Who knows what international travel will look like this summer – so why not book a break in a charming shepherd’s hut instead?

They were all the rage from the 16th-century until the late 19th-century, when industrial-farming techniques began to render them obsolete. Most of us heard little about them again until David Cameron put one in his Oxfordshire garden in 2016. Then came the pandemic, homeworking and the need to create extra space.

Demand for bespoke shepherds huts is soaring. Richard Lee and his team at Plankbridge Shepherds Huts are at capacity. He told The Daily Mail: ‘During [the first lockdown], it felt like the demand for home offices and glamping had grown. We came back [from furlough] and we hit the ground running.

‘Half of what we are doing is people wanting more room for home offices or for an extra bedroom. Half is people setting up glamping sites or expanding existing sites. Many of these are people who have had the time [during the pandemic] to think and re-evaluate and decided to run a glamping business.’

Now, shepherds huts are being dolled up and wheeled out in fields, grand estates and chic hotels across the land. With their bucolic surroundings, divine décor and luxurious tweaks at every turn, these compact cabins offer everything required for a peaceful staycation. Here, we choose some of our favourites.

Main image: The Shepherds Hut Retreat

The Hut B&B


Piercebridge, North Yorkshire


These two huts are so special that it is best to visit them without dogs or children. We are talking European oak flooring, panelled walls, a full-size bathtub, fabrics to die for and wallpapered bathrooms. Home-baked treats are in situ on arrival and breakfast comes via hamper. Owners Jake and Mel Phipps have literally thought of everything. Book it here now.


The Shepherds Hut Retreat


Jurassic Coast, Somerset


This is a stunning group of five shepherd’s huts in south Somerset, not far from the world-famous Jurassic Coast. They are decorated to a staggeringly high standard but have nevertheless been built with the environment in mind, using locally sourced timber, water from the nearby spring and solar power. Some of them have outdoor kitchens and fire pits; others boast pizza ovens and gin bars. Camping shouldn’t be this much fun. Check it out here.


Hawthorn Retreat Shepherds Huts


Cumbria


You can only reach this riverside haven on foot. Secluded in the Cumbrian wilderness, these huts offer peace, calm and candlelight. There is no wi-fi or hairdryer – just birdsong and brilliant views. Designed by a talented architect to maximise space and comfort, you will want for nothing as you sink into the simple life provided here. Book it here.


The Shepherds Hut At Artist Residence


Oxfordshire


Instead of booking an ordinary room at this wonderfully quirky hotel, consider its Shepherds Hut instead. Hiding at the end of the garden, it is the cosiest bolthole. The built-in bed, rainfall shower and pretty garden area are just some of the delights that await. (Plus, you can take advantage of the hotel’s lovely pub-style restaurant when you are there.) Book a night here.


The Hut At Hawthbush Farm


East Sussex


We are letting you into a little secret here. Nestling in East Sussex, Hawthbush Farm is a lovely organic farm, offering holiday lets, glamping and a holistic skincare brand. When its shepherd’s huts are ready (which should be by late April), they will be available to stay in. They are not to be missed. Wood-clad walls, Molly Mahon fabrics and a peerless attention to detail will put a new spin on camping here. Be sure to check out the website to follow their progress. Book it here.


The Shepherd’s Hut At Crake Trees Manor


Yorkshire Dales


This cosy hut sits merrily in a private meadow in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. The owners produce a wonderful breakfast basket that has reviewers raving. You’ll need it as you spend the day walking the stunning area. Once you have explored to your heart’s content, it’s time to light the wood-fired hot tub. Hop in and while away the evening as you gaze at as starry a night sky as you have ever seen. Book it here.


The Huts At The Pig On The Beach Hotel


Dorset


These ones aren’t for glamping purists, attached as they are to an exquisite hotel, but it’s impossible not to have a splendid time here. Harry’s Hut and The Pig’s Hut are tucked away at the bottom of the hotel’s garden and have views of the ocean as well as an incredible sunrise over the rocks. Each shepherds hut is actually comprised of two rooms – one for the bedroom and one for the bathroom (which includes a freestanding bath). You won’t forget a holiday here in a hurry. Book it here.

By Becky Ladenburg
April 2021

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Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.

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