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Luxury Camping · Café Bistro · Druid’s Temple walks

The Blog

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  • Restful Escape

    Having spent four nights in one of our Meadow Yurts I feel rebalanced, rejuvenated and inspired.

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    I stayed four nights in a Beautiful Meadow Yurt called Cowslip. The first two days I had friends join me. Mike brought his guitar and Eddie cooked lamb stew in the outdoor kitchen. It was amazing. We watched satellites and became friendly with a particularly snuffley hedgehog! With tea lights in our chandelier and the fire roaring it was a cosy and merry atmosphere, especially once we were supping our spicy mulled wine! We all agreed we could live like this for much longer than a few days.

    The last two nights I spent alone. Although not alone; I felt so connected to the amazing nature that surrounded me. The moon lit up the countryside and with a big mug of cocoa I was at peace. I had brought my books and pens, so when I managed to drag myself away from the great outdoors I wrapped myself up in all the blankets and read and wrote by the fire. It was so quiet and peaceful I was really able to get lost in my learning.

    The beautiful double bed was extremely comfortable and with the warmth from the fire held in the Yurt all night, I slept deeply, and woke the next morning to the sounds of nature. I couldn’t wait to get outside and see the view in the early morning light. With such a beautiful shower block, complete with heated flooring and hair dryers I really felt nurtured and well!

    I would thoroughly recommend a stay in a Yurt this autumn, either with friends or alone.

  • Nina writes again!

    There is a never ending stream of learning to be done at Swinton Bivouac. In my short time here my eyes have been opened to so many things.

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    For instance the process by which we purify our own water, in two beds full of living natural reeds! By the time the water leaves the second bed it has been purified and is ready to be distributed back out to the Shacks and Yurts. Amazing!
    On a different note I witnessed a beautiful wedding here recently.  The ceremony was blessed by the sounds of Tibetan Singing Bowls. It was a truly magical moment as the Yurt, which was decorated with wild flowers and colourful wedding guests, filled with the harmonic sounds of the bowls. Love truly rang in the air!
    My taste buds were tantalized last week when our new Chef Manager introduced us to a delicious selection of wines from around the globe. We were able to sample the new collection of whites, reds and roses alongside inspiring new dishes from the menu. A personal favourite being the new Falafel main, a middle eastern chickpea dish seasoned with herbs, spices and chili, and served with a beetroot and mint relish. Wow!
    With exciting ideas about retreats, workshops and events in the coming months I know life will continue to dazzle me. Our new managers have brought a new buzz and further opportunities to learn. I can’t wait to see what’s in store!
    Oh and one more very important thing I’ve learnt: the value of wellies!
    Nina x

  • Simple Pleasures

    From down under to over yonder, read on to see what drew local lass Nina to join the Bivouac team and why she loves it here!

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    My sister introduced me to The Bivouac, I was in Australia and ready for a new adventure. She told me about the website and I immediately fell in love with the rustic outdoorsy vibe and couldn’t believe my luck, they were looking for staff!

    I’ve now been here a week and as I look out from the café to the rolling Yorkshire country side, I feel at home. The smells of baking, the muddy faces of the dry stone wallers, the giggles from the cocktail making hen party are good for the soul!

    There is a lot I am grateful for here at The Bivouac. Starting with the stunning drive up from Bedale, with the radio on and the sun shining it’s a beautiful start to my day. I can’t drink enough of the pure water from the natural spring and I love spotting hedgehogs and birds of prey out in the fields. The range of people I am meeting from ramblers to newlyweds to musicians and artists brings tales from far and wide.

    I feel grounded and settled after the big city life in Melbourne. I am breathing fresh air and taking in the simple things. I smile to myself on a regular basis! I can’t wait to see the wedding we are hosting this weekend. Talks of woodland ceremonies, Yurts decorated with fairy lights and pizzas cooked in the clay oven really does sound like a dream come true.

  • Sustainable Bivouac

    Hi! I’m Polly, and I am new here at the Bivouac! With a background in Sustainable Management and passion for the great outdoors I was drawn to Bivouac by its stunning location and connectivity with nature, and its excellent Eco ethos!

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    All guests and visitors can fully immerse themselves in the great Yorkshire countryside here, knowing that their stay is having minimum impact on the environment, which is a rare opportunity these days. All heating and electricity for the shop, reception and café area is heated by a biomass (woodchip) boiler, and all shacks and yurts are off grid. It’s good for the soul, I think, to have a few days away from the glare of computer screens, halogen lights and TV’s. And it’s peaceful if nothing else, to have a break from electronic correspondence.
    I have found that one of the first questions people ask when being shown their accommodation is ‘’is the water drinking water?’’ and my response seems to please most. The water here is from a natural local spring, which means there is nothing nasty in there, nothing unnatural, it’s full of minerals and goodness, another great way to cleanse the body and soul while at Bivouac! And all of the waste water is filtered through a natural reed bed. This is a process whereby the waste water passes through a series of gravel and reed beds and all nasties are broken down by microbial activity. This natural process uses nothing but gravity and micro-organisms, no electricity, no chemicals, nada!
    I hope that our eco-friendly, away from it all breaks is what inspires people to visit the Bivouac in the same way I was drawn to working here.  I’m already loving it here and I am excited to put my stamp on the place! I am keen to use my existing knowledge of sustainability and ecology to encourage some new and exciting events, encourage wildlife, and continue to expand the range of eco-friendly, Fairtrade and local products in the shop and café! Oh and I just love weddings too! Last year I got married on a beach in Scotland, with a reception in a Tipi, it had a very rustic, handmade, country style, just like what is on offer here at Bivouac (except from the beach part), so I am looking forward to using my own wedding planning experience to help couples with similar ideas have the perfect day! Watch this space!

  • Happy Half Term Holidays!

    Bivouac has re-opened now for 2014 and our site was full of happy families enjoying the activities we had lined up over the half term holidays.

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    During school holiday time we always have loads of activities lined up to keep your little (and big one’s!) entertained. From the messy bird feeder making workshop to crafts and nature trails there is something for all ages. Have a look at our Events and Activities page and see if there is something you fancy having a go at. We also have activities for adults running throughout the year – these courses are usually very popular so get booking!

  • Bivouac in Winter!

    We are hard at work getting Bivouac ready for the new season in February.

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    We are hard at work getting Bivouac ready for the new season in February. The Café continues to be open at weekends until Friday 6th February when we will then be open all week round. We are planning activities for the February Half Term – please see Indoor Activities for full details. We also have a Family Tree Planting Day on Tuesday 18th February 2014 between 11am and 3pm. Come along and give us a hand! Free tea and coffee for all workers!