A magical woodland hideaway : The North Star Club

Adventure wakes me up physically, mentally and spiritually and brings me to life. I crave new challenges, eye-opening experiences and adrenaline. However, on returning from my 2 week expedition in the Arctic, frostbitten, exhausted, and emotionally drained, I needed something a bit out of the ordinary to rejuvenate me.

I’m not usually one for extraordinary levels of luxury. You’re more likely to find me in a tent than a 5 star hotel, and proximity to nature is much more important to me than a roll top bath. But what if it’s possible to have both? To slump on an enormous bed while looking out into endless sprawling woodland. To spend your morning curled up on the sofa amidst décor that makes you feel like you’ve stumbled into an Instagram snap, then don your hiking boots and get lost in the trees.

Well that’s where the North Star Club comes in. This Yorkshire hideaway was the perfect place to recuperate from the life-changing adventure I had just had, but without sanitizing the notion of relaxation. I didn’t need to be pampered (though that certainly is an option for people who stay there), but what I needed was some time to reconnect with myself in a very special environment. And the North Star Club delivered.

So what is that special environment?

The North Star Club is a cosy escape set on 500 acres of woodland. That alone is enough to be inviting for anyone who likes the outdoors. When there are more paths, walking routes and views than you can fit into your stay, you know you’ll have a good time.

But the high-end camp the owners have created takes the way we interact with the natural world to a whole new level. The sleeping set up is luxury cabins, each spread far enough apart that I never saw another person on my stay. On the outside, the cabins look simple and rustic, but inside, every bit of furniture, every cushion, every wall-hanging, every bit of soft and flattering lighting, is perfectly curated so that the interior is a piece of art.

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The bathroom was almost the size of my entire London flat, with an enormous tub, separate walk in shower, and an abundance of products and candles to make it that bit more indulgent. Having recently spent my Arctic adventure using my body heat to defrost wet wipes when I wanted to freshen up, this was most welcome.

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Next to the bed is the essential log burner. Whiling away an evening with a mug of coffee, piling on wood and gazing into those mesmerizing flames was hugely calming.

If you want your fire outdoors, there is a big pit with log seating around it, for meeting people, sharing chatter, bonding, and stargazing. It sits outside the Woodshed, the communal indoor space with its beguiling atmosphere, twinkly fairy lights, cosy sofas, another log burner and big dining table. There is a vast array of hot drinks and even some cakes that you can purchase by dropping your money in the honesty box. A guitar lying on a table, board games and puzzles, conjure up images of many nights spent soaking up the vibes and sharing happy moments. I was lucky enough to have the place to myself, and curled up with a book.

I had wondered if such a magical and romantic place as the North Star Club would be the right place for a singleton, but it turned out to be a delightful solo retreat. I became very connected to my senses and the world around me, and didn’t feel lonely for a moment. The North Star Club is a place of calm and quiet, and I felt totally at peace, whether I was ambling through the trees as the sun went down, or curled up in my cosy cabin with rain pattering against the windows.

The local village of Sancton is home to the fabulous pub and restaurant, The Star Inn. Better yet, they are happy to deliver hampers and platters of their food straight to the cabins. I however, ventured out into the pitch black night with a head torch and walking boots for the 20 minute stroll to have a sit down meal. Although I was possibly a little grubby on arrival for this highbrow joint, I settled in to the classy dining room to indulge in a 3 course meal from their separate vegan menu.

For the rest of my stay, I had brought nibbly bits like bread, hummus, olives, salad and fruit. While the North Star Club doesn’t have a full kitchen, every cabin comes with a fridge, kettle, and eating utensils, and there is a barbecue on the front porch overlooking the woods. (I did consider bringing my Jetboil and some adventure food pouches but decided if I was going to do luxury I had to go all out and do a Waitrose shop at Kings Cross on my way up.)

The magic of the North Star Club will stay with you long after you leave. It certainly helped me to get over my post adventure blues, but the secluded spot makes any occasion special. From solo escape to wilderness wedding or hen party, from romantic getaway to milestone birthday celebrations, it provides something a little bit different.

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When I get caught up in my busy London life, and it all gets a bit much, I just think back to those few days. I reflect on the moments outside the cabin, savouring a cup of coffee, enjoying the sounds of the birds and the smell of the earth. I think about my early morning run, or nights spotting constellations.

The North Star Club teaches us a lot about how to live fully. Slow down, enjoy the simple things, forget the minutiae and stress and focus on one thing at a time. When you’re there, this way of living is second nature, but like me, you might take a bit of that ethos away with you.

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Since I got back, I have taken that on board. I make time to meditate and read books before I go to bed. I am making my time in nature more mindful, trying to quieten my racing thoughts.

A break at the North Star Club isn’t just a holiday, it’s therapy, it’s self-care, and those few days provided nourishment for the soul. If you’re feeling a bit sluggish, overwhelmed, or just in need of a change of pace, book yourself into one of their exquisite cabins and let the magic ensue!