Shortly before Christmas, Sam and I had the absolute pleasure of staying at the North Star Club. The North Star Club is a luxury glamping retreat located between York and Beverley. Being American, as a kid we all went camping as a family a lot. Actually, a whole lot. At the time I was bummed out that we weren’t staying in a hotel with a pool on holiday, but now, in retrospect, it’s pretty awesome that I’ve camped next to some of America’s wonders, like Lake Powell, the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns. Sam, on the other hand, being English, has not camped much. So glamping is the perfect midpoint in our experiences. You get a proper bed in a cabin, but you still start your own fires, etc.
I arranged to arrive a bit before the check in time on Friday so that I could see everything in the daylight. The gorgeous woods, the fairy lights that guide your way through the campsite, the firepits and the quiet immediately much a strong impression. The lovely member of staff who checked us in was ace. She showed us around the Woodshed, which is the large shared cabin with huge woodburning stove, lots of teas and coffee, baked goods and board games galore that all guests have access to in case they want to be somewhere other than the confines of their own cabins and the great outdoors. She also let me peek into one of the hideaway cabins, so that I could get a feel for how it was different from the cabin suite that we’d be staying in.
They don’t advertise themselves as self-catering, but Sam and I wanted to maximise the slow-living nature of our weekend as much as possible, so we’d brought a vegan feast for the whole weekend. There’s not a stove or hob, but the suites have refrigerators and grills so with a little creative thinking ahead of time, we were able to load the car up with tasty treats that could all be cooked on the bbq. That way we wouldn’t have to walk to the nearby village to eat at the pub, or hop in the car to go to nearby Market Weighton for food. I wanted this weekend to be about living in nature as purely as possible.
“It is in the still silence of nature that one will find true bliss.” – J.J.C. Smart (Australian philosopher)
The North Star Club has 8 private and reasonably isolated cabins. Four woodland suites, like the one we stayed in, three hideaway suites, which are the smaller, cosier version of the woodland suite, and one extra luxury Star Suite, a similar size to the woodland suite with a sauna as well! The woodland suites sleep up to 6 people and they are all decorated with a nod to Scandi rustic, but in slightly different variations of that theme. For example, we were in the Amy Johnson Suite. It should be no surprise that the decor and layouts are amazing as North Star Club founders Christian and Carolyn Van Outerster are award-winning designers and passionate about slow-living and country life.
First off, I loved that we were in the Amy Johnson Suite. It was an incredible coincidence that we ended up in that suite. I have a series on amazing, inspirational women and Amy Johnson could easily be added to that list. A Yorkshire woman herself, she was the first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia. She was a First Class Officer in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during World War II, and tragically died during one of her ATA runs in 1941.
There’s no tv or wifi (and I didn’t get cell phone reception) at the North Star Club, but that’s perfect for me. I spent hours curled up next to the fireplace. Sam and I played lots of board and card games, and chatted miles more than usual without the distraction of mindless tv between us. We also knocked out a good portion of Stephen King’s “It” which we’ve been reading aloud to each other for about 9 months now. (Hey, it’s a really long novel and reading aloud takes a lot longer!)
We also went on many, many woodland walks. We also casually strolled to the nearby village of Sancton and explored their lovely historic village church, All Saints. It’s a Grade II listed Victorian building, with a large Anglo-Saxon cemetery dating from the 11th century.
“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder (Author of the “Little House on the Prairie” series)
We stayed for two nights, and though I missed little Harold terribly, when we returned back to York, I felt more relaxed and digitally detoxed than I had for ages. It was the perfect mini-retreat to have before the madness of the holidays was upon us. I slept like a baby all wrapped up in our furry blankets and our cabin always stayed luxuriously warm.
But the real pièce de résistance of our stay was the bathroom. I’d stalked the North Star Club quite a lot on social media before our stay, so I knew that the bathrooms in the woodland suites had stunning free-standing bathtubs, so I made a special trip to Lush to purchase a few bathbombs to take with me for the weekend. I’ve never taken as many baths in my whole life as I took in that 48 hour time frame. I’d sit in the bath, sipping fizz whilst reading a book, then hop out, throw on my pjs and curl up next to the fire. I honestly couldn’t hope for a better weekend than that!
I can’t recommend it more highly, and it’s safe to say that the North Star Club is my favourite place we’ve ever stayed! You can book a stay for yourself here.
****We were guests of the North Star Club, and our stay was complementary, but all opinions, as always, are forever my own.****
I’d love to come back to the North Star Club again in the future. It would be especially interesting to see how the site and the woodland change from a winter stay to a summer stay. It would also be a great place to go on holiday with friends, or for a really chilled out Hen Do.
In fact, it’s exactly the kind of place where I’d book for a 10 year vow renewal ceremony. Book the whole campsite out for the weekend and have all your nearest and dearest in the woods for a warm summer weekend… hmm sounds pretty ideal right? (Filing that one away for in a few years time…)
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey (American author and environmentalist)
I was honestly gutted to leave on Sunday morning, and woke up early for a chilly but scenic cup of coffee on our front porch and a walk through the woods before making our way back to York. The North Star Club gets a 10 out of 10 in my opinion, and I will be back one day!
Does the isolation and rural ideal of a place like the North Star Club appeal to you?
Watch the YouTube video I made of our weekend to see the place in action and our pure silliness: