The Hut in the Sheep Wash is the ultimate romantic retreat, a cosy shepherd’s hut in a field of its own, next to a river on the edge of the Lake District National Park, a few miles from Coniston Water. Surrounded by peaceful woods and farmland with abundant wildlife, it is completely self-contained and fully equipped, the perfect spot to take a break from the rest of the world.
The hut is full of charm, but alongside that has all the modern appliances to make life easy, including a very comfy double bed, a kitchen with gas rings, grill and fridge, a bathroom with a modern eco-loo, sink and shower, hot and cold water and a wood burning stove to raise the heat.
The river, Newland Beck, is where sheep used to be gathered for a regular wash and spruce up, so naturally the hut is insulated with fleece. Electricity is provided by solar panels and outdoors there is a table and chairs, firepit and barbecue for delightful evenings dining al fresco. A tent pitch is available and camp fires are allowed.
The spot is three miles from the quaint town of Ulverston, famous for cobbled streets, a record breaking canal, the Laurel and Hardy Museum and the Cumbrian Way. The sea is 1.5 miles further, at Morecambe Bay.
Howgill’s Hideaway provides glamping pods, bell tents and caravans in an idyllic spot nestled between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District National Parks. It’s in the middle of truly breathtaking landscapes, untouched by urban development, yet only 15 minutes’ drive from the M6, which most Midlanders will use to get there.
Howgill’s Hideaway is surrounded by the stunning Howgill Fells, which make exhilarating walking country with Cautley Spout, England’s highest waterfall in reach. It is on a livestock farm run by David and Siobhan Stainton, helped by their adult children Jen, Beckie and Chris. If wished, the family can provide appetising breakfast and barbecue packs for guests to cook themselves, including the farm’s own freshly laid eggs.
Accommodation includes purpose-made glamping pods which sleep four and include their own kitchenette, dining area and outside seating area with decking and firepit from which to enjoy those exceptionally starry skies. The pods have electricity and cold water and a modern toilet and shower block is provided.
Alternatively, guests can stay in one of two static caravans which sleep six or in the spacious bell tent with its own separate camp kitchen.
Siobhan says: “We’re ideally placed for exploring both the Lakes and the Dales. The nearest village is Sedbergh, about four miles away, which has several pubs and take-aways.”
Ettie’s Field is the ultimate in cool camping and glamping, for Airstreamers and others who like a Bohemian lifestyle coupling comfort with freedom. Enjoy the spirited vibes of the unconventional at a countryside hideaway near the Leicestershire/Warwickshire border.
Ettie’s Field owners Linds and Dom Such are Airstreamers who love meeting like-minded others when they travel in their Airstream Ettie. When they get together they form a unique community, along with owners of other out-of-the-ordinary glamping rigs such as Rocket caravans, bell tents, Teardrops, Classic Hymers and V-Dubs. Bikers and tents fit in fine.
Linds says: “We wanted to create something that is as different and unique. This is not the place for white caravans and motorhomes. There’s more of a festival chill-out kind of feel to it.”
Ettie’s Field attracts group bookings, parties and weddings, Ettie’s is a venue for Sami Tipi. Enchanted Bell Tents provide luxurious canvas accommodation for newly weds.
On site is a colourful clubhouse with comfy seating and a blazing fire. There are hot showers and conventional toilets, compost toilets, a dog walking field and an Elsan point. Hard standing pitches have electricity hook ups and a tap. The Boho-Tique shop sells Fair Trade gifts and textiles and opens on request.
Coast, countryside and exceptional things to do are all within easy reach of Beara Lodge, a luxurious, dog friendly family glampsite in the idyllic surroundings of North Devon.
The family-owned site provides two spacious, fully furnished safari tents which sit in a six acre field surrounded by woodland on the edge of a village, Highampton. There are beautiful views and walks in all directions and yet there is easy access to the main road and routes to everything in Devon and beyond.
The safari tents each have their own kitchen, a private shower room with flush toilet and outdoor decking and seating. They have three bedrooms – a double, a twin and a bunkbed double – together with a comfortable living area with books, games and log burning stove. There are also games outside.
The accommodation is owned by dog lovers Steve and Sara McNickle, who make everyone welcome with a welcome pack of delicious Devonshire food and drink and beds ready made with fresh linen.
“It’s a great place to get away from it all,” says Sara. “It’s very secluded and offers great peace and quiet. You can walk for hours and not see anyone, yet you are only 20 minutes’ drive from Bude in one direction and Dartmoor the other. We’re very close to the Atlantic Highway.”
