Glamping In A Mongolian Yurt With Caalm Camp Dorset

I have a little confession to make, I'm not really a camper. Years of camping with my family as a child with blow up airbeds going flat by the morning, the wind blowing away our tent, peeing in a bucket in the night as the toilet block was too far away, and all those camping japes put me off camping as an adult.

Of course, camping has come a long way since the 1970s and in today's age, glamping or luxury camping, is all the norm but I would be wrong in saying I didn't have a little trepidation when I ventured to Dorset with Mr W for our stay at Caalm Camp. I needn't have worried.

Caalm Camp is a luxury glamping site, with 6 Mongolian yurts instead of tents. Run by Mark and Caryl Ralph, this site used to be a dairy farm until a few years ago and is situated in Shaftsbury in Dorset. For the purpose of this review, they hosted us on a complimentary basis.

The Yurt

We arrived after a two and a half hour drive from South Wales to be greeted by the owner Mark, who showed us to our yurt.

The Mongolian yurt was beautifully decorated with a fabulous wooden door painted in bright colours. I was excited to see what was inside.

The yurt inside was supremely spacious and didn't disappoint. Firstly I was impressed with the hard floor which was covered with matting, less chance of a spider attacking me than with a grass floor!

Then I was pleased to see the proper beds and mattresses, none of this blow-up bed nonsense, just comfy mattresses and crisp white bedlinen.  There were one double bed and two-day beds, and two additional Z beds can be added at a small cost of £10 per bed per night.

The yurts have electricity by the main bed, which is great as there are proper side lamps and also two other floor lights for illumination. 

Although there wasn't a wardrobe, two sets of drawers added some storage space as well a pull-out drawer under the smaller beds. A coat hanger was useful for coats, and we brought a few hangers to hang our clothes on. A small wardrobe would have been a great addition.

There was a small table area, suitable to boil a kettle on one ring as well as electrical sockets there as well. You wouldn't be able to cook anything on the stove as really it's only suitable to boil a kettle however there is a communal kitchen a 20-second walk away. More of that later.

The yurt had a wood-burning heater, and there was plenty of wood available free of charge to heat the yurt.

What took my breath away was how stylish the yurt was. Traditionally used by nomads in central Asia and Mongolia, a yurt is a traditional portable house made of lattice bent wood.  The detail on the yurt was exceptional, with beautifully painted wood on supporting joists. The furniture in the yurt fitted in well too.

Directly outside was a fire pit and small barbecue as well as a tap for each yurt so the water was easy to access to fill up the kettle, no trecking to the kitchen. You had your own personal bench big enough for 6 which was a lovely area to sit outside with a cup of tea or glass of wine in hand.


The farm is set in lovely grounds. It has a communal area to sit as well as a small slide and mini trampoline for the kids.

Very little ones are well catered for too as there is also a children's playhouse and cars for toddlers to play with.

The Old Hay Barn

The old hay barn is an area with cooking, washing and entertainment facilities for the guests.

The kitchen here was well equipped with modern facilities. Every yurt has its own fridge with a small freezer compartment as well as their own kitchen utensils, pots and pans. There were two cookers for 6 yurts to use. There was also a toaster and microwave available.

The communal lounge/dining area in the old hay barn had dining tables, a high chair, a table and chairs in bright colours for little ones, a TV with DVD player and comfy sofas. There was a selection of films available to watch too which was a nice touch.

We thought the games room in the old hay barn was a cool space, with table tennis available as well as a pool table and somewhere to sit. Unfortunately, Mr W still hasn't recovered from the time I beat him at pool on a trip to Paignton earlier this year so we didn't have a game but everything was there to play and the facilities were free to use. There is nothing like a poor loser!

The shower rooms were excellent. You have a key to your own individual shower and toilet room, so you don't share with other families, and the room was exceptionally clean. Toiletries, however, were not provided so bring your own shower gel, shampoo and conditioner if you need it.

What to do in the area

Salisbury Cathedral

Caalm Camp is close to Shaftsbury, a small town with a 
museum, in the beautiful Dorset countryside and Cranborne Chase an area of outstanding natural beauty, perfect for hiking.

We took a drive to Salisbury 25 miles away and it was worth the trip, although the 25 miles on country roads took us about 50 minutes in the car. Salisbury has a great range of shops and of course, the famous Salisbury Cathedral with fabulous architecture was worth a visit. 

Haynes Motor Museum

Another place we visited was Haynes International Motor Museum. The Haynes International Motor Museum has the largest selection of cars in the UK from all around the world. Mr W in particular really enjoyed the trip, and the Haynes International Motor Museum is a car enthusiast's dream. 

