A family-run luxury glamping experience near Shaftesbury has picked up a Bronze Award at the third annual Dorset Tourism Awards.
Owners Mark and Caryl Ralph, who opened the campsite at their former dairy farm at Stour Row just three years ago, received the award in the Self Catering category at the Tank Museum on Thursday.
Six traditional Mongolian hand-painted yurts form the centerpiece of the all-weather campsite. The level of comfort is exceptional; each yurt boasts a wood-burning stove, fresh white linen sheets on comfy beds, electricity and a hob for making breakfast, with use of a private wet room complete with shower, basin, WC, under-floor heating and fluffy towels. Guests also have use of a beautifully equipped modern kitchen area with two ovens, sinks and hobs and individual fridges.
The site has level paths and ramps, and the wet rooms are suitable for wheelchair access.
Open all year round, children can play safely in the fenced in site, families and friends can enjoy a barbecue or watch the sun go down toasting marshmallows at the fire pit.
When the weather is less inviting The Old Haybarn, with its stunning views, offers a welcoming lounge and dining area with toys, games, a television and books. Because it is so spacious it makes it an ideal venue for group bookings and family gatherings.
Mark and Caryl Ralph have had the farm for 33 years. In 2000 they ceased milk production and decided to diversify, importing Mongolian yurts and converting a barn into luxury accommodation in 2012.
This was in addition to the already popular holiday cottage accommodation.
Mark said: “Our situation is perfect for glamping as we live a beautiful part of the country with fantastic rural views, and there are many attractions within a 30-mile radius. We felt that using yurts would be a novel and unusual approach, and would attract the type of guest that would appreciate our countryside.
“We are delighted to be picked as finalists in the Dorset Tourism Awards, especially as we have only been up and running for three years.”
Caalm Camp faced stiff competition as the Self Catering category covers holiday cottages and apartments across the whole of Dorset.
Nick Fernyhough of headline sponsors Saffery Champness said: “The level of entries in all categories has been outstanding this year and shows the high quality venues and activities that Dorset can provide for tourism. This is the 3rd year of Saffery’s involvement in these awards and each year we have seen the standard of entries and winners improving. It’s very impressive.”
Caalm Camp received Tripadvisor Certificates of Excellence in 2014 and 2015 – but this new award puts it firmly on the map as one of the leading holiday venues in Dorset.
Caalm Camp, Goods Farm, Stour Row, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 0QH Tel: 01747 838565 www.dorsetyurtcampsite.co.uk