Originality, style AND substance at Brenchley Camping
Since it exploded onto the scene about 15 years ago, glamping, by definition of the word itself, has simply been accepted as a more comfortable alternative to camping. Although many proprietors do it properly, I’ve come across some that think adding a towel and a flushable toilet to proceedings justifies the title. In short, the glamping sector can be a little hit and miss. Brenchley Camping however, is very much a hit – in fact, I’d go as far to say it’s elevated the glamping offering far above the field and is in a league of its own.
Before we chat about the interior of the yurt, which is of course is full of wonderful surprises, the location deserves a moment in the spotlight. Build within the grounds of Latters Toll Farm in Brenchley, the yurt is surrounded by three acres of beautiful bright green space, all of which is essentially your own back garden when you stay. Yes, all of it. A space that’s maintained by the owners of the farm, but that’s for exclusive use of the glampers staying in the yurt, it is a private oasis of calm that comes with a charming wooden bridge, a heart-shaped pathway which is perfect for strolling round at sunset with a glass of wine in hand, and lots of soft grassy areas for kids to roam free in.
Before you even open the double doors to enter the yurt itself, you’re met by yet another brilliant addition to the overall glamping experience here – a decked patio area with sun loungers, bench seating and a five-burner gas BBQ. The hosts are exceptionally helpful and provide a very detailed information book with details of local shops should you need to pop out for supplies and were even able to provide us with a number for one of the local pubs who make exceptional pizza and are happy to deliver right to the yurt’s front doors. Eating pizza with a cold beer as the sun set while our children explored the grounds safely and happily is one of those warm, fuzzy memories that we’ll treasure from our stay here.
When you think of a yurt, you probably think of a pretty simple structure – a slightly elevated idea of a bell tent, maybe. It’s time to think again. The Brenchley yurt is an authentic, handmade structure which was built – in situ – by a team of Mongolian craftspeople. The Mongolians are originators and world leaders when it comes to building yurts, and their remarkable skill shows at every turn. The criss-cross wooden ‘walls’ are all hand-secured and perfectly aligned, leading up to the ‘roof’, which is an artwork in itself.
Each beam that supports the embroidered outer covering curves upwards to join a circular glass dome that’s been hand-painted in traditional Mongolian ulzii patterns in shades of blue, green, white, red and yellow, which represent eternal existence, continuous happiness
and perpetual prosperity. It is as lovely to look at as it is to stay in. Equipped with water and electricity (there is even a flushable toilet right next door, so no more trekking around in the dark when nature calls), the inside of the yurt is incredibly relaxing and functional. There’s a kitchen area for washing up, a chill-out space with a comfy sofa in front of a log burner, a dining table that seats six, and, believe it or not, a flatscreen digital TV with Netflix and Amazon Prime should you want to curl up with a cuppa and a film.
Everything’s been thought of, from kitchenware, cutlery and a worktop on which you can make hot drinks and prepare food, to a digital stereo with Bluetooth speaker for music and a games area with table football. The piece de resistance? It has three double bedrooms. Three! Each separated by a partition wall or curtain from the next and decked out with plump feather duvets and pillows, and sheets that felt even more soft and comfortable than 100% Egyptian cotton.
We’re a family of five, the youngest of whom was three when we stayed, and everyone slept like a log. In a nod to the nomadic lifestyle to the Mongolians that first crafted yurts, everything about this piece of glamping paradise is close to nature, whether you’re watching the stars from your luxurious bed under the glass-domed roof or sitting outside in the peaceful stillness of the surroundings with a chilled glass of wine. As suited to groups of up to six child-free friends as it is families, it’s an ideal and original choice to celebrate a birthday or event, or
just to do something different. With electric convention heaters provided and a pile of blankets too, don’t dismiss this as a spring or summer stay either; personally, I think because the owners have prioritised comfort with luxury touches, it suitable for all seasons and caters for many different dynamics. I’d go back in a heartbeat, and I highly recommend you book too; it really is a slice of heaven.
Latters Toll Farm
Kent, TN12 7DN
01892 722 857