The day they stayed off school: Somerset Yurts review

Camping is cosy at Somerset Yurts

Last Monday I did something I’d never done before. Just as all the children were lining up for registration, I called the school:

Erm, the kids won’t be in school today… No, no they’re not ill, it’s just that, erm, well, you see, we’ve been away for the weekend, and, well, we haven’t come home yet…

Somerset Yurts – it’s camping kids, but not as we know it!

We’d arrived late Friday evening at Somerset Yurts, after the usual rush-hour chaos, and it was raining. Now, we’re reasonably seasoned campers, but no-one likes unpacking camping gear in the rain. Which was why the yurt was the perfect set-up. Straight out of the car and into our gorgeous Mongolian yurt, complete with beds, bedding, and a woodburning stove to make us nice and toasty and we were all set. A fully equipped kitchen on site saw me reheating the curry I’d brought for our first meal, and not long after we were snuggled up in comfy beds, drifting off to the light drumming of the rain and the crackle of logs in the stove. Bliss!

Somerset yurts

Inside our yurt was bright and cheerful thanks to the traditional mongolian yurt style at Somerset Yurts


The yurts are traditional Mongolian yurts, made from lattice wall sections, tied together with horse hair. As well as a waterproof canvas, a layer of felt covers the roof poles, keeping the heat in. This means that even when it gets cold and wet, the small stove heats the yurt up very quickly. Pop in a log last thing at night and it will stay warm into the early hours. Rekindle the fire first thing in the morning, and doze as your abode warms up again. Gorgeous!

This was the scene that greeted us the next morning. Just 4 yurts in a field, in the middle of no-where. But with power showers and a proper cafetiere just round the corner. Now that has to be the ultimate in perfect paradox.

Somerset Yurts have only 4 yurts to a field, so there's plenty of space and privacy

Cooking at Somerset Yurts

I’m not normally one for breakfast. Other than the perfect latte, I’m never in the mood for eating until mid-morning. But waking up every morning to fresh air and a good set-up for outdoor cooking soon changed that. Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup is absolutely what everyone should eat on their first morning in a yurt. It’s actually simpler than you’d imagine – I mixed the dry ingredients in a tupperware pot before we left home, nestling an egg into the flour for safekeeping. Break the egg, add the milk, pop the lid back on and shake. Et voilà! Perfect pancake batter. It went down so well that there were requests for a fry-up the following morning too – a suspicious look from the Bug soon evaporating once he bit into the odd idea that sausages were acceptable before lunch.

A cooked breakfast is exactly what you need when you're camping!

As well as the gas burner, we had a Weber BBQ, which gave us the perfect excuse for steak and red wine al fresco on a lovely Summer evening. Substitute red wine for Fanta, and steak for – well, steak actually, and we had the the ideal treat for the kids too. Although that didn’t prevent them from pestering as to when it might be time to light the communal firepit and start toasting marshmallows (top tip here – you need Haribo Chamallow for toasting. It’s the best).

Outdoor dining at Somerset Yurts


The Dairy Farm at Somerset Yurts

A tour of the dairy farm at Somerset Yurts brings you up close to the youngest animals

One of the nicest things about Somerset Yurts is how friendly the owners are. Mark and Emma came over with their young boys on our first afternoon to offer us all a tour of their working dairy, and we jumped at the chance. This four day old calf is probably the youngest animal we’ve ever been in contact with, and the children couldn’t get over how cute they all were. And how hungry! The milk from the farm’s cows all goes into making cheese and butter, the mention of which saw us seeking out local cheese for our next meal 🙂

What to do when it rains

We did have a lot of rain during our weekend, but whereas when we’re camping rain makes it all a bit miserable, with a yurt rain just adds to the excitement! For a start, it was the perfect excuse to send a small person off for more kindling from the woodshed so we could stoke up the fire:

Collecting firewood at Somerset Yurts


Child labour getting the teenage treatment…

The kitchen provided Monopoly, and playing cards, so it was time for the children to learn Rummy – have you ever witnessed the trouncing of all the adults in a card game by a 6 year old? I’m so never taking him to Las Vegas! (NB: passing a casino on Edgeware Road yesterday caused this utterance from the back: “Ooh a casino – I love those!”)???

And when we all decided we needed a cup of tea and hot chocolate, the best place was back at the kitchen table, where there was ample distraction for adult and child alike.

Things to do at Somerset Yurts when it rains

Days out from Somerset Yurts

  • Cheddar Gorge – the home of cheddar cheese is spectacular. The caves are a great attraction, but quite pricey, so, having been down Wookey Hole a few weeks ago on our way to Exmoor, we decided to get a double dose of fresh air instead, and undertook the 274 steps up the cliff to the Lookout Tower, and the clifftop walk. The grumbling mostly came from me, as the kids raced up to the top (although I was smug the following day as they staggered around the fields moaning about achey legs)! But we worked up a fabulous appetite for the best cheese sandwich we’d ever had at Poppy’s, where they also served us the biggest ‘ooh can’t decide can we have one scoop made of 2 flavours?‘ ice-cream the kids had ever seen.

