‘Glamping’ firm launches new site

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A former chartered surveyor who set up a luxury camping business after being made redundant has opened a third site near Ripon.

Tom Sterne has launched his sustainable ‘glamping’ experience called ‘Yurtshire’ in the village of Markington.

The new site is home to three yurts overlooking a small lake. The yurts are furnished with beds and futons, Egyptian cotton bedding, throws and sheepskin rugs. They also contain kitchen units stoves, crockery and cutlery. Each yurt sleeps up to five people and has its own private compost/sawdust toilet, as well as a hot gas shower and wood-burning hot tub.

“At the heart of Yurtshire is the ethos of natural, ‘off grid living’, as our yurts do not have electricity,” said Tom, 31, who was brought up in Aldfield near Ripon and now lives in Harrogate.

“Lanterns, candles and torches are provided and, together with the warm glow of the wood-burning stove, fire pits and barbecue, it all adds to the romantic ambience and truly magical experience of staying in a yurt.”

Tom was a general practice chartered surveyor specialising in the sale of commercial and residential development sites when he was made redundant at the peak of the credit crunch in 2009.

While taking time out to travel, he was inspired to set up his own luxury camping experience in the UK following a safari trip to the Masai Mara in Kenya.

Tom said: “They have really mastered the art of luxury camping on safari holidays with some amazing five-star tented lodges. Having loved camping and the great outdoors, I instantly fell in love with the little round houses called yurts and I thought they would be perfect for the UK market.

“As well as being extremely beautiful, the yurts are practical and warm with the wood-burning stoves. There is also something enchanting about being inside a yurt at night.”

One of the oldest shelter structures known to man, yurts are circular wooden framed tents which originate from the high mountain steppes of central Asia.

Tom, who also runs a dog fencing containment business, formed Yorkshire Yurts in 2010, offering yurt holidays as well as yurt hire for parties and events. All his yurts are handcrafted in the UK and range in size from 17ft to 33ft diameter.

The holiday side of the business was rebranded as Yurtshire in 2011. As well as the new Markington site, it has locations in Ramsgill near Pateley Bridge, and Bolton Abbey.