Yarlington Yurt – Somerset
- Yurt for 4
1 double in the main pod, two singles in the adjoining bedroom pod
The Yarlington Yurt is an unusual two pod arrangement, with two single beds in a connected bedroom pod accessed through the main yurt, which houses its own king-sized double. It's magnificently eccentric and although perhaps unexpected within the grounds of such a house, somehow seems to fit it perfectly. Count and Countess Charles de Salis have had a lot of fun with the décor and there can't be many yurts whose interior can be best described as 'late 18th Century with French influence'. Apart from the gramophone which, though decorative, has sadly seen the end of its entertaining days. Rugs, lamps, paintings and beautiful fabrics that used to adorn the main house now proudly fill the yurt. The fairy lights set into the canopy create an enchanting sense of sleeping under the stars and the wood-burner keeps things cosy all year round. The kitchen and bathroom tent, set just next to the yurt, has been cleverly designed to make the best use of space and power; an ingenious accompaniment to the yurt living area. Perfect for any group of four who like their yurts more roomy than the norm. Mains electricity, hot running water and gas hobs, mean you can cook and eat in comfort whatever the weather. Seasonal produce is available to be purchased from the kitchen garden just behind you. The local farm shops stock a wealth of cheese, meat and of course, cider that's synonymous with Somerset. The grounds and gardens are full of wonders, but if the kids aren't interested in the apple pergola or the aisle of golden laburnum so popular with Yarlington's wedding guests, they can always arrange with Charles and Carolyn to have a dip in the family swimming pool. A fantastic local 'foodie' pub is a 5 minute walk and Stourhead and Longleat a short drive away.
- Children welcome
Sorry, pets are not permitted at Yarlington. Kids of all ages are welcome.
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Everything you need to know about Yarlington Yurt
The important stuff
- Yarlington does its best to be environmentally responsible, but it really is isolated and guests are advised that they will almost certainly need transport of their own while staying.
- Guests can roam large parts of the peaceful gardens and Carolyn and Charles will happily show you around.
- There are occasional summer weddings. They are on Saturdays only, during the afternoon until 11pm and take place some distance from the yurt.
- The nearest shop is an old fashioned village shop in North Cadbury (3 miles) and there is a supermarket in Wincanton (4 miles)
Sleeping arrangements1 double in the main pod, two singles in the adjoining bedroom pod
Kids & PetsSorry, pets are not permitted at Yarlington. Kids of all ages are welcome.
- Private kitchen and bathroom tent
- Twin gas hob
- Fridge with small freezer compartment
- All utensils
- Crockery & Cutlery
- Glasses (wine/tumblers)
- Washing up bowl
- Shower, in a separate unit with the kitchen, is gas powered, instantly hot
- There is a compost loo with soakaway right next to the yurt
Heating, lighting & bedding
- There is full electric power in the yurt
- Full bed linen
- Tea towels
- There is a pool which guests can use by arrangement and at their own risk
- A Roberts Radio
Yarlington House, Somerset BA9 8DY
From Paddington: Exeter & Penzance line to Castle Cary (1 hr 40 mins)
From Waterloo: Exeter line to Templecombe (1 hr 50 mins)
From London and the East
Take the A303 to the Wincanton turning and then follow the A371 signed to Castle Cary. Pass the Holbrook House Hotel on your right and, after approx 1.5 miles, Yarlington is signed off to the left (right if you're coming from the North) 3 miles outside Castle Cary. Take another right and the drive is just past the pink cottage.
From the West on the A303
Yarlington is signed off left some 41/2 miles after the Sparkford roundabout. Go straight over the first crossroads and take the next left signed to Yarlington. The drive to Yarlington House is a hundred yards on the left just past a pink cottage.
When visiting, take the left fork at the top of the drive, through the gates and into the rear courtyard and knock at the first back door.
Eating & drinking
Breakfast at the house
Full English breakfasts of locally sourced produce are served in the dining room and available by arrangement at a cost of £10 per person. Also speak to Fraser Gardner (he's the gardener) to taste the seasonal fruits and vegetables on offer in the 200-year-old walled kitchen garden.
