My kids break up a little earlier from school than most other children, so last week we decided to take an early holiday to a destination they’ve been bugging us to go to for absolutely years – camping! Now there was no way I was going camping for anyone (despite promising my husband that I would do it at some point in our marriage!) I decided that if this trip was going to happen, it would have to be on my terms. So I hunted around for pretty much ages for the right kind of place. Initially I was open to the idea of ‘actual camping’ (the tent variety, I mean) for at least a night.
But I then came across Just Eilidh’s Instagram post about a place called Caalm Camp and I was sold after just two Instastories. This place looked like the best of both worlds (my world, which involves a heck load of mod cons, and my family’s world, which is pretty much rago – look it up!) I booked straight away and I’m pleased to say, we had the best time ever.
Situated on a family run farm in the heart of Shaftesbury, Dorset, we arrived on a Monday for a four night, mid-week stay. Mark, the owner, greeted us at the main gates and showed us around the Old Hay Barn before taking us to our very own Mongolian Yurt! Yes, you read that right – a fully kitted out, hand painted Mongolian yurt in the middle of South West England.
It’s quite something to get your head around. The yurt had more electric sockets than my bedroom, and included a little kitchenette, complete with hob and kettle, perfect for a morning cuppa.
As the camp site is open all year round, each yurt also houses a small wood burning stove inside, just right for those slightly nippy nights, and to the outside there is a personal barbecue and fire pit – great for toasting marshmallows and sharing tales around the campfire!
There was absolutely no way I was going to stay in any place that has a communal shower and toilet, and that’s why this place was such a great find. All yurts come with their own private toilet and shower room which is located in the Old Hay Barn – these are completely lockable, and extremely clean (always a big concern for me!)
The Barn also has a communal kitchen area, which includes a personal fridge for each yurt, as well as a dining area, with TV and games room further down.
But most of all you have full access to gorgeous country fields, complete with a children’s play area – and wait for it – animals! The children had an incredible experience being able to run around without a care in the world, playing until sunset and feeding goats – something we probably wouldn’t dream of letting them do back in London. You know you’ve found a gem when your kids don’t want to return home, and I know that we’ll be returning for sure.