Feature: Back-to-basic bliss at Acorn Glade

Hidden away down a lane in the village of Melbourne is a rural retreat ranked among the very best in Yorkshire.

Saturday, 24th October 2015, 4:00 pm
Acorn Glade owners Julie and Richard Arme.
Acorn Glade owners Julie and Richard Arme.

In a little over 18 months owners Julie and Richard Arme have transformed their three acre glamping site into something truly special.

Acorn Glade promises to be a haven of back-to-basics bliss away from the stresses of modern life – and it’s doesn’t disappoint.

We arrived in a taxi from Pocklington as the last of the light faded on the Friday evening, so it wasn’t until the following morning that we could fully appreciate the beauty and tranquillity of our home for the weekend.

Stepping out of the yurt, I saw for the first time a path cut through the meadow leading to the fishing lake where a little rowing boat was tied up against the jetty.

The still water lake, stocked with carp, golden rudd, bream and more, is exclusively for the use of guests. A path around it takes guests past trees decorated with fairy doors and a bird hide nestled away in the woodland, before looping back towards the accommodation.

There are two cosy yurts with double beds – Daisy and Poppy – as well as the Bluebell log cabin with its king size bed and private toilet. All ‘off the grid’, they each have a log burning stove, solar-powered lighting, and a gas camping stove complete with full tea and coffee and making facilities.

I’ll admit to having my doubts about the wisdom of staying in a yurt in early October but they were soon forgotten once I was snuggled up under the duvet and blankets with the log burner glowing and solar-powered fairy lights twinkling overhead.

Set near the entrance of the site is the Chicken Shed, a large wooden cabin which houses the immaculate toilets and showers, and a well-equipped kitchen with a noticeboard packed with cards and information promoting local pubs, restaurants and visitor attractions. It’s also home to a workshop which Julie uses for weekly crochet classes for all abilities as well as one-day sessions covering a host of skills from sewing and felting to sculpture and pottery.

A watercolour course was taking place on the Saturday we were there, but as first-time visitors to the area we decided to head out to explore instead.

For those with cars, Acorn Glade is a great base for visiting the Yorkshire Wolds with attractions like the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, the Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve or Tophill Low Nature Reserve and towns like Pocklington, Market Weighton, Driffield and Beverley all within reach.

The area is also perfect for cycling, with a number of routes to choose from that take in Melbourne and the surrounding towns and villages.

Being without either a car or bikes, we strolled up through Melbourne via the village store and on towards the Melbourne Arms where we’d enjoyed a warm welcome and tasty meal the previous night. Heading down the lane beside the pub, we joined the towpath along Pocklington Canal for an easy two hour stroll towards Pocklington itself.

We had a delicious lunch at the Coffee Bean – well worth a visit if you’ve not been – before wandering round the shops and heading to Burnby Hall Gardens with its fascinating museum on the life of Major Percy Stewart and the eight world tours he undertook between 1906 and 1926.

Drinks in The Feathers Hotel, dinner at the bustling Italian restaurant Pan E Vino and a trip to the fantastic independent cinema in Pocklington Arts Centre rounded off the day.

A lazy Sunday morning reading the papers with the log burner roaring was following by lunch sat out on one of the picnic benches at Acorn Glade, which also has a barbecue and fire pit for guests to use.

Later we joined the wonderful volunteers from Pocklington Canal Amenity Society for one of their free 30-minute boat trips, which set off from near the Melbourne Arms on Sunday afternoons.

Owner Richard stopped by to say hello as I sat outside our yurt in the afternoon sun and brought me some food for feeding the fish so I’d catch glimpse of our neighbours in the lake. He’d just learned that Acorn Glade had moved up the rankings on TripAdvisor to become the number one rated speciality lodgings in Yorkshire for the first time.

Popular with honeymooners, the couples-only retreat has earned glowing reviews from guests seeking a relaxing break free from children and dogs in beautiful surroundings.

But the success hasn’t made Richard and Julie complacent and they’re busy renovating what will be the newest addition to the site next season – a 100-year-old gypsy wagon.

They’re tackling the task with the same care and attention to detail that made our stay at Acorn Glade an absolute delight and one that we didn’t want to end.

• Georgina stayed in Poppy yurt, priced £150-£250 for three or four nights for the 2016 season. Visit http://acornglade.co.uk for more information or call 01759 319151.