Giant ice creams at Poppy's cafe in Cheddar Gorge

  • Sheppy’s Cider – no trip to Somerset would be complete without local cider, so we took the museum and orchard tour of Sheppy’s, bringing home several varieties to accompany that evening’s barbeque.

Walking through the orchards at Sheppy's Cider

As we began our packing on the last day, faces fell and reality dawned. The weather was improving, the forecast looked good, and we hadn’t finished all the Chamallow. As Actually Daddy began to load the car, the children whispered inside the yurt. Then this happened:

So we stayed. Because when the sun shines in a peaceful field, the only thing you need to think about is the perfect marshmallow.

Toasting the perfect marshmallow at Somerset Yurts


And another glass of cider…

Orchard Pig cider - the perfect accompaniment to an evening at Somerset Yurts


We were guests of Mark and Emma’s at Somerset Yurts for the purposes of this review. All opinion and editorial is our own.


38 thoughts on “The day they stayed off school: Somerset Yurts review”

  1. I don’t blame you for not rushing home. It sounds idyllic, and the yurt itself is beautiful! Love your top pancake making tip, I will be remembering that one for our next trip! Emma 🙂

    • Honestly Emma, the more I do camping, the more adventurous I get with cooking. It’s really not as complicated as it seems, especially with a couple of props to help you.

  2. These yurts look so stunning, I get more jealous every time I read a new review – have got their website bookmarked for next year as I thought the prices were really very reasonable too, but with moving house on the agenda our budgets cant even stretch that far this year.

  3. What a fabulous weekend away, rain or no rain. I really, really want to take the girls away for a Somerset Yurt weekend, they would love it.
    Everyone has written such great reviews.

  4. I’ve stayed in Mongolian yurts in California – and they are fab! They are certainly my idea of camping. You are still one with nature – but someone else does all the work!

  5. I’d have totally bunked off school for another day too. It looks so idyllic and like the perfect place to recharge your batteries.

  6. Looks like a fab weekend and those Yurts look really good fun. A few weekends ago we stayed in a treehouse which kind of reminds me of these- and we loved it! It rained the whole time but it didn’t stop our fun! x

  7. Oh I am so pleased you had such a good time you had to stay another night, we were sooooooo tempted! Love the kids singing, that song popped straight into my head too!

  8. These yurts look absolutely gorgeous! I’m a yurt convert after staying in one this weekend. I love camping but it’s a nightmare if it rains – especially with kids – so I imagine a yurt is a great option for families.

  9. Oh how brilliant to actually do it, actually stay an extra day – nice one. They are the most beautiful Yurts, they really are, and in such a great field with so much space 🙂

  10. Wow Helen they looked fabulous – as did breakfast. I would love to do glamping one day, maybe when they boys are a bit less destructey (that does happen right>?!) x

  11. Sounds perfect in so very many ways. Must check out as right up our street. You gave them memories that will last a lifetime

  12. Wow, the yurts are absolutely stunning inside! We love playing Rummy with the kids, we started playing all different types of card games with the kids when they were young, and now that they are older, the games are even more fun. I’m glad you kept the kids out of school for the day, sometimes family time is just as important, and the kids can learn skills that will remain with them forever.

  13. That looks like an amazing weekend – I would have done the same thing as well and given them a cheeky day off school too x x

  14. Actually today is the first time I have heard of someone being fined for keeping their kids off. You can’t replace the learning and experience they get from it though can you. Sounds like an amazing place and that you had a good time. And I am a cider drinker too 🙂

    • Don’t get me started Joy. People like us who are never late and never miss a day if we can help it shouldn’t be penalised because schools can’t be arsed to tackle the real offenders and prefer a blanket ban. I feel a blog post coming on.

  15. Oh how lovely. I bet that extra day made it all the more special with that element of doing something a bit cheeky. Pulling a Ferris is the best and what a great place to do it in. Camping is the perfect way to spend good time together as a family. I need to check out what that massive marshmallow is!

  16. Oh wow this place looks incredible. I love yurts, there is something so incredibly calming about staying in one. Lucky you! X

  17. Looks fab, never tried a yurt but the idea of not having to pitch a tent and unpack sounds too good to be true. Love the pancake mixture idea, another one to add to my list of camping meals, thanks

  18. It really is the most lovely place isn’t it? Total head clearer, I knew you’d love it. coming in from toasting marshmallows to that stove is bliss – oh I must book a week next year 🙂

  19. You mean you went camping and there were actual proper beds? *head explodes*.

    It sounds like an amazing experience, no wonder GG and Bug wanted to stay longer.

  20. This looks amazing and definitely something I would love to try. Thanks for linking up to the parenting pin it party!

  21. I saw lots of the photos on social media from bloggers trying out the yurts, and your post confirms that it looks incredible! I love camping, but camping in the UK is far harder than in the south of France! So this looks like the perfect solution.

  22. GORGEOUS post! Now I want to go back! Love that you snuck an extra day. THAT’s the kind of thing they’ll remember for EVER! x

  23. This looks AMAZING. I’m not surprised you kept the kids off school! I am no madly trying to work out if I have time to head here before the summer is out.


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