April 2016

10% off bookings for the rest of the year!

Yes, I know écovallée is cheaper than other yurt camps. And in a better location. With more gorgeous, planet-friendly facilities. In fact, it’s probably the most carefully planned and beautiful yurt camp in this part of the Milky Way. But offering a 10% discount to single parents and solo travellers still seems completely reasonable.

So that’s what’s going to happen for the rest of 2016.

The terms of this offer should be obvious. But if you do happen to meet someone between the time of booking and arriving, and suddenly want to bring them along, they’ll be more than welcome if they also arrive with the 10% discount. These things happen.

Every year, écovallée rises again with the return of the wild orchids and migrating birds. And every year, tweaks and improvements are made to the campsite so that guests enjoy a uniquely wonderful experience.

This year, I will live blog the return of the yurt camp so you can watch it all blossom from wherever you are.


There will be plenty to show – new covers for the Play Yurt and Outdoor Kitchen – new people, including a chef who is growing various veggies in and around the polytunnel (and available to give guests hints and tips on how to make their food more fabulous) – and other news.

At this time of year, it feels like everything’s new.

Last year, one of our guests was reading a book by Eckhart Tolle. I can’t remember which book – and it’s not important – I have listened to him a lot over the last couple of weeks and everything he has said is useful. Life changing. In a good way.

All of his teaching points you towards living in the only place it is possible to live: The present moment. The Now.

I’ve begun to practise this whenever I get a (ahem) second – and one thing I’ve noticed is how much more time you have when you are Present. It’s astonishing to discover how much time is wasted on needless and repetitive thinking. Thinking that is rarely useful and often untrue.

I won’t go on about this too much on this blog (even though it’s the most significant spiritual breakthrough, for me, for decades). But if you are coming to écovallée this summer, I’d love to talk to you about it. If you haven’t booked your holiday yet, there is obviously only one time to do it…

Summer thing to look forward to

Me and the kids at the dune de Pyla in 2012. Coming back up was a different story.

Regular readers of this blog will know that écovallée was created by me and (the former) Her Outdoors as the perfect yurt holiday for people with young children. More specifically, Guardianreading families who are interested in the environment. We’ve had Daily Mail readers – which I’ve found surprising and alarming – and this has taught me that that particular newspaper is very good for lighting fires. (Previously, I thought it had no use whatsoever.)

Now that we are no longer living together as a family, the question is: How does that change écovallée?

Since September, I’ve been wondering how it looks to have a family campsite run by someone who is, essentially, a single parent. I’m not even a single parent all the time, as my kids live with their mum, about 15 minutes away. I’ve imagined that this might put off families who are together.

That it might look a bit odd.

But – in the last day or so – I’ve realised the error in my thinking. I recognise that the worry exists only in my head as a not-very-useful thought. Past guests at écovallée have included people travelling on their own, with a sibling, or with up to three children, and couples who are together – with and without kids – kids they’ve had with each other and with other people… Basically, everyone. And that hasn’t changed.

We all have our own stories and we’re all at different places in those stories. So I’m not going to worry about how it looks any more. (Phew.)

I’ve tweaked the website to reflect this slight change. For example, I’m now calling the “couple’s yurt” a “small yurt” for solo travellers, couples and people with small families. It’s a bit embarrassing that I didn’t spot this before. Sometimes, you can get so focused on your “target audience” (I used to work in advertising – please forgive the jargon), that you exclude other people who may want to come. My previous word choice may have even put off some people travelling on their own. Or people who are single parents (is this even the best expression for this?). If you’re one of them, I apologise.

In fact, écovallée is for everyone who wants to experience living outside, in a beautiful environment, in a beautiful structure, with very low impact facilities. If that sounds like you, come on down/across/up/over. This summer is going to be fantastic. Come and share it with existing friends, make new ones, or just come here on your own.

And bring a good book.

And a head torch.

Head torches are cool.

If you teach yoga or meditation (or something similar) and would like to run a course at écovallée, don’t be shy. Use the contact form in the sidebar and let’s talk…


Living like a hermit in écovallée this winter has given me plenty of time to reflect. This year, I’ve been literally (and filmically) introduced to – and inspired by – people like Paramahansa Yogananda, Sadhguru and Barry Long. Eckhart Tolle is my latest discovery.

If you’re looking for inner peace and/or interested in exploring your full potential as a human being – and not just a human doing – have a look at some videos on YouTube. It’s Sunday – you’re allowed to invest some of that time in your personal development. Have a great day.