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“Unusual and wonderful break from the Modern World” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bivouac at Druid's Temple

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Bivouac at Druid's Temple
Off of Knowle Lane | Ripon, Masham HG4 4JZ, England (Formerly Bivouac Swinton)   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Leeds, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Unusual and wonderful break from the Modern World”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We booked a Shack in August, three couples (including one pregnant lady!) looking for time away from the modern world of computers, mobile phones and TV - a weekend of 'back to basics'.
We certainly found it!

The reception was friendly, professional and made us feel right at home straight away - even introducing us to a local Hedgehog who'd been found trundling around and looked a bit lost!
The shack itself was perfect - no electricity, but a powerful log burner that powered the shower and hot water, and gave off plenty of heat - more than enough for the six of us!

Situated miles away from reality (or so it seemed), the shack and surrounding area was eerily quiet at night, even more so in the misty morning when all one could see were Sheep and Grouse frolicking a few feet away from the doorstep!
Even the wet weather didn't put a downer on things - there was plenty to explore and even time for a delicious evening meal in the café - veggie and pregnancy friendly too!

Overall, I'd recommend a shack vacation to anyone looking to get away from city life for a while - true, having no electricity or lighting takes a little getting used to, but it was more than worth it - since then we've talked about trying the Yurts (in Summer, if we get one this year).

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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115 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Went with my partner and 3 children (5,9 &10) and stayed in the Log cabins which can only be described as pretty unique. They are set in the woods and make the most of views across the hills. The location is superb and the views of the dales on your porch are fantastic. The log cabins are very well designed and the interior has many unusual touches making the most of natural materials. The ladder to the top bed is steep but it fantastic to sleep under the stars looking through the rooflight and its alot warmer up there. The middle beds have a limited headroom and the bottom double less still so if there are more than one couple in the cabin there would definately be a toss of the coin for the 'top bunk'. Kids love the lower bunks so it all evens out. If you are tall, that would be a struggle.

We went in winter 2013 and it was snowing but the cabins stayed warm as the log burner gets really warm after a while and is fun to keep going. The cooker is too basic to do any food and there is a co-op about 5 miles away that stocks what you need so that's the basis of surviving covered. The most important thing about the cabins is bring a camping lamp as well as a torch. We did and it was great. Candles are cool in the evening but don't light the cabin well so that was out best bit of kit we took. Can't stress that bit enough. There is no light from outside so going to the toilet can be hit and miss without a light !! There is a shower in the cabin but it is heated by the log burner so is only warm. There are excellent showers by the cafe area and you can't fault these.

The main cafe is again quirky and has an area for the kids to be entertained. There is a good selection of food and we had a breakfast one day and it was lovely. (The following day we went to the cafe and the chef did not turn up for some reason which was really annnoying with 3 hungry kids and no-where close to eat on a Sunday morning, but I guess this was just bad luck). We did get a free cup of tea but this was a problem as there is nothing else close.

Overall I would recommend this break to families as the kids will love the cabins and the woods to play in and they certainly would not run out of space. The top bedroom area is wonderfull and the whole complex is well run. The staff are very accomodating and make you feel really welcome. The showers by the cafe are really warm and make for a good experience. Take some wellies or walking shoes as the path to the cabins is muddy. It is also a 80m walk from the car park so don't pack everything in one large suitcase as you can't wheel it over the mud. Would certainly go back and really recommend as it's very 'different'.

Any downsides ?

In the cafe, it did take a long time for some completly unknown reason to get served in the evening which was almost comical but the staff were really friendly which made up for it but it is certainly an area for improvement. This was slightly frustrating when your 3 children are running about.

One further note is my partner had a massage and that was not quite what was expected. Jo was really nice but the room was cold and was noisy from banging elsewhere in the building which did not make it relaxing. If you are paying Spa prices at £70, the facilities are not up to a standard to really pay those rates ?

Don't let the last two points put you off but they are worth noting.

Room Tip: Top room in the cabin !! Fantastic.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

What an amazing and stunning location! There was obviously a lot of thought and attention to detail that went into the design of this place. They've got a super cute cafe that is very child-friendly. I had a relaxing massage by Jo, who was very accommodating and customized it to exactly how I wanted it. The whole operation is run by a lovely couple who go out of their way to make your stay a wonderful one. Definitely a good place to have a wedding or bring your kids for the camping experience. Next time I want to stay in one of the shacks!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Myself and my girlfriend stayed here for the weekend and had a fantastic time. The accommodation is not like anything else you find and is truly unique, and the staff extremely welcoming. The surrounding area is stunning and we were quite lucky that with good weather that it was perfect for walks through the forest, past Druid's Temple(fascinating) and down to the lake. Breathtaking views all round.
We booked a relaxing massage for the Saturday morning followed by a delicious brunch in the on-site cafe which set us up nicely for the rest of the day.
I would highly recommend this to people of any age - i will definitely be coming back and be bringing more people with me next time.

