Getting Away From It All on a Glamping Trip to Camp Katur in Yorkshire

 

Beautiful rolling countryside. Wild rabbits hopping around. Birds chirping in the trees. No electricity. Peace, quiet and a proper chance to get away from reality.

This scene is not typical for me but it’s one I recently really enjoyed during a two night trip to Camp Katur in Yorkshire with my boyfriend.

I can count the amount of times I’ve been camping and glamping on one hand, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but was super excited for our stay.

We arrived after a relaxed drive through the north Yorkshire countryside and parked up our car in a lovely forested area, before being directed towards the Geodome we’d booked for our stay.

 

 

A popular choice at Camp Katur, the Geodome is, as the name suggests, a dome. It sits on the edge of the forest and comes complete with private kitchen, bathroom and shower room in little sheds beside the accommodation.

 

 

 

Inside the Geodome there was a comfortable double bed, cute decorations and a log burner. With no electricity on the site, everything is solar, gas or wood powered.

 

 

The setting was perfect, with a gorgeous meadow to the front and forest to the back. There was a little decking area with a BBQ and fire pit outside the dome.

On our first evening, I whipped up my first ever camping meal- gnocchi with beef ragu and plenty of Parmesan. We enjoyed our dinner with a few beers and sat by the log burner, playing Uno and enjoying our surroundings.

The following morning, we got up early and headed to the nearest little town, Bedale to grab breakfast. We wandered around the town a little, before heading back to camp.

 

 

 

 

Our afternoon was spent walking, playing badminton, reading and just generally relaxing.

Nothing exciting and certainly not our usual type of break but it was bliss. With no electricity, we barely used our phones and it really felt like we got away from everything and enjoyed quality time together.

During the evening, we headed to a local pub for dinner and so my boyfriend could watched the England game on TV. The food was delicious and to be honest I was glad not to have to cook. The kitchen we had was well equipped but I can’t say I’m a fan of cooking on a little gas camp oven. Plus, when in holiday, I like to eat out and try different restaurants anyway.

After dinner, we headed back and toasted marshmallows on the fire pit outside over a few drinks and more card games.

The couple of days away was exactly what I needed after a busy few weeks. Whilst I have to admit I’m not a glamping convert exactly (too many creepy crawlies), it was an amazing and unique experience.

 

 

The staff at Camp Katur were great and the Geodomes were super cool.

For those used to camping, I’d highly recommend booking a stay. If you like your home comforts, I’d suggest a one night stay might be best!

 

 

Camp Katur has a number of different accommodation options, including Bell Tents, Safari Tents, Hobbit Holes and even an adorable retro caravan named Betty. There’s also a Go Ape type place next door to the camp that offers high ropes, quad bikes etc.

Next stop, Budapest!

My Ultimate Travelist

I received the Lonely Planet Ultimate Travelist for Christmas last year. It details the “500 best places on the planet… ranked” and it is possibly the most wanderlust-inducing thing I’ve ever read!

It got me thinking about what my ultimate travelist would be. So, I’ve decided to put together a top 10 of the places I’ve already visited and the 10 that are highest on my bucket list. I’ve ranked them in order, which was not an easy task!

 

Top 10 Places Visited

1. Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

Khao Sok National Park is situated in the Surat Thani province of Thailand. The crowing jewel of the park is Cheow Lan lake, which is home to beautiful lime stone karsts.

I stayed in a floating bungalow on the lake, where the facilities are very basic and there is only electricity for a few hours in the evening. The setting is absolutely stunning and my one-night stay is one of my all time favourite travel memories. Quite simply, it’s the most breathtaking place I’ve ever visited.

Read more: 9 Reasons to Visit Thailand 

 

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2. Great Wall of China

The Great Wall probably makes it on to most people’s travel bucket lists, it is a bit of a cliche.

It rightly deserves a place, it is out of this world amazing. I was super excited to hike the wall but nothing could prepare me for quite how incredible (and steep!) it was.

I visited the Jinshanling section of this wall and there were barely any other people!

 

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3. Temples of Angkor

The Temples of Angkor are out of this world and like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

I joined a small cycling tour when I visited; we got to Angkor Wat for sunrise and then cycled around the other temples and surrounding countryside.

Read more: Female solo travel in Cambodia and Vietnam: a 3 week itinerary 

 

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4. Hoi An Old Town

Most people that have visited Hoi An Old Town would probably agree that the place just feels absolutely magical, especially at night when the beautiful old buildings are lit up with colourful lanterns.

It was definitely my favourite place in Vietnam, although as you’ll see, two more places in my favourite country ever have also made it on to my list!

 

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5. Hanoi Old Quarter, Vietnam

Hanoi is by far my favourite large city in Asia. It’s busy and it’s polluted but it also has so much charm!

Home to many beautiful buildings, Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and lots of lovely restaurants, there’s plenty to see and do. But this is also a place where you can just wander and get lost, taking it all in.

Read more: Vietnam Travel Tips

 

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6. Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

One of the things I loved most about Sri Lanka is that every place we visited was so different. Galle Fort was no exception, I certainly wasn’t expecting charming cobbled streets, boutique shops and a lighthouse in Sri Lanka!

I stayed within the fort, which I’d highly recommend doing.

Read more: Sri Lankan Adventure Part 1: Colombo to Galle

 

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7. Plaza Mayor, Cuba

Trinidad in Cuba is by far one of the prettiest towns I’ve ever visited. Cobbled streets and pastel coloured buildings, it is a delight. It attracts a fair amount of tourists but it still felt really laid back and not at all crowded.