Where to eat

We had a great breakfast at the Udder Farm shop cafe and can also recommend The Ship Inn (above) and The Kings Arms for fabulous pub food. 

My thoughts

I was impressed with Caalm Camp. The Mongolian yurt was much better than I expected and the bed was exceptionally comfortable. It was lovely having a wood burning stove to heat the yurt, with plenty of free wood available, and we did need it on occasion in May. It kept the yurt lovely and warm, and although it doesn't last the night, there is coal available too at a charge.

The facilities were very good for a site like this, having children's play facilities on hand and also having a pool table and table tennis for use were great. Wi-Fi was available and was much better in the Old Hay Barn than in our yurt. The private shower room with toilet, just for your family's use was an excellent idea. 

The shared kitchen facilities were very g
ood. With all shared facilities then you do have to take things in turn, and that could be an issue in the evening if everyone is self-catering but as we ate out it wasn't an issue to us. They also have a large outside pizza oven available for hire, which would be a great option to try out in good weather, sitting outside with a glass of wine, chatting with family and friends sounds idyllic.

I think it's truly amazing how camping has evolved and how glamping is now so widespread. Staying in a Mongolian yurt in the beautiful countryside is a dream for many people, and I must say, I really enjoyed it, and the best part... no peeing in a bucket! Any downsides? Well, you do get some sound carrying as you are in a tent, and the light came in through the large skylight early in the morning so if you are a light sleeper you may want to keep that in mind. In the spirit of disclosure, we would try glamping again but I feel you do need the nice weather. It was cold one night and raining another although we had lovely weather for most of our trip. The wood burner helped us keep warm. Would we honestly go glamping in Winter? Maybe not. Would we go glamping again in the Spring or Summer? Most certainly. 

Check out the video Mr W made for travel blog Fly Drive Explore

You can book a stay with Caalm Camp through their own website or with have a range of camping and glamping sites, check out their site for unique glamping options with all the creature comforts.

With a TripAdvisor Certificate Of Excellence and being voted the best glamping site in the South West of England 2017, Caalm Camp is certainly a site you should check out. If you love the idea of glamping in the beautiful Dorset countryside, you definitely won't be disappointed. Recommended. 

Caalm Camp
Goods Farm, Stour Row,
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Telephone: 01747 838565

* Thanks to Caalm Camp for hosting us


  1. This is near us and we LOVE conventional camping in tents but never tried Glamping. The yurt looks lovely and so does the facilities!

  2. I really like the concept of glamping. Your yurt looked so comfy and welcoming. That pie and chips looks absolutely delicious as well.

  3. This is the only kind of camping I would consider, the idea of a Yurt is quite cool and I love how it has been kitted out x

    1. I loved all the paint work and detail. It was fabulous having proper beds too.

  4. This is certainly a different and I love the decor in the Mongolian yurt. There seems to be lots of facilities on site too which is welcoming.

  5. I am also not a camper! However, I could be tempted by this sort of camping...

  6. Like you I would say I'm not a camping fan and other than at festivals avoid it as much as possible. But somewhere like the Caalm Camp sounds amazing, and looks nothing like camping at all! I really like the idea of the communal areas there too.

    1. Yes the communal areas were great. It was also brilliant to have your own shower room.

  7. Staying in a yurt is on our bucket list! This place sounds great. How far apart are the yurts from each other and what kind of noises did you hear?

    1. I did hear some noise like the children from another yurt but generally they were in bed by 9. Other noises were just normal countryside noises but obviously at 6 in the morning they can seem louder.

  8. Gosh it's been so long since I went glamping! I love Mongolian yurts, much more special than a regular tent.

  9. I have been camping before and although the kids thought it was amazing I missed my home comforts too much. I could get used to luxury glamping though, this site looks incredible

  10. I like how you get your own bathroom with a key no worries of a stranger popping in whilst your in the shower

  11. I do enjoy glamping, although like you, I wouldn't be so keen if it got too cold at night! These yurts look good. I see they're set up for four sleepers - would there be enough space for all four of us to hang out inside the tent if the weather was bad, do you think?

    1. Yes there is plenty of space for 4 people if the weather is not so good. I was really surprised how spacious it was

  12. Wow what a unique place to stay! I would love to go glamping some time! Thank you for inspiring me :D

  13. I'm not a camper either but i do live African luxury sadari tents, with similarly comfortable furnishings etc. My main issue is wanting private bathroom facilities to be en suite oror attached. I wonder if there are yurts places that have that?