Kite Hill Yurts
Kite Hill Yurts, Old Bedw Farmhouse, Near Erwood, Builth Wells LD2 3LQ
Like an ode to their previously nomadic lifestyle, the Mongolian yurt seems the perfect structure for Lisa and Jerry to have built here on their Welsh version of the Mongolian Steppe. The yurts’ perch atop a ribbon of hills on the west bank of the River Wye is like a final, long-awaited destination at the end of the couple’s travels, a three year spell that saw them take an old Land Rover from Namibia and gradually make their way back to the UK.
Their longest settling along the way was living on a mountain plateau in the middle of Africa, managing a 3,000km² wildlife reserve. It seems no surprise, then, that when it came to settling back into British life they were drawn not to their old city jobs but, instead, to the hills and the wildlife of Wales’ Black Mountains a few miles north of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
The two yurts at Kite Hill nest themselves among lush, long grass – a would-be savannah carpet were it not for the dandelions and buttercups that grow in abundance and the mature, native hedgerows that surround the field. The view beyond, of forests, fields and a nobbled spine of green hills, is as British as they come too. Though giraffes and monkeys would surely be in their element here, given the great thickness of trees that flank the far side of the meadow.
Inside, the yurts are beautifully finished – luxurious but with a rustic feel. They feature chunky wooden bedsteads, bedside tables and small, tea-light lanterns that cast warm colours up the canvas walls. The natural colour of the wood adds further warmth, plus there’s the more literal warmth of a toasty log burning stove that heats the whole abode. The traditionally painted door is matched by the ornate central crown that allows glampers to gaze up at the Milky Way from within the snug comfort of the yurt. When the sky is clear this dark, light pollution-free area is simply magical.
A private deck adjoins each yurt with its own mini kitchen cabin and an eco-friendly composting toilet, while both yurts also share a larger cabin where there is a large, luxury shower and another kitchen space, equipped with a fridge and oven (among other things). It’s here that you will also find books, games and a collection of OS maps for planning your days out and about.
The best place to start is with a simple walk up the hill to the highest meadow in the campsite rewarding you with a gorgeous 270 degree panorama up and down the valley. You can also walk straight onto the Wye Valley Way route, traipsing across the adjoining 5000-acre moorland to the gorgeous lake of Pant y Llyn. Bring some binoculars to spot the best of the birds. And keep your eyes peeled for those monkeys and giraffes too. You can but hope.