So this weekend, myself and two of my friends from Nottingham decided to go Yurting in the Peaks! Yes, October is a bit of a chilly time to test out ‘glamping’ but it was such an incredible experience that I felt it was definitely first-blog-post-worthy.
So for those of you who are unaware of the concept of staying in yurt and what it involves, let me explain. A yurt is basically a fancy tent that resembles a tepee, sort of (although the ironic thing is that I was trying to do something ‘English’ for Grace, who is American. I’m not sure how English a yurt is… maybe more Mongolian?!). Anyway, each yurt on the farm we stayed on (there were 4 yurts in total) were eco friendly huts which are made of canvas and wood. They’re bigger than most tents, and raised off the ground, which help (along with the log fire stove inside) to keep it nice and toasty. Each yurt also had a private hut with a compost loo in it, which I must say was quite an experience. I don’t know if you’ve ever used one but there’s more to it than I first realised- different compartments and water and sawdust…. I was thankful for the A4 sheet of instructions pinned onto the wall of the hut! The standard of the washrooms and things was incredible though (nice hot showers!) and talking with the girls under the stars in the log powered outdoor hot tub was an experience I will never forget. You can have a look at where we stayed and their ethos at http://www.secretcloudhouseholidays.co.uk/ What I loved was being able to live in my red spotty wellies for the weekend, spending time with the girls, and just having a go at doing something completely different. The yurt owner, Catherine, left us a hamper of breakfast goodies (locally sourced bacon and sausages every morning!) which set us up (after sitting talking in our beds talking until 12am. Yes, proper beds!) for a day of exploring the local countryside, finding it’s quirky pubs, and meeting the locals.
One of the highlights of the weekend for me was definitely meeting the locals. This is not something I had really expected or thought about prior to going. However, I will never forget some of the characters that we met. There was the man with the big beard who owned a little gallery of ceramic and wood engravings that we stumbled across on one of our walks. He was so interesting and was building a workshop out of sustainable material with his friend. They were interested to hear all about the yurt, and I enjoyed hearing all about their engravings, which him and his wife made from scratch. There are so many other people I could tell you about- the woman in the pub who told us to drop in to her parents’ house (which we did), the one taxi driver in the village who had lived there all of his live (it‘s a funny moment in a pub when you ask someone for a taxi firm number and they shout over to their friend to ask if they have Bill and Jean‘s number), the many dog owners who helped us with directions on our walks (who we often met again in the pubs), the several pub owners we met, and many more! Which brings me onto my next point.
Pubs. Over the weekend, we spent many hours relaxing in the three nearby pubs. These were each recommended to us by locals that we met whilst out walking, and were each loved by us for different reasons. One had incredible puddings (apple pie and icecream, yum), one was full of quirky antiques (including Queen Victorias stockings!), and one, quite possibly my favourite, did super yummy meals and was home (in the evenings at least) to many of the lovely locals (and their dogs) that we met. Infact, myself and Grace caused a bit of worry when we phoned to say we were coming over for food but took a slight detour by mistake, resulting in a 30 min walk turning into a 90 minute one. It turns out they were debating whether to send someone out to look for us, oops! However, we arrived safe and sound, and enjoyed our final night talking over a yummy chicken curry and pie, surrounded by happy people and their dogs.
There are so many highlights from the weekend that I’d love to tell you about. However, I think one of my favourite moments was on the final night. My friend Grace who also came sometimes talks about Patronus memories. Now, I‘ve never read Harry Potter, but I‘m told that these are the moments in life which form your happiest memories. Well, one of my Patronus moments will definitely be of the Sunday night of our weekend away. We‘d had an amazing day laughing, talking about anything and everything, praying together, and just having fun. And then that night, unable to sleep (just due to being Sarah, the bed was lovely and comfy!) but savouring the moment, with the solar powered fairy lights twinkling in the dark, the log fire burning out, and The Avett Brothers playing in my headphones, I decided that moment right there, was most definitely a Patronus Moment. This might sound a little happy-go-lucky. I mean, I’m well aware that life isn’t like that all that time, and that we all face hard times, but it was a great moment and reminded me of how great heaven will be if life can be that good sometimes.
To conlude, I would absolutely, definitely 100% recommend yurting to anyone up for something a bit different. I’m a big fan of camping anyway, but it was nice to have a combination of some things camping (ie. Camp stove breakfast, washing up outside, the need to wear at least two hoodies and a scarf and a wooly hat) with a few extra luxuries like a proper bed, being able to stand up, and not having to take you tent down in the rain. The hot tub was also completely magical, and the log burner definitely helped with the rather chilly temperatures (we woke up to frost on one morning!). I guess we did have the advantage of sunny, dry days all weekend which definitely helped, but with loads of places to hide and hang soggy clothes, I don’t think rain would be much of a problem. Just don’t forget your wellies!
And that was my weekend Yurting. Girls, it was a privalege to laugh, learn and pray with you.x