Luxurious tented lodges in a secluded wood. How would you like to have your very own place in the pines?
As you may know, I’ve been working with Canopy & Stars as part of their blogger collective for a year now and I’m always amazed at how many cool and quirky places they have on their books (and in the north too!). A little while ago we tried out a fairly new kid on the glamping block called A Place in the Pines near Northallerton in North Yorkshire. Aside from the enormous luxury tented lodge (merely to call it a tent doesn’t do it justice), we felt so lucky to enjoy the peace and quiet of a beautifully secluded wood as our second roof and a pretty pond within a stone’s throw of our front door. As only one of four lodges, we almost felt like we were the only ones there and this was our own private ‘place in the pines’.When we arrived (unfortunately in the rain), we were given a warm welcome from Matt and Lizzie, the owners who met us at the car park to transport our stuff to the tent while we followed on foot. It was just a couple of hundred yards and we were soon under the shelter of the trees and inside our clean dry tent. It didn’t take long to get the stove going and the candles lit so everything felt cosy. And since we can never be bothered to cook on a friday night, I’d already booked us into the local pub for an early dinner. The Golden Lion at nearby Osmotherley does lovely pub grub in quaint old fashioned surroundings (I recommend their sticky toffee pudding). By the time we got back to the tent it was still lovely and warm so we settled down to an evening of board games/good books/wine/hot chocolate – probably one of my favourite bits about camping and being off-grid with the kids.
We stayed in the Foxtail lodge, which is styled in a country cottage fashion with reupholstered school chairs and a reconditioned Ercol rocking chair. Also available is the White Bark lodge decorated in a New England style with dark wooden floors and pastel coloured furnishings; Coulter, a rustic styled lodge decorated with reclaimed wood from a disused local sawmill and finally Short Leaf, a Scandinavian inspired lodge, furnished with light wooden furniture for a contemporary feel. To be honest I think all of the lodges have a Scandinavian feel which I love and really suits their woodland setting.All of the lodges sleep up to six people and feature hot running water, electric lighting and plug sockets, a large fridge, sink with gas hob, toiletries, towels, bedding, 1 bag of charcoal, a basket of logs as well as a welcome gift of ‘home grown’ sloe gin and honey, which makes for a lovely souvenir. If you need anything else you can buy items throughout your stay from the honesty box. We got through our logs pretty quickly so it would have been nice to have an unlimited supply of these free of charge (as we have experienced at other glamping sites). We loved helping ourselves to fresh eggs too, which we used to make breakfast the next morning.
I was really impressed with the layout of the lodge with its clever use of space. Matt the owner explained how he’d worked with an architect to create the original design of the lodges himself. In our lodge there was one separate double bedroom, a sofa bed and another really cool bunkbed that sleeps up to three (one double, one single), which is sectioned off from the lounge/kitchen by a curtain. Of course the kids thought this was amazing and it made for a really good play/den area as well. There’s also a separate well sized bathroom including a shower over the bath, a sink and toilet, decorated in a rustic style and supplied with toiletries.After a pretty good night’s sleep (it was warm, cosy and quiet), we awoke to the sound of birdsong (I know it makes for an earlier start but it’s still one of my favourite bits about camping in the countryside – the proximity to nature) and sunshine. After a breakfast of coffee, toast and fresh eggs the kids couldn’t wait to explore around the woods. We did have to issue a warning to them about the pond and kept an eye on them (especially our youngest) but the setting of the lodge was just beautiful; right next to the water and surrounded by trees and rhododendron bushes, which were luckily in full bloom during our stay.Later we took a drive out to explore some of the local interest spots including the lovely traditional market towns of Helmsley and Northallerton – the latter has a branch of Bettys if you fancy it but we decided to try a nice indie cafe for a change. There’s also a fabulous farm shop and cafe just a short drive away from the campsite, called Roots, which sells some great local produce and also has a couple of animals on site, so it’s a great place for brunch as well as to stock up on provisions during your stay. And if you like farm animals there are actually some sheep and a couple of fab rare breed pigs in a field adjacent to the campsite car park. Our kids loved the pigs especially and stopped to say hello to them every time we came and went. As well as playing hide and seek in the wood, we picked some wild flowers to make a little arrangement for the tent (this is what happens when I no longer have devices to distract me) and spent much of Saturday evening barbecuing and eating outside. Each lodge has its own large private decked area with seating and bbq, so there’s plenty of room to dine out there.I have to say I really liked everything about the design and feel of the lodges at a Place in the Pines, which have that cool Scandinavian feel but are very functional and practical too. We stayed on one of the colder weekends of May, when the weather was still mixed yet we always felt warm and cosy in the tent, even the next morning before the wood burner was relit. This is really key for me when I’m glamping because you’re still essentially sleeping under canvas (albeit comfortably furnished inside) and I just can’t enjoy it if I feel cold, damp or drafty. But these lodges felt cosy, insulated and totally watertight and draft-proof; it’s my kind of camping! And of course the stylish interiors help too.
For more information or to make a booking at A Place in the Pines, visit the Canopy & Stars website here. Prices vary according to season. I’d like to thank Matt and Lizzie for offering us a complimentary stay at A Place in the Pines for the purposes of this review.