Jordan’s Estate in beautiful Somerset invites you to get away from the Midland noise and traffic by glamping luxuriously in 900 acres of private park and farmland with some rich history attached.
The family-owned estate is a haven of peace rich in flowers, wildlife and dark skies, where couples can kick off their cares and routines in the comfort of hand crafted shepherds’ huts.
Each of the two huts sleeps two adults in a comfy double bed and has an en suite shower and toilet, kitchenette with fridge and even multi-channel TV. Outdoors are a fire pit and pizza oven for al fresco cooking. Best of all, they have their own private wood-fired hot tubs.
Guests can enjoy 100 acres of woodland where they are sure to see resident delights such as deer and pheasants. They may even arrange guided walks around the estate with hut owners Richard and Em Speke, GPs who live there along with other members of the family.
Richard says: “We called the huts ‘Stanley’ and ‘Livingstone’ because one of my ancestors was an explorer. Captain John Hanning Speke was credited with discovering Lake Victoria Nyanza as the Source of the Nile in 1858.”
Jordan’s Estate is within easy reach of the Somerset Levels, Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Exmoor and Dartmoor National Park.
Peak View Shepherd Huts take glamping to a whole new very elevated level. They are hand crafted luxury huts, individually designed to make the most of the spectacular Peak District moorland and surrounding reservoirs.
Each of the four huts is wonderfully well equipped with everything from large, smart TVs, kitchen, en-suite bathroom & shower as well as free WiFi all round. Not only that but they also have log burners and thermostatically controlled heating, meaning they’re warm and cosy all year round. Two of the huts also feature log burning eco hot tubs from which to enjoy the starry skies of the Peak District National Park, making them the perfect location for a romantic getaway.
The huts enable people to get close to nature and the abundant wildlife including the five resident Alpacas.
Peak View is a great place to enjoy unspoiled countryside, nestled in the foothills of the Pennines and with beautiful walks and cycle trails all around, including the Pennine Way, Trans Pennine Trail and Longdendale Trail. There is a hotel with bar and restaurant a short walk away and within a mile the picturesque market town of Glossop. Within 30 minutes by train is the shopping, sports and entertainment paradise of Manchester. Attractions less than 30 minutes’ drive away include the Castleton caves, Derwent Reservoir and Mam Tor.
Not many shepherds’ huts come with an upstairs, downstairs, wet room shower and kitchen, but that’s why Extraordinary Huts are so named. Hand crafted with flair, imagination and great practicality, these unique holiday properties also offer stunning views and perfect peace in the East Sussex countryside.
Extraordinary Huts are three amazing two storey huts on a farm on the edge of the village of Udimore, which sits on a ridge between two valleys. Guests can relax on the decking and look across to the sea while barbecuing supper on the outdoor decking. The spot is only a few minutes’ drive from the fashionable and historic town of Rye. Guests can take a 40 minute stroll or gentle bike ride to explore its tea rooms, bars, galleries and trendy shops on cobbled streets.
The huts themselves have been created by farmer Johnny Mair, who saw other people’s shepherds’ huts and decided he could do better.
His prototype, The Hut, has two luxuriously comfortable upstairs double bedrooms reached by an internal ladder. Downstairs is a cosy living area, compact kitchen complete with sink and gas hob and a shower room with flush toilet. The Hide Out is a little larger but with one double bedroom and similar facilities to The Hut. The recently completed third property follows a similar idyllic pattern.
Glampers can hire a hot tub as an optional extra when staying in the well equipped wooden safari tents at Hidden Hideaway, an idyllic site which lends itself to both a couples’ retreat or a family adventure. Romantics may like to order robes, fizz and chocolate to make the most of that bubbling hot spot, and if you’re dog or horse owner you can take your animals to share the holiday.
Set on a Leicestershire farm, Hidden Hideaway offers a choice of two safari tents which each sleep five, or six with a cot added. They have fully equipped kitchens, private bathrooms with their own toilet, sink and shower, sitting and dining area which opens out on to an outdoor decking area with fantastic views. Sleeping accommodation includes a double bedroom plus bunk beds and a pull-out bed. Heating is by wood burner.
Guests relish getting back to nature as they barbecue their food under a starry sky or entertain themselves with the games provided. Local sheep and a herd of Lincoln Red cattle give a picturesque backdrop, especially in spring when they have young. There are footpaths and bridleways in every direction, while many people like to visit the nearby towns of Market Harborough and Uppingham or perhaps go walking, cycling, fishing or sailing at Rutland Water.
