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  • Glamping in Yurts – History of the Yurt

    17 December 2019 by  

    Here at Yurtshire we have a selection of 6 beautiful Yurts in a stunning meadow in North Yorkshire near to Ripon and the spa town of Harrogate. Surrounded by beautiful wildlife, we pride ourselves in delivering a unique glamping experience for our guests to get back to nature, relax and unwind with everything they need at hand.

    But I am constantly surprised at how many of our guests arrive and say they didn’t know what to expect as they didn’t know what a Yurt was. Thankfully they are all very pleased with what they find and thoroughly enjoy this unique glamping experience. Therefore, I thought I would put together a little historical overview of the Yurt for you to discover their heritage.

    A traditional Yurt is a portable, round tent covered with skins or wool felt. They were used as a dwelling by nomadic tribes of central Asia for at least three thousand years and are still used to this day. The first written description of a yurt used as a dwelling, was associated with the Scythians, a horse riding-nomadic nation who lived in the northern Black Sea and Central Asian region from around 600 BC to AD 300.

    The structure comprises of intricate wooden latticework for walls, a door frame, ribs (poles, rafters), and a wheel (crown, compression ring). The roof structure is often self-supporting, but large yurts may have interior posts supporting the crown.

    Yurts were traditionally decorated, not by personal taste but derived from sacred symbolism. Symbols representing strength are among the most common, four powerful beasts being the most popular (Lion, tiger, the mythical garuda and dragon). As well as stylized representations of the five elements, fire, water, earth, metal, and wood, which were considered to be the fundamental, unchanging elements of the cosmos. Such patterns are commonly used in the home with the belief that they will bring strength and protection. Therefore, the Yurt comes with deep spiritual connections to nature which is why they lend themselves so well to the modern glamping lifestyle.
    The wooden crown of the yurt was hugely important. In old Kazakh communities, the yurt itself would often be repaired and rebuilt, but the crown would remain intact, passed from father to son upon the father’s death. A family’s length of heritage could be measured by the amount of smoke stains on the crown from decades of internal fires for cooking and warmth. A stylized version of the crown forms the main image on the flag of Kyrgyzstan.

    Enthusiasts in other countries have adapted the idea of the yurt. Although those structures may be copied to some extent from the originals found in Central Asia, they often have some different features in their design to adapt them to different climate and use. In 1978, American company, Pacific Yurts, became the first to manufacture yurts using architectural fabrics and structural engineering, paving the way for yurts to become popular attractions at ski resorts and campgrounds.

    The recent popular glamping phase in Europe has introduced these tents as a sturdy semi-permanent structure. The Yurts are a fantastic alternative to the tent, offering much more space and keeps you connected with the outdoors via a waterproof canvas rather than the fully wooden structures of other glamping pods/huts/cabins, that can distance you slightly from world outside. They use local hardwood and often are adapted for a wetter climate with steeper roof profiles. In essence they are yurts, but due to taste of the modern European customer many of the traditional symbolic patterning has gone, being replaced with a more luxurious furnishings to entice those of us that wish for more comfort than the traditional camping tents can provide.

    Here at Yurtshire our dedicated rigging team can erect a Yurt in 3 hours to 2 days depending on the size. Professional in every way, they take pride in these beautiful structures, taking care to ensure that every lattice, every rib and every crown are placed with care and respect to their heritage.

    Our sister company, Yorkshire Yurts, can supply you with these stunning structures in all sizes, our largest being 50ft in diameter. The yurts can be linked together to provide a spectacular venue for any occasion (Wedding, birthday, corporate event), in order to accommodate any number of guests.
    Yorkshire Yurts also prides itself in holding a fantastic Apre Ski themed Christmas Party in Leeds “Yurtbar”– It’s never too late or too early to book your Christmas Party.

    I hope this has given you some insight into the majestic Yurt and I hope you have also fallen in love with them, as we have. For more information visit Yurtshire, Yorkshire Yurts & YurtBar.

    Our Yurtshire Gift Vouchers are the perfect unique gift for couples or families looking to get away and experience something different in the great outdoors. Perfect for Christmas, birthdays, valentines, anniversary surprises, or just to show someone you care. A stay here at Yurtshire is sure to relieve the stresses and strains of everyday life, with a private Hot Tub at each individual Yurt, what better gift could you give than true relaxation. Happy Yurting.

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