Yellow Wood

UK England West Midlands Herefordshire Whitney-on-Wye

  • Campfires allowed
Cooking on open fires. Creating your own camp, then sleeping under the stars in a hammock or on a groundsheet under a tarpaulin.
Tucked away in Herefordshire, on the edge of the Welsh borders, nestles Yellow Wood – five acres of ancient woodland surrounded by footpaths, more trees and a stunning backdrop of mountains. If you’ve ever camped in the States or Down Under, you’ll already get what bush-camping is all about. And this was the intention of bushman Paul when he set up the camp three years ago. This site re-writes the camping rule book. You won’t find a shop that’ll freeze your cool blocks or top-up your camping gas here. Certainly not. Yellow Wood is all about appreciating and learning how to work in harmony with your surroundings and getting down and dirty with nature. Party central this ain’t. There’s a quiet policy from 11pm until 7am – so campers (as well as all the little furry fellas you’ll no doubt be sharing the wood with, perched up in trees or tucked down burrows) can fully appreciate their natural surroundings. Families who’ve stayed before have made signs for some of the pitches, so if you’re feeling adventurous you could opt for Wolf’s Retreat – or dream up your own name. Yellow Wood is the ultimate back-to-nature experience – and like those who’ve been here before you, you’ll be completely hooked.

Details

Facilities

Once you’ve experienced the excitement of rigging up your camp in the trees, there’s cooking on open fires, tree-clambering and nature-walking. Adapt, or make your own, bush furniture – draining-boards or chairs – from twigs lashed together with binder-twine. Love the sounds of a wood in full swing: leaves falling, twigs snapping, birds twittering. There are 17 pitches nestled in the wood, but these are rotated, so you won’t be camping on top of anyone else. The pitch size varies to suit groups of 6, 4 and 2 people. There’s one composting loo (whistle if you hear anyone coming) and a men’s bush urinal. More are planned. If your family dome tent is dull, hire a tarpaulin or even a tipi. For a refreshing start to the day, try the bush-shower dash – though if you’re feeling precious, warm up the water first. Firewood is available at £5 per wheelbarrow. Don’t even think about burning fallen branches – every twig is part of the delicate ecosystem. Paul runs bushcraft courses. You’ll learn how to identify edible plants and light fires in all weathers without matches. These are an optional extra, but he’s only a call away if you do need the benefit of his know-how.

Nearby

Handily, there’s a nature reserve right behind Yellow Wood. If you want a river walk, you’re only a pleasant 1½ miles away. A fab canoeing spot is a 2½-mile walk away; several local companies offer drop-offs and pick-ups. Wye Valley Canoes (01497 847213) are particularly amenable. The Brecon Beacons National Park is only 7 miles away and offers most outdoor pursuits, from hiking to caving and kayaking.

Food & Drink

There’s a pub in the village about 1 mile back down the track. There’s another pub 21/2 miles away by the river. Both serve good food and cater for kids. If you run out of milk there’s a garage a couple of miles away. Head for Hay-on- Wye for a Co-op, greengrocers, bakers and cafés.

Opening Times

All year.

Family Friendly

This is the great outdoors. Sometimes poisonous wild fungi spring up, so point out such things to your kids.

Location

Contact Yellow Wood, nr Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire

Show Map

Getting There

Location is top secret (to avoid overloading the delicate landscape), so you will be given directions on booking (including the secret code for the bush camp’s 5-bar gate). Catch the train to Hereford; bus 37 (from Hereford or Ross-on-Wye) passes by the farm every 2 hours (Young’s Coaches; 01531 821584).

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