Relax and let nature unwind you: for a truly tranquil experience take time out in a woodland Mongolian yurt nestled on the banks of a Gloucestershire lake
- Feel the stress of city life ebb away as you soak in the lake vista and bathe in the dappled light of the forest
- Cook outdoors on a rustic iron tripod grill using the logs and firelighters provided
- Guests get to experience the joy of being in nature without the grimier side of camping thanks to a super-comfortable king-size bed in a cosy and charmingly decorated wooden yurt
The moment you open the wooden gate to enter the magical Into The Woods Retreat life’s everyday tensions begin to melt away.
Arranged around a beautifully tranquil lake are six yurts and a shepherd’s hut, each surrounded by trees making you feel immersed in nature with the added advantage of ensuring privacy from your neighbours.
The yurts themselves are comfortable and delightfully quirky with interiors swathed in colourful patterned fabrics and furs, and crystal charms hanging from a central skylight.
Candles, blankets and a woodburner mean you’ll stay cosy through the night whatever the season, and wake up refreshed to the gentle sound of birdsong and leaping carp. It’s truly soothing for the soul.
Inside one of the beautifully cosy Mongolian yurts at Into The Woods Retreat in Gloucestershire
An entire day can easily be whiled away sat round the campfire, pottering around the lake in the row boat tied to the jetty. The ethos here is to truly let yourself unwind – you are largely left to your own devices and won’t see a single staff member wandering about.
Not to be missed is the chance to indulge in a cool refreshing wild swim in the lake – with it’s well-documented health benefits – and there’s even a ladder for those not brave enough to dive right in.
There’s also plenty to choose from if you’re in the mood to pull on your hiking boots. Nestled in 2,000 acres of ancient woodland there are trails for all abilities, or leaving the campground you can explore the nearby May Hill, or join The Greenway for longer walks. But remember to bring a map – phone reception is patchy off camp and there isn’t the option of a bus or taxi to fall back on.
There’s a very well equipped kitchenette with gas hobs, pots, pans, plates, cutlery and everything you will need – including a cooler. It’s advisable to bring food and drinks with you, or to stop off at a local shop a short drive away to collect provisions. Another option is to ring the owners about the possibility of pre-ordering hampers of local produce to be there for your arrival. There is also a delightful pub nearby, The Glasshouse, that serves food and has a beer garden – but check for opening times before you arrive.
However, for the proper outdoorsy experience you can’t beat the joy of building a fire. A fully stocked log store near the yurt is provided to keep the home fires burning in a stone-lined fire pit, and an iron tripod with hanging grill turned out to be a simple yet amazing BBQ.
Cooking on this basic tripod grill turned out to be an unexpected joy
Inside the camp shower
The facilities – though rustic – are extremely clean (even, and especially the private compost toilet that sits a few yard out of your main camp area).
A wooden, corrugated iron-lined wash hut overlooks the lake where you can take a steaming hot shower using the eco-friendly soaps and shampoo provided for you, while gazing out over the waters (but don’t worry – no one can see in!).
The owners of Into The Woods have really thought of everything to give their guests the most comfortable camping experience it is possible to have – down to lining the pathways in woodchips soft enough to walk barefoot on – without compromising on the feeling of being truly immersed in nature.
Getting there: By car – Head to The Glasshouse Inn, GL17 0NN and from there follow the owners “Into the Woods” signs. By public transport – The nearest train station is in Gloucester, 25-minutes away. Cheltenham train station is around 40-minutes away. Both have bus and coach stations. However, it is highly recommended to bring a car with you. Price: A yurt for 2 is £170 a night. Not pets or children allowed. Plugs are provided and there is reception at camp – but remember you’re there to tune out and relax!