Andy has always loved camping, he used to go every year with his friends. Whilst it’s never been something that has appealed to me, I like my comforts too much. Yet I know it’s something my girls would love. We had our first family camping trip last year and it was great fun. It opened my eyes to a new kind of holiday for us.
When Caalm Camp in Dorset invited us to come and stay in one of their yurts and experience glamping in the winter. I thought are they crazy, won’t it be freezing?
I looked at their gorgeous yurts with the fire stoves, listened to them telling me how cozy and warm they are and that glamping in the winter is the perfect time to experience it. I took a leap of faith and loved the idea of us experiencing something new and exploring an area of the country we’ve never been to before as a family.
With Alice on half term we packed the car up and I sneaked in a couple of extra blankets still not convinced we would be warm and we headed to Caalm Camp.
We arrived on a rainy Saturday afternoon and the panic of what have we done set in. We were warmly greeted by Mark the owner and he showed us around. There is a communal house which is open 24 hours, with a lounge area, play area, dining area and a large kitchen with 2 cookers, your own allocated fridge and cupboard and everything you would need.
The best part for me was we had our very own wet room, that we had a key for and it had fluffy towels and a headed hand rail to warm them up on. These are the home comforts that I love.
At the back of the communal house was a barn that you could access from the house. In here we were introduced to Ruby the goat. The girls loved her, especially because their cousin is called Ruby. There was also a pool table and table tennis available to play.
We then headed outside where Mark showed us the pizza oven and the log shed which we could help ourselves to logs for our stove fire in the yurt.
At the bottom of the field is a play area for the children.
It was then time to see our yurt and our home for a few days. There are 6 Mongolian yurts, each with their own picnic bench, fire pit and barbecue outside. A water tap, which was drinking water by each front door.
Our yurt was called Daisy and was the closet yurt to the communal house. We stepped inside and Mark had the fire lit and it was really warm. In fact they can get so warm that there is a fan to put on if needed. Which a few times we did need.
The girls were excited to see their beds, which were either side of the yurt and our double bed was in the middle. I was surprised by how much space we had. You could easily sleep 6 in one.
There was a table with a single ring stove and kettle on. Even when it’s at its hottest you can touch the stove and not feel the heat or burn yourself. Which is really clever and great when there are children around.
Mark showed us how to use the log burner with us being complete novices. I was most worried about us waking up in the morning with the fire gone out and us being freezing. Mark explained that if we brought a bucket of coal for £3 and put it all in just before we went to sleep this would slowly burn throughout the night. Meaning we wouldn’t wake up to a freezing cold Yurt, which was musical to my ears.
We then settled into our yurt. Alice had borrowed a Paddington bear book from the play area to read and Holly was happy doing her colouring.
The yurt was beautiful and all the rope used to hold it together is horse hair because it doesn’t rot. There is no screws used and you can take the whole yurt down easily.
As night time came the girls were beyond excited to go to sleep in the yurt. Sadly on our first night it was raining and cloudy so there was no star gazing out of the window in the yurt for us.
The girls slept amazingly well, even with it being a windy night they didn’t wake up. I woke a few times and checked the fire and it was still burning away nicely. We got it right, phew!
As I headed over to our wet room to have a shower, I had one of the best morning views. How I could get used to waking up to this every morning. Our wet room was lovely and warm, with my warm towel waiting for me. To have this privacy and hot running water, is what I love.
With us all ready for the day we headed off to explore Dorset. We’re National Trust members and I was really looking forward to having a chance to visit Corfe Castle. I wasn’t disappointment it was beautiful and there was lots for us to do.
We also headed to Weymouth Sea Life Centre and spent a lovely afternoon there. The girls were eager for us to return to our yurt as I had promised them as it was a beautiful day and evening we could light the fire pit outside our yurt and toast marshmallows. I thought Alice was going to explode she was that excited. These are the memories I want to make with my girls, the little things that I hope they will remember.
With the girls tucked up asleep in bed, Andy and I could glaze out at the stars from the comfort of our bed. It was really calming and peaceful and something that I’ve always wanted to do.
The next day as we prepared to leave Caalm Camp, we were all a little bit sad. It had been the perfect start to our half term break and we all loved glamping more than we thought we would. We said goodbye to Ruby (the goat) and the girls promised to come back. Which means they want to come back….and I don’t blame them, it was a beautiful place and we all had a great time.
Caalm Camp is open all year round and the perfect place to stay for a lovely relaxing break.
On our way home we stopped off in Shaftsbury to find the famous Gold Hill, where the Hovis advert was filmed. It didn’t disappoint, it was really pretty and the perfect end to our mini holiday.
I made a short video of our stay at Caalm Camp…
Disclosure: We were kindly invited to stay at Caalm Camp, all views, opinions and photos are my own.