What better way to spend a weekend celebrating 10 years of marriage than a spot of glamping in the countryside; a Shepherd’s Hut to be exact – in a private field next to a river where sheep were once washed in times gone by… This was to be the location of our celebratory weekend away for a dose of peace, tranquility and a bottle or two of quality fizz.
As seasoned campers, myself and Mr Welly would normally favour damp groundsheets and muddy boots over the modern, middle-class affair known as glamping. However, not only was our chosen getaway style perfectly Sunday-Times- original but as it happened, also turned out to be one of the most sensible treats I have arranged in a long time. Why you ask? Durrrh, because it was summer that’s why. Cumbrian summer. The heavens opened just as we left Kendal on Friday night and the downpour did not cease until our departure Sunday morning. Now, many of you reading this might think that we were bonkers for not choosing a run-of-the-mill hotel on such a wet washout of a weekend. I beg to differ.
No breakfast time constraints with the usual rush to look vaguely presentable in front of other beady-eyed guests whilst chatting to one’s partner in hushed tones resonant of an uncomfortable funeral wake… Down in the Hut, not only were we cosied up in warm, bucolic bliss as the rain hammered down on the sturdy roof but with several bottles of fizz, white wine and cheese (must always remember the cheese when staying anywhere self-catered) we had a veritable hamper of treats that even three men on a boat would have revered.
Hilary Thompson, owner of the Hut in the Sheep Wash has truly created an idyllic setting for those who want to escape the madding crowd and hunker down in cosy privacy. A tranquil location within its own private riverside field, the Hut is surrounded by woods and farmland and couldn’t get more romatic even if it tried. There’s no Wi Fi and no TV, just the sound of the river and in our case, the torrential downpour 🙂
It is more than glamping if such a thing exists. Most teepees and camping pods don’t offer a self-contained bathroom complete with compost loo, shower and sink. The Hut is connected to mains water but not mains electricity. Solar panels on the roof provide lights and sockets for charging phones and laptops (if you must). It all feels smugly enviro-friendly. The kitchen is equipped with a dual gas burner and grill, sink and cool box. Pans, utensils and crockery are all provided for in the cupboards below.
Hilary has thoughtfully added homely provisions of tea and coffee with home-made biscuits and a selection of cereals and free-range eggs for breakfast. The decor is divine with wooden hearts and country red splashes of colour. Kilner jars and chequered ribbons add to the wholesome feel with quaint pictures of farms scenes gone by decorating the walls.
The Hut is small but perfectly furnished and its cute little touches made our weekend just perfect. We shall be back.. and hopefully next time with sunshine.
Great for: Couples seeking peace and quiet away from it all. Accustomed campers will appreciate the luxurious step-up as bedding, towels and basic breakfast provisions provided as well as a water-proof roof!
Not for: Parties or large groups although Hilary does welcome kids and offers a small pitch for a tent. The proximity to the river however does make is unsuitable for small children unless you have eyes in the back of your heads…
Cost: Glamping standard at £75 per night (minimum 2 night stay / 3 nights over bank holidays). £10 for an additional small tent per night. Pay for 6 nights if booking 7.
Contact: Hilary Thompson, Ben Cragg Farm, Newland, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 7PZ Telephone: 01229 582035 Mobile: 07796 682548 www.hutinthestheepwash.co.uk