Cabin life, Swinton Bivouac

On Saturday morning I headed to Yorkshire with Annie for an off-grid blogger weekend at Swinton Bivouac. Joining us were some of the Folklings gang; Cerys, Emma, Elizabeth, Katie, Jen, Sarah. Although I read their blogs I’d never met any of them in person before.

In Yorkshire the wind was howling and the rain pouring so Annie and I over confidently loaded ourselves up like a pair of pack horses and headed into the woods to find our wood cabin. It was so wet I couldn’t put any bags down which meant I had no free hands to pull up my tights… which were also pulling my knickers down! A hilarious and slightly awkward situation to be in with someone you’ve just met for the first time.

Log cabin in the woods

Teasel Burrow, Swinton Bivouac

Woodland view from wood cabin

Teasel Burrow, Swinton Bivouac

We followed a muddy trail into the trees and there was our home for the next couple of days; Teasel Burrow. A hand crafted, rustic, wooden cabin overlooking the surrounding valley and moorlands.

Wood cabin interior

It was stocked with all the essentials for an off-grid holiday; fire wood, matches, a gas stove and kettle, tea lights, torches, crochet blankets (yesssss!) and a selection of nibbles including cookies, rolls, jam, sugar, butter, tea and coffee. We wasted no time in making ourselves at home.

Wood cabin kitchen

Chair with crochet blanket

Each cabin sleeps seven people but we had two cabins with four of us in each. I slept in the bed at the bottom. The one at the top is perfect for star gazers because the skylight gives you a fantastic view of the moon and stars when the sky is clear.

Beds in wood cabin

Sleeping area

Basket of fire wood

Wood basket for the fire

Fire tools

One of the first things we did was get the fire started and I’m pleased to report that we managed to keep it burning continuously for two days! Sunday morning we woke up as the last few embers were burning out and Emma put more wood on and got it going again in no time. By the second night we were so warm we had to open the door to let some cold air in – a good problem to have.

Flames inside wood burner

Wood burner in Teasel Burrow

Candle lantern

Being off grid, we had no electricity. The wood burner heated the cabin as well as water for the sinks and shower. When it got dark the only light was the glow from candle filled lanterns. Our evening ritual consisted of putting extra logs on the fire, lighting the candles and chatting round the big table with drinks and snacks.

Lanterns in cabin window

Teasel Burrow at night

Saturday evening we had a hearty dinner at the barn and headed back to our cabins to drink gin and Welsh red wine. Gin normally makes my toes curl but Jen bought along some homemade damson gin and I couldn’t resist trying it. Note to self: make some next year! Discovery of the weekend though was Mr Fitzpatrick’s Rhubarb & Rosehip Cordial – mixed with gin of course. Are you noticing a theme? 😉

Candle lit table

Lechyd da!

As you probably know, living in a cabin in the woods is a dream of mine so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to this weekend. Simple living with wilderness on the doorstep; I felt so relaxed and put all the things I should be worrying about or doing to the back of my mind. I was lucky to spend time with a lovely bunch of people who share the same interests and love nature as much as I do. Thanks for organising this Annie! Hopefully we can all do it again sometime soon.

I took a lot of photos so I’m going to do another post about our walks and pub lunch. Keep your eyes peeled!

13 Comments

  1. Your log cabin looks really cosey and warm ? Looking forward to all the other photos.

  2. It was so nice to meet you Gemma- we really must meet up again. Pleased that you all made it back from the pub ok! You’ve got me longing after that toasty fire. I think I will be longing after those log cabins for the rest of my life now.

    • Nice to meet you too Katie. It would have been good to chat for a little longer 🙂 I woke up on Tuesday morning and for a brief second I thought about getting the fire going. I’m going to add a wood burner to my dream house list!

  3. You’re a fire starter, twisted fire starter!
    No you’re not, your lovely! Great to meet you and you’ve got some gorgeous photos! X #baconface { I had to do it!}

  4. This sounds amazing. I actually love that it doesn’t have electricity and you needed to use lanterns and a fire to light up the cabin at night.

    • If you get a chance to stay somewhere like this, do! I’m glad we went when the weather was cold because it really made appreciate the fire and candles.

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