A few weeks ago I wrote about interesting alternative places to spend a night or two in the UK. So far I haven’t figured out how I can sleep in a lighthouse that doesn’t now look like a regular hotel, but I’m working on it.
I have however been up to the very beautiful Golden Hill Farm to stay in their traditional Gypsy wagon, Horace.
Perfectly situated on the North York Moors, Golden Hill Farm is the kind of place that offers peace and tranquillity as well as being just a short drive away from busy seaside towns. You really do have the best of both worlds here.
As you approach the farm down winding roads you find yourself surrounded by endless greenery, before the Gypsy wagons become visible just before you reach the farm entrance. They look so welcoming there, with their vibrant colours and nostalgic charm.
The inside of Horace the wagon isn’t quite as I expected it to be. I think I was expecting to be crammed in and falling over one another, surrounded by trinkets and horseshoe shaped brasses, but the interior of this Gypsy wagon lends itself to practicality and functionality instead.
This isn’t designed to be a luxury accommodation though. Don’t arrive expecting duck down duvets and chocolates on your pillow. Don’t expect running water inside the wagon either. This is basic glamping with a charming twist and it’s fantastic.
Although there is no running water, fresh water is available from taps around the site and the wagon has a sink with drainage. Stock up on water before you arrive or just take a water container with you and you’ll manage just fine. There is an electricity supply to the wagon and gas via a bottle outside to power the hob. The cost of fuel is included in the hire charges.
Horace the wagon is designed to sleep up to four people; two adults and two children. Two seats at the back of the wagon are easily converted into a large sleeping area, much like a modern caravan, and at a push I’d say three young children could fit on here.
The beds are as comfortable as you’d expect from a set up like this and we spent two perfectly good nights on them. Bedding is something you bring from home and I’d suggest bringing a bottom sheet and a duvet for optimum comfort.
The second sleeping area is at the front of the wagon just in front of the kitchen area and is suitable for no more than two people. Ted and I slept on this quite comfortably and he’s 6′ 3″ tall so no need to worry about whether or not you’ll fit.
Storage in the Gypsy wagon is minimal but sufficient. One large set of shelving and one rail for hanging clothes was fine for the four of us to use for the weekend. If you need more storage than that you’re packing too much stuff!
The rest of Golden Hill Farm is great too. With rabbits and horses, chickens and a rather vocal peacock for neighbours and trees, fungi, shrubbery and fields in every direction, the farm is a brilliant place for kids to learn about animals and nature.
In addition to the camping availability, Golden Hill Farm has a beautiful three bedroomed cottage available to rent. Just have a look at the slideshow at the top of this post to see some photographs of it.
A small toilet and shower block serves the whole site, but the whole site only serves a maximum of ten caravans, the two wagons and the occasional tent so there’s never a queue. The toilets are clean and the shower is hot – what else do you need?
I’ll tell you what else: a play area for the kids. My two spent a lot of time on the playground here and thoroughly enjoyed it. There was also plenty of room for them to play hide and seek, have races and even play a bit of football.
There were just two other families on site when we visited and it was lovely to see the children from all of the families playing together. The atmosphere at Golden Hill Farm is very relaxed and Carol makes every effort to ensure visitors have a great stay. She literally never stops working – I’m not sure she even sleeps!
If you are looking for a great little site in a beautiful area at a fantastic price (and why wouldn’t you be?) then Golden Hill Farm is absolutely worth a look. Whether you’re taking your caravan, your tent or you’re looking for a break with a unique twist, you’ll find it here.
And if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan and want to stay in a hobbit house, unlike anything else you can find in the world, you REALLY need to stay tuned for my next post on Golden Hill Farm…