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REVIEW | Bell Tent Bliss at Catgill Farm – Glamping in Yorkshire With Private Hot Tub

By Lyndsey Thomas | 5th October 2019

I’ve pitched up our tent and camped at Catgill Farm campsite just a stone’s throw from Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales. As far as me and camping go, it was a pretty enjoyable experience. Not least because the campsite is only a 25-minute drive from where we live so I was able to pop home for a shower mid-way through our two-night camping adventure. Truth.


Catgill Farm campsite is a big hit with young families, thanks to its great onsite facilities, the neighbouring farm animals and its delightful location on a hillside overlooking the Wharfe Valley, with Hesketh Farm, Bolton Abbey, The River Wharfe, The Devonshire Arms and Billybobs Ice-Cream Parlour all within spitting distance.


Catgill Farm campsite is quite simply a great little place to pitch up and base oneself whilst exploring all that this captivating corner of the Yorkshire Dales has to offer.


In 2017 the folks at Catgill Farm decided to do what just about every other campsite is doing to cash in on the glamping craze – they erected a couple of bell tents and constructed a few fancy-schmancy wooden pods.


Glamping – a term that is used for glamorous camping
One women’s glamour is another women’s bordering-on-basic so I always take this term with a pinch of the proverbial salt. A Premier Inn to one woman is The Savoy to another and I firmly fit into the latter.


We’ve been fortunate enough to stay in one of the two bell tents at Catgill Farm in North Yorkshire twice over the last couple of months. Our first overnight stay took place in mid-July on the hottest day on record. And most recently in mid-September when the temperatures were significantly more in line with British summertime expectations.


In the heat of the summer sun – glamping at Catgill Farm on the hottest day EVER
In a sweltering 38 degrees of heat, as we were eased our way into the fresh, cool waters of our Scandinavian hot tub we felt for those poor folk roughing it in the busy campsite field below our luxury bell tent. Only the hot tub wasn’t hot, it was cold and wonderfully refreshing.


I sank into the revitalising water with a chilled glass of champagne in hand and kept an eye of our eight-year-old who was kicking a football round with a number of kids in the busy tent-filled field below. Meanwhile, Mr T got the fire pit going and popped a couple of M&S stone-baked pizzas in the pizza oven underneath.

All whilst our five-year-old Ferne was making firm friends with neighbouring cows.


We needn’t have worried about keeping our champers cold – our bell tent was equipped with a fridge and small kitchen set-up to include a sink and all the cutlery and crockery one might need to self-cater for a few nights. Electricity comes as standard, so pack your GHDs and your Sonos so you can stick on some woodland tunes, and don’t worry about bringing towels, these are supplied as standard too.


When September comes.
September brought with it a very different experience. The weather was turning and the trees in the woodland that create a magical backdrop to the glamping area were showing signs of autumn. The campsite was all but empty, and whilst the bell tents and the posh pods were occupied by other guests, the place felt a lot more tranquil and calm.


The chill in the September air had us firing up the hot tub and filling the hot water bottles provided with boiling water and tucking them under our duvets in our bell tent’s beds – a very comfy king-size with a beautiful oak frame and ample scatter cushions for Mr T and I, and a futon each for the kids. Lots of clean bedding provided.


To the rear of our tent was a little wooden outhouse with a separate toilet and power shower – shared facilities between the two bell tents – a few bugs as standard but spotlessly clean. Loo roll, hot running water and plenty of towel hooks. The journey from outside our tent to the toilet is well lit, making a midnight dash to the toilet straightforward enough.

The shade from the trees above kept us out of the sizzling sunshine in July, and as the sun started to set, rays of sunlight filtered through the many branches giving our patch a Godly golden summer glow. September brought with it a much earlier but equally as magnificent sunset, which meant more time to cuddle up around the fire under the starlit sky before bed


We were all fast asleep by 9pm on our 2nd trip – granted, it was a lot colder in our bell tent in September, but we came prepared with our onesies and extra socks, and it meant that we could light up the little wood burner next to our bed, which provided enough heat to keep us all toasty warm in our tent – adorned with strings of twinkling fairy lights – until we all fell into a deep sleep. It didn’t take long.


Morning has broken…
I was keen to get up and stick my head out of the tent at sunrise because the view across the Yorkshire Dales really is magnificent. Even more so on a misty September morning at 6am.


After a hot shower in the little wooden hut behind our tent, I sat in the early morning sun with a hot cup of tea, looking out over the rolling hills of Yorkshire whilst Mr T and the kids slept for a while longer. It was a invigorating for the mind and body, just sat there in silence listing to the blackbirds and watching the mist evaporate as morning broke through. Bliss.


All the gear…
As glamping goes, Catgill Farm’s luxurious two bell tents tick a lot of boxes. We honeymooned in a very posh tent in the Masi Mara in Kenya in 2008 where we had zebra and giraffe grazing just feet away from the entrance to our very elegant and stylish tent – I squinted through the entrance of our bell tent at Catgill Farm campsite, and then I kid you not, those neighbouring Friesians could have been zebra – grazing feet away from our sizeable private patio, complete with hot tub, fire pit-come-pizza oven, Adirondack-style wooden loungers with comfy padding, and a no-expenses-spared, sturdy wooden dining table and benches.


The tents and pods are positioned cleverly on a hill looking out over the campsite below, which is far enough away to give a little privacy from those slumming it at the bottom of the hill, but close enough to feel part of something fun and exciting, whilst also feeling a little smug.


Whilst the bell tents are only available for rent until the end of October because, at the end of the day, they are tents, for those wanting to glamp well into the winter months, Catgill Farm also has three beautifully appointed wooden pods which are more than adequately set up for winter weather and are available all year round. Kitted out with kitchenette, private shower and room to sleep up to six people.


The outside space is identical to the bell tents – with hot tub, outdoor dining area and fire pit, and those beautiful views across the rolling hills of Yorkshire. Out-of-season glamping at Catgill Farm is a real treat. Just a couple of nights here when it’s quieter and calmer is food for the soul for stressed out, over-worked, unable-to-relax-folk-like-yours-truly.


Set in such a magical location in the Yorkshire Dales, with so much going on close by, and with just the right amount of home comforts to ensure your experience is relaxing and comfortable without taking away from the ‘at one with nature’ adventure that my kids and the hubby loves, I can more than recommend a family glamping adventure at Catgill Farm.


The best bit? All you need to take is a bag of clothes (don’t forget your cosie) and a few toiletries – everything else is provided.


Timber pods start at £130 per night for 2 adults

Bell tents from £100 per night for 2 people


I’d like to say a huge thank you to the folks at Catgill Farm for putting us up not once, but twice. Now get yourselves book into one of their amazing wooden pods over the winter – I can’t think of anything more magical than looking out over that view from my hot tub on a freezing cold January afternoon with a glass of something warming in my hand.


With love,

Lyndsey x

To find out more visit their website: https://www.catgillfarm.co.uk/


Why not check out my article on camping at Catgill Farm: https://girlabout.co.uk/trials-tribulations-family-camping-weekend-yorkshire/

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This is a Girl About review. I was invited by the management to stay free of charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.

Lyndsey Thomas GirlAbout.co .uk
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