Relaxing and getting close to nature is what it’s all about at the Village Farm Getaway. Feeding calves, collecting eggs, playing in the barn and discovering about farming is all part of the fun for families who book a glamping holiday on this working dairy farm in the Leicestershire countryside.
Each of the two luxury safari tents is fully equipped with comfy beds, cosy living and dining areas, shower cabins, flush toilets and – for a spot of unbeatable luxury – its own hot tub. They have electricity, hot and cold running water, log burners and appliances including fridges and gas hobs.
Both have one bedroom with a double bed and another with two bunk beds and a trundle bed, sleeping up to five people each. A fire pit creates opportunity to cook outside or sit and enjoy the peace of a starry night.
Village Farm Getaway has 450 acres of arable and grazing land and has invested heavily in renewable energy. The farm and countryside is the ideal place to have quality time with friends and family or a romantic retreat for couples.
Owner Audrey Dixon says: “It’s a fabulous location in the countryside of Hungarton, with stunning views. Our aim is to create an environment for people to unwind and experience the great outdoors whilst enjoying a touch of luxury.”
Dramatic cliff walks are less than half a mile from Y Cwt Cwtch, ‘the Cuddle Hut’, where visitors can spend quality time in a secluded corner of Pembrokeshire countryside.
This spot near the small but perfect coastal city of St David’s is so unspoiled it doesn’t even have street lights to spoil the glow of the stars. Now we at Living in the Shires magazine are delighted to name it our Retreat of the Month.
Newly hand crafted in Oswestry, Y Cwt Cwtch is a splendid shepherd’s hut which has a log burner and electric heater to swiftly warm up even the coldest evening. There’s a neat kitchen, an en suite shower and a double bed that folds into the wall, leaving extra living space when not in use. Owners Ian and Liz Haughey, who live nearby, have added numerous tasteful touches such as interior mirrors in eggshell blue and pillows with puffins printed on them.
The location will certainly appeal to hardy hikers who want to follow that amazing Pembrokeshire Coastal Path for some or all of its 186 miles. It is only 40 minutes’ walk or five minutes’ drive from the long, sandy Newgale Beach, where you can find a pub, café and surfing lessons and there is a great local bus service to the plentiful amenities of St David’s.
Quirky, secluded and amazingly comfortable, Milly’s House is a new style of glamping accommodation set in private Hertfordshire woodland. The innovative eco-design is aimed at couples and enables them to enjoy nature at extremely close quarters, including rare and beautiful black squirrels.
The property, developed by Hideaway Home, is this magazine’s Escape of the Month and is evolutionary in being built on three caravan chassis. One outstanding feature is 180 degrees of countryside views to be enjoyed from under the duvet of a snuggly double bed.
It has a living area heated by a log burner, a kitchen with a three-ring gas stove, sink and fridge and a spacious bathroom. Facilities include an efficient compost toilet so there are no nasty smells or buckets to empty. An outdoor decking area provides unbroken views of the countryside and its diverse inhabitants, including stoats, pheasants and woodpeckers. Guests enthusiastically praise the location, cleanliness and privacy.
Owner/designer Liam Rollings says: “Eventually the building will be completely covered by an evergreen vine so it will be like a hide. It is wonderfully surreal to wake up seeing a field rather than the brick wall of a house and watch the wildlife wandering by.”
The nearest town is Baldock, with the market town of Hitchen a short bus ride away. The site borders Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.
As 2018 draws to a close there’s just time for a rejuvenating Christmas get-away and Brook Meadow is just the place. This idyllic holiday site has three chic, centrally heated lakeside lodges and well serviced camping & caravanning pitches which offer year-round peace and tranquillity in idyllic Leicestershire countryside. A sumptuous safari-style glamping tent is also available April to October.
Family-run Brook Meadow is a 400 acre working farm where guests can relax among woodland, pasture and a large fishing lake which is a magnet for wildlife. Situated in Sibbertoft, near Market Harborough, the accommodation has earned this magazine’s Award of Excellence as our Retreat of the Year 2019. It has also been shortlisted for the Visit England Go Leicestershire regional finals for most enjoyable stay, self catering.
Christmas guests will find a festive hamper waiting, while local towns and villages have many charming seasonal events on their calendars. Welford Christmas Tree Farm even has some of Santa’s reindeer staying until December 17.
Available for stays of three nights or more, the boutique lodges overlook the lake and are impeccably furnished and equipped, combining comfort, cosiness and an unbeatable sense of freedom.
Contemporary good taste is evident in every corner, from the nature-themed décor to the glowing fires. Each lodge sleeps four people in a double and twin bedroom. Two also have a double sofa bed. All have a spacious bathroom, a kitchen with fridge, microwave and oven, living area with TV, DAB radio, Wi-fi and veranda with outdoor seating.
