July 20, 2019
In September last year, the Government introduced a landmark agricultural bill that meant sweeping changes for the UK’s farming industry.
Now due for its third reading in the House of Commons, the bill’s aim is to deliver on Michael Gove’s pledge for a Green Brexit, where environmental sustainability takes precedence over future agricultural policy.
At the heart of the legislation are changes to the subsidy system of direct payments – a crucial source of revenue for farmers of all shapes and sizes. Under the new system, farmers and land managers who place a greater emphasis on high environmental standards are the ones who will be rewarded.
When coupled with the increasingly competitive nature of domestic farming and food production, this new agricultural policy has prompted many farmers across the UK to seek out ways to diversify and find new uses for their land.
That is precisely what’s happened on Thrussendale Farm in North Yorkshire, where landowners Roddy and Jane Hamilton have created a unique glamping experience – The Private Hill.
Glamping is a relatively recent creation in the world of catchy portmanteaus. That’s in part due to the widespread feeling that camping isn’t a glamorous experience.
Camping brings to mind endless mud, uncomfortable airbeds and nights spent wide awake. Put that next to the glitz of glamour and you have two words that seem to be mutually exclusive.
Perhaps part of the difficulty in making camping glamourous is in bringing luxury amenities to remote locations. However tastefully decorated a yurt, tepee or another kind of semi- permanent accommodation may be, if you have to drudge through the mud in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, you won’t be feeling very glamourous at all.
So, a real glamping experience must not only look the part, it must also provide the kind of creature comforts that make you forget you are miles away from the nearest hotel.
At North Yorkshire’s newest glamping destination, these considerations have been central to the delivery of the whole project.
The Private Hill consists of five geodesic domes, all of which are fully equipped with mains power and fresh running water. It was no mean feat to get to this point when you consider that the nearest water and electricity sources are 300ft down the hill at Thrussendale Farm.
But it’s testament to the team’s commitment to making a genuinely luxurious camping experience.
Situated at the highest point of Thrussendale Farm, over the small village of Acklam between Malton and York, each of The Private Hill’s domes is made to withstand winds of over 100mph.
The exposed position lends itself to a breath- taking panoramic view. On a clear day, you can sit in bed and just about see the spires of York Minster eight miles in the distance beyond the rolling hills.
As well as a lavish en suite bathroom, each of the geodesic domes is furnished with super king-sized beds, goose feather pillows, leather armchairs, sheepskin rugs and wrap-around curtains. There’s also a small kitchenette with a fully stocked minibar.
At the heart of each dome is an ambience- inducing woodburning stove. But it’s not just for show. A couple of logs in the fire will heat the whole space and fill it with that iconic charcoal smell.
The choice of interiors at The Private Hill creates the exact kind of aesthetic you might imagine when thinking about luxury in the countryside, whether for a romantic retreat or a family celebration.
Other details such as a Nespresso coffee machine, Sonos music player and a selection of White Company soaps and gels evoke a genuinely five-star level of attention to detail.
At every step of the way, The Private Hill has tried to keep things local. All aspects of the construction were done by local contractors and breakfast is made daily with fresh produce from local providers. This gives off a real sense that The Private Hill has been delivered by the community that surrounds it.
Roddy and Jane’s warmth and affability seep into every detail. No matter how well accommodation is presented or located, what really stays with you is the service you receive during your stay.
At The Private Hill, every possible consideration has been made to ensure that the guest experience is as positive and comfortable as possible.