Swallowtails

UK England North East England North Yorkshire Pickering

  • 10+ metres between camping pitches
  • Contactless check in
  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to the pub
  • Walking
Sociable, family-friendly glamping on the edge of the North York Moors.

Swallowtails is a pop-up glamping site that has put down roots. This sociable and family-friendly site was germinated in Norfolk but is now establishing itself just outside the Yorkshire town of Pickering. Stand in the acre-and-a-half glamping field and you can see why its owners chose this fertile spot. Beyond the mature hedges that shelter the site’s lotus bell tents and yurts, the view reveals it all. First there are farmer’s fields and then the rooftops of Pickering, just a 10-minute walk away. Look carefully and you may just spot the tip of a distant rollercoaster at one of the site’s closest attractions and, ever-present in the distance, are yet more dizzying heights; the rolling Howardian Hills and the heather-clad North York Moors.

It wasn’t just the views of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a national park that persuaded owners Freya and Mark to settle Swallowtails here. Years of family camping trips and years more running a pop-up mean they know what glampers want; especially, but not exclusively, glampers with kids. Having places to eat out and visit just a walk or cycle from site was important and being within day-tripping distance of the coast was crucial too. While good weather is never guaranteed, they noted that this part of Yorkshire, the Vale of Pickering, gets less rainfall than most.

On site, their experience shines through further in the way the spacious lotus bell tents and yurts are set up. Walls are insulated, beds are made and the barbecue outside is gas, so dinner is less of a faff. The site is relatively small (five yurts and four lotus bell tents) which helps with a sociable feel. There are communal campfires, regular pizza nights and crafty activities for kids, led by Freya; a qualified art teacher as well as your campsite host. Activities can last for hours and parents are welcome to join in or to escape for grown-up time; perhaps an on-site yoga or mindfulness session (all bookable in advance).

While all this makes it great for families, it’s also good as a base for couples and small groups who want to explore the outdoors – particularly those with bikes. Alongside the flat, family-friendly cycling nearby, there’s the more serious stuff of road cycling in the national park and the mountain bike trails of the Dalby Forest. Pickering is a buzzy little place with great eateries, a castle and a station on the North York Moors Railway. Use it to visit seaside Whitby (handy as parking in the town can be tricky). There are lots of walks and plenty of attractions for all ages, from the animals and theme park rides of Flamingoland to the historic city of York.

Our Coronavirus Booking Guarantee

Book with complete confidence at Swallowtails with the Cool Camping Coronavirus Booking Guarantee. We guarantee the following clear policy for your booking:

  • A low deposit of 30% to secure your booking
  • Balance not due until 30 days before your holiday, in case of late changes to Coronavirus guidance
  • Complete flexibility to move bookings up to the end of 2021 in the event of Coronavirus restrictions
  • In the event of a lack of 2021 availability, switch your dates to 2022
  • Due to low deposit and late balance payment, no refunds are offered

Click here to read the full terms

Details

Facilities

Glampers share five toilets and two showers. Each six-metre lotus bell tent or 18ft yurt sleeps four and is kitted out with a king-sized bed and daybed (which doubles as a sofa) with a pull-out single mattress trundle (bedding and towels provided). The super-sized 22ft yurt sleeps six with an extra daybed and trundle bed. Bedding and towels are provided. Each tent has a wood-burning stove, candles and lighting, a water dispenser and a hamper with all the cooking wares you could possibly need for self catering. Outside there's a table, chairs, gas barbecue and an off-ground fire pit. A starter basket is provided with logs and kindling. More can be bought on site and there's a communal campfire area and pizza oven too. There's also a children's play area, table tennis, badminton nets and kit as well as an indoor play space for rainy days and freezers for re-freezing cool blocks.

Suitable For

Glampers, well-behaved groups (up to 20), dogs – yes. Campers, campervans, motorhomes, caravans – no. Swallowtails can also be an event or retreat venue where the whole site can be hired.

