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- Authentic felted yurt made by the tribesmen of the Mongolian Steppes, kept really warm and snug by its own wood burner
- Spectacular romantic location, completely on its own and totally private
- Riverside location - perfect for a paddle or a dip
- Cedar hot tub, heated by a wood-fired stove
- Pretty shepherds hut provides kitchen and shower facilities
- Sleeps a couple, plus 2 children on camp beds, and up to 2 very good dogs
- Perfect spot for stargazing: the site is in an 'international dark sky reserve'
The mountain valley location of the Starlight Yurt is quite amazing, with a sensational, ever-changing view of the surrounding Black Mountains. The lovely authentic Mongolian yurt or Ger is situated completely on its own, fronted by a beautiful meadow, bordered by the Honddu river, and backed by trees - a perfectly peaceful and private site with no other property anywhere nearby or in view. The yurt, with its accompanying shepherds hut (a neat kitchen one end and a gas-heated shower the other) and log store, is nestled into one corner of the field. The river is only a few strides away, as is the wonderful cedar hot tub. The environment-friendly hot tub is heated by a wood burning stove - great fun to do when you arrive, so that you can enjoy it once it has heated up. Try a bracing dip in the river followed by a soak in the tub - or the other way around, depending on your mood.
This spacious felt yurt sleeps a couple in a comfortable bed and is beautifully warmed by the wood burner. Sit outside on the decked plinth and admire the view, or walk off with a picnic to investigate the sensational beauty of the Llanthony Valley. The sky-blue-and-white yurt was authentically made in Mongolia, with felted wool, yaks hair ropes and hand-painted wooden ribs and doors. Both spacious and snug, the wood burner heats it up a treat, and it is lovely to cosy up inside on cooler evenings. In summer, it's a luxury to lie in bed with the doors flung open, listening to the birdsong and admiring the view across the meadow to the hills beyond.
The neat, sweet handmade shepherd's hut is close by for facilities - a really practical little kichen one end with everything you will need, and a good hot shower the other. The (perfectly nice-to-use) compost loo is situated a short distance away, but is private and camouflaged amongst the trees in its unassuming little green hut.
At night, stare into the ink-black skies overhead, where the stars stand out more brightly than in many places in the UK. The Brecon Beacons National Park has been granted the status of an 'international dark sky reserve' by the International Dark Sky Association, where it is now recognised as one of the best places in Europe 'to truly see dark skies'.
THINGS TO DO AROUND Starlight YURT
Assuming you can tear yourselves away from the beautiful surroundings of Starlight Yurt, a lovely trip to make is to drive up the valley and across Gospel Pass to Hay Bluff, then wind down into the magnificent view towards Hay-on-Wye. You will see sheep, wild ponies, far off horizons, wheeling kites - a magical experience on a clear day. Bookies will be delighted by the yurt's proximity to Hay, as will those who treasure independent shops, boutiques, galleries and antique emporia. Visitors will be strengthened by excellent coffee, the most delicious ice-cream, and some good bistros and pubs. The fascinating hamlet of Capel-y-Ffin is a short drive (or nice bike ride) up the valley in the direction of Hay-on-Wye (you will pass through it if you are going to Hay). This was where the incredibly talented artist Eric Gill lived out four years of his bohemian life, where a (now partly ruined) Anglican monastery was built in the 19th-century, and where a very attractive owlish little white-washed chapel (St. Mary's) stands on one side of the lane and is still used by local worshippers. A short walk from the yurt in the other direction, is the beautiful ruined Llanthony Priory, which rather eccentrically has a pub right next to it. It's really nice, on fine day, to sit with a drink on the grass outside the pub and enjoy the view of the old Augustinian abbey's ruins against the hillside. On a cold evening, it is cosy to go inside the pub and enjoy the atmosphere of the vaulted interior.
The nitty gritty
Live online booking
Changeovers are normally Mondays and Fridays. Weekends are set-priced from Friday 4pm to Monday 10.30am; so you can stay 1, 2 or 3 nights for the weekend price. Check availability and book online below, or check availability for all cottages.
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From the visitors book at Starlight Yurt
'Loved this place, totally peaceful no one around. Hot tub was amazing sitting in the sun watching the river rippling, listening to birds singing. Plenty walking around or perfect to just laze around and relax. Will be booking for next year xx'
'Amazing. Wonderful way to spend our first wedding anniversary. Couldn't have asked for more (except some better weather!!). Yurt toasty and warm with the log burner, comfy bed and lovely warm duvet & blankets. Shower was great nice and hot and the kitchen was well equipped. We will be back xx'
'A truly heavenly setting and experience. The owners have got this just right in my opinion. We will definitely be returning. Pure bliss'. Pete & Julia
'Beautiful views, cosy yurt, gorgeous hot tub.' Emma and Laura, Cambridge.
'Magical!' Simon and Sharron, Preston.
'Came here to escape the stress of work and busy life and could not have been happier. The yurt and surroundings were serene and perfect!' Jan, Ray and Alex , Kent.
'Lost track of time (perfect). What an amazing stay in the yurt, so cosy at night, views are superb. Star-gazers' dream.' David and Lisa, South Ockenden.