Sittling under the boughs of evergreen woodland in ‘the Shire’, I slowly turn into a Hobbit…I crouch under the small doorway and step into my own little world. Peeping back through the door, I note that no dwarves, elves or hobbits have followed me here. I know they are out there, because Tolkien said they lived in ‘the Shire’. Perhaps Bilbo Baggins and his mates were hiding in the woods. Mind you, I would easily notice them. Being small in stature, they are known to dress in bright colours, favouring yellow and green. Still, the last time anyone had seen a certain hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, he had set out on a journey to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug. His journey was to take him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory. According to Tolkien, they are usually shy creatures, but are nevertheless capable of great courage and amazing feats under the proper circumstances.

Ok, rewind. That was in the film ‘The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey’, which hit the cinemas last December. I am in a peaceful corner of a 250-acre estate in North Yorkshire, where three yurts nestle discreetly under the boughs of evergreen woodland, overlooking a meadow. According to Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’, there were three ‘breeds’ of hobbits: Harfoots, Stoors and Fallohides. The latter were an adventurous people that preferred to live in the woods under the Misty Mountains.

So here we are, living like a Fallohide in the woods, in a yurt. Camp Hill is the north’s award-winning corporate event and outdoor adventure destination. It is now also where families wanting a holiday in the ‘Shire’ have the opportunity to be at one with nature, whilst enjoying home comforts. Following the estate road, you come across Yurtshire, and beautifully handcrafted yurts. There is no electricity. Instead, lanterns, candles and torches are provided and, together with the warm glow of the wood-burning stove, fire pits and barbeque, it all adds to the magical experience. Each yurt sits on decking, and all have steam bent ash beams and a unique round top solid oak door. The chic interiors are both rustic and cosy, and furnished with a double bed with Egyptian cotton sheets, and both a double and single futon. Heating is via the indoors wood burning stove, and there is also an exterior fire pit, complete with a complimentary bag of logs. Each yurt is also equipped with fire extinguisher and fire blanket. Each yurt also has a compost/sawdust toilet and solar shower bag, and a shared hot tub. For relaxation, the woodland Eco Spa includes a six-person wood-burning hot tub and wood fired sauna. After all that steamy work, it is time to gather around the communal campfire with its rustic seating, before retiring to one’s own little piece of glamping heaven.


Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington, Bedale, North Yorkshire