When Kerry Roy was made redundant in 2012, she took it as a sign to follow her dreams and, along with her partner Dave, decided to set up her own campsite. We're glad she did, because Camp Katur now has one of the most diverse selections of glamping accommodation in the country. Named after the Icelandic word for 'happy', Camp Kátur nestles within the sprawling 250-acre Camphill Estate just outside Bedale, North Yorkshire, an off-grid glamping experience that brings together a diverse array of native abodes, thrilling outdoor activities and some excellent eco-friendly facilities.
Located within a peaceful 15-acre meadow, fringed by woodland, there are loads of amazing glamping options, including the UK's first 360-degree panoramic Unidome, which is brilliant for stargazing from under the duvet. Hobbit pods hide in the trees, which are cosy cabins ideal for groups of four, with the Romeo & Juliet pod perfect for glamping couples. The three safari tents (Zaniah, Jabbah and Afia) will each happily sleep a party of eight, and come complete with a private toilet and shower area. The tipi sleeps four, and two bell tents sleep five (on two double beds and a camp bed single). There are also two geodomes which sleep up to four guests, and have their own kitchen, toilet and hot shower facilities. New for 2018 is the Bears Place Luxury Lodge, while you can also pitch your own tents during weddings and large private events.
With such an array of accommodation, you could be forgiven for thinking that things will get a little cramped. But the site is large enough to ensure plenty of seclusion, and there are plenty of quirky extras too, from an outdoor hot tub and sauna to the woodland Nordic BBQ pod ('The Podfather') where you can produce your own flame-grilled feast. Glampers have their run of the first-rate adventures on offer on the estate – segways, quad bikes, putting and zip wires. As Kerry puts it, "it's one big playground for big and little kids alike!!"
Among an array of events throughout the year, there are 'Sneaky Cinema' screenings and the celebrated 'Dubs in't Dales' gathering of like-minded VW camper van nuts, while the cobbled streets of nearby Knaresborough are a good place to lose yourself. That said, it's the site itself that is the real draw – a welcoming, well-maintained place that offers a truly unique glamping experience. The Camp Kátur mantra is 'Discover Your Outdoor Happiness'. Thanks to that boss who gave Kerry her marching orders, you can now discover yours.
Our favourite spot
Glampers, tent campers, dogs – yes. They also host weddings, stag and hen dos.
The local area
Knaresborough is one of the UK's prettiest towns. With its impressive Victorian viaduct, the crumbling Knaresborough Castle (01423 556188) and the legendary Mother Shipton's Cave (01423 864600), this is a great place to lose the day. If you're visiting in June, be sure to attend the annual Great Knaresborough Bed Race – a quirky local tradition which attracted over 30,000 people to the town in 2013. If shopping is on your agenda, Leeds is just 30 odd miles down the A1. If you haven't had your fill of outdoor fresh air on site, the famous North Yorkshire Moors National Park and Yorkshire Dales lie to the east and west respectively.
Best local places to eat and drink
The Nordic 'Podfather BBQ Cabin' is ideal for year-round grilling. It can seat up to 16 people, whatever the weather, and comes equipped with all the utensils and pyro-phenalia to get your barbie fired up. BBQ meat and Fondue Dessert Hampers can also be pre-ordered (for an additional cost). The Orangery Cafe & Bar serves up decent breakfasts, burgers, salads and sandwiches. It opens fro 10am - 5pm at weekends and daily during school holidays. Should you venture forth, the award-winning Fox & Hounds Inn at Carthorpe (01845 567433) has been refreshing weary pilgrims for 200 years. All food is locally-sourced and you can even purchase lovely homemade produce to take away. The Borough Bailiff (01423 862170) is Knaresborough's oldest pub. It's currently owned by the famous Samuel Smith Brewery of Tadcaster. You can tour the brewery by special arrangement and enjoy a pint in the onsite pub as you watch the iconic shire horses trot along the courtyard.
Why stay with us?
Public toilets on the site and shower sheds in the glamping area. Communal kitchen hut with washing and cooking facilities. Woodland Eco Spa with wood-fired hot tub and sauna barrel. Children's toy shed, mini-library, board and garden games, plus a playground with shelter. Café bar with live music and other events, and free Wi-Fi. No open fires allowed but there is a communal campfire area. Lots of onsite activities available including clay pigeon shooting, tree-top adventures and more.
15 glamping options including hobbit pods, safari tents, yurts, bell tents, tipis, a vintage 80s caravan, geodomes and unidomes.
Hobbit pods from £35 per night; Tipis & Bell Tents from £60; Unidome from £70; Safari Tents from £90. See website for full details.
Open early April–end October.
The Camphill Estate is just 5 minutes from the A1, in between Ripon and Bedale, 30 minutes from the popular spa town of Harrogate, and 45 minutes by car from Leeds and York. The nearest train station is 8 miles away in Thirsk.
Nearest Train station is just 8 miles away in Thirsk.
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