Alison Bellamy camps in style with a luxury lodge tent in North Yorkshire.
A peaceful trip away to the depths of a forest in the middle of nowhere residing in a luxury marquee, left us feeling truly relaxed and refreshed. Exhilarated in fact.
Being surrounded by so many gadgets and continuous TV, radio and computers blaring out, it initially felt a bit surreal with no added distractions.
And getting used to life without the internet brought a strange sort of relief and relaxation.
A luxury camping trip in the nicest ‘tent’ imaginable was just what we needed. Jollydays, between York and Malton, is the perfect location with or without children, as you are far away enough from nearby tents, around 25 metres, to make as much noise as you want, without worrying about disturbing the neighbours.
The huge luxury lodge tent we stayed in had 800 sq ft of room, was spacious and comfortable, with two quaint painted white sheds inside, for the kitchen and well equipped bathroom with great shower.
A wonderful four poster bed with luxurious memory foam mattress plus another bedroom with two painted shabby chic style beds, was perfect for our two girls, who squealed with delight when they saw their bedroom for our three-night stay.
A wood burning stove, was not only cosy, but also warmed the place up as we curled up for a candlelit, cosy evening with a bottle of fine wine.
Our little girls loved their accommodation, calling the marquee style tent the “little house in the woods”.
Much more sturdy than just a tent, a huge comfortable sofa and vintage dining table and chairs, along with a real candle filled candelabra.
From their bedroom window they were slap, bang in the middle of the woods, with a stunning view of the wildlife including birds twittering and several sightings of a possible ‘gruffalo’ sniffing about.
The simple joys of going to collect kindling and logs or making a den out of wood around a nearby tree was quite remarkable.
On arrival my husband asked our host Christian where the lock for the door was and where the plugs to charge his iphone and laptop could be found. There was startled silence when he realised there was none.
Before the trip I had been reminding him that it was luxury camping, but there was no mains electricity.
This was my bohemian other half, the very reason I was attracted to him in the first place for his carefree, non-conventional attitude. Once the panic of no phone had passed over, he was fine.
There is one plug available for those who are desperate, but use of it is not encouraged.
Jollydays, is in a perfect location and we used it as a base for venturing to the east coast, a firm favourite in our days out and holiday itinerary.
Although you could happily stay at Jollydays for weeks on end and be fully entertained with lots of interesting things to do and see, without the need to leave.
We ventured out to Flamingoland, just a few miles away from Jollydays, for an action-packed full day of fairground rides, entertainment and safari animals. We were particularly impressed with facilities and rides for pre-school children.
Our girls aged four and two, relished the entertainment and were exhausted from all the fun.
The recent addition of wooden playground alongside an animal petting area was a huge hit, as were the baboons with the pink bottoms.
We spent the next day in Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay and enjoyed a trip on the North Yorks Moors steam Railway, across the scenic moorland and Heartbeat country to Pickering.
Nothing beats a trip back to happy childhood days by spending an hour or two delving into rock pools at Robin Hood’s Bay with a bucket and spade. The discovery of tiny crabs and other sea creatures was welcomed through new eyes with our pre-school youngsters, as they happily hunted for natural treasures and enjoyed ice cream.
A trip to the Scarborough Sealife Centre completed our tour of nearby tourist spots and we wanted to abandon the car and get back to the tranquillity of Jollydays as soon as possible.
Jollydays is family owned and run by an interesting couple Carolyn and Christian Van Outersterp, a trained fashion designer and landscape architect respectively. They live nearby with their four well mannered and rosy cheeked children and are often on site offering a helping hand.
They have created a wonderful and unique comfortable camping experience. Christian loves camping and Carolyn has hated it, thus it needed to be very comfortable for “non campers”.
They say on their website that dehydrated camping food is out and good local food is in.
A lovely reception area to the site is an indoor area with tables and chairs, with vintage tablecloths and china cups and saucers where you can make a drink of tea or hot chocolate and help yourselves to tasty home-made cakes.
There is an honesty box for donations.
They have four young children and noticed that most holidays are based for families of four, so they created a tent for up to six people.
The outdoor life at Jollydays certainly is jolly and something we would love to return to one day.