If you follow me on social media you will have seen many posts last week all about our trip to Shaftesbury to stay in one of the gorgeous yurts at Caalm Camp. Caalm Camp is essentially a glamping experience, but look a little further and you will find that there is a lot more to it than that. Caalm Camp is a family business nestled in the heart of the quiet Dorset countryside, with authenticity, calm and comfort at it’s centre. It’s clear how passionate the family are about their business and it was fascinating talking to them about the history of the yurts and how Caalm Camp came about.
The Campsite & Yurts
The actual site is comprised of six stunning yurts, each one hand crafted in Mongolia and painted exquisitely. They are all named after wild flowers which is a lovely touch and they look right at home amidst the fields and the tranquillity that is the Dorset countryside. Inside each yurt is an extremely comfortable double bed, two days beds, a small cooking area and a wood burning stove. The wood burning stove is what keeps the yurts at an impressive level of cosiness all year round. We visited in the first week of February and it was so lovely to be so cosy inside despite the weather being so dreadfully British outside. Inside the yurt you also have the luxury of some homely and modern touches such as electricity sockets, crisp white bed sheets, thick cosy blankets and a single ring hob that you can use to make your morning cuppa. The inside of the yurts are beautiful to look at, they are hand painted with gorgeous Mongolian designs and have a glass roof that you can see the stars through at night. I will include lots of pictures now because it’s hard to do them justice with words alone.
Each yurt has a little private seating area outside with another wood burner to keep warm at night and a picnic bench to sit at. You also have your own drinking water tap meaning you don’t have to go to the main building for water, although it really isn’t far anyway. In the Summer the site holds pizza nights outside, making use of the outdoor Pizza oven. I’d love to return in the Summer to experience this as I bet the atmosphere would be great and the food would be equally amazing.
On site there is a building called The Old Haybarn where you can find a well equipped kitchen for self catering and a spacious lounge area with a television, tables and chairs and even toys and games for families. Each yurt also has it’s own assigned private bathroom which you have a key for, meaning that you can leave all your toiletries safely locked away and not have to carry them backwards and forwards each time you want to clean your teeth or take a shower. The bathrooms are huge with a toilet, basin and shower. Fluffy, white towels are provided and the facilities are all kept to an immaculate standard, something which makes this glamping experience very different to any campsite I have ever been to.
In The Old Haybarn there is also an large barn at the back where you can play table tennis and visit the resident Sheep and Goat. Anyone that knows my daughter won’t be surprised when I say that we spent a considerable amount of time saying ‘Hi’ and then ‘Bye’ to Ruby and Sammy.
When we arrived at Caalm Camp we were greeted by Mark, one of the owners, who gave us a little tour of the facilities and chatted to us for a while. We were made to feel totally welcome and he explained everything we needed to know about keeping the yurts warm at night. Dan likes to think he’s Bear Grylls and so I left him in charge of the fire. You can use wood or coal in the fire; the wood is free but needs more maintaining or you can buy a pot of coal for £3 to see you through the night.
Caalm Camp was the perfect base for us on our first little trip as a family. Staying in the yurt felt like an adventure, we literally got to sleep under the stars for two nights, but equally there was none of the mess or stress of a normal camping holiday. It was easy to stay there with a toddler and she loved every second of it. We’re an outdoorsy kind of family so just spending that amount of time outside and being able to let Darcie roam around in the safety of the site, meant we were all relaxed and happy for the duration of our stay.
We really enjoyed exploring the local area too. We went and saw the famous Hovis Hill although I won’t pretend we even attempted to walk all the way down it out of fear of having to climb back up. Seriously, that is one steep hill! We also took a trip to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door which are about an hour away from the campsite in Shaftesbury. There was lots to do in the local area so you could easily fill a week with activities.
On the campsite there was also a play area for kids that had a climbing frame, slide, swings and even a trampoline. Perfect for letting the kids run wild while you enjoy a nice glass of wine outside your yurt with the log burner to keep you warm.
I think a good way to explain just how calm Caalm Camp really is, would simple be to say that we had a genuinely relaxing time, even with our toddler in tow! It was lovely to be in ‘holiday mode’ and let our normal routine go. Caalm Camp would also be the perfect place to go on a group holiday. You could easily sleep six people in one Yurt or you could rent out one per family to have more of your own personal space.
Thank you so much to Mark and your family for being so accommodating and welcoming, we honestly had the best time and can’t wait to return one day.
*We were kindly gifted to stay in the Yurt in exchange for a review. As always, all my opinions are my own and I would never recommend something that I didn’t truly love.