It’s been a long, long time since anyone at The Yorkshireman had the opportunity to have a holiday, of any variety. And in true Yorkshireman style, there was only one place we wanted to kick off a summer of exploration: God’s Own Country itself. After packing up our tiny, Mr Bean-style rental car with all the essentials, snacks and pooch included, we headed for the North Yorkshire countryside in search of a small slice of solace. And a small slice of solace we got.
Tucked away on the outskirts of rural village Kirklington, near Bedale, the Camp Hill Estate – home to the magical Camp Katur – boasts around 300 acres of glorious Yorkshire countryside, with varying landscapes and experiences for guests to take advantage of. Just entering the estate’s grand stately home entrance is a kickstart to the escapism that’s in store, leading guests right up to the welcoming bar and restaurant The Hebridean, before meandering off into the wilderness.
While Camp Katur offers a wide range of different accommodation options to suit all glampers, we’re not exactly the ‘play it safe’ types – so we opted for the completely transparent woodland Unidome as our humble abode for the night. Dog-friendly and complete with a double bed, we were ready to go – although, I must admit, I had no idea what awaited us in the estate’s leafy and untamed woodland.
To my pleasant surprise, it wasn’t a standard tent with bells on it that stood waiting in between the tall trees. There in the woods, we were greeted with an all-singing, all-dancing giant Unidome – providing enough space for me, my partner and our pup to glamp happily without both literally and figurately breathing down each other’s necks.
Not to mention the very welcomed luxury addition of a double bed – which both myself and my back were highly grateful for after a day of roaming the estate in the typical Northern rain.
Providing complete seclusion from the rest of society – which we’ve naturally avoided for the best part of a year and a half – the woodland Unidomes allow guests to experience the rare stillness of nature that we don’t find within modern civilisation, including the relaxing sounds of birds chirping, rabbits and squirrels rustling through branches and bushes, and 360-degree views of pure greenery.
Combine that divine recipe with a completely dead phone and zero electricity, and we were guaranteed to experience a worry-free haven, with just the encircling woods and the sweet smell of fresh air to keep us company. It was a gratifying feeling dodging the endless ping of Instagram’s notification centre – one I vowed to allow myself to experience more often than this zen-inducing one-off in our little see-through utopia.
And you’d be mistaken to think that the clear panels that make up the dome are an invasion of privacy. Located 30 metres deep into the woodland away from other living and breathing beings, they’re actually the perfect way to immerse yourself in the natural environment, with no distractions from OTT decor and absolutely nothing blocking the panoramic views of the calming scenery. Not even the dome itself.
In terms of the all-important finishing touches, each Unidome has its own alfresco seating area – as well as a BBQ and proper chiminea which guests can warm up in front of on a chilly evening. More importantly, the chiminea is perfect for snuggling up in front of with a bag of marshmallows for an absolute s’mores fest – which my post-glamping cholesterol levels will tell you I indulged in far too much for my own good.
Finished off with a clear, domed peak directly above the bed, the unique accommodation offers the ultimate, comfy setting for stargazing – one of our favourite elements of the stay. There’s something truly blissful about looking up and seeing swaying treetops softly illuminated by moon and starlight, particularly in a place that encourages an off-the-grid approach to staycationing in the countryside.
Keeping on theme with the modern technology-free approach, the dome is gently lit by tealight lanterns, as well as solar-powered fairy lights on the exterior providing the ambience by nightfall.
Close by to the estate, guests can take advantage of two pubs within a twenty-minute walk in each direction of Camp Katur (as well as the on-site bar and restaurant The Hebridean), providing the perfect shelter from any potential summer showers that may occur.
But for us, we insisted on driving just five minutes from the site to indulge in one of The Freemasons Arms of Nosterfield’s highly rated Sunday roasts, which consisted of rich and more-ish gravy, succulent meat, proper fluffy Yorkie puds and tasty roasted veggies. To finish off, we packed away a traditional Sticky Toffee Pudding and a lemon curd cheesecake, before, naturally, popping our top button and heading back to picturesque Camp Hill to burn off a few calories over the meadows.
Back at the dome, while falling asleep under the flickering stars was an extra special experience, it was waking up to the sounds of nature and wildlife at every turn that was the most divine moment of the trip – amplified by our young dog happily trotting from tree to tree in a bid to befriend the fluttering red-breasted robins.
Sitting up in bed that morning, cosy PJs on and hot brew in hand watching the world go by cemented why it’s essential to take a time-out every now and then, and for us, Camp Katur checked all the boxes to provide that perfect backdrop.
Camp Katur’s Unidomes are available to book for a minimum of a two-night stay, and you can find out more and book here. Camp Katur, The Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington, Bedale, DL8 2LS.
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