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Shepherds huts in the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean

Posted: Thu, 11th May 2023
Shepherds Huts in the Cotswolds

Today, newly built and refurbished shepherds huts provide the perfect romantic, countryside sanctuary for couples wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. These tiny homes are both adorable and practical, and a thoughtfully designed shepherd’s hut will ensure your stress melts away as soon as you cross the threshold. A shepherd’s hut will have a comfy double bed, fully equipped kitchenette, en-suite shower room (no traipsing out in the night!), plenty of storage, sometimes a log burner and increasingly more often – a hot tub.

We have three delightful shepherds huts in our portfolio. Outbak Shepherds Hut is a beautifully appointed hut with a hot tub in Hailes, close to Winchcombe and Hailes Abbey. Bertha and Betty are a pair of gorgeously rustic, dog-friendly huts, but with all the creature comforts you need including a fire pit/barbecue in the peaceful Forest of Dean.

Outbak Shepherds Hut

Outbak Shepherds Hut is a beautifully constructed retreat with a fabulous view of the hills beyond, which guests can enjoy while sitting on the deck or in its private wood-fired hot tub.

Inside, to one end of this charming shepherd’s hut, there is a king-size bed with plenty of storage space, a living area with two easy chairs, and a dining area with a table and two chairs. The streamlined kitchenette comes next and is equipped with a hob, microwave, fridge freezer, Belfast sink, toaster, kettle and much more. At the far end is a sleek and spacious shower room with a rainfall shower, toilet and oval hand basin with storage beneath. Outbak has central heating too, so even in the coldest of weather, you’ll stay warm and toasty inside.

The Cotswold Way footpath is less than half a mile away, and guests can often see the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway puffing gently by, as they relax in the hot tub. It’s also the perfect spot for exploring the medieval town of Winchcombe and Sudeley Castle, and the pretty Cotswold village of Broadway, which are both close by.

Bertha Shepherd’s Hut

Bertha is a wonderfully romantic bolthole retreat, surrounded by woodland with a lake at the foot of the hill and walking routes from the door. This is a place of peace and tranquillity, and you can’t help but relax from the moment you arrive. Wooden steps lead up to the deck and from here there is nothing to see before you but trees. Watch the sunsets, gaze at the stars and spot the local wildlife. Inside the hut is full of character with a raised king-size bed, kitchenette, dining area and a wood burner in the corner.

The beautiful setting of this shepherd’s hut is its calling card, and you are sure to fall in love with this part of the country. You can choose to explore the local surroundings or travel further afield into the Wye Valley with its many picturesque villages, viewpoints and landmarks. For adventurers, there are water sports to try, as well as cycling and walking in the Forest of Dean.

If you are two couples travelling together, then why not book Bertha and Lillian together for a perfect weekend away?

Betty Shepherd’s Hut

Tucked away in a rural location in the Forest of Dean, on the Lydney Park Estate, this charming shepherd’s hut is a romantic retreat with spectacular views across to a lake and woodland. The delightfully rustic interior has a wooden floor, exposed wooden beams in the roof and purpose-built units which perfectly fit your forest setting. The main living area combines a raised king-size bed with a dining area, kitchenette and a compact wood burner. At the rear of the shepherd’s hut is a shower room hidden behind a sliding wooden door.

Outside you can watch the sunrise from the decking and enjoy long walks in the local area. There is also a firepit/barbecue. Follow the routes from your door around the nearby lake or head into the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley to discover everything that is on offer here. From finding hidden viewpoints, water sports, forest trails and cycling there is something for everybody to enjoy. If you’d prefer something more relaxing, there are also some fantastic pubs and restaurants to treat yourself to a meal out.

Both Bertha and Betty welcome one well-behaved dog.

Common shepherd’s hut questions

Q. Where did shepherds huts originate from?

A: Shepherds huts are thought to have been around since the late 1500s, probably far longer than most people would think. They were originally designed for shepherds to take shelter from the changeable weather and to rest overnight during the lambing season. Inside there would have been a bed, a sitting area, a basic stove and storage cupboards to keep essentials and medicines for the flock. The bed was usually raised, providing a warm space underneath for sick or orphaned lambs. A shepherd’s hut was always, and still is, on wheels so that the shepherd could move the hut around according to his flock’s grazing pattern. Gradually over the 20th and 21st centuries, as farms increased in size and landowners built large barns for their sheep, shepherds didn’t need to sleep out with their flocks and their lovely huts fell into disuse. Some were pushed into corners and used for storage, others were left to crumble, but a lucky few were tucked away for future use and inspiration.

Q. Why have shepherds huts become so popular?

A: Over the last couple of years, there has been a surge in interest and demand for tiny homes, with shepherds huts being the perfect example of one such miniature abode. What’s fuelled this surge? On one hand, it’s probably due to the desire to have a lower carbon footprint and reduce home running costs for those that aspire to live permanently in a small space, but it’s also because many people have discovered they make great workspaces, playrooms and extra bedrooms. Featuring on just about every home renovation programme, including George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, will undoubtedly have helped propel them into our souls.

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