Welcome to the first in a series of accommodation reviews in hillwalking areas. We start with a beautiful yurt in the Peak District – the perfect base for the White Peak
It was a bitterly cold evening in the Peak District when we arrived at Secret Cloud Yurts – but the welcome (and the wood-fired hot tub) was warm. After a long drive my wife and I wanted a base to stay before heading off backpacking for a couple of days – arriving at twilight, walking to a quiet spot and setting up camp in the dark didn’t appeal for the first night. We found a reasonably priced yurt, and before you scream ‘glamping’ at the screen, we’d searched B&Bs, hostels and pubs with rooms and this was a well-priced option. But I do love yurts; there’s something about sleeping in a round space. Even more I love yurts that come with a wood-fired hot tub and sauna. You wouldn’t get that at a Peak District B&B for £90 a night. In fact a self-catering flat would be a more appropriate analogy – there was everything you’d need.
We parked in the mist and wandered over to the yurts to meet the lovely owner Catherine, who showed us to our yurt, one of five. It was a spacious place, with a large and lushly comfortable bed, as well as a wood-burning stove that heated the place efficiently, and a gas stove to cook our steaks on. Each yurt also has decking, a barbecue and a toilet. There was a hamper with local produce for us – amazing bacon and sausages for breakfast. Catherine fired up the sauna and hot tub in the centre of the little complex, and we went to the local, one of the quirkiest pubs I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot. A pub full of antiques and stories.
Back from the pub, I braved the cold run from the yurt and plunged into the hot tub, and sat back under night stars and relaxed. I spent a happy hour flitting between the hot tub and sauna, before enjoying a deep sleep knowing the next sleep will be on a Therm-A-Rest.
Cloud Yurts is handy location if you’re coming from the south. It’s in Cauldon, near the pretty town of Ashbourne and almost on the boundary of the Peak District National Park. There are walking routes straight out the door, but you may want to drive a little farther into the park for the best walks. It is a 25-minute car drive to the Roaches for example (or a four-hour walk).
As someone who lives south, there’s a often a long drive before I start my adventure, I tend to stay somewhere with a bed the night before, and it can get costly. Yurts, and the like, are a fantastic way to stay somewhere interesting, especially is you are wanting to cook for yourself. It’s also luxurious – you can get more for your in places like this. Plus it’s a different experience. In one of my previous jobs, I reviewed dozens of campsites and yurts for a book. Secret Cloud Yurts is easily one of the best packages.
Location: Cauldon, Staffordshire
Prices: starts from £75 a night. minimum stay is a 3 night weekend (£345) / 4 nights midweek (£375).
What they say:
If you love the idea of an outdoor adventure but can’t face giving up your creature comforts then Secret Cloud is the perfect place for you. Guests here can definitely enjoy the finer things in life – think feather down duvets, Egyptian cotton crisp white bedding, roaring log burning stove ovens, handmade toiletries, a wood fired hot tub under the stars and a delicious local breakfast hamper on arrival. Come and enjoy the beautiful Derbyshire countryside from the comfort of somewhere cosy and completely unique.
They have also just started a Relaxation Retreat that includes a one hour massage and a healthy welcome hamper. Extra treatments can be arranged at the time of booking subject to surcharge and availability
Available on stays during our Relaxation Retreat Break- Monday 2nd June and Friday 6th June 2014. Stay 4 nights and 2 extra treatments are included
Price is £150 per person based on 2 sharing a yurt.