Our yurt is round, of course, about 16 feet in diameter and 9 feet high in the middle, made of about 150 willow rods and a lot of canvas. There's a transparent piece at the top to let the sunshine, or moonlight, in. The floor is rather solid timber. This part is a local Lincolnshire adaptation, not suited to easy transport by camel across the steppe, but then we have neither camel nor steppe. There is a woodstove, which gets the place very warm in no time. Electricity is supplied but the candle lanterns are more fun. Surrounded by trees, flowers and vegetables, the yurt is set in our six acre garden. Outside the door is the yurt's own lawn with picnic table, and round the back is an open air bathroom, suitably screened with a living bamboo thicket. The large iron bath, set in earth, is heated by a wood fire below. You can soak for as long as you like with the water remaining hot.
Sleeping in the yurt is a curious experience; like camping in some ways, you feel close to the outside, able to hear the night noises of owls and badgers and other wildlife, yet you are warm and comfortable with a big futon bed and plenty of room to dance about.
All the usual bathroom facilities are available in the washroom, specially built for yurt dwellers as an exercise in low-impact building techniques, re-using 18th century bricks with mud and lime mortars, timber beams cut from out own trees, sheep's wool insulation, a solar panel for a roof and stained glass windows to add colour to your light. It has a large cast iron bath and a shower and w.c..
Rates are £30 per person per night and there's room for a child or two on small futons at a reduced rate of £15. All bedding and towels are provided, with sleeping bags for children. We supply you with a basket of logs for the woodstove but if you want loads of firewood, say for heating the outside bath, then we may ask you for an extra fiver. After all, there are only so many trees on the planet and it takes a lot of work to chop them down.
There's plenty of crockery, cutlery and glasses for your self-catering needs and if you want something heating up in our kitchen oven just ask. Within walking distance is the village of North Somercotes. Here are two pubs, the Axe and Cleaver and the Bay Horse, two general stores, one with a post office, a greengrocer, an English restaurant, an Indian restaurant and take-away, a fish-and-chip shop and a Chinese take-away. Louth, 15 minutes drive away, has Indian, Chinese, Thai, Turkish and Italian restaurants, various chip-shops and other take-aways and lots of pubs, at least eight of which do real ale. Louth even has a micro brewery, the Fulstow Brewery, with it's own bar, The Gas Lamp Lounge.
Tithe Farm is an 18th century farmhouse by the Lincolnshire coast ten miles east of Louth. It is situated on a quiet country lane set in over six acres of gardens. Our gardening emphasis, beyond growing much of our fruit and veg, is on providing habitat for wildlife and a diversity of wild-flowers and the needs of bees, butterflies and other invertebrates. There is a badger set and foxes, deer, rabbits and hares, frequently pass through. Water voles nest in the boundary dyke. Several species of birds are regular nesters and many more can be watched. There's a good chance of seeing a barn owl in the evening. Over the 27 years we've been here it has all become more of a nature reserve than a conventional garden. One particularly unconventional feature is the Labyrinth.
You are welcome to stay during the day lounging in the garden (or doing some gardening!) but there is so much to see and do in Lincolnshire you will probably be off. We are close to the Donna Nook with its breeding colony of seals, and the National Nature Reserve stretches for many miles along our coastline of sandunes, saltmarsh and wide sandy beaches. A perfect place for birdwatching. And with a short drive to the west you are in the Lincolnshire Wolds, and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, perfect for rambling with plenty of opportunities for a pub lunch.
We find many of our visitors have enjoyed the film Story of the Weeping Camel, directed by Byambasuren Davaa. And who wouldn't.
Contact: Jean & Biff Vernon
Tithe Farm, Church End, North Somercotes, Louth, Lincolnshire. LN11 7PZ
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The Yurt, April 2018
Front Gate in the Springtime
Goats' Beard seedhead - we get hundreds of these in July
Cowslips in abundance
Inside the Yurt
Garden in front of the Yurt
The Wash Room
The Back Garden
The house, May 2017