Jollydays Yorkshire family glamping adventure
Ralph Waldo Emerson suggested, life is better when we ‘adopt the pace of nature’. I think he knew what he was talking about.
Having enjoyed a luxurious, idyllic (and child-free!) stay at the superb North Star Club last Autumn, I was excited to be visiting their more family-oriented sister site, Jollydays for a little half-term ‘glamp’ together with the whole family.
Situated 5 mins off the A64 and secluded enough to miss if you weren’t looking for it, Jollydays is set over 15 acres of lush, verdant mixed woodland. It shares some of the features of its slightly more refined sister site, but with a definite nod towards the more inclusive, family atmosphere that we need with a three and a five year old in tow.
Our home for two nights was Jolly Day’s signature Woodland Tent. Spacious and charming, it had everything we needed for a very comfortable stay. Outside our tent was a large veranda and right off our front steps we had our own BBQ and picnic table.
One of the many luxuries of Jollydays is that all 22 tents at the site are a minimum of 15 metres from each other, giving every camp the feeling of privacy. Our ‘front garden’ was a lovely plot of woodland where the children spent time stick collecting, bug hunting and playing.
Inside, the Tent was light and spacious, with a large wood burning stove in the heart of the living area. Upon arrival we were given two bags of wood and although our stay was unseasonably cool, (around 11C during the daytime) the heat from stove kept our tent comfortable and warm for our entire visit. We did buy an extra bag of wood as we kept the fire very well fed; but who doesn’t like to feed an open fire?
One thing to note is that although there are fire guards, they don’t extend all the way around the stove so we had to keep an eye on the three year old running around in the living space.
The kitchen is a rather clever ‘shed’ in the middle of the tent. It has the one electric light in the tent, running water, a kettle, a 4 gas ring hob, a small refrigerator and plenty of plates, glasses, cutlery, pots and bottle openers. With the options of both a BBQ outside and a stovetop inside, it meant that we could cook almost anything that we cooked at home.
We brought plenty of our own food and picked up some extra supplies on our second day at the lovely Balloon Tree Farmshop just a few minutes drive away. We could have pre-ordered breakfast or supper baskets from Jollydays, which is a convenient option, but aside from this there is not food (other than marshmallows) to be purchased at the camp itself. The camp store does have a great selection of drinks including beer, wines, and juices, which can call be purchased on an ‘honesty system’ where you write your choices down and pay your tab at the end of your stay.
Although Jollydays feels like you’re miles away from anywhere else, there are actually many options for places to grab a bite to eat or drink nearby.
Although there are communal toilets on site as not every camp includes it’s own toilet, the Woodland Shed has it’s own toilet and shower set inside a second shed across from the kitchen. Inside the bathroom it’s hard to imagine that you are actually inside a giant tent. It is spacious with running water, a toilet, sink and shower within a bath.
Our Woodland Tent had two bedrooms at the back; One with a four poster and the second with two twin beds. The bedrooms don’t have any ‘extra decoration’ but the beds were extremely comfortable and the duvets were amazing and warm. There are also two double sofa beds in the living area, making the Woodland Tent big enough to sleep six guests.
The Woodland Tent is spacious enough for six people to share even if the weather brought everyone in for the day. The tent also comes equipped with hot water bottles which we made use of at night.
After settling into our tent we headed off to the communal area of the camp which consists of a children’s play area, a covered fire pit, a tea tent, and a pizza oven for guests to use.
Cars are only allowed in the camp when you arrive and leave to pack and unpack, so the kids could run freely without worry of sharing the path.
The play area was delightfully simple, consisting of a play house, tires for jumping on, a den, and swings. In the later afternoon and evening around a dozen camp kids gathered to play with footballs or chase each other in a game of hide and seek. Our duo enjoyed making new friends and having other kids to play with, but as there are only 22 camps it meant that things still felt relaxed and calm.
The absolute highlight of the stay for Lily and Leo was the fire pit. It was a fantastic communal space, where adults could enjoy a convivial beer or glass of wine and a chat while the kids shared bags of marshmallows.
Although the tents at Jollydays are set over 15 acres, the site itself is on 200 acre woodland. Perfect for walks, den building and animal spotting. We often go on walks as a family but it’s rare to go on a 30 minute walk and never see another person; With all the space at Jollydays you really do have a chance to experience ‘true nature’.
We didn’t spend much time in the Tea Tent, but I can imagine it would be a nice place to read or play games on a rainy day. There was a place to charge phones (or camera batteries) as well as some books, games and tea which could be purchased on the honesty system. The kids thought the ‘hay chairs’ were great fun.
If you like the East Yorkshire countryside as much as I do, you’ll love Jolly Days. It’s not only an opportunity to have a warm and luxurious stay in the middle of aces and acres of natural beauty, it’s also a perfect spot from which to explore the diverse attractions that this unique part of the world offers. Less than an hour in any direction from Jolly days’ arcadian charms will offer you a different day out. You could be eating the best fish and chips on the planet in historical Whitby, soaking up the museums and cobbled streets of the magnificent walled city of York or strolling round the grounds of some of the North’s most outstanding national properties.
For more information or to book a tent yourself visit www.jollydaysglamping.co.uk.
We were invited to visit Jollydays for the purpose of this review.