Nearby

There are usually two kids' activity days a week as well as nightly communal campfires and regular pizza nights. Yoga and mindfulness sessions are available if booked in advance (contact site directly). Swallowtails is in a great location to enjoy both the stunning Yorkshire coastline and the North York National Park. The glampsite is set in the countryside well away from any main roads, but just a short walk from the centre of Pickering known as the gateway to North York Moors with plenty of shops and eateries as well as a 13th-century castle. You can also hop aboard one of the heritage trains of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway  for the trip to Whitby. The site is just south of the edge of the national park with  Dalby Forest (01751 460295) one of the closest places to visit, a cyclable six miles from site. There's a visitor centre and cafe as well as walking and cycling trails through the trees and the high ropes adventure of Go Ape. Theme park and zoo, Flamingoland (0800 408 8840), is also within cycling distance, five miles from site. By car, the  North Yorkshire Water Park (01723 865052) and the Yorkshire coastline at Whitby, Scarborough or Robin Hood Bay are all around 20 miles from site. The medieval city of York is a little further, but only a little over half an hour's drive away.

Food & Drink

There are regular pizza nights on site where you can make your own pizza and have it cooked in the on-site pizza oven. For other nights, it's less than a mile into the market town of Pickering which has plenty of options for stocking up on supplies and for eating out. For coffee or breakfast try Feast (01751 470121), café and shop. On sunny days try the beer garden at The Sun Inn (01751 473661) for a drink or, for food, head to either The Black Swan (01751 798209) or the  The White Swan Restaurant (01751 472288), both smart pubs in Pickering's market place. More casual options include Capplemans Fish and Chips, Piggies in the Middle (01751 475511): a delicatessen shop selling fresh pulled pork sandwiches and Botham's (01947 602823) for light lunches, creams teas and delicious cakes. A mile or so outdside town, Cedarbarns Farm Shop and Cafe (01751 475614) is a great place for farm fresh meat, vegetables and seasonal pick-your-own fruit. There are several country pubs within cycling distance including The Blacksmiths Arms (01751 417247) in Lastingham (nine miles from site) and The Fox and Rabbit Inn (01751 460213) at Lockton (five miles away). Malton, which is known as the food capital of Yorkshire, is only 15 minutes' drive from Swallowtails and has a plethora of top quality food establishments and a monthly, nationally-renowned food market on the second Saturday of the month.

Open

April–October.

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

The Owner Says

Swallowtails is part of the 'Skylarks Camps' organisation providing a wonderful camping experience in a countryside setting just on the edge of North York Moors.​ Swallowtails ticks all the boxes for the perfect camping holiday and the stunning North Yorkshire surroundings. Swallowtails is not just a base, but a place to spend quality time as well if you want to stay put and relax. At Swallowtails, we offers socially distanced Yoga and Mindfulness outdoor activities for all ages designed to allow them you to connect with nature and make new friends! We offer stylish, cosy, hassle-free boutique glamping in the form of spacious insulated luxury yurts and 'Lotus Belle' tents. We offer yurts/bell tents that accommodate 4-6 guests comfortably. ‘Why not come to a spot hidden in the countryside where you can dream under dark North York Moors skies, spotting shooting stars and knowing that a wood burning stove is warming your yurt for your return? Wake up refreshed within your quilted bubble and listen to the sound of the woodland as it comes alive.

Accommodation

Five yurts and four lotus bell tents

Stargazer - Extra Large Luxury Yurt

Yurt or Ger Sleeps 7
Our stylish extra large luxury yurt has a king sized beds and 2 single daybeds with pull out single mattress trundles and sleeps 6 people - can sleep up to 7 people by adding a camp bed and bedding in the 'Extras' section of the booking process. All yurts are felt insulated to keep you cosy in the night and cool in the day.

Meadowsweet Luxury Yurt

Yurt or Ger Sleeps 5 4 Available
Meadowsweet is an en suite luxury yurt which has a king sized bed and single daybed with pull out single mattress trundles (sleep 4 people). The yurt can accommodate a fifth person by adding a camp bed and bedding in the 'Extras' section of the booking process. All yurts are felt insulated to keep you cosy in the night and cool in the day.

Lapwing 6M

Bell tent Sleeps 5 4 Available
6m Self Catering Luxury 'Lotus Belle' Tent. There is a wood burning stove with space on top to boil your kettle (also provided). You also have a large family sized gas BBQ. All bedding, towels, tea towels are provided.

