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The Blog

Keep up to date with Bivouac life with our blog and join the Friends of Bivouac for our regular newsletters.

  • Nina writes again!

    There is a never ending stream of learning to be done at Swinton Bivouac. In my short time here my eyes have been opened to so many things.

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    For instance the process by which we purify our own water, in two beds full of living natural reeds! By the time the water leaves the second bed it has been purified and is ready to be distributed back out to the Shacks and Yurts. Amazing!
    On a different note I witnessed a beautiful wedding here recently.  The ceremony was blessed by the sounds of Tibetan Singing Bowls. It was a truly magical moment as the Yurt, which was decorated with wild flowers and colourful wedding guests, filled with the harmonic sounds of the bowls. Love truly rang in the air!
    My taste buds were tantalized last week when our new Chef Manager introduced us to a delicious selection of wines from around the globe. We were able to sample the new collection of whites, reds and roses alongside inspiring new dishes from the menu. A personal favourite being the new Falafel main, a middle eastern chickpea dish seasoned with herbs, spices and chili, and served with a beetroot and mint relish. Wow!
    With exciting ideas about retreats, workshops and events in the coming months I know life will continue to dazzle me. Our new managers have brought a new buzz and further opportunities to learn. I can’t wait to see what’s in store!
    Oh and one more very important thing I’ve learnt: the value of wellies!


    Nina x

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  • Simple Pleasures

    From down under to over yonder, read on to see what drew local lass Nina to join the Bivouac team and why she loves it here!

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    My sister introduced me to The Bivouac, I was in Australia and ready for a new adventure. She told me about the website and I immediately fell in love with the rustic outdoorsy vibe and couldn’t believe my luck, they were looking for staff!

    I’ve now been here a week and as I look out from the café to the rolling Yorkshire country side, I feel at home. The smells of baking, the muddy faces of the dry stone wallers, the giggles from the cocktail making hen party are good for the soul!

    There is a lot I am grateful for here at The Bivouac. Starting with the stunning drive up from Bedale, with the radio on and the sun shining it’s a beautiful start to my day. I can’t drink enough of the pure water from the natural spring and I love spotting hedgehogs and birds of prey out in the fields. The range of people I am meeting from ramblers to newlyweds to musicians and artists brings tales from far and wide.

    I feel grounded and settled after the big city life in Melbourne. I am breathing fresh air and taking in the simple things. I smile to myself on a regular basis! I can’t wait to see the wedding we are hosting this weekend. Talks of woodland ceremonies, Yurts decorated with fairy lights and pizzas cooked in the clay oven really does sound like a dream come true.

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  • Sustainable Bivouac

    Hi! I’m Polly, and I am new here at the Bivouac! With a background in Sustainable Management and passion for the great outdoors I was drawn to Bivouac by its stunning location and connectivity with nature, and its excellent Eco ethos!

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    All guests and visitors can fully immerse themselves in the great Yorkshire countryside here, knowing that their stay is having minimum impact on the environment, which is a rare opportunity these days. All heating and electricity for the shop, reception and café area is heated by a biomass (woodchip) boiler, and all shacks and yurts are off grid. It’s good for the soul, I think, to have a few days away from the glare of computer screens, halogen lights and TV’s. And it’s peaceful if nothing else, to have a break from electronic correspondence.
    I have found that one of the first questions people ask when being shown their accommodation is ‘’is the water drinking water?’’ and my response seems to please most. The water here is from a natural local spring, which means there is nothing nasty in there, nothing unnatural, it’s full of minerals and goodness, another great way to cleanse the body and soul while at Bivouac! And all of the waste water is filtered through a natural reed bed. This is a process whereby the waste water passes through a series of gravel and reed beds and all nasties are broken down by microbial activity. This natural process uses nothing but gravity and micro-organisms, no electricity, no chemicals, nada!
    I hope that our eco-friendly, away from it all breaks is what inspires people to visit the Bivouac in the same way I was drawn to working here.  I’m already loving it here and I am excited to put my stamp on the place! I am keen to use my existing knowledge of sustainability and ecology to encourage some new and exciting events, encourage wildlife, and continue to expand the range of eco-friendly, Fairtrade and local products in the shop and café! Oh and I just love weddings too! Last year I got married on a beach in Scotland, with a reception in a Tipi, it had a very rustic, handmade, country style, just like what is on offer here at Bivouac (except from the beach part wink ), so I am looking forward to using my own wedding planning experience to help couples with similar ideas have the perfect day! Watch this space! 

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  • Happy Half Term Holidays!

    Bivouac has re-opened now for 2014 and our site was full of happy families enjoying the activities we had lined up over the half term holidays.

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    During school holiday time we always have loads of activities lined up to keep your little (and big one’s!) entertained. From the messy bird feeder making workshop to crafts and nature trails there is something for all ages. Have a look at our Events and Activities page and see if there is something you fancy having a go at. We also have activities for adults running throughout the year - these courses are usually very popular so get booking!

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  • Bivouac in Winter!

    We are hard at work getting Bivouac ready for the new season in February. The Café continues to be open at weekends until Friday 6th February when we will then be open all week round. We are planning activities for the February Half Term - please see Indoor Activities for full details. We also have a Family Tree Planting Day on Tuesday 18th February 2014 between 11am and 3pm. Come along and give us a hand! Free tea and coffee for all workers!

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    Categories: Blog Feature

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  • Santa’s Elves Are Hard At Work!

    The Elves have been working like crazy to get everything ready for Santa on Saturday and Sunday! He will be visiting the Grotto at Bivouac on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd December from 10am until 4pm. Bookings are available - please ring 01765 535020 to book your slot or just turn up. We also have our fabulous Festive Trail in the Bivouac Woodland every day until 1st January. Make a day of it and come and do the Trail, visit Santa and have some festive food in our cafe. Tickets are £6.00 to visit Santa, receive a gift and do the Festive Trail.

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    One of Santa's elves at work!

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  • Come and enjoy our Festive Trail!

    Last weekend was the start of our Twelve Days of Christmas festive trail in the Bivouac Woodland. Due to its success we have decided to extend the trail to 1st January 2014 so that more people can enjoy it. Tickets are just £3.00 for children and adults are free. Get your tickets and map from reception. Please bring wellies for all as it can get a bit muddy in parts. The cafe will be open too so that you can get a steaming hot chocolate and a little treat from the cake selection or a full meal. On 21st and 22nd December Santa will be calling in to his grotto off the cafe. Tickets are £6.00 including the trail and Christmas gift from Santa. Check out our Calendar or Indoor Actiivities section on the website for all our events happening over thee Christmas season.

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    Categories: Blog Feature

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  • It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

    This Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December is the start of our Festive Woodland Trail with loads of fun things to find. Join in on our take on the twelve days of Christmas! We have the same again on 21st and 22nd with Santa making an appearance in his Grotto off the Cafe. There will be festive food available and mulled wine. On Christmas Eve there will be a lunch in the Cafe with Carol singing. The festivities continue on Boxing Day when you could take a bracing walk in the Bivouac woodland to work off the excesses of Christmas Day, followed by Lunch in the Cafe. Don’t forget we have loads of lovely gifts in the Bivouac Shop for Christmas presents! See you soon.

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    Categories: Blog Feature

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