Happy New Year to all my guests - This morning saw the remnants of Storm Eleanor hitting the South West of the UK, with plenty of rain and high winds giving the whole area quite a battering. Our field was subjected to some minor flooding for a couple of hours around high tide times. The Hems broke its banks and flooded over into the lake field next to the yurt camp. This has been quite a regular occurrence in the past and usually happens during winter months when there are spring tides. New Years Day saw a full moon, called a "wolf" moon at this time of year. In fact in January this year there will be two full moons in one month which is a rare event. The new year has seen plenty of enquiries about our glamping holidays and popular dates are getting booked up already. Our yurts will be put back up on the in time for Easter which will fall around the 1st April this year. In the meantime we are still able to offer glamping breaks in our lovely little Shepherds hut during the winter months.
Whilst the rest of the UK is enveloped in a big freeze, its been cold but not a single flake has been seen at the yurt camp!!! Its been a bit frosty and windy at times with some rain, but overall its been quite a dry winter so far! Some intrepid guests will be staying this weekend in our shepherds hut which is looking lovely in the winter sunshine. Its very cosy inside with a log burning stove for heating and solar power for lighting. Wishing all our guests a very merry Christmas!!! :)
As Christmas will soon be upon us and our lovely cosy shepherds hut is still being booked particularly at weekends, we have decided that we will put some decorations in the hut so our guests can celebrate the festive season. The hut has a lovely little wood burning stove which is really effective at heating the hut and making it a wonderful little haven of peace and tranquility during the winter nights. I am really pleased that the hut remains so popular and that guests are returning to stay with use on multiple occasions. The tree pictured above is actually in our house, not in the hut but I will take some more pictures once the hut is finally decorated.
Christmas is on its way - its official!!!. Our fields neighbour a large field called Reeve Acre where the local Marldon Christmas Tree Farm grows around 100 acres of Christmas Trees, and in November each year the harvest begins. This year its started again, the once quiet and tranquil field is full of workers, tractors, chainsaws and frantic activities in preparing and labelling the trees for harvest. It always looks so brutal to see the once full landscape empty of the sage green coloured trees. They grow relatively slowly and the Christmas tree field has been a wonderful wildlife haven, having plenty of shelter for the ample deer, rabbits and foxes that frequent the rows of trees. I know they will replant again, but for now, I can see that Christmas is nearly upon us again. More guests staying with us this weekend in our cosy shepherds hut, hope the weather will be kind for them!
The shepherds hut has been fully booked during half term week with some lovely young families visiting our camp. When the yurts are packed away its still possible to stay with us in our hut, which has a lovely cosy wood burning stove. The guests are treated to exclusive use of our facilities and stunning sunsets and clear starry nights. The weather has been relatively mild with little in the way of wind or rain so the children have been able to run through the fields and enjoy the beautiful colours of autumn surrounding the camp.
This weekend we are delighted to have another wedding party at the yurt camp. Our honeymooners will be spending the weekend with their friends and family and staying with us taking over the whole camp for a few days. Autumn is a beautiful time of year for a wedding with the colours of nature making a stunning spectacle and the evenings drawing in takes a warming camp fire to a new level. Our yurt camp makes rather a unique setting for wedding parties and we welcome enquiries from anyone who might be considering getting wed and would like an alternative to the traditional ceremonies. I am really hoping the weather will stay nice for the happy couple.
Every year in September we are delighted to accommodate some intrepid swimmers for the Dart 10k Open water swim. This year we were pleased to meet some first time swimmers and the weekend was a little chilly with blustery showers and the river was flowing well - Here is a link to a lovely little video which shows the Dart in all its glory and gives a lovely atmospheric demonstration of the swim https://vimeo.com/152326484
The yurt camp is very busy at this time of year with lots of happy guests enjoying the British Summer. The nearest pub to our camp is three quarters of a mile walk, The Tally Ho Inn, at Littlehempston. The pub is a community pub, owned and run by the local villagers and is extremely popular, serving pub grub and home cooked meals. Once again this year the pub is holding its annual beer festival over the weekend of the 11th, 12th and 13th August. There are a large variety of local ales and ciders on offer and a delicious barbecue as well. The event is now in its 4th year and each year music is provided by the locals who have a rich and varied wealth of musical talent, including gypsy jazz, rock, blues, and singers and entertainers along with a couple of local regulars joining in the fun. Our yurt guests love the Tally Ho which is a comfortable 15 minute walk from the camp. Torches required for the journey home as its very dark in the countryside at night!
Our yurt camp is open to anyone - and people of all ages have stayed with us over the past 6 years. However one thing I have noticed is that the expectations of more mature, even elderly people is far higher than those who are younger. Perhaps mature people are more used to home comforts and hotel living. Its always difficult to make everyone 100% happy and recently one of our guests commented that glamping should be glamorous and didn't think his stay had been! To be fair the elderly gentleman was given the holiday as a present so was not totally committed to staying in a yurt as he didnt really want to stay but felt he had to as the holiday was a gift. He also stayed when the weather was unseasonably wet, however he was disappointed to find that he might have to occasionally queue to use the toilet and showers and felt that this was not at all what glamping should be - I am not sure how we can be expected to squeeze an en suite bathroom into the yurts!!!.
We feel that as our yurts and the shepherds hut are full equipped with full sized comfortable beds, memory foam mattresses, all the bedding required, cushions, extra blankets and throws, lanterns, solar lighting and charging points, wood burning stove with logs fire lighters and kindling, fully equipped communal kitchen with tea and coffee, washing up liquid, soft toilet paper, ample private parking use of landline phone, along with a quiet and serene rural location all for less than the price per head of pitching a tent locally certainly makes our yurt camp very glamorous compared with a regular camp site. However as this is the only comment of this nature in 6 years of operating then I have taken it all with a pinch of salt.
More mature people are always very welcome to stay here but must be prepared to occasionally queue for the loo and have to share the kitchen washing up facilities or book into one of the local hotels instead!
July is a wonderful month in Devon, the fields are full of a multitude of wild flowers, including clover and buttercups, pictured above in our meadow. The lake field at Hemsford is left to grow long during the summer months with some pathways through to the other fields strategically mown to allow easy access from the farmhouse. The meadow is a haven for wildlife with many different species of butterfly, bees, grasshoppers, flies, dragonflies and damselflies, even the odd grass snake living in harmony alongside the yurt camp. This week we have welcomed back guests from as far away as Japan - its always lovely when guests return as it is a real compliment for us. The evenings have been clear and the skies dark and starlit. Its been very warm for the past few days with the chance of thunderstorms over the next couple of days. It certainly is thrilling to see the power of nature from inside a yurt. The school holidays are almost upon us soon but we still have some availability. There is something magical about sitting around a camp fire during the summer months toasting marshmallows listening to the owls and watching the bats at dusk. With more guests arriving this weekend from Spain the weather is set fair - lovely!
Liz Jeffery - owner of Hemsford Yurt camp