Plaza Mayor is the historic centre of the town and it’s the perfect place to wander for a couple of hours, followed by a cold beer.

See more: Cuba: Photo Edit

 

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8. Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay is a must-see for visitors to Vietnam. It’s famous for its limestone karsts and dramatic scenery.

I stayed on a traditional junk boats for two days and it was an amazing experience, not to mention that the seafood served on board was some of the best and freshest I’ve ever eaten.

 

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9. Habana Vieja, Cuba

Think of Cuba and Habana Vieja is likely to be the picture in your head- the bright, pastel coloured old buildings in the old part of town.

They are iconic and even better experienced on a ride around Havana in an old American car.

Read more: Cuba Travel Tips

 

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10. Le Jardin Majorelle

I recently visited Marrakech and was concerned that I’d be disappointed by Le Jardin Majorelle given all the photos I’d seen and the masses of tourists.

I definitely wasn’t disappointed, the gardens were absolutely magical and like a complete oasis away from the slight madness of Marrakech itself.

Read more: How to Spend a Long Weekend in Marrakech

 

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So, that’s where I’ve been. Now for the list of the top 10 places I’d like go visit form the Lonely Planet Ultimate Travelist:

1. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

2. Machu Picchu, Peru

3. Petra, Jordan

4. Taj Mahal, India

5. Bagan, Myanmar

6. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

7. Dubrovnik Old City Walls, Croatia

8. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

9. Cristo Redentor, Brazil

10. Empire State Building

Check out the Lonely Planet Ultimate Travelist here.

Where are your top 10 places visited and the top 10 you want to go to? I’d love to hear from you xxx

A Long Weekend in Belfast

One of my work friends went to university in Belfast, and after hearing lots of great things, a group of us decided to head there for her birthday.

We found a great apartment on Air BnB, with a hot tub on the roof terrace and great views over the city. The price was really reasonable- only around £70 each for three nights. The flat was located on Crumlin Road and it’s really easy to get around using taxis, only around 10 minutes to the centre of the city. Sadly, I think it has been taken off Air BnB, as the owner was looking to sell the property.

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Apartment’s roof terrace

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Apartment’s hot tub

On our first day, we decided to take a tour out to Giants Causeway and other sights in Northern Ireland. We went with Allens and I cannot recommend them enough. We somehow managed to book a tour online with them for 2005 without realising and when we turned up the coach was full (oops!). The owner of the company very kindly offered to take us in their minibus, so that we wouldn’t miss out.

The scenery on the trip was absolutely stunning! We were really lucky with the weather; even though it was very cold, the skies were blue and the sun shining. During the tour we visited: Carrickfergus Castle, the Antrim Coast Road, Carrick- a – Rede rope bridge, Giants Causeway and The Dark Hedges (from Game of Thrones). The most famous of these sights is Giants Causeway and it’s not difficult to see why. Made up of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, which were the result of a volcanic eruption, it really is a sight to behold.

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Giants Causeway

Although not the most famous sight, my favourite by far was Carrick – a – Rede rope bridge and the surrounding area. The sea was so blue, if it hadn’t been so cold, I definitely wouldn’t have felt as though I was in Northern Ireland. The area was so pretty and it was fun to walk down to and across the bridge, although there were lots of other people around so it was very busy. Lunch was eaten nearby the rope bridge at a quaint café in a barn. I had steak and Guinness pie which was delicious and a necessary meal when in Ireland.

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Carrick- a -Rede rope bridge

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Carrick- a – Rede rope bridge

The tour cost £18pp, which was really reasonable considering that the tour lasted the entire day. Lunch was around £7 with a drink, so overall the cost was pretty small and a great way to see more of Northern Ireland during a short weekend trip.

Following our day trip, it was time to celebrate Cat’s birthday in style. We had lots of prosecco in the apartment with dinner and then headed out in to the centre of Belfast. We spent the majority of our night in Filthy McNastys, which was great fun. Don’t let the name put you off- first impressions can be deceiving. Filthy’s looks like an ordinary pub from the front but head through the door at the back and there is a “Secret Garden” and a chic cocktail bar- “Filthy Chic- which serves delicious drinks. Prices definitely weren’t as cheap as I had expected but they were still far below what I would expect to pay in London and for a capital city on a Saturday night, they were pretty reasonable.

On Sunday morning, we headed to Maggie Mays for brunch. They have an extensive menu but I went traditional and opted for a full Irish breakfast. It was so yummy, my only criticism would be that there was A LOT of bread; too much if anything. I shouldn’t complain- you can never have too many carbs. We also got milkshakes to take away which we a-maz-ing. I had Kinder Bueno and it was one of the best milkshakes I’ve ever had. Altogether I spent about £11 on breakfast, two drinks and a milkshake, what a bargain! The remainder of Sunday was spent relaxing in the hot tub and watching girly films. It felt like we were back at university- just with cleaner surroundings and much healthier bank balances.

We flew back to London on Monday afternoon but before we did, we squeezed in a trip to Crumlin Road Gaol, which was not too far from our apartment. The gaol (jail) opened in 1845 and closed its doors in 1996. The tour was really interesting, although the chamber where hangings took place was really creepy. The jail didn’t seem to be the most secure- despite holding dangerous criminals such as murderers- and there was over 15 escapes during the time it was open.

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Crumlin Road Gaol

Belfast obviously doesn’t have the best rep but I absolutely loved it, along with the other places we visited during our trip. The people are super friendly, prices are cheap and the scenery is beautiful. I would definitely recommend it as a destination for a city break and I’m really looking forward to going back and seeing more of Northern Ireland in the future.