Deep in nature at Fordhall’s Yurts

Long time volunteer and shareholder Ruth King shares with us a recent stay in the yurts on the farm…

Glamping. It conjures up a certain image, doesn’t it? Something remote and ‘off-grid’, perhaps with all the basics with a bit of a twist? Well, Fordhall’s Yurts certainly tick all the boxes if that’s what you’re looking for!

No photo can do these semi-detached yurts justice, to be honest. You approach them across a very ordinary field – sometimes with animals in it and sometimes without – but the yurts are tucked away in a corner and feel a million miles from anywhere. Through the gate and the key is in the lock… the door swings open and wow! you’re inside a lovely, cosy, circular room with everything you could need for a simple holiday. They’ve thought of everything, from an explorer’s activity pack for the children to spare candles in a box; games and books to extra blankets for the beds.

There’s enough room and equipment for six people to enjoy this peaceful space, including a comfortable double bed, bunks and a futon, all in the yurt next door. Fresh water is provided in containers, there’s a proper sink for washing up, a small gas stove indoors for making hot drinks and a large gas barbeque outdoors, (but under shelter) for cooking. There’s even a gas-powered fridge! There’s also a compost loo (with full instructions and explanations) tucked around the back.

My favourite place on the farm is the Old Three Ponds, which were restored between 2018 and 2020 and are now a haven for magical wildlife. The short walk there is way-marked from just outside the front of the yurts and they take just a few minutes to reach. I walked slowly on the path around the ponds and heard and saw four wrens having a chat. I then startled a tawny owl from its roost inside a tree and it flew all around me in absolute silence before landing in another tree. I know it was watching my every move as I sat on a well-placed bench and read my book. Meanwhile, the cattle lowed and the sheep bleated in the distance, the bugs went about their buggy business, the ducks enjoyed dabbling in the water and the wrens continued their chat (or was it a row?)!

Back at the yurts and on the covered deck, which was bathed in the soft light of the setting sun, I was treated to the subtle scent of philadelphus (mock orange), which wafted across from the corner of Farmer Ben’s garden; a song thrush entertained me until it went dark and the distant animals settled down for the night.

As I sat there in the quiet with my abandoned book and my thoughts, I realised how terribly lucky I am to be one of the 8,000 landlords who are custodians of this incredible organic farm. I am especially lucky that, as a volunteer from Kent who’s been visiting since 2006 and has stayed in various local B&Bs, I am now able to stay for free in the Straw Lodge during my volunteering stays. On this occasion, the Lodge was being used by a school group, hence my stay in the yurts. It was a stay I’ll never forget.

The school group has gone so I am writing this at the Straw Lodge, where I’m spending my last night before returning home. A family has just arrived in the carpark and they are chattering excitedly about their holiday in the yurts. A bit of me wants to share all my wonderful experiences with them, but they’ll discover everything in their own time. And what a time they’ll have.

Ruth King, Fordhall volunteer and shareholder

To find out more about staying in our yurts and book visit


This article was first featured in the Autumn 2023 edition of the Grazer magazine. For more info and to subscribe, visit:

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