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Long Valley Yurts (Low Wray)

UK England East Midlands Derbyshire Greater Manchester Buxton

Long Valley Yurts, Low Wray National Trust Campsite, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 0JA
Long Valley Yurts at lovely Knotlow Farm sit on a family-run campsite in the middle of the Peak District National Park.

Bringing a bit of central Asian steppes style to the undulating hills of Derbyshire is the Long Valley Yurts operation at lovely Knotlow Farm, a family-run campsite which sits bang in the middle of the Peak District National Park. The four cosy yurts have the run of a whopping 100 acres of rolling English farmland, with not a car, road or streetlight in sight – brilliant for a relaxed getaway in breathtaking countryside. 

Long Valley have honed their operation at four glamping sites in the Lake District (search for Long Valley Yurts on this site), so it's back to nature but definitely not back to basics. The yurts are traditionally designed – spacious and airy (sleeping up to six), and sturdy as you like, equipped to fight any unpredictable weather. But in keeping with the Long Valley style they're all lovingly furnished in warm Moroccan hues, and feature futon-style beds, twinkly fairly lights, an efficient wood-burning stove and oven, and a central skylight for star-gazing on those crisp Peak District nights. They also come with everything you're likely to need, from gas hobs and grill, cutlery and crockery to bedding and firewood.

Toilets and hot showers are a short walk away (shared with the other campsite users), but the clincher for us at this site are the two Scandinavian wood-fired hot tubs, set on a decking platform with stunning views over the Derbyshire Dales. You get exclusive use for the duration, so that's Prosecco all round then after a day out walking or cycling! The site also allows open fires, so you can do the whole backwoods marshmallow experience whenever you feel like it. There's breakfast available and evening pizzas on site, a visiting fish and chip van once a week, and several pubs within easy walking and driving distance.

This part of the Peak District is also fantastic for hikers and bikers, with easygoing footpaths right from the campsite, tougher peak trails for more adventurous walkers, and bike trails (and bike hire) nearby – including the 13-mile traffic-free Tissington Trail. It's the kind of location that's great for a family break or a couples' retreat, and the yurts certainly work for both kinds of holiday, where you can be as relaxed or as active as you like, knowing that you have a fabulously cosy base to come back to each day.

The Owner Says

If it’s a holiday away from the usual routine, or just a break with a difference, the yurts at Knotlow Farm may be the answer. Two of them have exclusive use of your very own Scandinavian wood-fired hot tub, large enough for six people. Imagine yourself soaking away the hustle and bustle of everyday life, watching the steam gently swirling and rising up into the night air – is there a better way to spend an evening?

Our favourite spot

Big groups (mixed sex only – no stag or hen parties) – yes. Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs, young groups – no.

The local area

Sail, windsurf or waterski on England's largest lake with Windermere Outdoor Leisure Centre (015394 47183) or cruise the waves in style with Windermere Lake Cruises (01539 443360). Long Valley Yurts have also teamed up with Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft (017687 80145) to offer a range of exciting Ray Mears style activities including an introduction to bushcraft day, canoe and bushcraft experience and shelter, flints and steels skills course to name but a few. Contact the Long Valley team for more information and booking. Otherwise you might like to seek out Grizedale Forest for some buzz à la bicyclette, from the most family-friendly tracks to the taxing North Face Trail. Bikes can be hired at Grizedale Mountain Bikes (01229 860369). The World of Beatrix Potter is over the other side of the lake, at Bowness, and is not to be confused with the erstwhile author’s house, Hilltop (01539 436269), at Near Sawrey, which is much closer and permanently besieged by Japanese tourists who simply cannot get enough of Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, et al, and who can blame them?

Best local places to eat and drink

The Drunken Duck Inn (01539 436347) has a reputation for serving some of the best pub food in Britain, and is only a couple of miles away at a lonely crossroads between Outgate and Skelwith Bridge. Lucy’s of Ambleside (01539 432288) is a deli with its own café/restaurant and sells lots of delicious, if hardly inexpensive, ingredients for your camp nosh-fest. Meanwhile, Ambleside’s 2 art house cinema-restaurants, Fellinis ‘vegeterranean’ (01539 432487) and Zeffirellis Italian (01539 433845), both keep it reel.

Why stay with us?

Breathtaking scenery, hundreds of miles of footpaths and fresh country air makes Britain’s first National Park – The Peak District – one of our country’s real gems. The site itself is lovely, a warm, friendly, family run campsite in the heart of a tranquil and picturesque landscape.

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