On our Multi Active Holidays, as well as staying in cosy, local country pubs, we stay in Shepherd Huts and Glamping accommodation. After an evening by the fire, gathering socially around a firepit to stare into the flames and chat under the stars, with a beer or glass of wine in had from our free beer and wine fridge, we retreat to sleep inside these beautifully curated spaces, half out, half in, and tucked away in the countryside, blending in with their natural surroundings.
The History of Shepherds’ Huts
Shepherd huts were originally conceived a few hundred years ago, as far back as the late 16th century, for use of shepherds needing to remain out in the fields at night to tend their flocks of sheep, particularly in lambing season. These huts, unlike today’s, were basic, often consisting of a bench to sleep on, perhaps padded with straw, and a wood burning stove for warmth. They were made from whatever was to hand on the farms, mostly wood and metal, to protect the shepherds from the elements.
As farming became more mechanised, and electric power reached even remote farms, the use of these huts began to dwindle in the 20th century, though their presence remained in the corners of farms, broken down and decaying.
Modern day huts are designed to make the most of the cosy space within, and can often contain bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, offices and have attachment showers or saunas! Their small size, at 12 foot long and six foot wide – having to be no more than a cart’s width so they could fit through the farm gates – has become an architectural challenge, showcasing the best design skills and use of space for comfortable living and eccentric accommodation.
These beautiful creations are a delight to stay in, and form a centre-piece of our basecamps, alongside other quirky buildings, huts and more. Guest stay in converted water towers, huts, cabins and more, relaxing in the evenings outdoors with a free beer and wine fridge, gathered around a slowly burning campfire, eating homecooked dinners and chatting together under the stars.
Some Shepherd’s Huts to look out for in the Cotswolds are:
- The Plankbridge Hut at Daylesford Organic Farm in Gloucestershire, with a professional kitchen inside to serve visitors
- The National Trust has commissioned several, and one roves on site at Box Hill in Surrey as a method of recruiting new members.
- A young owner of a Shepherd’s Hut is Prince George, given to him on his first birthday as a den to play in and now living in the royal garden at Highgrove, the Prince of Wales’ residence in Gloucestershire.
We also stay in ‘Glamping Pods’ and ‘Eco-Huts’ tucked away in sheltered fields, forest and overlooking the coast. These beautiful spaces are ingeniously built to provide you all the comforts of indoor ‘glamour’ and luxury, in a semi-outdoor space, surrounded by trees and nature.
Cotswolds Multi Activity Glamping Trips Only an hour from London, take a mini-break to escape the city and immerse yourself in a weekend of adventure. With fun-filled activity-packed days, paddle down the Thames, join our morning SUP sessions on the lake, walk, bike and hike with us through the countryside and spend your evenings relaxing by our fire.
Cornwall Multi Activity Glamping Trips: Start your holiday straight off the train, and after a relaxing afternoon cycling, finish your day with the sand between your toes and staring out to the sea. Explore the coast by coasteering, SUP, surfing, sea kayaking and more, alongside coastal wanderings and countryside cycling. In the evenings relax in your glamping and Eco-hut accommodation, listening to the waves break and gathered around our campfire. We promise you’ll return with a glow.