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REVIEW |  Hot Tub Woodland Glamping at Bears Place – Camp Katur in North Yorkshire

By Lyndsey Thomas – 31st July 2019

Cabin Fever – Camp Katur in Beadale in North Yorkshire

Daisy at Camp Katur in North Yorkshire reeled off the list of accommodation options to me over the phone – Bell Tents, The Hobbit Pods, Geo-Domes, Uni-Domes, Tepees, Safari Tents, Betty’s Caravan – I conjured up crazy visions of some sort of camping and caravanning show for hippies – an overcrowded pasture crammed with rather outlandish North Yorkshire camping and glamping alternatives.

“Maybe Bears Place would suit you Mrs Thomas” – was Daisy’s response to my five-minute tirade on why I don’t camp, or glamp, or choose to stay in anything less than four-star these days.

“Bears Place has its own private bathroom… complete with hot running water… and a shower, and an outdoor hot tub and fire pit Mrs Thomas”

“YES YES – THAT WILL DO. Daisy, of course, we’d love to take you up on your offer of a complimentary night away”.

A night in Bears Place at Camp Katur in North Yorkshire it was. Sold.

 

All of a sudden I was conjuring up so much more than running out of wine miles from anywhere, whilst hurled up in a glorified shed in the middle of a field with two children whining because their tablets had run out of battery and they’re freezing cold.

 

No ordinary glamping site

Nothing prepared me for what myself, Mr T and the kids pulled up at on a beautiful autumnal eve in October. OK so technically, October is probably a little late in the year to glamp anywhere north of Brittany unless you are hardened campers, and we are NOT. Although Mr T loves nothing more than to try and create fire whilst regaling me with stories of his Duke of Edinburgh Award – my children and I, however, like our home comforts.

 

This is no ordinary glamping adventure. Oh no.

I can only describe our digs – Bears Place – as something created by giant-size Borrowers. All sorts of crap borrowed from everywhere and turned into something quite useful, functional and very practical. A recycled/upcycled mastermind. The thought that has gone into Bears Place and all that it’s made of is truly genius.

A whopping 70% of Bears Place has been recycled!

A horsebox slots into the back of the wooden structure to create the kid’s bedroom complete with bunk beds and a little miniature door.

Liquor bottles have been transformed into soap dispensers. The eclectic wallpaper in the living room and the bedroom has most probably been rescued just as it was about to be binned after years collecting dust in a DIY shop storeroom somewhere – but it works! It’s a place you read about in Fairytales.

Outside the lodge and beyond the wooden veranda there is a small private woodland garden with a wood-burning hot tub, outdoor shower and a fire pit.

All the essentials for a picture-perfect evening of a few rounds of Ging Gang Goolie and sausage-burning under the Yorkshire star-filled skies.

Our experience at Camp Katur was like an overnight stay at the Swiss Family Robinson residence – only not on a dessert Island, but in North Yorkshire.

 

Beyond Bears Place

Bears Place is probably the most salubrious of accommodation at Camp Katur. For those who want something a little more ‘at one with nature’, ‘under the stars romance’, of right out of the Hobbit, there is something for you too.

The rest of the glamping site is strategically laid out so each and every glamper feels like they are in the middle of nowhere, but yet close enough to other fellow glamp site residents to instigate a game of footie, or a game of rounders or a gathering around the camp fire in the huge communal tepee with lots of wine and marshmallow toasting.

If you forget your guitar, don’t worry, there’s a selection of musical instruments in the communal music den – guests can borrow these free of charge to add even more whimsical festival-style magic to their stay at Camp Katur.

What’s more, there’s a Norwegian Woodland BBQ Pod ‘The Podfather’, a large pizza clay oven, the Eco Spa with wood burning hot tub and sauna (additional charges apply) and the Little Tinkers toy den all for communal use.

 

Off The Grid

Camp Katur is’ off the grid’ though (electricity comes only from solar power) so don’t bother packing your GHDs. The whole campsite is powered by a few solar panels that sit in the middle of the communal field resembling some kind of UFO.

In October, the power that these panels supply is pretty limited, especially as the nights draw in by 7 pm.

There is also no fridge, but there is a cool box provided for chilled essentials.

Bears Place was equipped with more tea lights and candles than one knows what to do with, and solar-powered fairy lights wrap around every trunk, pole, beam and bannister so it’s all very romantic.

 

 

Just pack yourselves and plenty of warm clothes

Guests can pre-order a BBQ Hamper and/or a breakfast hamper (2 days notice) and then there really isn’t a great deal else that you need to bring with you other than warm clothes and plenty of them if you are visiting, like we did, in chillier autumn months.

It was very cold once the sun had set and jumpers and onsies were needed for bed. Plus all the hot water bottles we could find (plenty supplied).

For a guide on what to bring please Camp Katur provides a handy online packing-checklist – they really have thought of everything!

The Camp Hill Estate
More wild, woodland fun right next door!

The fun doesn’t just stop at Camp Katur – just a marshmallow’s throw from the campsite is the Camp Hill Estate.

A programme of exciting, and in some cases challenging outdoor activities are on offer to keep kids of all sizes entertained.

There’s Segways, quad bike adventures, footgolf and a great high rope course for the big kids.

The Magical Woodland Kingdom is full of dens, playhouses and shelters, and a giant tree house fort with slides and places to hide. A low ropes course, mini assault course, woodland trail, climbing walls, swings and zip wire also provide endless fun for all the family.

October is late in the year for an off-grid glamping adventure but for what we lacked in heat, we gained in beauty and tranquilly. The autumnal colours, the misty mornings, the dark nights and the clear star-filled skies made our experience at Camp Katur that little bit more magical.   We had Camp Hill practically entirely to ourselves (including the high ropes) which made our stay even more enjoyable.

This crazy little place in North Yorkshire really is something else. Glamping on a whole new level.

 

For more information Camp Katur please visit their website: https://www.campkatur.com 
And the same goes for The Camp Hill Estate – their website is here: https://www.camphill.co.uk/

Thank you to the crazy, inventive folk at Camp Katur for hosting us, and thank you to the chaps at Camp Hill for showing us the ropes!

With love

Lyndsey

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