As a fan of the great outdoors, but one who favours a warm, dry bed, I have been increasingly attracted by the romance of staying in a shepherd’s hut and had been searching for the perfect one to stay in for a long weekend. I got a bit obsessed, in fact, and ended up pouring over the websites of nearly every hut in the South of England, looking at all the different options and getting totally carried away with my quest to find the perfect one. Often they are grouped together in camp sites with communal washing and eating areas, but when I found this little hut the thing that attracted me most was the location. Set in a private wildflower meadow with a lake, the hut was based entirely on its own in splendid isolation and the nearest neighbours were the ducks, insects and otters (yes, otters!) already resident in the meadow.
When we arrived we found the hut tucked away in the middle of the meadow with little mown paths guiding us from the hut to the lake to the shower block, to the pump house and back again. And if that wasn’t idyllic enough, the hut itself was picture perfect. Think country cottage style, in miniature. Inside this tiny wooden home the owners have managed to squeeze in a cosy double bed, neat little table and chairs, a wood burning stove, a little indoor sink, book shelves, pictures on the walls and all manner of clever storage solutions. As you may know, I have a peg-rail obsession, and the clever use of peg rails and hooks everywhere inside the hut just won me over. They even had storage boxes hanging from the ceiling!
Outside the front door was a decked area with a wonderful view over the lake (for otter watching) and I fell in love with the perfectly appointed little camping kitchen next to the hut – it had an oven, gas hob, cool-box fridge, ceramic butler sink and a vase of freshly picked flowers. I think that’s the definition of glamping. But, if that wasn’t enough, a BBQ and fire brazier were within easy reach for alfresco dining and marshmallow toasting and we even found a hammock ready to drape between two trees for lazing away the sunny afternoons. The owners had literally thought of everything.
In fact it was all so lovely and relaxing that we could have happily stayed there for the two days and I did idly dream of giving up the rat race, selling all my possessions and buying a hut to live in for the rest of my days. But, day-dreaming aside, we did manage to rouse ourselves on the second day and and borrowed the two bikes available to guests (another great idea) and cycled into the nearest village for a cup of tea and a wander around the shops and markets before lazily heading back. There was a lot of lazing.
The owners, Charlie and Jeremy, live nearby in Rose Cottage (yes, it’s as idyllic as it sounds) and were the perfect hosts. They greeted us on arrival, ensured the hut was stocked up with fresh supplies of towels and little posies of wild flowers, and the kitchen was stocked with bread, milk and tea. Then after showing us how everything worked they left us to enjoy the wonderful peace and quiet of the meadow with reassurances that they were nearby if we needed anything.
The entire experience was so wonderfully relaxing, restorative and authentic that I was in two minds as to whether I should even share the location, as a selfish part of me wants to keep it a secret. But my conscience won out and if you fancy staying here, all the information can be found on their website Borleymere Shepherd Huts.
*Note* I was not a guest of Borleymere Shepherds Huts and this is not a sponsored post
All photos: Victoria Harrison