Yurts in the U.K: fine for glamping, but not for living in?

in housing •  2 months ago 

I love yurts: they’re elegantly beautiful constructions which have very warm, homely feel about them and they’re just the perfect balance between permanency and mobility.

The combination of aesthetics (it’s mainly this), practicality and affordability make the yurt my go-to option for when (if) I (ever) transition to a proper low-impact lifestyle. A 14ft Yurt would be sufficient for me to live in, which I could pick up for around £4K, although I’d rather a 16ft, which would cost me about £5K

The problem is, I’m struggling to find examples of anyone who is currently living in one, at least outside of the eco-communities I’m aware of.

Struggling to find examples of U.K. Yurt Dwellers…

A google search return for ‘yurt+living+UK’ reveals very few specific examples of anyone actually living in a yurt in this country. Now this is either because very few people are doing so and/ or anyone who is doing REALLY want to keep themselves under the radar, which in turn suggests it’s a very difficult thing to do legally.

The first few search returns take you to general info sites about yurt living, the fifth return (despite including the phrase ‘UK’) takes you to an example from New Zealand and the sixth is to Daily Mail article about how a family were prevented from living a yurt by a local council, all of which doesn’t bode well. This search return really dampened my prospects of ever living in a yurt because I’ve seen the picture below before, which is of the couple’s yurt and long thought this was one of the rare SUCCESSFUL examples of a couple living in a yurt in the country…

The only other example I could find was of a couple who run an ‘eco-business’ on a 12 acre Woodland in Devon (they own the land)…they seem to have a very nice set up, but then again, 12 acres of land, in Devon, you’re not gonna get much change out of £100K for that!


The lack of specific case studies leads me to conclude that either people don’t want to live in Yurts, or that it’s all but impossible for someone to live in one of these beautiful constructions in the U.K.

Possible reasons for the apparent lack of Yurt based living

  • Obviously as with all things eco-development the antiquated the English planning system is the first barrier to sustainable development, it simply doesn’t allow for the building of low impact housing.
  • Or the reason could be simpler - the U.K. is very damp, so maybe The Yurt isn’t suited to our climate. It is, after all, mostly associated with Mongolia where it’s a lot drier. Maybe alternative living types just choose to live in plastic caravans instead.
  • Possibly it’s the expense: £5K for a new yurt is a lot of money, when you can get a reasonably reliable DIY camper van for that amount of cash, and the later’s a whole lot easier to move.
  • They are one of the more conspicuous forms of alternative eco-dwelling, and especially when you’ve added in a floor, which is really required to make one long-term liveable, it’s quite difficult to move.
  • Or, maybe lots of people do live in them, but in an effort to keep themselves hidden, they’ve gone for camo-yurts, which aren’t anywhere near as aesthetically pleasing as the traditional white colour (not that you’d be sticking pictures up anywhere if yer in stealth mode anyway!)

Yurts: fine for glamping, NOT for living?

What II have managed to find, however, is many, many examples of Yurts for rent for what seems to be a small-fortune (for what’s basically a tent), Yurts which basically have the same impact as if they were lived in all year round. For example:


Add in many, many examples.

I mean I could go on, there are so many of them there are whole sites devoted to listing them!

So the planning system forbids people the right to buy land and live in a yurt as part of a low impact, low cost lifestyle, but it’s more than happy to allow planning permission for holiday-yurts which you can then rent out to people for £100 a night.

That really is twisted!?! I mean surely the environmental impact of having a hundred different visits in a season is going to be greater than having just one family living in a yurt permanently all year round?

Just goes to show that it’s not the Yurts that the planning system is against, it’s just against poor people saving money by living in them!



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  ·  last month (edited)

I love yurts too but I've only stayed overnight in one once.

I do have memories of staying in a Tepee many times as a child as my friend inherited his fathers tepee when he was involved in a car accident when my mate was 8.

We used to stay in it pretty much every summer in a place called middlewood trust near to Lancaster. I have really nice memories from that time and the Tepee was always pitched next to a permanent Yurt in the woods of the trust land. We would go down to the river every morning to get water to boil up for tea and swim in the river.

It was hippie heaven :)


Obviously terrible about the car accident, but that sounds idyllic.

I have actually heard of Middlewood Trust, they're one of the very few long standing eco-communities in the country, I'm pretty sure they're in Diggers and Dreamers, the guide to communal living.

I think Ridgedale farm in Sweden has a yurt as conference room. I think it is mainly planning permission keeping people from using the in the UK for long-term use.

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Planning definitely doesn't help, it just seems to be a tool to shaft the poor!

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I am guessing living in a yurt is not a thing in the US either, although there are lots of tiny houses, even festivals for them. Tiny houses seem to be getting a lot of attention.

I stayed in a yurt once, which was surrounded by trees. It was comfy camping and nice and all, until a big storm blew through. A pine tree took out one of the yurts near by. That was not pretty.


I guess tiny houses are more practical, and not too much more expensive for how much more you get!

That tree incident sounds aweful, quite rare though I imagine!

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I went to one of those tiny house festivals and it was pretty impressive. Lots of converted buses too.

imagine it is rare. It seems like yurts are generally in more open areas.

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well it is Glamorous camping so it has to be expensive, right?


Especially in th SE....actually perhaps that's a way to live in one - buy a field and set up a glamping business, just keep one back on the sly for myself.

It's probably reasonably easy money. At the going rates I cld probably afford to pay someone to run it all for me too!


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