Gabriel's Yurt (in the Secret Spinney)
Features | Map | Visitor comments
- Romantic, secluded escape for a couple (plus a baby and up to 2 good dogs)
- Lovely handmade eco-friendly yurt , plus a little one next door for cooking/eating, and a shack for shower and loo
- Luxuriously, stylishly furnished
- Wood-fired hot tub
- Superb walks from the site, with Offa’s Dyke not far away
- Great for cycling and riding
- Excellent local pub a short walk away
This beautiful Turkomen yurt is in the most magical, secluded location, with a life-enhancing view of undulating meadows, and the majestic back-drop of the Black Mountains. It is tucked into a secret little copse with the sound of birdsong in the trees, and cool dappled light falling through the leaves. Gabriel's Yurt provides every comfort and lots of space for a couple, with its big brass bed, comfy kelim-covered sofa, and wood burning stove. Next door, one step away via some dry decking, there is another smaller yurt, which serves as a gorgeous kitchen with a place to cook and plenty of space to sit and eat. A few strides away, a funky Jamaican-style tin shack houses the shower and compost loo (yes – it’s perfectly pleasant to use), and there is a wonderfully quirky wood-fired hot tub. There is plenty of sunny space in the field to the front, with garden furniture, for enjoying the an outdoor meal or two and the panoramic view. Sleeps 2 (plus an infant and up to 2 good dogs).
The brain-child of owners Bryony and Tim, this splendid Turkomen yurt and its position in the landscape exemplifies the kind of lifestyle which inspired them during their time in Botswana. Having lived there for many years with their young family, they subsequently moved to a very different kind of beautiful landscape in the Black Mountains, but retained the inspiration they had gained from their African experience. The camps of the Makgadikgadi salt pan game reserve in Botswana exemplified an authentic green existence, a way of life in tune with its surroundings. Bryony and Tim carried the memories of these back with them to Britain, now materialised into this wonderful site. A dash of Turkmenistani style and a good measure of beautiful Black Mountains scenery have added a very unique appeal.
Turkomen yurts differ from the Mongolian-style yurts in that they have bent poles to carry the weight of the tent instead of a central pole, creating more usable space and a feeling of lightness and roominess. These were created by Gabriel and Jayne Henning, of Castle Yurts, based at Kinnersley Castle, who made them with such care and attention. They used split and steam-shaped sweet chestnut poles for the bedroom yurt, with canvas and felt for the tent itself. The kitchen yurt has more regular and uniform sawn timber poles, lending it a contrasting sense of symmetry. Raised off the ground and with lovely wooden floors, the yurts are warm and dry during cooler weather, but nicely cool in hotter temperatures.
Things to do around Gabriel's Yurt
This is the area for walkers to enjoy spectacularly beautiful scenery and good lung-stretching hill walks: Offa’s Dyke path is approximately 2 miles away on top of Hatterall Hill, which is the gateway to walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park, but there are wonderful walks everywhere. Pretty churches, ruined abbeys, and Norman castles are around every corner, and Hay-on-Wye is a must-visit for bookies and antique enthusiasts. The Mappa Mundi in Hereford Cathedral is one of the most important historical medieval relics in the world; and Cardiff with its museums, lovely Victorian shopping arcades and redeveloped Bay area is well worth a visit.
This area is a foodie’s dream, being well-populated with first-rate eateries, from the renowned Walnut Tree, and Stephen Terry’s restaurant, The Hardwick (of The Great British Menu fame), to brasseries, cafes and pubs of all kinds. The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny provides a prize-winning tea to remember. The local pub is the Carpenters Arms at Walterstone, just a short walk away, and provides good robust pub food and a wonderful old fashioned atmosphere in which to sample the local ales.
The nitty gritty
Live online booking
This property has flexible booking: you can book any number of nights from any available day, but the minimum stay is 2 nights, and you can't leave a single unsellable night. Check availability and book online below, or check availability for all cottages.
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From the visitors book at Gabriel's Yurt
"A well deserved break for the both of us. Gabriel's yurt is better than any 5* hotel we've been to. Clean, fresh, and absolutely beautiful. The shower hut is amazing." Mr & Mrs Price, Portskewett
"Is it possible this little piece of heaven is available for long term rent 'like forever'?" Susan Jones, Shrewsbury
"This is a fantastic place. We are honoured to have stayed here and experienced a fabulous weekend. It was great to be gently woken by the sound of light rain and the sheep outside. We're sad to leave it behind - Ali wants to take the bed home with us!" Ali & Ben, Bristol
"We had a fabulous ‘mini break’ thank you and the yurt was really fun! We enjoyed the most amazing walks up in the Black Mountains with stunning views, our stamina was certainly tested after 15 miles of very tough going but brilliant. The owners were away, so we did not get to thank them directly, but please do send our thanks on, particularly for the wine! Lovely location, nice views and brilliant in the warm sunny weather." Jo, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
a fabulous place to stay - better than any hotel anywhere in the world.
Tim and Bryony are the perfect hosts and so very helpful, as well as
all the locals. We had the best time ever. Thank you for the memories." Michelle and Darren, Luton
"An amazing birthday surprise for me!! The yurts are both beautiful and well equipped. We also enjoyed the novelty of an organic toilet! We are seriously considering moving into a yurt permanently- what a life! It has been wonderfully soothing to fall asleep in the cosy bed, listening to the rain, or the wind, or the owls. We have had some stunning walks up the Skirrid and in the Cwmyoy area. This wonderful holiday demonstrates perfectly the magic and beauty on our doorsteps." Kirsten and Laurence, Bristol
"We had a wonderful weekend! We are looking forward to our next visit. Thanks so much." Lauren and Ian, Chester