A Dose of Countryside and Art is Good for the Soul
Well for my soul at least. I am just reminiscing about a little trip I did with my family last week. Between work, and flat hunting, and moving flats, social engagements and my husband going away for work or with his band, it felt like we hadn't spent much time together as a family recently. Things can get a bit overwhelming in this city (I'm referring to London but any city is the same I'm sure). Being a brand that wants to promote slow living and sustainability thats not how I want to live!
So, I had a look at the Secret Escapes website for a little inspiration and put in a few filters. I ticked all the family boxes and unticked the city break boxes! I was looking for something a bit more rustic and back to nature. I came across the listing for Swinton Bivouac and it definitely hit my sweet spot. I could see that the tree lodges were getting booked up fast and so I didn't delay in booking. After I booked the tree lodge I thought about how I had always wanted to go to the Yorkshire Scuplture Park. And it just so happens that theres also a really great exhibition curated by fashion designer JW Anderson on display at The Hepworth Wakefield right now. Because they are all in Yorkshire about an hour drive apart we decided to visit them all the same (long) weekend.
After the Hepworth Wakefield we had dinner and stayed in a nearby hotel. The next morning we went to breakfast at Blacker Hall Farm Shop which I highly recommend. I also did some gin tasting there, which I would also recommend! Then we were off to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where highlights for me included Seated Figures by Magdelena Abakanwicz which was outside the Camellia House, this half bunny/half man thing who's creator I can not remember and also the Chinese Zodiac Statues by Ai Weiwei. But there were so many beautiful sculptures, new and old, and I think we only saw half the park if that. If you go there allow yourself a whole day, we thought we could do it all in 2 hours and ended up running to get back to the car in time!
After the Sculture Park we made our way to the main event of our trip, our Tree Lodge at Swinton Bivouac where we would stay the night. It was absolutely beautiful there. Our little house was called 'Tree Snug' which I just thought was adorable. They have 6 lodges on the property as well as a field full of yurts. And a lot of sheep. It seems there a lot of sheep everywhere in Yorkshire. Not that I mind at all. I love sheep. But you do have to keep a vigilant eye where you are walking at all times! The lodges are equipped with running water from a natural spring, and toilets and showers. But there is no electricity, heating or hot water. Unless you heat it yourself with the wood stove. They provide candles, and wood for the fire already in the stove. My husband took care of the fire luckily, while I stuck to making tea. It kept us nice and toasty all through the night, and gave us enough hot water to wash hands and dishes, but we weren't brave enough to try the shower!
To be honest it was not as 'cut-off' as I thought it would be. I expected to have no phone signal whatsoever but we ended up listening to BBC radio 6 music and radio 4 on my phone. We did manage to avoid looking at our phones and spend some quality time together as a family which was nice. The next day we walked around the estate where they have a Druid Temple. It was built as a Victorian Folly by the estate owner, so not a REAL Druid Temple, but still pretty cool and now quite old as well. After checking out of our Tree Lodge we went for breakfast at the Bivouac Cafe open to the public whether you are staying on the estate or not and it was delicious. I would also highly recommend this place for brunch if you live in the area. And that concluded our little trip to Yorkshire. It was short but sweet and I would definitely like to return one day for more art and countryside!