Yurts and Coronavirus
First of all we should stay that our thoughts are with all our lovely guests and we are hoping that you and your families are keeping safe and well. We continue to be open for short breaks and holidays throughout the year and are monitoring government announcements on a daily basis and will keep this blog as well as our FaceBook page updated with where we're at. We've been in touch with our April guests to offer to move their breaks to later in the year for anyone who would prefer that and will contact May guests within the next week or so, once we see how things are looking. In the meantime if you have any questions do please give us a call on 07802 456087. We have put measures in place to minimise the risk of catching Coronavirus, with a new paper towel dispenser installed and a stack of 10,000 paper towels to go with it; we have a good stock of bars of soap, information about hand-washing (though everyone must be familiar with the routine by now), a huge stack of tea-towels and appropriate laundry baskets and bins dotted around. We are also blessed with plenty of fresh air and, of course, each yurt has their own cooking facilities and equipment for cooking at the yurt, in addition to the shared facilities. We're also expecting a surge in the use of the (heated) woodland showers this year, so they are freshly serviced and all ready to go. We've been heartened by the responses from many of our returning guests, who are happy with the cleanliness and standards of hygiene at the yurts and tell us that they are very much looking forward to their Easter breaks, and we look forward to welcoming many returning and new guests this year. With a heartfelt thanks for your continuing support in these difficult times, and best wishes to you all. And, we have to stay, after a good amount of winter rain the flowers are looking fabulous!
The Costal Pass is an exciting new tourism initiative to encourage visitors from Holland to explore the east coast and we're delighted that Ivy Grange Farm glamping has been chosen as one of the accommodation offerings. You can see more about how the Coastal Pass works here (and get a flavour of how you might spend a few days exploring this amazing section eastern coastline, even if you're not Dutch). Our yurts are situated right on the Sustrans National Cycle Route 1 (also known as the North Sea Route) and we've been excited to welcome Dutch and other Continental visitors over the years who have been cycling the route, starting in Bergen and passing through 7 countries and a cool 6,200km! We're well equipped here for cyclists, with good indoor storage for bikes as well as a selection of tools and puncture repair kits (we also have bikes for guests to borrow who have something more modest in mind, perhaps a cycle to the beach or the local pub). If you're thinking of coming to stay and bringing your own bikes, we're close to Brampton station if you plan to come by train and we have all the local cycle route maps as well as OS Explorer maps of the area. And as keen cyclists ourselves, we can suggest some great outings whether to the coast or around the quiet lanes inland - you can see one of our favourite cycling days out on our website here.
New Year, New Ambitions! Everyone knows that walking is good for you, however, you did you know that walking by the light of the moon is not just uplifting, but an experience that you'll remember for a lifetime! We're now into our third year of monthly full moon walks and we've seen and heard some amazing things - barn owls, tawny owls, a nightjar flutttering in front of us as we crossed Dunwich Heath, thick sea mists, a badger, otter prints, seals, bats, water voles, amazing moon shadows, glow-worms (dozens on one occasion!), ancient pollards, a unicorn (well, there's some debate about that photo...) and so much more, Our walks have featured in The Guardian, The Metro and two books - Jini Reddy's Wild Times and Dixe Wills' At Night (both recommended reading of course). We've discovered that a full moon walking group is a rare thing indeed, so if you've ever fancied trying it and feel the need for a bit of group support, then you've come to the right place. We run the walks every month, weather permitting, and have a good selection of routes, estuary, coastal, heatahland and rural farmland. The walks are generally about 5 miles, across level terrain and are suitable for anyone - including children - of reasonable fitness. Start times vary according to the time of the year but always include some walking in the dark (you get more "dark" walking in spring and autumn than the height of summer when the daylight hours are long). We've set the dates for the year ahead; if you are planning to stay in a yurt and come along, just book for the appropriate dates and let us know so we can be sure to advise you about the planned route. There's usually between 10-20 walkers, we try not to use torches, you'll need good walking boots and there are no dogs on these walks.
2017 dates during our season are: Tuesday 11 April; Wednesday 10 May; Saturday 10 Jun; Saturday 8 July; Sunday 6 August, Wednesday 6 September; Thursday 5 October.
Great to see our Full Moon Walks included in a feature in this week's London Metro. Jini Reddy's lovely new book, Wild Times has a chapter dedicated to one of our walks and word is already getting out! If you fancy joining us on one of our winter walks (when the yurts have been packed away for the season) there's an en-suite room in the house we use for just such an occasion - just get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org. Winter full moon dates are: Wednesday 14th December, Thursday 12th January, Saturday 11th February and Sunday 12th March.
We're delighted to be featured in a new book by nature and travel writer Jini Reddy, who joined us last year for one of our monthly Full Moon Meanders. Jini's Wild Times book launches later in October; we haven't seen it yet but are already very excited! The London launch is inked into our diary - Jonathan Porritt is one of the attractions, as is a catch-up with old friends and a visit to a city that has changed so much in the handful of years since we've left. We've ordered copies of the book ("Extraordinary experiences connecting with nature in Britain") for sale in our informal "camp shop" (along with Cool Camping's Glamping Getaways, featuring Barn Owl yurt on the front cover!), so save up your pennies for next year.
And if you want to experience the glories of the Suffolk night skies for yourself (without a moon at the moment, so you get fabulous views of the Milky Way as compensation...) there's still a weekend available in Lapwing yurt for the 30th September and 1st October; after that, we go into serious cleaning and re-proofing mode before before taking the yurts down for the winter. They'll go up again for the 2017 season starting on Friday 24th March. Our calendar is open for 2017 and we've already had a lot of returning guests booking, so if you have a specific date in mind (a birthday, anniversary or other celebration), don't delay!
Sorry, our weekend slot in Woodpecker has now gone. But if you are local(ish) you are still welcome to come and join us on the full moon walk if you fancy it.... An opportunity not to be missed. We still have a vacancy in Woodpecker yurt for the weekend of our next Full Moon Walk - 16/17 September. If you get in quickly, you could enjoy a last chance to stay in Woodpecker before she leaves us for a new home at the end of the season and join our lovely full moon walk on Saturday evening.
We'll be re-visiting one of our favourite walks that takes us through an amazing array of habitats including swamp-land populated by silver birches (really!), reed-beds, marshes, woodland and lovely sandy tracks. We'll set off before dusk so that we can watch the moonrise over the sea at Walberswick and are likely to spot barn owls as well as bats, and who knows what else? Setting off just before dusk from Hinton (just south of Blythburgh), the walk is about 5.5 miles duration over mainly level ground. We aim to walk by the light of the moon - torches may be needed for occasional road-walking if we meet a car but otherwise we try not to use them. You need to be of decent fitness for this walk (though this doesn't exclude children, we've had 8 year olds and up join us in the past) and have good walking shoes or boots.
But don't delay, there's only one yurt empty for this weekend and we expect it to go quickly!