The logs are crackling, embers aglow as we push marshmallows onto sticks, squishy and sticky, I look around to three little smiling faces. The sun is setting behind the yurt and the whole field is cast in a golden glow. We already have the log fire burning inside making the yurt toasty and inviting so I can’t wait to climb into bed with a book. But first some quality, peaceful time, switched off and feeling connected.
We are staying at Caalm Camp in Dorset near Shaftesbury, a former dairy farm turned luxury glamping site complete with 6 yurts. We came here last year, paid for by myself and loved it so much we were more than happy to come back for this review. I’m on my own with my three children, 4, 8 and 11. After coming last year on my own with them too, I know that the layout is safe and easy to manage with only one set of eyes and hands. It can be daunting traveling without support but I’m so glad I stepped put of my comfort zone last year and gave it a go.
Caalm camp has a shared kitchen where you each have your own fridge with small freezer compartment and cupboards full of plates, bowls and glasses. There are also some in the yurt along with barbecue utensils, where you will find an induction hob, perfect for a morning coffee or late night hot chocolates around your own fire pit. Or head to the large shared fire pit, perfect for a group gathering.
You also have your own wet room for the duration of your stay, large white fluffy towels and one roll of toilet paper. These are situated in the main building in between the lounge and kitchen which means I can leave the boys happily playing in the lounge room whilst Ava and I have a shower.
There is an outside play area which is right outside our yurt so I can sit on our picnic bench, with a drink and watch them play. There is also an indoor games room with pool and table tennis and a new toddler outdoor play area with large sandpit, ride on toys and a wooden playhouse. You can happily spend the day on site, chatting to the goats and playing games together before sitting down around the group fire pit to see the sunset.
We visited Calm camp over the Easter holidays both years and had a real mix of weather from below zero temperatures, torrential rain, to sunshine, typical England. But if you think staying in a yurt will be cold, think again. The log burner in the centre of your yurt will keep it so toasty, you may even need to open the door to let some fresh air in. A bucket full of coal helps to keep it warm over night and getting up to light some more wood in the morning it quickly heats up.
We love the uniqueness of our traditionally built and hand painted yurt, the detailing on the wood structure inside is beautiful. And the skylight, don’t worry it’s covered in Perspex, which means you can stargaze at night and don’t get wet in the rain. I drift off to sleep one night lulled by the sound of the rain pattering on the outside of the yurt. Cosy and content. I also spend a few evenings snuggled up in a blanket outside the yurt, with the three kids sleeping happily inside. I spend time star gazing and enjoying the peace.
There is space for more than your average 2.4 family inside each yurt, with a double and two singles as standard. You can also request an extra two fold out z beds. On this stay we have an extra bed for Ava, however she chooses to get in with me in the double instead.
There is so much to do locally and over the last two years we have visited Durdel Door and Lulworth cove, our favourite, we love it so much we went back this year. It really is a beautiful place.
Then we also visited Stourhead and Kingston Lacey where we did the Easter trail. Great to make use of National Trust membership if you have one. We Spent a day at Wookey Hole Caves which was definitely a unique day out with a real mix of attractions and plenty of indoor activities if the weather isn’t great.
We ventured into local Shaftesbury where we walk up the famous Hovis Bread Hill and have a look around the shops. On the way home we stopped at Stonehenge!
Caalm Camp really is an oasis of nature and a chance to reconnect. But you aren’t too far from a pharmacy, coffee shops and a supermarket if you need anything.
Find out more about prices and availability on the Caalm Camp website.