' , near Taunton, offer a deluxe glamping experience, to small peaceful groups and families mainly.
It isn't a shared campsite, guests actually get exclusive use of a large 6 bed family yurt, a converted barn / indoor lounge area with wood burning stove and bbq, a fire pit, kitchen/shower /toilet and a beautiful traditional gypsy caravan all hidden away in a safe, enclosed orchard – accessed via a magical fairy woodland path. It absolutely took our breath away, and we immediately understood why the place is often fully booked months, sometimes years in advance – with returning guests.
It was instagram perfect, but I wont put too many photos up- as I think it might spoil the surprise if you are lucky enough to come here.
We struggle to find places which are truly child and animal friendly, but this place was perfect. It's completely enclosed so dogs and children could roam free! Ofcourse children should be supervised around the open fire, but other than that it was lovely to watch them run wild- no ipads, no games consoles.
There are plenty of outdoor games in the barn area including giant snakes and ladders, an archery set, and croquet. The boys had fun just playing make believe in the gypsy caravan, hide and seek in the forest and picking apples from the orchard.
Once the fire was lit ( all the kindling, wood and fire lighters are provided) hours of fun was to be had, just cooking marshmallows, sausages, apples, twigs and playing 'dodge the smoke' or 'i've gone blind!”
We spent a lovely few hours making the place all homely, and preparing our dinner over the fire. Ribs, burgers, sausages – a bit of a meat feast! The hosts are soon to build an outdoor bread and pizza oven too, which will give veggies and vegans more options. Though there is a fully functioning kitchen, so no matter what you like to eat – you'll be able to cook it.
In the yurt there is a large double bed, a large single, bunk beds and even a large wooden cot with drop sides, there is also a comfy sofa, and lots of storage, rugs and soft furnishings.
We brought torches and flash lights, but these were in fact provided.
There is a dining table , another 2 x sofas, wicker chairs and a wood burner in the barn. It was very cosy in the evening as it got a bit colder and darker outside.
From the secret yurt hide away - one can walk out the back gate- past the owners horses, and mini pony! Onto the tow path of the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal- where you can walk for miles all the way to Taunton if you want. There are sculptures along the route , representing planets, it's called the 'Somerset Space Walk'.
About ten minutes walk along the tow path, is Somerset Boat Centre- which I wrote an earlier blog aout. We decided to book out a little motorised day boat again for a coupe of hours- and take it further than we'd done last time. This time I navigated and opened a swing bridge, and the boys once again opened and closed a lock.
The fabulous, family friendly activity centre now has even more water sports to try out including paddle boards, and more one man canoes. Definately check out the website - it's such a great day out! /www.somersetboatcentre.co.uk/
I would highly recommend both Somerset Garden Yurt & Gypsy Caravan and Somerset Boat Centre- for families with children , who love the oudoor life style but crave a little more comfort. Our children both have moderate special needs, and both of these places were very understanding and accomodating.
If you are coming from far away, the location of this 'secret' glamping hide-away is perfect for exploring the Somerset levels, Cheddar gorge & caves, the city and catherdral of Wells, the hippy town of Glastonbury and the nearby town of Taunton.
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)