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Reviewed 24 February 2014

I know where to start for this one!
Myself, a friend and 4 children (aged 7-12 yrs) arrived at 11 am, knowing we couldn't check in while 12 but were just going to explore. Immediately my mobile rang. I was gutted to have a signal as was hoping to get away from it all for a few days but when I answered it was Amber from Bivouac, she said "your shack is ready, you can check in as soon as you arrive!") We knew from that point it was going to be great.

We then took 30 seconds to get to reception where we were then taken to our Shack. Gorgeous.

The shacks are across a field with a small car park at the end of the lane. You need to carry your luggage down a very muddy track to your shack so have wellies at the ready!
There is everything you need barring electricity! Amber showed us around and lit our wood burner. It felt pretty cold when we arrived but soon warmed up (so much so the first night we were too hot!!) The beds were already made up, so comfy and clean. There is a bathroom with a shower which was plenty hot enough for us all once the wood burner had done its thing!

I could go on and on about this place but will try to keep it short....
We took snacks and breakfast stuff with us but ate in the Café Barn both evenings. Beautiful food and not bad prices. The café barn is lovely but really chilled out, areas for kids to play, boards games, books and a small outdoor play area. This really is the hub of Bivouac and located right next door to the reception/shop.

We took a walk into Masham which was recommended and were given a map to follow from reception. It was roughly a 10 mile round trip and a lovely lunch in The White Bear Hotel when we arrived.

We had a peek in a bunk barn too which looked fab. They don't have their own bathrooms but the shower block is really lovely.

All in all a fantastic trip and I really can't think of anything bad to say! Great place.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank lbri464
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

This is a difficult review to write. Suffice to say that despite the friendly welcome we received we did not have a nice time. It is difficult to say whether this is our fault for having too high expectations or Bivouac. The wooden shacks are difficult to get to with deep mud and a wall to tackle which was a difficult start for our four small children. On arriving the shack was freezing cold and throughout the fire was difficult to light and keep alight which meant no hot water for the duration. There is no alternative heating and when lit the burner is small and needs continual attendance to stop it going out. Unfortunately we thought the shacks where poorly provided for, a large rug would have prevented us having to make a trip to Tesco for slippers! A battery lantern would be useful. This is not a cheap stay and we would have expected an adequate supply of wood, lighters and candles to be brought to us each day, instead you have to pick them up yourself and struggle down the mud track and over the wall - hardly a relaxing experience. In the end the children were so ill we had to leave a day early. I can't blame Bivouac for the illness but the cold weather and conditions did not help. I wouldn't say do not come but consider carefully, this is not for families with small children and really would be much better in the Summer (or if electricity was installed!). An expensive mistake for us.

A positive side note, great food was available at the cafe and we would recommend a visit for this.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Jonathan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SwintonPark, Manager at Swinton Bivouac Yurts & Tree Lodges, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2014

Thank you for your review and we are sorry to learn that you didn't enjoy your stay with us. Unfortuantely, as with everywhere in the UK this Spring, the severe wet weather, and unrelenting rain has really affected the site. We have tried hard to rectify this with bark chippings, but as you will appreciate, we are dedicated to keep our impact on the site to a minimum in accordance with our values of protecting the beauty of the countryside.. The walls you describe have style slits to climb over as the field is a working field containing livestock from time to time. However we do appreciate that this can be awkward for small children to negotiate. Part of the adventure of staying at The Bivouac is it being off grid and the challenge of looking after those requirements that modern life takes for granted although we are always more than happy to help guests with their fires particularly if we know they are struggling and I helped you personally with lighting the fire on the first evening.

The charm of Bivouac is enhanced, we believe and that many guests appreciate by our philosophy of upcycling in terms of furnishings. It is unfortunate that the rugs we have sourced this year had not arrived in time for your stay with us.

Logs and kindling are inclusive in the prices and a new log store was built at the end of last week which is now located near the shacks so that supplies are now nearby and more readily to hand.

We are so sorry that you didn’t let us know how unhappy you were as we would have done everything we could to make your holiday experience as enjoyable as possible. We were of course so upset to hear that your children were not well and that you had to leave early.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

As a family, we first visited the Bivouac in Masham when they first opened in April 2012. The kids were desperate to take their friends, so I booked for us to go during half term. Once again, we were not disappointed. The staff are so helpful and friendly. The shack itself was cosy and warm and we had plenty of hot water. Lots of board games and cards kept the children off their 'gadgets' for the duration of the stay, which was fab! No electricity was a great experience for the kids! Plenty of tea lights provided but don't forget your torches!

A lovely long walk to the Druid's Temple and beyond was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

We all enjoyed a lovely Full English Breakfast the next day in the fantastic cafe.

Thank you! We will be back!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank dotty9a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2014

I had my hen do here a couple of weekends ago and it was fantastic! The woodland 'shacks' were brilliant, the stove kept us toasty warm and it was highly amusing trying to find the right shack in complete darkness - as others reviewers have said you definitely need a torch! I was lucky enough to be in the top bunk and being able to look out at the stars in the middle of the night was beautiful. The staff at Bivouac were brilliant, they couldn't have been more helpful. We had a cocktail making session on the Friday night followed by dinner in the café, the food was delicious and we all thought it was great value for money.
All in all a fantastic experience, I couldn't recommend it highly enough. Thanks to all the staff who made it a weekend to remember!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Hannah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2014

I saw it advertising a New Years Eve celebration with a hog roast and live band, so we took our friends with us, not knowing what to expect we found it exceeded our expectations in all areas. The arrival drinks and canopies were lovely, the hog roast and salads were wonderful followed by chocolate marshmallows and christmas pudding cornets! Yum yum!!!!! The band were exceptional and even my husband and I who are not know for dancing spent the whole evening on our feet jigging,!!!!!! The staff were lovely and we came away having had wonderful evening and felt that 2014 had started in a really positive way, thankyou to everyone who made our evening special. When can we get tickets for next New Years Eve!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank pOtter1_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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