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Our little black book of enchanting places

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Yurts for happy glampers by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in DESTINATIONS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Give me a nice warm hotel over a Mongolian yurt any day. But I have to admit that ‘glamping’ offers something a hotel can’t: the luxury of getting close to nature, with nothing to interrupt the peace and quiet but the pop of a champagne cork and the crackle of a wood burner. Here are five yurt camps on our current lust list, all available for exclusive use.

Trossachs Yurts, Stirlingshire

The term ‘glamping’ was made for this three-yurt camp just outside the National Park near Stirling. The yurts, named after the mountains to the north and west (this one is Stuc a’ chroin), are all set on large decks and furnished with thick rugs, a double bed and double futon, felt wall hangings and heated by a wood-burning oven. The camp has a communal kitchen though yurts are also supplied with a camping stove for those early-morning cups of tea. Lighting is solar-powered or good old-fashioned lanterns. From £98 for four.Secret Cloud, Peak District

This five-yurt camp in a meadow near the Staffordshire Moorlands is one of the most romantic we’ve seen. Elderflower (above) is our favourite, with its French-style bed, swathed in Egyptian cotton bed linen, making it as comfortable as any boutique hotel. There’a large wood burning stove-oven to keep you cosy, while outside you’ll find a wood-fired hot tub and an eco lavatory that is so close it’s practically ensuite. There’s even an on-site sauna. From £395 for two nights.Hidden Valley Yurts, Wye Valley

Hidden Valley is a camp of five yurts in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Each yurt has a wooden deck furnished with a chimenea, a built-in stone barbecue and a wood store. Inside, you’ll find a king-size bed, Mongolian furniture and a rain cap at the top of the yurt that can be removed for stargazing. Cooking and showering facilities plus flushing loos are in a separate building, where there is also a dining tent and a pizza oven. Peace and quiet is the order of the (and night) here, and bring your headphones – there is a ban on amplified music. Three nights from £340.The Yurt Retreat, Somerset

This camp near Crewkerne comprises four yurts and a treehouse. Each of the yurts has a homely, vintage feel with a double bed and a sofa bed, mains electricity, and tea and coffee-making facilities. Outside there is a wooden deck and barbecue, and just behind the yurt a private bathroom with basin and flushing lavatory. Showers are in a separate lodge where there is also a fully equipped communal kitchen and dining area. Midweek breaks from £265. Somerset Garden Yurt, Somerset

There are certainly more glamorous camps, but Somerset Garden is perfect for families. Set in a wildflower meadow, not far from Taunton, it comprises one very large yurt and a romantic gypsy caravan, plus a separate kitchen, shower and loo. You could take the caravan and put the children in the yurt, but more likely, the children will want the caravan and you’ll end up in the yurt where, to be honest, you’ll probably have a better night’s sleep. There’s a barn and a covered barbeque area; the owners also promise to supply hot water bottles if you need them. Two nights from £98 for up to four people.

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