Yeabridge Farm Hideaway – family glamping in a yurt (South Somerset)
Writing this as the wind is howling outside on the greyest of December days, long summer evenings feel like a distant memory; but one of the best memories from summer this year was our family stay in one of Yeabridge Farm’s luxurious yurts near South Petherton in the south of Somerset.
Our family mini-break actually came about as a byproduct of a grown-up holiday with my friends (basically, a girls’ night on the wine). Between the five of us friends we have seven kids and enough pets to rival a small zoo so we could only get away for one night and not the two-night minimum stay required by most accommodations in high season.
But split between us the total cost was less than £60 each so we booked the yurt for two nights and only planned to use it for one. I sniffed an opportunity…. there was no point in the yurt standing empty for the second night!
So I invited Andy and the girls to come camping once my friends had gone and if I’m honest it was one of the best mini-breaks we’ve had so far as a family – and probably the most special.
When I say ‘camping’, I’m lying a little bit – Yeabridge Farm Hideaway has four beautifully furnished yurts sleeping up to five, each set within their own private area complete with proper double beds, a wood burner, and loads of lovely and useful little touches to make your stay under canvas extremely comfortable.
Each yurt has its own private loo – granted this is in a wooden hut a few meters away (not even sure I should admit this but I personally was too scared to use it at nighttime so I took the girls’ old potty. LOL….) and moving swiftly on there’s also a brand-new shower block with your own hot shower, fluffy towels and complimentary toiletries.
But while the sleeping experience is very much a glamping affair, we still had all of the best of the other real camping experiences. Within half an hour of arriving Andy had the BBQ fired up with steak and sausages sizzling while I sat at the picnic bench in the warm September sunshine with a glass of something and the girls rode around on their bikes picking blackberries for dessert. It was completely idyllic.
After a hearty steak baguette / sausage sandwich dinner we lit the campfire using the logs provided and did all of the fun family stuff – marshmallows and crumpets on sticks (whittled by Andy who was channelling his inner repressed bushman), a bit of star gazing, we even got some music on the go after a few beverages and gave the girls a good race around in the ginormous wheelbarrow provided to transport your luggage from the car to the yurt. They found the whole experience magical, and particularly liked being allowed to eat maltesers in a wheelbarrow at 9.00 at night.
When it was time to crash out we moved the embers from the fire to light the woodburner inside the yurt and transformed the space into a warm, cosy den lit by fairy lights and camping lanterns – we needn’t have worried about getting cold.
The girls slept miraculously well on the futon beds on the floor and the main bed was hotel-grade comfortable – all of the beds had proper duvets, linen and puffy pillows, and were spotlessly clean. Apart from one rogue earwig but I'll let that one go because the bed was really inviting so I could understand its motives and I was supposed to be becoming at one with nature for the night.
In the morning (after the obligatory camping bacon sandwich breakfast cooked by our 6-year old on the fire, which I thought was pretty cool) we checked out the other facilities on the site.
There’s a summer house packed with board games and puzzle books – ideal for wet weather or to keep the family entertained during a longer stay. There’s an amazingly well-equipped field kitchen with separate cooking facilities for each yurt, along with a fridge freezer each, washing up sinks, and plenty of under-cover picnic benches. And a lovely enclosed green area surrounded by a woodland maze, which was a great space to enjoy the garden games provided - bats, balls, skittles, that sort of thing.
We had a half-decent game of 'tennis' after breakfast which involved the 3 year-old being ball girl for her older sister, who is a great player as long as you don't mind the odd tennis ball to the face or in the undergrowth!
If you run out of anything there’s also an on-site honesty shop stocked with bags of charcoal, extra logs and firelighters as well tinned food and even an ice cream freezer, as well as a supply of spare wellies just in case you get caught without this camping essential!
The hosts Vic and Joe live close to the site and were on hand to welcome us and show us around on arrival. It turns out they used to come ‘proper’ camping on this site as children and have realised a dream by turning it into a glamping site in 2018 – they’ve certainly done it very well, and as parents of young children themselves they’ve kept the enjoyment and needs of young families at the forefront of their thinking.
The outdoor time did us all so much good and the girls loved the freedom we could give them to explore the area on their bikes in safety (no cars are allowed in the yurt area or common spaces), as well as being trusted to enjoy the open fire and have a go at cooking.
We really didn’t want to leave, one night simply wasn’t enough, and we are really hoping to book to return again next year. If you’re looking to do something a bit different with the family in the way of a ‘staycation’ (sorry, I hate that word) then I certainly recommend you give Yeabridge Farm some consideration. It lends itself well to a small family group but we also thought it would be an amazing place to get all of the family together and some friends by hiring out more than one of the yurts and making use of the communal areas in the evenings with garden games and a stash of cider.
Pricing-wise, a stay at Yeabridge Farm varies according to season and day of the week – you’re looking at £80 per night in low season (weekday) up to £140 per night in high season (weekend), and a two-night minimum stay applies throughout the year. Click through to www.yeabridge.farm for more info on pricing, availability, and seasonal opening. You can also follow Yeabridge Farm on Facebook and Instagram.