Last week we went on a yurt holiday at Adhurst Farm in the South Downs National Park (West Sussex/East Hampshire border). For us, the appeal of this holiday was that it was eco friendly and it would give us time out from everything.
Our yurt – Chestnut
We stayed in Chestnut, a 16ft yurt nestled amongst the trees in the woods with a view of the main camp area and open woodland.
The day we arrived, it was pouring with rain! Once inside our yurt we were greeted with a trug of kindling and a basket of wood for our wood burner. It was so cold we could see our breath in the air so we lit the fire almost straight away. After nearly smoking ourselves out (on several occasions) we got the hang of our burner and our yurt was extremely toasty.
The area was absolutely lovely. You can walk for miles through woodland, fields and narrow country lanes. We made the most of the good weather and covered 28 miles on foot in 2 days.
On the first day we walked to Durleighmarsh farm shop and back in a big loop through fields and woodland. This route totalled 12 miles and we rewarded ourselves with a barbecue back at camp.
The second day we walked 14 miles via Durleighmarsh shop (for ice-cream!) and then through Durford Wood and back via country lanes and footpaths. Our legs were pretty tired by this point because most of the trails had been uphill. We then walked a further 2 miles for dinner, making the walking total for the second day 16 miles.
This holiday was the first time I’d ever smelt bluebells because there were so many of them in one place.
The outdoor shower was a simple wooden outbuilding containing a Calor gas powered shower. There was no roof so we had a view of the woods and sky while we washed.
I loved showering outdoors, although I can imagine it’s even better in the Summer when it’s warm and the sun is out. After our 16 mile walk it was nice to wash my tired, muddy feet in warm water!
Neither of us had ever used a composting toilet before. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I was pleasantly suprised. There was a toilet seat (huzzah!) attached to a wooden plank with a long drop into a pit in the ground. It had some quirky touches including a rustic toilet roll made from branches, coat hook and mini window.
After use you sprinkle a fine layer of sawdust down and wash your hands with an antibacterial gel. No water needed. Wild wees were encouraged…so wild wee we did. Used properly, the composting toilet had very little odour. Doing ‘the business’ in the woods with the door open (when camp was empty) was rather peaceful!
Being foodies, we ate alot of good food on our trip. The first night was so wet and windy that we ended up having an indoor picnic next to our wood burner. The shared camp kitchen was kitted out with barbecue equipment so we made use of that on one of the sunnier evenings.
We took homemade food (coleslaw, bread, pasta) and ate it with barbecued sausages and asparagus from the local farm shop.
Our neighbours gave us some perfectly cooked marshmallows in exchange for a ready made fire and barbecue coals.
Pubs within walking distance
– The Half Moon
The Half Moon was good for a quick drink and snacks (nachos were tasty). The food looked okay but perhaps not somewhere to go specifically for a meal.
– The Harrow Inn
We arrived at The Harrow Inn about 10 minutes before it closed at lunch. We were too late for food but the menu looked really really good, full of home cooked comfort food. This pub was small and tucked away in a country lane with plants for sale outside. If you are looking for a pub with character then this is one to visit. If you like cider try some Thatchers. It was cloudy, delicious and strong (I had boggled eyes after half a pint)!
– The Queens Head
The Queens Head is located in Sheet, Petersfield. Nice pub in a lovely area. The night we ate there they only served barbecue food which was a shame as we were hoping for something more filling after walking 14 miles!
Durleighmarsh farm shop and pick-your-own
Durleighmarsh farm shop was only a few miles walk from our yurt.
The asparagus was fantastic. Reasonably priced, big fat spears and very tasty barbecued. We also picked up some amazing free range pork and apple sausages, chutney, handmade bakewell cake, Gospel Green Sussex Cyder and Mooka ice cream.
Back to reality…
We really enjoyed our short holiday. During the day we went exploring and picnicking and in the evenings we sat in front of our fire trying to strike a balance between cold and boiling hot. It was nice not to have to worry about emails, sitting in front of a screen all day, noisy neighbours and squeezing exercise in around other things.
❤ Our verdict
If you are looking for an eco friendly, off-grid holiday that helps you appreciate simple things… a yurt break is perfect.