A 'best of both worlds' glamping and camping site in Norfolk with a secluded feel yet ample attractions just a stroll beyond the hedge-line
Swallowtails is a pop-up glamping site that has put down roots. This sociable and family-friendly site was germinated in Norfolk but is now establishing itself just outside the Yorkshire town of Pickering. Stand in the acre-and-a-half glamping field and you can see why its owners chose this fertile spot. Beyond the mature hedges that shelter the site’s lotus bell tents and yurts, the view reveals it all. First there are farmer’s fields and then the rooftops of Pickering, just a 10-minute walk away. Look carefully and you may just spot the tip of a distant rollercoaster at one of the site’s closest attractions and, ever-present in the distance, are yet more dizzying heights; the rolling Howardian Hills and the heather-clad North York Moors.
It wasn’t just the views of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a national park that persuaded owners Freya and Mark to settle Swallowtails here. Years of family camping trips and years more running a pop-up mean they know what glampers want; especially, but not exclusively, glampers with kids. Having places to eat out and visit just a walk or cycle from site was important and being within day-tripping distance of the coast was crucial too. While good weather is never guaranteed, they noted that this part of Yorkshire, the Vale of Pickering, gets less rainfall than most.
On site, their experience shines through further in the way the spacious lotus bell tents and yurts are set up. Walls are insulated, beds are made and the barbecue outside, so dinner is less of a faff. The site is relatively small (five yurts and four lotus bell tents) which helps with a sociable feel. There are communal campfires, regular pizza nights and crafty activities for kids, led by Freya; a qualified art teacher as well as your campsite host. Activities can last for hours and parents are welcome to join in or to escape for grown-up time; perhaps an on-site yoga or mindfulness session (all bookable in advance).
While all this makes it great for families, it’s also good as a base for couples and small groups who want to explore the outdoors – particularly those with bikes. Alongside the flat, family-friendly cycling nearby, there’s the more serious stuff of road cycling in the national park and the mountain bike trails of the Dalby Forest. Pickering is a buzzy little place with great eateries, a castle and a station on the North York Moors Railway. Use it to visit seaside Whitby (handy as parking in the town can be tricky). There are lots of walks and plenty of attractions for all ages, from the animals and theme park rides of Flamingoland to the historic city of York.
England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Freya ?.Joined in October 2018
From the host
Swallowtails is part of the 'Skylarks Camps' organisation providing a wonderful camping experience in a countryside setting just on the edge of North York Moors. Swallowtails ticks all the boxes for the perfect glamping holiday. Swallowtails is not just a base, but a place to spend quality time if you want to stay put and relax. At Swallowtails, we offer massage, yoga and mindfulness activities for all ages and kids/family activities designed to allow you to connect with nature and make new friends! We offer stylish, cosy, hassle-free boutique glamping in the form of spacious insulated luxury yurts and 'Lotus Belle' tents. We offer yurts/bell tents that accommodate 4-6 guests comfortably (1 extra camp bed and bedding can be hired to add another person to each yurt/bell tent). We are an ideal glampsite for families and friends to get together for significant birthdays or celebrations and exclusively hire all 9 glamping units and be just a short walk from the town of Pickering. Our reviews speak for themselves and we take a huge amount of pleasure in giving our guests the care and attention they deserve during their stay with us at Swallowtails.
There are usually two kids' activity days a week as well as nightly communal campfires and regular pizza nights. Yoga and mindfulness sessions are available if booked in advance (contact site directly). We also have a hot tub area which can be hired (contact site directly). Swallowtails is in a great location to enjoy both the stunning Yorkshire coastline and the North York National Park. The glampsite is set in the countryside well away from any main roads, but just a short walk from the centre of Pickering known as the gateway to North York Moors with plenty of shops and eateries as well as a 13th-century castle. You can also hop aboard one of the heritage trains of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for the trip to Whitby. The site is just south of the edge of the national park with Dalby Forest (01751 460295) one of the closest places to visit, a cyclable six miles from site. There's a visitor centre and cafe as well as walking and cycling trails through the trees and the high ropes adventure of Go Ape. Theme park and zoo, Flamingoland (0800 408 8840), is also within cycling distance, five miles from site. By car, the North Yorkshire Water Park (01723 865052) and the Yorkshire coastline at Whitby, Scarborough or Robin Hood Bay are all around 20 miles from site. The medieval city of York is a little further, but only a little over half an hour's drive away.
Food and drink
There are regular pizza nights on site where you can make your own pizza and have it cooked in the on-site pizza oven. For other nights, it's less than a mile into the market town of Pickering which has plenty of options for stocking up on supplies and for eating out. For coffee or breakfast try Feast (01751 470121), café and shop. On sunny days try the beer garden at The Sun Inn (01751 473661) for a drink or, for food, head to either The Black Swan (01751 798209) or the The White Swan Restaurant (01751 472288), both smart pubs in Pickering's market place. More casual options include Capplemans Fish and Chips, Piggies in the Middle (01751 475511): a delicatessen shop selling fresh pulled pork sandwiches and Botham's (01947 602823) for light lunches, creams teas and delicious cakes. A mile or so outdside town, Cedarbarns Farm Shop and Cafe (01751 475614) is a great place for farm fresh meat, vegetables and seasonal pick-your-own fruit. There are several country pubs within cycling distance including The Blacksmiths Arms (01751 417247) in Lastingham (nine miles from site) and The Fox and Rabbit Inn (01751 460213) at Lockton (five miles away). Malton, which is known as the food capital of Yorkshire, is only 15 minutes' drive from Swallowtails and has a plethora of top quality food establishments and a monthly, nationally-renowned food market on the second Saturday of the month.