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Luxury Camping · Café Bistro · Druid’s Temple walks

About Bivouac

About Bivouac

Our guests can retreat, enjoy quiet reflection and snuggle down with a good book or engage in activities that are active, unusual and creative. We’re passionate about adventure sports, with offerings to suit all abilities.

  • The Druid’s Temple is a folly, situated in the woods adjacent to the Tree Lodges and a very short walk from the Bivouac barn complex and Yurt field.

    The public footpath leads from the road to the main site of the folly, and within the woodland there are a number of other standing stones. At a number of points there are stunning views over the Leighton Reservoir, surrounding moorland and Yorkshire Dales landscape. There are a number of walking trails within the woodland which Swinton Estate allows walkers to use on a permissive use basis, there are no bridleways. The Temple is one of Yorkshire’s quirkiest follies, enjoying a fabulous location which we at Bivouac take great pleasure in. It is of particular appeal to walkers, families and bird watchers.

    There is some dispute about when the Temple was built, some views being that it was built in 1820 by William Danby the Younger. Records suggest that it was built by his father, William Danby, who was the owner of Swinton Estate, at some point between 1750 and 1803. An 1966 article in Country Life about the Danby family and Swinton Estate comments “There was much speculation about Druidism in the late 18th century [……] Poets as well as antiquarians were intrigued by Druids, among them Blake, Wordsworth and Southey. Sometimes discussion fringed on their place in the correlation of chronology, sometimes on their being the only true inheritors of the patriarchal religion, and at other times they were seen as British patriots, and as England’s earliest men of learning.” Reference has also been made to the Temple being built in order to generate income for soldiers returning from the Napoleonic Wars, and also of a hermit being paid to live at the Temple for seven years during the early 1800’s.

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    The Temple is one of Yorkshire's quirkiest follies