Keen to avoid any Friday night summer traffic, as people from around the UK descend on the West Country for a weekend, I picked up the kids from school and pootled along the backroads to Somerset Yurts. And I’m so pleased I did – sweeping countryside views and charming villages punctuated our entire journey from South Somerset, with few other cars to be seen on the little country lanes.
Our stay at Somerset Yurts was complimentary for the purposes of this review. However, as always, all views are my own. This post contains affiliate links, should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, although I receive a small commission which goes towards the upkeep of this blog.
Somerset Yurts review
Located five miles north of Taunton, on a working arable and dairy farm in the Quantock Hills, Somerset Yurts feels deeply rural, despite only being 15 minutes from the M5. Onsite, you’ll find a cluster of four traditionally-made Mongolian yurts, one UK-made yurt, one geodesic dome and two safari lodges set across three fields that gaze over a vast expanse of rolling green Taunton Vale to the Blackdown Hills.
A saunter around the mown pathways around the site will lead you to a couple of patches marked out for campfires, a little mown playing field, the sight of grazing cattle and a communal Dutch barn, housing cooking and washing facilities for guests.
The safari lodges at Somerset Yurts
Owners Emma and Mark had offered us the pick of accommodation at Somerset Yurts and I’d opted for a safari lodge, enticed by the prospect of a private kitchen, ensuite hot shower/flushing toilet and segregated rooms.
Sleeping up to six people, these safari lodges each have two separate bedrooms, with a double bed in one, and a bunk bed in the other. Each of the bedrooms contains a small lamp, plus a larger one in the main room, which provide plenty of light when it gets dark. This sectioning off of rooms along with a large living area, made it feel like there was plenty of space for our family of five. Bedding is provided for an extra charge of £10 per double bed and £5 per single bed, or you can bring your own. Blankets are recommended (we used them in early July) and travel cots are provided for little’uns should you need one.
The kitchen is well-equipped with fridge, one-ring ceramic hob (our first time using one of these and we were impressed), kettle, cutlery, glasses, plates, chopping board, toaster and sink. With our toddler often still having a bottle at night and my limited bladder capacity, this added convenience was very much welcomed.
The living area, containing a dining table and chairs (with a high chair provided free of charge if necessary) and day bed, is cosied by a wood-burning stove. This was lovely and toasty at night and took the edge off the morning chill.
Each lodge has a large covered decking area with a small table and chairs, picnic bench and BBQ. It’s the perfect spot for making the most of the long light summer evenings with an al fresco glass of wine, although I did want the hedge in front to be a teeny tiny bit lower so I could drink in those gorgeous views while sitting with my tipple!
Things to do nearby
Somerset Yurts is an ideal base for exploring the Quantocks, West Somerset and Exmoor. Surrounded by idyllic countryside, close to Somerset attractions and a short day trip to the Somerset coast, the surrounding area is packed full of adventure. Here are some suggestions for ways to spend your time during your stay:
Feel wholesome by picking fresh fruit and vegetables at Thurloxton Farm, just a couple of miles away. Gobble with a giant dollop of cream back at your lodge.
Explore the National Trust’s Fyne Court, former home of scientist and poet Andrew Crosse and his family. Pack a picnic and clamber over fallen trees, splash in streams, take on the play trail or watch an outdoor theatre show.
Visit nearby Hestercombe Gardens, a 40-acre estate encompassing three centuries of gardening history. From landscaped Georgian gardens which feature a waterfall, classical buildings, wooded valley walks and lake, to a Victorian shrubbery and Edwardian Arts and Crafts-influenced formal gardens.
Take a day trip to glorious Dunster Castle. Set in fairytale surroundings – think awe-inspiring gardens with stunning sea views, olde worlde thatched cottages and cobbled streets – this ancient turreted castle has been witness to some 1000 years of history from its hilltop perch.
Bordering The Quantock Hills, no stay is complete without a foray into this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The owners recommend a trip to beautiful Cothelstone Hill, for 360-degree views.
The West Somerset Railway is the longest heritage line in England, stretching across 20 miles of rolling countryside, through the Quantock hills and along the Bristol Channel between Bishops Lydeard and the coast at Minehead. Hopping on (and off) the historic steam locomotives, is a charming way to see this part of Somerset.
More ideas for places to visit in Somerset
Where to eat and drink
We had dinner at the nearest pub, the Monkton Inn, about a mile and a half away in the village of West Monkton. It’s walkable, although quite steep on the way back and I’m not sure my kids would have done it while tired on a Friday night. There’s a small play area (that has seen better days), a big outside space, and the restaurant is popular so booking in advance is advised. Great steaks!
The Maypole is a family-run village pub, about a ten-minute drive away. It’s got a larger bar area if you’re just after a couple of drinks.
Supermarkets Tescos, Sainsburys, Ocado, and Asda can deliver here, just make sure you book the delivery for a time slot when you will definitely be at the yurts or lodges to accept delivery. It’s a self-check in system, so there might not be anybody there otherwise!
Final thoughts on Somerset Yurts
Not the height of luxury, but by no means roughing it either, Somerset Yurts is a laid-back, comfortable, rustic, glamping experience that will push your bucolic button without breaking the bank. Perfect for families, kids will love the novelty of nights under canvas, hot chocolates on the veranda, running free amid the green fields and spotting wildlife – we saw a huge owl and a fox during our stay. A brilliant base for exploring Somerset, I would love to return to fit in more family escapades in such a picturesque part of the county.