Lake views may well include owls, bats, kingfishers, the resident swans and some enormous carp, tench and perch. The site is environmentally friendly and constantly evolves to foster wildlife conservation.
The campsite has modern toilets, showers, laundry facilities and firepits. Many pitches have electric hook-ups.
Children love playing in the pirate-themed play area and collecting eggs from the roaming hens. Brook Meadow was founded by Jasper and Mary Hart and is run by their daughter, Claire, an architect and interior designer who masterminded the lodge interiors from botanical wallpapers to the bird in flight-like light fittings.
“I believe being next to water has a great impact on health and wellbeing, strengthening the connection to the natural world and one another,” says Claire. “The interiors of our lakeside retreats bring the outside in through design, with botanical references wherever you look, to enhance the very real benefits of holidaying next to water.”
Relax with nature in one of the prettiest parts of Wales at Cefn Crib glamping and caravan site, a picturesque sheltered haven overlooking the Dyfi Valley and Estuary, the mountains of south Snowdonia and grazing cows, sheep and horses.
The spot is roughly four miles from Cardigan Bay, famous for dolphins and long, lovely beaches. It is within the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere recognised for natural beauty, diverse wildlife, clean water and dark skies.
Four spacious bell tents provide cosy glamping for couples and families, each with a double bed and double futon, stacks of blankets and cushions, rugs, lanterns and a kitchenette with gas camping stove, pots and pans. One has electricity, running a heater and fridge. Each tent has decking and a firepit perfectly placed for keeping warm while you watch the sun go down.
Nearby is a flush toilet and a short walk away a heated shower block with three family-sized cubicles.
The site is run by Sian and John Breese with their grown up children Megan, Ieuan and Gwenllian.
“It’s a very pretty spot,” says Sian. “The Coastal Path is right by our entrance and we are only four miles from the little fishing village of Aberdovey. Our local town, Machynlleth has excellent shops, bars and restaurants and there are many attractions within easy reach.”
Wildernest is wildlife-rich haven of peace in the coastal hills above Cardiganshire’s picturesque Aeron Valley. Formerly run as an ashram for people on spiritual retreat, it now offers unique, comfortable and quirky accommodation to self-catering holidaymakers who relish being close to nature.
Ancient farm buildings have been converted to delightful accommodation by their owners, architect Hugh Crawford and his wife, Jude. There are two snug cottages, one for two people, the other for four. Nearby, The Stoep has an all-purpose living space, a shower room and a South African-style veranda. There is also a 1964 American Airstream Overlander, refurbished with modern features including a wetroom shower, flushing toilet and wood-burner.
The 16 acres of surrounding meadow, woodland, ponds and wetlands around Wildernest is being managed as a sustainable wildlife habitat and attracts a host of regular visitors including voles, mice, owls, bats and numerous bird species from woodpeckers to red kites. Thousands of starlings meet there in winter.
If guests wish, their hosts can ensure there are sumptuous supplies of locally produced breakfast and dinner ingredients waiting for when they arrive.
“We are inland about six miles from Aberaeron,” says Jude. “All the beaches and coves along this coast are beautiful and unspoiled. You can see dolphins, go out on boats and perhaps visit the family seaside resort of New Quay.”
Bradley Hall Rural Escapes is an adults only site offering the chance to relish upmarket glamping and caravanning in quiet, unspoilt countryside on the border of England and Wales.
Bradley Hall is a 106 acre farm in South Cheshire, within a half hour’s drive of Shrewsbury, Chester & Llangollen. It is one mile from the Sandstone Trail and near Cheshire Cycleways with lots of nature reserves and local walks.
Owners Anthony & Jane keep a herd of Hereford suckler cows and use some of their picturesque land to provide four luxurious en suite glamping pods. There is also a Certified Location caravan site open April to October. with a dedicated shower and toilet.
The glamping pods are fully equipped and designed for year-round cosiness. Their high quality amenities include underfloor or wall mounted heating, kitchenettes, double beds and sofa beds with bedding and towels provided and bathrooms with shower, sink and toilet. They have TV, Wi-Fi, patios, outdoor furniture and barbecues. A communal area will be ready from spring for people who like to socialise with their neighbours.
Anthony & Jane even provide welcome packs of bread, butter, milk, a sweet treat and essentials to ensure a stress-free start to your break.
“This is a very peaceful site,” says Jane. “We want our guests to feel relaxed and refreshed.”