Welcome to The Goytree Glamping and Treehouses. Glamping might have become more mainstream but this off-grid eco-glamping site comes with a touch of luxury and some magical touches.
Nestled in the heart of the Golden Valley in Herefordshire, around 20 minutes’ drive from Abergavenny, Wales, The Goytree offers something a little different to most glamping sites.
With four unique spaces – two treehouses and two yurts – each is hidden away in its own glen and you’re unlikely to see any of the other guests while you’re there.
A rather bumpy driveway leads you into the car park, from which the views across the Golden Valley open up in front of you. From here we grab some ice blocks for our cold box, a wheelbarrow for our bags and head off to our home for the weekend.
We stayed in Gabriel’s Yurt, an off-grid hideaway that was full of luxury. The main yurt is a large bedroom/lounge space, complete with a double bed, sofa and wood. The decoration has lots of thoughtful touches from the softest bamboo sheets, eco-firelighters, handcrafted light and an incredible sheepskin bed throw.
The yurt itself is a beautifully handcrafted structure with each of the hazel poles slightly different in size and shape, each reaching up to the window at the peak that lets in lots of natural light.
The kitchen is found in a second smaller yurt, complete with gas stove and hot and cold running water. It was well equipped with a good selection of pots and pans, coffee beans and a hand coffee grinder, and a charging point from which you can charge your phone.
The third structure is a cabin with a composting toilet and hot shower. This is a beautiful structure with repurposed barn doors and distinctive wooden detailing.
The toilet is a great example of a composting toilet for the initiated – clear signing and a great design means you will barely miss your plumbing!
The central feature to this space is the wood fired hot tub. It takes about 3 hours for the amazing bell shaped tub to heat up (you can pay for someone else to do this for you if you’d rather not be tending the fire), but it was definitely worth the wait to sit in a blissfully hot tub in the candle lit space and relax under the stars.
There’s also an outdoor seating area with a firepit that you can cook on if you fancy dining outdoors, as well as a hammock that I found to be a perfect spot to spend a few hours reading my book.
It’s worth noting that it can still get cold in the evenings, so I was glad I’d taken the owners advice and packed slippers and warm clothes, as while there is a wood burner, we were still sleeping in yurt in the middle of May!
The rest of The Goytree site
There are a total of four different spaces to stay on the site. The other yurt option is Mimi’s Tree Yurt, with its copper bathtub and attached roundwood cabin. There’s also an amazing outdoors shower for anyone feeling adventurous and wanting a shower with a view.
Phoenix Tree has a bedroom perched on an old oak tree, with a spectacular range of eco-building methods on show from straw bale walls to bamboo rafters. There’s also a private wood-fired hot tub in front of the treehouse for a soak at the end of the day.
The final spot is Bees Bower, a stunning wood, canvas and cob cabin built around a central tree. With its very own copper bath, this site looks over its own wooden valley and is the most secluded of all the sites.
A great ecotourism destination in Wales
The whole site is set up in an environmentally conscious way, with eco-soaps, composting toilets throughout and the stove wood coming from the site. And staying here is an experience for the nature lovers for sure – I fell asleep to the hooting of the owls and woke to the dawn chorus.
As well as the huge wildflower meadow, the owners have been building a series of water management ponds, so you can expect to hear woodpeckers and song thrushes, and perhaps see a red kite or a deer if you’re lucky. As well as the rewilding they’re doing, they’ve got plans to start farming on the land too in the next few years, with a small market garden and maybe even a microdairy on the cards.
One for the foodies
This part of the world is a perfect haven for food lovers. From ice cream sundaes ten minutes up the road at Rowlestone Farmhouse Ice Cream to local Ty Gwyn Cider, whose cider shop is part of the Herefordshire & Wye Valley Cider Trail.
If you’re fancy a meal out, the local pub, The Carpenters Arms is a 20 minute walk away down quiet country lanes and comes with a characterful landlady and decent pub grub. For those in search of a more gourmet meal, the Bulls Head in Craswall is an old Drovers Inn with a focus on local ingredients, and the Bridge Inn in Michaelchurch Escley are known for a cracking roast based around meat cooked overnight in a wood fired oven.
Hills on the doorstep
If you love to hike, you’re spoilt for choice. You can see the Skirrid (Ysgyryd Fawr) from the site, with its distinctive double peaked hill rumoured by local legend to have been caused by a split at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Further afield the Black Mountains offer great walking for the gentler ambler or serious hiker alike, with the Offa’s Dyke long distance path only a few miles away.
The Goytree Glamping and Treehouses – our verdict
This is a perfect hideaway for nature lovers with an eco-conscience, and the surrounding area has more than enough to entertain you for a weekend or even a week.
Each of the four spaces is unique and has been lovingly crafted and has special and luxurious touches that make a real difference and create some special memories.
This guest post was written by Steph Wetherell, a freelance writer with a specific interest in food, farming and the outdoors. When she’s not cooking up delicious food, she can be found hiking long distance paths across the UK and has a real passion for exploring lesser known parts of the UK.