Room Tip: Book early as all the Shacks were booked out when we were there
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Lovely place, great food, very quirky energy-efficient log-cabins with lovely wood burners. Walks all around. Great place for a long weekend away from it all.

The staff are very friendly, run by a lovely couple, and the design/refurb of the outbuildings where the cafe/shop is are quite interesting. The cooked breakfast was spot on and equally the fresh coffee.

Room Tip: The top bunk is the best!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

I was part of a group of 6 family members in our 30's who decided to have a weekend away "glamping". I usually dislike the cold, mud and any kind of tents.... but the experience of staying in a Woodland Shack was amazing & I had such a relaxing break in cosy, comfortable surroundings. February was obviously freezing cold with sleet, but the Shack was kept warm with the wood burning stove. Beds were super comfortable & there was so much attention to detail (hooks in the right places/layout of the living area etc) to make it easy to stay with 5 others in a relatively small space. The interior design and furniture of the Shacks is fab - rustic, vintage style -and so pretty! The cafe is incredible too - such a cool space to hang out - we didn't want to leave and had the longest breakfast ever! Funky driftwood, vintage teapots, colourful chairs & games & books. The staff were great as they let us just enjoy chatting over cappuccino's and we didn't feel rushed on our way. We had one short walk ...but to be honest we all wanted to head back to the Shack to hang out, play games and drink red wine!
Tip for my next stay - I will bring more pillar candles to light the Shack & tealights.
We were told my a friend that the shower in the Shack might not cover enough warm water for 6 - but to head to the Shower block instead - wow, this was beautiful, with underfloor heating & hairdryers & large mirrors, perfect!

Beth & Sam are an inspirational couple & I hope more & more people discover this little gem!

Overall, despite inital reservations about going to stay in a shack in the forest in the middle of February...my stay was brilliant and I will definitely be returning!!

Room Tip: Don't forget to bring plenty of pillar candles and tealights for the Shack & some good torch...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

Recently returned from a weekend stay with five friends in Bivouac's Cuckoo Hollow shack. Despite arriving extremely late on the Friday evening (just passed 12.00am in the morning actually!!) we were still met with friendly staff who had waited to greet us at reception. When we arrived at our shack we found the wood burning stove had been lit ready for our arrival making the shack nice and cozy - just what you need on a cold February night!

The beds were extremely comfortable with lovely duvets and plenty of extra blankets, although we didn't need them as the stove did such a good job. Breakfast the next morning at the Bivouac cafe was delicious and served in truly magnificently decorated and styled surroundings. In fact - the attention to detail across the site when it comes to quirky and inspiring furniture and fixtures was fantastic and real proof that 'alternative camping' doesn't have to be characterised by sweaty, scruffy hippy-types! These guys have obviously bought in some seriously talented interior designer.

We didn't travel with children although we have to say we were very impressed at the extent to which children were catered for. In the cafe there is a dedicated downstairs room equipped with children's toys; in the shower room there are more toys and more than adequate changing facilities. Around the site there are swings as well as plenty of open space to run around. We would love to bring our children here in the future.

Even though our shower/stove was producing a good water temperature, because there were six in our party three of us opted for the onsite shower facilities in order to speed things up. Having experienced traditional campsite shower blocks in the past we weren't expecting much! To our delight however we were met with fantastic facilities - absolutely spotless (no muddy floors or surfaces) AND underfloor heating!! Lots of sinks and space to put clothes down and use the hairdryers provided. There were ample individually lockable cubicles, as well as a designated family section and separate disabled section. Because of the underfloor heating the whole space was TOASTY!

We have come home recommending this place to all our friends and cannot wait to return in the summer when its warmer so we can make the most of the spacious decking area outside each shack and appreciate the unspoilt views.

Finally - I have read that some have complained about noise on this site. I have to say that we had shacks either side of us which a large party were sharing (possibly a hen-do). We heard nothing throughout our stay and felt that the shacks were well spaced apart.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bivouac at Druid's Temple

Address: Off of Knowle Lane | Ripon, Masham HG4 4JZ, England (Formerly Bivouac Swinton)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Masham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Masham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Handmade rustic luxury Woodland Shacks, Meadow Yurts and Bunk Barn on a picturesque farm in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. Barns converted to a cafe/bistro, shop, comfortable facilities and luxury showers. Open every day with stunning views across the Yorkshire Dales, open moorland and beyond. Non-residents welcome to enjoy cafe, walks and views. 19th Century folly stone circle ‘The Druid’s Temple’ in the heart of 40 acres of woodland. Find a hearty Yorkshire welcome, with activities including climbing and foraging and (nearby) pony trekking, falconry and fly-fishing. Hot tub by the Woodland Shacks and massage treatments. Enjoy fresh air, long views, outdoor adventure, relaxation by the fires. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bivouac At Druid's Temple Masham/Ripon

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