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Reviewed 13 March 2014

Went with another family who we get on very well with, which really helped as the accommodation is basically all in one room. So if we hadnt known them that well before we certainly would have done by the end of the weekend. The first family of 4 (with a 5 yr old and 2 year old) got there before we did in the daylight! Which was a better plan than we had (2nd family) as we ended up having to find the place in the dark and it was a little bit of a trek with bags (and beer and wine clinking in the darkness). However a member of staff kindly took us to the parking place and guided us to our hut by torch light which delighted my 5 year old daughter and made it very exiting start to our weekend. Although our weekend was glorious because of all the rain the tip of Wellies that I had got from previous reviews was definately a good one. The staff had lit the stove for us earlier in the day before first family got there. However, to say you could cook on it was not the case but the gas rings worked well and we had taken a chilli and tacos to warm up so once heated through on the rings it did keep warm on the stove. We took torches, lamps, tea lights etc... to allow us to brighten or lower the light needed for cooking/eating. We went on to get the kids finally in bed giggling and whispering whilst the adults ....well did the same but with drinks! Before finally climbing (literally) into bed. Even though the stove was lit since 1pm on day of arrival and kept going all night, it did not warm the water for the shower, however the fantastic shower facilities at the base were fantastic and worth the long trek to get there. The surroundings for works and visits to to the Druids TEmple were brilliant and you could easily do long or short walks depending on ages of children. The second night we ate at the cafe/restaurant and with 2 5 year olds and a 2 year old the play area was fantastic and kept the kids entertained before and after the mea, The staff were very helpful. Food was great. All in all we had a fantastic weekend and would definately definately go again. The only downside was all being in one room light sleepers suffered. Kids did wake up early due to light coming in (so remember to close curtains/blinds), Plus the stove got so hot on the second night that also made the hut far too hot waking up the kids again!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank SamandIstvan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

A unique experience for a group of girls on a Hen Party who wanted rural, but not camping. The shacks sleep 7 , not too much storage space mind, but it's all about the bare essentials I suppose. Linen cutlery pans and plates are provided, and the beds are very comfy! The heat of your shack and your hot water depends on if you can keep your wood burning fire going. On the first night, our went out which left us quite cold and unable to heat our food in the stove, luckily they have a little gas cooker which did the job just fine. I think the problem with our fire was that the first batch of logs we were given were damp and had mould on them, and our matches were damp too. The lovely guy came in and sorted our fires when we were out on the Saturday and gave us fresh dry logs which were more manageable.
The site itself is gorgeous, the restuarant is lovely and even the shower block which we used on the first morning due to our fire going out, were lovely compared to some camping shower blocks. Highly recommend for families, groups of friends, anyone who wants to get away from it all, with minimal signal for phones, no electricity (you can charge your phone in the restaurant) and pure tranquility. It will be fantastic in the summer. And if you want activities whilst you're there, visit Hill Top Farm Adventure, 3 min drive up a very steep hill, totally worth it!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank 186394Jo_Jo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2014

We were a group of families who stayed in 3 wooden shacks. We loved the unspoilt setting of them and thought the 'shabby chic' décor was fab. Lots of attention to detail had been thought about. Once the fire was going they were really warm inside and provided hot water easily. The children loved the bed layouts and ladders and the lack of electricity was exciting for them with our torches and lanterns going. Café and staff all very friendly and breakfast food was great.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Susan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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