Pubs & Restaurants
Stags Head Inn, Yarlington (5 minute walk down the hill). Equipped with real fires, this pub is ideal for informal brunches in their relaxed bar. Or you can opt to dine in style in their antique-furnished restaurant.
Montague Inn, Yarlington (2.3 miles). Hidden away in the hedgerows, you may have to ask locals to help you find the way to this former post office/green grocer. Five minutes away by car, this pub specialises in fish dishes and offers a vast menu comprised of locally sourced ingredients. A truly local establishment with a new dining room and à la carte menu, the Montague Inn offers a little something for all tastes.
At The Chapel, Bruton (5 miles). This converted chapel won the 2010 prize for Best Restaurant in the Taste of Somerset awards. With an in-store bakery, children’s menu and a wood-fired oven for handcooked pizzas this café/restaurant really does have a lot to offer. A 15-minute drive away, this chapel turned restaurant boasts a varied menu, both continental and cooked breakfasts until midday with a brunch and dinner menu following on after.
Things to do
Outdoor & activities
Half an hour away, the first safari park to be built outside of Africa resides in Longleat's stately grounds. There are miles of walks and cycle paths all over the surrounding countryside.
Open from April to November, Sherbourne Castle is a historic home with 30 acres of lakeside gardens and a tea room for delicious afternoon teas. Also within 45 minutes drive from the yurt is Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve, set up as a pioneering project in the 1980s and now one of the top bird watching sites in Britain. The National Trust's Stourhead Gardens are also a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.
Castle Cary is a charming town, with a bustling market square, museum and old prison as well as lots of little shops and cafés.
Wincanton Racecourse, where it is said that the first ever steeple chasing took place, is four miles away. In 2002, Wincanton officially twinned itself with the fictional city of Ankh Morpork in fantasy author Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. The town has numerous local shops and cafés including an exceptional butcher and farm shop. Due to a fire in 1707 most of the buildings are Georgian and many converted coaching inns still remain from this period.
For those with youngsters to entertain, the Witch of Wookey is set in stone in her caves 40 minutes down the road.
A 15-minute drive away (how else would you arrive) you'll find Haynes International Motor Museum which is home to the UK’s largest exhibition of greatest cars from all around the world. From classic Bentleys and Rolls Royces to modern-day super cars such as the Jaguar XJ220 this museum has the lot. They also have a themed adventure playground, interactive displays and a Ghostbuster-style ambulance.
Festivals & events
The internationally renowned Glastonbury Festival takes place just down the road in June. Long gone are the days when buying a pint of milk from the owner gave you entry to the festival but it definitely gives the area a unique ambiance all year round.
The Bath & West show in Shepton Mallet is home to the National Cheese Awards and the UK’s biggest cider competition. For a true taste of the West Country this show in June with over 600 trade stands is a great family day out.
The Wincanton Carnival is part of Somerset’s Guy Fawkes illuminated carnivals that take place in autumn. The village really comes alive during this period with extravagantly decorated costumes, floats and festivities until the early hours.
Meet your hosts
The Count and Countess Charles de Salis have lived at Yarlington very happily for over half a century and with help from their four daughters have restored Yarlington House to its original grandeur and wholly created the impressive gardens. The idea to put a yurt on their land came from Charles and Carolyn's boundless energy and eagerness to try new and exciting ideas. They were also intrigued by this new surge of ‘luxury’ camping, since Charles’ memories of sleeping outdoors take him back to his army days in Malaya, when things were quite different, and an 'outdoor shower' was an unwelcome and far from refreshing tropical downpour when asleep on the ground!
Avid recyclers, Charles and Carolyn aim to run their house with minimal waste. The kitchen garden provides seasonal produce for the house’s delicious breakfasts and for guests to buy. Produce is available by arrangement with the gardener. The yurt and the kitchen and bathroom tent are both built by Albion Canvas from sustainable, carefully sourced materials. There's a rather charming private compost loo for guests of the yurt.
The large, flower-filled gardens are home to numerous species of butterflies. The area also supports deer, badgers, buzzards and rabbits. 40 minutes' drive away there is Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve, famous for its birds.