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Thinking about hiring a yurt?

If you happened to be passing through Haddenham yesterday morning at around 9am, you may have seen a dishevelled, harrassed woman, looking somewhat older than her years, shuffling towards the school gates with her children. Me in fact –  just back from shivering in a yurt in West Norfolk.

Yurting is, of course, a ‘glamping’ experience for wet blankets like myself who don’t enjoy the boring effort involved in pitching a tent, trekking for supplies, wriggling in sleeping bags or any of that malarkey (this blog is not called Muddy Stilettos for nothing).

Sounds perfect, but there are a few tips I need to tell you before you start booking one up for the next bank holiday:

1.Under no conditions stay in a yurt in cold or freezing conditions. It was not the yurt’s fault that it was 2 degrees and raining outside in May (MAY!!! I mean, come on!!!) , but our log burner was tiny and there was no getting warm no matter how many layers we put on.

2. Think carefully before staying in a yurt with young children. If the weather is fine, you can sit outside with a bottle of shiraz, marvelling at your fine camping choice as your kids drop off to sleep. If it’s rainy, once you’ve put the kids to bed, you have no choice but to lie in darkness and silence with them (borrriinnnggg!), or read using your head-torch for hours. And hours.

3. The one room thing ended up making me quite claustrophobic. Unless you are militarily tidy, the room ends up like a teenage dorm, strewn with damp clothes and crisp packets and toothpaste.

4. ‘Be prepared’. I thought that’s what I paid the Cubs to teach my son every week, but plainly he hasn’t been listening, as he forgot to warn me that I’d need a gas burner to make my first, second and third cups of tea of the day. No tea-making facility at hand, I had to wait until we were all up, showered and breakfasted for a brew. Not happy.

5. The glory of the Airstream caravan we stayed in a while back was that you could nip around the back for a quick piddle late at night, modesty protected by a hunk of metal. Our yurt nestled next to two other yurts, with campers in tents to the front. The possibility of embarrassment outweighed the benefits of a breeze blowing against rosy bum cheeks, so it was a 50m trudge to the bathroom in the driving rain every time one of my kids needed the loo.

Finally, a general camping tip. Don’t wait until a dignified 9am for your shower. If there’s no-one queuing for a wash it’s because ALL THE HOT WATER HAS GONE!

PS This post is in no way intended to malign West Norfolk which was totally lovely.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon