Peaks and Pods
Boustagill Farm, Rathmell, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 0LJ
You can’t help but be a little jealous of the Brennand Family. They’ve woken up amid this stunning, stonewall-lined landscape for no fewer than three generations. And while the world thumps on with mobile phones, computers and fingertip gadgetry, the views here are as timeless as they’ve ever been. In fact, while the farm may border one designated area of natural beauty – the Forest of Bowland AONB – it’s less than two miles to the nearest national park, too. So whether you’re a walker, mountain biker or simply want some snaps of the scenery, the choices are pretty endless.
Perched in a private area of the Brennands' dairy farm – away from the tractors and working yard – the five insulated, cedar-clad pods are arranged to offer a sliding scale of comfort. All have an excellently equipped kitchenette, a double bed and sofa bed, a deck and a barbecue area outside. The two Green Top pods are a few steps from their own private bathrooms, each with a shower, toilet and basin, while the two Silver Top Pods are fully en-suite, for those who just can’t handle the stroll, The top level of luxury goes to the Gold Top pod. How so? It has its very own hot-tub too.
It’s more like compact, self-catered living than camping when you’re cocooned away inside your pod, especially if it’s raining outside and you’ve got dinner simmering on the hob. Once you fling open the double-glazed doors, though, you feel very much a part of the great outdoors. Marshmallows and skewers are provided in your bag of logs, so you can sit out on the terrace as the sun sets over the Yorkshire hills, and cows peep their heads teasingly over the fence during summer. There’s also a covered communal area, with games to play and a wood-fired oven to cook fresh pizzas. It’s an excellent spot to socialise.
Walkers, cyclists and mountain bikers are the most obvious folk to capitalise on the area, so it’s no surprise that the Brennands have provided every pod with a boot box and offer a power hose and wall racks for bike maintenance. Spin a few miles west to Gisburn Forest, one of the Forestry Commission’s ‘Super6’ mountain biking destinations, or simply stride out on the footpath from the farm. It’s all on your pod-step, which ever direction you choose.