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Location

Contact Swallowtails, Swallowtails, Wayside, Goslipgate, Pickering, North Yorkshire YO18 8EQ

Show Map

Getting There

From the south, head into Pickering on A169. On entering Pickering, turn left (just past the petrol garage on your left) down Recreation Road, then an immediate right down Mill Lane. Follow Mill Lane all the way to end T junction and trun right onto Goslipgate and then take an immediate right into the Swallowtails parking area. A lovely way to arrive is to use the North Yorkshire Moors Railway steam train service to Pickering from the mainline station in Grosmont. The Pickering station is a mile from site. The nearest mainline train station can be found in Malton, 15 minutes' drive away. There are also buses to Pickering from Scarborough and York.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 5 reviews

★★★★☆

Great tent - comfortable and easy enough for family with young children to enjoy all the best bits of camping.

We had booked a yurt. On arrival we realised that the change to the pop-up retreat site meant that this had been altered to a lotus bell tent. However the tent met our needs perfectly - very comfortable beds, wood-burning stove, breakfast table and decent plates, cups etc being the main luxuries. The bank holiday weather was hit and miss, so the extra comfort was much appreciated. We managed to get the gas bbq lit after some effort and problem solving in the windy conditions and it did the job cooking simple meals. There are also local options for eating out, including a great chip shop in holt. The chemical toilets were pretty standard and were fine for the three days of our stay - it was good that each family had there own dedicated portaloo. The private shower in an events trailer was surprisingly good. Really nice country walks nearby and the coast is 30 mins drive. The site felt safe for our young children (with sensible precautions). The initial verbal instructions on arrival from our host were friendly but a little rushed and confused. However, anything we didn't catch first time we managed to work out. The main area that could be improved is probably communication. The instructions and the details/pictures on the website all relate to the previous site. The reality of the new site is quite different. We didn't mind too much, since it is in the context of the owner's business having to adapt to difficult circumstances - if the change is long term, I would hope that they amend their advertising for the next season to make it more representative. Overall we would recommend the holiday we had to anyone - particularly young families. The main issue for my family now is that we have set the bar so high at our first attempt for future camping trips with the kids.
★★★★★

well equipped and peaceful break in beautiful surroundings

This was a wonderful holiday in beautiful surroundings I am not a camper so always a bit apprehensive of going to a tent- I needn't of worried - we hired a bell tent, which was amazing - everything you needed was there including a stove, BBQ and raised fire pit - Also we had access to private toilet and shower The tents really were home from home - spacious warm and furnished beautifully Very well managed and the space for each family was huge. The location was very good too - very centrally located for all the places you would want to visit I would recommend these guys to anyone and we will certainly be going back
★★★★★

well equipped and peaceful break in beautiful surroundings

This was a wonderful holiday in beautiful surroundings I am not a camper so always a bit apprehensive of going to a tent- I needn't of worried - we hired a bell tent, which was amazing - everything you needed was there including a stove, BBQ and raised fire pit - Also we had access to private toilet and shower The tents really were home from home - spacious warm and furnished beautifully Very well managed and the space for each family was huge. The location was very good too - very centrally located for all the places you would want to visit I would recommend these guys to anyone and we will certainly be going back
★★☆☆☆

Amazing tents, poor site

The beautiful Lotus Bell Tents are absolutely amazing. Keep the light and heat out, nice and warm, lots of space, comfy beds. Log burner inside for cold evenings. The main problem with our stay was the poor site (Swallowtails Retreat) and the lack of anyone onsite to deal with issues. Some of this is understandable as this is a ‘pop up’ site in a field, as their usual site is unavailable due to the pandemic. It’s great they have been able to find somewhere to host the bell tents. However, the field is full of nettles and we all go stung repeatedly, especially the children. The chemical toilets were not cleaned or emptied all week, and were disgusting by the end especially in the heat. The person who greeted us on arrival was stressed and unfriendly, and was quite rude to our friends who she had given incorrect information to. We never saw or met the owners the whole week, no one came to see if things were ok, there was no one to go to if there were any problems (we did get some response to text messages, but phone signal is intermittent, and emails were ignored). The washing up area is just some tables and a tap. There is nowhere to drain or empty water, you just chuck it on the ground. Overall, we would not pay these prices again for this standard of site. We heard very good things about Swallowtails usual site, but the consensus from other campers was that this site is no comparison and poor value.
Aug 19, 2020 by James
★★★★★

Gorgeous place to stay. Peaceful, adventurous and brilliant facilities.

Beautiful setting, fabulous woodlands for adventures for the little ones abc a communal fire pit and pizza making nights. Felt very welcome and safe, I was camping without my other half, with my two children. Brilliant location too.
Jun 1, 2019 by Melanie

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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