In a beautiful 3 acre meadow in quiet Suffolk countryside, 4 yurts and a shepherd's hut nestle peacefully awaiting your arrival. Fully equipped with all you could need, just bring yourselves and prepare to relax and recharge your batteries. Spend all day on site with plenty of wildlife to watch or chose a deck chair from the shed and settle down to a good read and, as evening draws in, practise your campfire skills or grill some of the lovely local produce over a barbecue as you uncork a bottle from our local vineyard. Perhaps the next day you'll decide to cycle or drive the quiet 10 miles to the nearby sandy beaches, hunting for amber or seashells to take home as a memento of this blissful break. Or, in our beautifully renovated 17th century barn, you might be tempted to take on all-comers at table tennis or table football, followed by an invigorating heated woodland shower (forest bathing!). Or borrow one of our bikes and explore the North Sea Route 1 (EV12) - use one of our maps or ask us for a recommended route. For the more adventurous, we welcome continental cyclists exploring the North Sea Route and can accommodate small tents on site.
We manage the meadow in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner - the ox-eye daisies are doing well and we have a very good supply of bird's foot trefoil and the occasional bee orchid (see our section on Sustainability for more info about what we're doing on all things Green) and have been planting native whips which have now begun to look nicely established. We regularly see and hear owls (barn, little owl and tawny - have a look here at some footage shot recently by one of our yurt guests of a barn owl in the meadow), bats, hares, rabbits (of course), red legged partridge and a fantastic range of birds, including buzzards, kestrels and sparrowhawks, green and great spotted woodpeckers, yellowhammers and many smaller and migrating species; the spotted fly catchers in the summer are some of our favourites. If you are good with birdsong, you'll be able to pick out the various warblers that live in the rich habitat around the fields. In fact with a bit of luck you should be able to see all of the birds after which the various yurts are named during your stay (with the exception of Lapwings which tend to be around over the late autumn and winter months, grazing on the local arable fields). We've also been excited to see stoats and weasles around and about the meadow, so keep your eyes peeled. One of our young yurters also tracked down a glow-worm! We have sections of long and shorter grass in the meadow - the long grass becomes matted which short-tailed voles love (and in turn the owls love the voles...) and glow-worms love the spots between long and short grass, so we're hoping to increase the diversity of species that use the meadow for food and a home.
We have a pond (fenced off, if you are worried about small children!) and ditches that encourage huge dragonflies in summer and early autumn and we have recently spotted water voles and a water shrew (the UK's only venomous mammal!) Ducks and moorhens nest wherever they can find a well-hidden spot and we often have pheasants nesting in the long grass in the meadow, . Our two small copses are home to aconites and bluebells in spring and wild cherries later in the year, and we are working to create a wildlife-friendly environment around the margins to encourage nesting and hibernating habitats for a whole range of species, including our hedgehog families. We have also been planting willow poles, elders, buddleia and many native trees and shrubs in the meadow including damson, crab apple, hazel, guelder-rose and dogwood.
We love the yurts because they sit quietly in their surroundings, are snug as well as very comfortable - they all have wood-burners inside and “proper” double beds - and allow you to enjoy the natural environment to the full. They’re fun too and, as keen campers we aim to include all the best bits from various sites we’ve visited over the years – campfires come top of the list, closely followed by the pizza oven! So once the sun starts to go down you can sit round the campfire watching the stars come out and enjoy the peace. The sky is wonderfully dark at night, and when the moon is full it’s great fun to go for night hikes or bike rides (remember to like us on FaceBook page for details of our monthly Full Moon Walks).
Westhall and the surrounding area is mainly devoted to arable farming so if you are a fan of agricultural machinery you’ll be happy! The farms are mostly small scale with plenty of hedgerows and gentle rolling landscape – this isn’t big industrial farmland. The lanes are quiet for cycling or walking and there’s plenty to see and do in the area. We’ve also got plenty to occupy you in the barn with table tennis, table football, books, maps, as well as WiFi if you really feel you can’t tear yourself away from the outside world for too long.
Photos - Carl Lamb - http://www.ambientlight.co.uk/
Website - Flat Peak - http://www.theflatpeak.com