It’s fair to say that losing your job in your late 20s would challenge most people. But when Kerry Roy was made redundant in 2012 she took it as a sign she should follow her dreams. Losing her job was the perfect boot up the backside to realise a long-held ambition. Along with her similarly well-travelled partner Dave, this enterprising Yorkshire lass took the plunge and decided to set up her own campsite. But this wasn’t to be any ordinary pitch-up plot. Taking her cue from the range of global influences she encountered upon her travels, Kerry’s pan-global camping vision was finally realised in the simply marvellous Camp Kátur.
Named after the Icelandic word for 'happy', Camp Kátur is nestled within the sprawling 250 acre Camphill Estate just outside Bedale, North Yorkshire. Okay, it’s cheating a bit because you can’t just turn up here with a tent. But, sitting within a peaceful 15-acre meadow clearing, fringed by thick woodland, it’s such a great off-grid glamping experience we thought we had to include it.
Camp Kátur brings together a wealth of authentic abodes, great outdoor activities, and, most importantly, the best eco-friendly facilities. Guests are well and truly spoiled for choice with accommodation options. The four Hobbit Pods sit amid the trees. These cosy cabins are ideal for groups of four, with the Romeo & Juliet pod perfect for glamping couples. The twin Safari Tents (named Zaniah and Jabbah) will happily sleep a party of eight, and come complete with a private toilet and shower area. Sat as they are atop an expansive decked terrace, you can roll up the lightweight canvas porch for extra ventilation, just like in the Serengeti. Yurt-wise, three spacious abodes await in the lush grassland clearings while the Molimo Tipi and ‘Tinker’ bell sleep six and five respectively.
With such an array of accommodations onsite, you could be forgiven for thinking that things are a little cramped. But so vast is the site that each tent/yurt/pod sits in perfect seclusion. There are plenty of wonderfully quirky luxurious extras too, like the outdoor eco-spa with hot tub and sauna, or the Nordic barbecue cabin – if it can withstand a Scandinavian winter, a bit of North Yorks drizzle won’t trouble your flame-grilled feast. And because Camp Kátur lies within the Camphill Estate, you have pick of some first-rate adventures, from water zorbing and segways to zip wires and quad-biking, plus a fully-licensed café/bar, making it a perfect venue for an action-packed hen or stag do.
Despite all the activities on offer and the little flourishes of luxury, this is still very much a ‘Great Outdoors’ experience, however, with ‘back-to-nature’ shower sheds, woodland walks and a communal campfire to wind down the day. The only astonishing thing is that Camp Kátur has only been operating since 2013. It’s a welcoming, well-maintained site with a laid-back communal vibe that’s summed up in the Camp Kátur mantra ‘Discover Your Outdoor Happiness’. So, thanks to that big boss who gave Kerry her marching orders, you can now discover yours.
Public toilets on the site and shower sheds in the glamping area. Communal kitchen hut with washing and cooking facilities. Woodland Eco Spa with wood-fired hot tub and sauna barrel. Children's toy shed, mini-library, board and garden games, plus a playground with shelter. Café bar with live music and other events, and free Wi-Fi. No open fires allowed but there is a communal campfire area. Lots of onsite activities available including clay pigeon shooting, tree-top adventures and more.
Glampers, tent campers, dogs – yes. They also host weddings, stag and hen dos.
Knaresborough is one of the UK's prettiest towns. With its impressive Victorian viaduct, the crumbling Knaresborough Castle (01423 556188) and the legendary Mother Shipton's Cave (01423 864600), this is a great place to lose the day. If you're visiting in June, be sure to attend the annual Great Knaresborough Bed Race – a quirky local tradition which attracted over 30,000 people to the town in 2013. If shopping is on your agenda, Leeds is just 30 odd miles down the A1. If you haven't had your fill of outdoor fresh air on site, the famous North Yorkshire Moors National Park and Yorkshire Dales lie to the east and west respectively.
Food & Drink
The Nordic 'Podfather BBQ Cabin' is ideal for year-round grilling. It can seat up to 16 people, whatever the weather, and comes equipped with all the utensils and pyro-phenalia to get your barbie fired up. BBQ meat and Fondue Dessert Hampers can also be pre-ordered (for an additional cost). The Orangery Cafe & Bar serves up decent breakfasts, burgers, salads and sandwiches. It opens fro 10am - 5pm at weekends and daily during school holidays. Should you venture forth, the award-winning Fox & Hounds Inn at Carthorpe (01845 567433) has been refreshing weary pilgrims for 200 years. All food is locally-sourced and you can even purchase lovely homemade produce to take away. The Borough Bailiff (01423 862170) is Knaresborough's oldest pub. It's currently owned by the famous Samuel Smith Brewery of Tadcaster. You can tour the brewery by special arrangement and enjoy a pint in the onsite pub as you watch the iconic shire horses trot along the courtyard.
Early April – End Oct.
Camp Hill Estate is just 5 minutes from the A1, in between the lovely Ripon and Bedale and just 30 minutes from the popular Spa town of Harrogate and 45 minutes by car from Leeds and York.
Nearest Train station is just 8 miles away in Thirsk.
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