For my 30th birthday, Alex surprised me with our first trip away with our daughter Adelaide, who was 8 weeks at the time. With no idea where we were going, we packed up the car – full to the brim with enough baby paraphernalia to last a lifetime, and set off for Oxfordshire. As we came to the village of Waterperry, we were given instructions to follow the signs for Waterperry gardens, and look out for some wooden gates with a black cockerel sign outside. Admittedly, we did take a couple of wrong turns but we eventually found the place – I was still completely unaware of what was there and what we were ticking off the bucket list!
From the second we got there, Jo and Royston were the most incredible hosts. They showed us to the yurt in the bottom corner of their garden, gave us a tour of their little farm and then introduced us to the alpacas, chickens, ducks and dogs. As it was my birthday treat, they left us a bottle of Prosecco in the fridge for when we arrived, which was such a nice touch and a welcomed addition to our evening in the hot tub! Once we got settled in, we were left to our own devices and were able to wonder around the animals as much as we liked, which really made this place amazing value for money, and separated it from lots of other yurt experiences.
The field of alpacas were pretty much in their back garden and we often passed Royston whilst wondering about; he always had something fun for us to join in with or a great story to tell us. He chatted to us for ages and was so friendly and accommodating. Nothing was ever too much trouble and he went above and beyond to make us feel at home. He brought us extra logs and an electric heater; it gets a bit chilly in the yurt overnight which was fine for us (because of the amazingly warm alpaca fur duvet) but with a newborn we didn’t want her to get too chilly. He also gifted me a squirrel to skin and eat, as it’s on my bucket list to eat one… Alex stuck to sausages.
When Grievesy booked this, she mentioned to the owners that I had a few other things on my bucket list such as milk a cow, sheer a sheep etc.. and asked them if they would be able to accommodate any of them. Royston had a search around his farm and let me have a go on pretty much everything! He had an agricultural quad bike, ride on lawnmower, an old dumper and we also did some shooting. He let us get involved in feeding some of the animals too – he whistles for them, and ducks and chickens come running from all over the farm to be fed. It was nice for Adelaide to experience (even if she had no idea what’s going on).
Waterperry is a little Oxfordshire village with a garden centre and farm shop, and I’m sure some great country walks. Sadly, we didn’t get to explore much as we were only there for 2 nights. It’s close to the market town of Thame and only 40 minutes into the centre of Oxford. We popped into Thame on a couple of occasions for some lunch, and they have a great selection of shops, cafe’s, restaurants and lots of boutiques, as well as the market which is open Monday – Friday. We went to Black Goo cafe and tap room twice; once for brunch and once for cake – neither disappointed. The ‘slice’ of cake was the size of a brick and was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. The portions are all so generous and the people are friendly, they also have great vegan options – we’d definitely recommend.
If you were looking for somewhere closer to the yurt then there are a couple of pubs nearby. The Clifden Arms is within walking distance and is meant to have really good food. Sadly the kitchen there isn’t open on Monday and Tuesdays which were the two days we were there. The pub that we did end up visiting was called The Old Fisherman and was only a 10 minute drive away. It’s a really nice location and the outside area is great for a drink, but the food was pretty average.
We had such a great time at this stay that we’ve talked about coming back, possibly with some of the family as my nieces and nephew would love it. Anyone considering a stay in a yurt, I wholeheartedly recommend this one.