I'm sure I am not the only one who books a holiday because I need a break but then secretly begins planning everything I want to do before I have even confirmed it. Often I go away because I want to share in the romance of an historical building or cross an adventure off the bucket list. Of course it is a wonderous thing to do but I tried something different a few weeks ago. I actually booked a few nights away because I wanted to really rest and leave all intentions, all the schedules at home.
Driving towards Blackdown Yurts my mind was cluttered but as I eased around the country lanes with songbirds darting amongst the green and cow parsley bursting at the seams my mind began to untangle. Arriving at my destination I breathed deeply to fill my lungs with the fresh Devon air and it wasn't long before I met my yurt. Sat on top of a small hill yet somehow supported by the oaks 'Buzzard yurt' awaited me. Really the name should have been a clue that this beautifully painted home would gift me a little perspective. This remarkable bolthole lies nestled in the Blackdown Hills, a landscape lined with leafy beech trees and old tales hidden around every corner. I'm not quite sure what it is about this area of outstanding natural beauty but there is a whimsy to it that feels as if time itself stands still.
Now I am not the best at relaxing, always finding something to busy myself with but here at Blackdown Yurts I truly rested. I owe much of that to every thoughtful gesture that awaited me. From the useful utilities of a well equipped yurt side kitchen (with its own bar I might add!) to the precious warmth of comfortable blankets to the many sweet things we so rarely take the time to gift ourselves, like tealights for candlelit evenings or a fresh posy of wildflowers.
During the day this place is pretty spectacular with walks that take you through fairytale scenes of bluebells lit like wild candles against a rising sun and stately homes that are sure to hold many secrets but it was as the sun began to set that my heart was completely captured by this place. It is one of life's simple joys to sit watching a fire crackle into the dusk the firepit that they have built here is such a wonderful meeting point, a place to gather in the glow, to laugh and share memories but for me it was a quiet fire. Just myself, a simple bowl of pasta and the dance of the fire fae as the flames licked the darkening sky.
I took to my bed without an awareness of time and as I lay in the warm breath of the yurt, stove crackling and popping at my feet I listened to all the creatures around me who's lives are so well lived in these star filled hours. A male tawny called breathless to the moon as a vixen traced the edges of the field calling hauntingly to her young. Above me through the yurts skylight I watched shadows of bats cut through the sky on paper wings which only moments before I had had the pleasure of listening to thanks to the owners generosity of sharing a bat detector. Usually I would lay in my own bed at home imagining the wonders of the night but here at Blackdown yurts you are surrounded by the magic of it and I fell asleep with dreams of wild places.
What Katie and her family have achieved at Blackdown Yurts is so utterly enchanting and unique. Not because they have tried to put their stamp on it but because they have listened to the land and worked alongside it. What I found here was so much more that my usual holiday plans could ever have envisioned. I feel like I found myself again. The me away from the chaos and confusion. So if you are looking to retreat and come home feeling renewed I can suggest no finer place to rest than within the sanctuary so kindly given by Blackdown Yurts.
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It is time to rest those weary bones on the earth and enjoy the peace of this magical place. This is a place I have known for a very long time and have gratefully been gifted the ability to recreate the creatures that reside here in wool, thread and words.
I really hope that my sculptures bring you joy and that my blog posts about
The Whispering Wild and my life within it inspire you to help open your heart to my wild and creative life.
Much love and magic xx