Tithe Farm - A very special place to sleep in
“How long did it take you to find this place?” My wife asked.
“First place I clicked on”
I know I should have spent longer searching for a place to celebrate my beautiful wife’s 40th birthday, as I’d known it was coming for 12 years now, but it always seems to work out so well doing it in a mad panic with two days to go I can’t seem to do it any other way.
After cruising through the flat lands of Lincolnshire passing miles and miles of farmland, we hit an AONB we hadn’t yet explored - the Lincolnshire Wolds. Gentle rolling hills and working farms passed by until we found our new home, the beautiful little oasis of Tithe Farm.
The owners, Biff and Jean, were going to be leaving us to it this weekend as they were busy with the #200Fish - a spectacular art exhibition taking place at the epic North Sea Observatory 20 miles south on the North Sea coast. The artistic talents of the couple who run this place is immediately apparent, with a giant sculpture waiting to greet us on the lawn in-between the farm house and a rustic barn - which has been newly built with traditional, low impact techniques. Their daughter Jodi shows us around, she’s off to help run Shambala Festival for the weekend, and invites us in to her incredible hobbit home in the next field - made from hay bales and clay, it was like something from a fairy tale.
With a quick farewell to Jodi as she departed for a weekend of festival madness, we make ourselves at home. The yurt is located in a beautiful little secret garden, hidden at the bottom of the boundary behind Tithe Farm's maze of allotments, greenhouses and barns. Its a beauty, large and airy with little log burner and decorated with little trinkets from far away lands. Outside, a nice little table and chairs sit by the fire pit, but best of all there’s an outdoor cast iron bath, wedged either side by earth raised above the ground, ready to be heated up by fire. Though never been fully diagnosed with pyromania I don’t half enjoy lighting fires. And I love baths. This was gonna be a great evening!
But first time for a pint at the Axe and Cleaver in North Somercote, the nearest local village, before going for a drive to Donna Nook, a coastal nature reserve so called after a ship from the Spanish Armada sank there back in the 1500s. What’s unusual about this particular nature reserve, keeping with the military theme, is that the RAF attack it on a daily basis with their latest military hardware. If the red flag is up, do not walk onto the reserve as you might be bombed in half before you know it, by fighter jets which come from nowhere and disappear just as fast. Whilst I am a nature lover first and foremost, you can’t really turn down the opportunity to see such a spectacle, especially when the landscape is so forboding and the sky so brooding. We said hello to a local gang of girls who had rocked up from nearby Grimsby - they’d lived there all their life but never come down to the delights of seeing their government attack an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. But they were out of luck, nothing was going on till 11pm that evening so they’d be in for a 4 hour wait.
So we headed back to the yurt for a romantic candle lit dinner by the fire pit in front of our yurt and promised the blackened sky we’d return later. Jodi had told us the bath can take about 2 hours to warm up, and not to make the fire too big or you’ll have to wait for another 2 for it to cool down. So we got the fire going underneath and hoped we’d get it right first time and readied our return to the military display.
Down on Donna Nook, we gingerly made our way on to the edge of the beach, aware of little groups of people who had come to see the same thing, illuminated by their phones and excited whispers, dotted amongst the hedges. Sure enough bang on 11pm, a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, propellers lit up bright green, came slowly down the beach and started attacking it with its canon. Happy Birthday Celeste! A surreal but strangely romantic way to see in another year :)
Back at the yurt the fire had died down and the bath was absolutely boiling (just right), so we ended the evening with a magical bath under the sky, music on, candles flickering shadows across the bamboo thicket surrounding. Just when you thought you couldnt get any more relaxed, the terrifying sounds of animals moving around in the darkness around us soon changed the mood, but it was starting to rain anyway so the welcoming coziness of the yurt was calling. The wide canvass ceiling amplifies every last drop as it hits, and we snooze off into oblivion as the rain gets louder and louder… Perfect!