Location: Oxted Price: from £114 – £125 per night
Accommodates: 2 People | dog friendly
I booked this country retreat back in October of last year after looking into an alternative option to camping, whilst still being able to embrace the tranquility and calm of nature. It ticked every box I was looking for. Situated in rural Oxted you are surrounded by clean air and countryside. Staying in one of only two huts means you have privacy and quiet for the duration of your stay however long or short it might be.
As we booked specifically for Valentines Day we stayed for just one night. However I have no doubts we will be visiting again in the future.
This beautifully created space delivered on all fronts, not just on physical aspects but on service and hospitality. I could not have asked for a better host. Good service goes such a long way, and this visit will remain high on my list. The wood burner was lite for our arrival creating a cosy atmosphere as soon as you step in.
If you request, and the weather permits, an outside fire pit can also be prepared. Perfect for toasting marshmallows. These innovative huts are self contained so if you don’t want to, there’s no need to leave! ever! until the sad moment of your departure. However you are surrounded by places and spaces to explore, which is all in the welcome book if you need someone to point you in the right direction. Literally or figuratively. Your kitchenette comes stocked with a breakfast basket for the next morning, which means you can get cosy and set up for the night without the worry of hunger in the morning.
You are provided with fresh bread (which you can toast.. in the toaster), pastries, jams, eggs, granola, fresh orange juice, milk and butter. All your cooking utensils are provided even down to your french press, tea and coffee. Your counter surface also doubles up as your sink and you have a nifty electric hob to cook some quick and easy meals. Corned beef and potatoes maybe?
Your seating/dining area doubles up as your bed. Within 30 seconds a drop of the table and pull of a leather cord and your double bed descends. It can just as easily fold back up. As it was described, space is a premium in your hut so every inch has a function. Your seating area is also storage. Your back wall is your bed (stored when not in use), and your kitchen basin is also your counter top.
You have a number of lighting options, interior and exterior lights and a good variety of candles. You guys know how much I like my candles. But most important, and exciting, are the fairy lights that come on just before dark. Leading all the way around your space and to the entrance area – also were your extra fire wood is kept. Once darkness hits the place lights up and becomes magical. The warmth of the fire with the glow of the lights really sets the mood. To top it all off you can choose to compliment the vibe with music of your choice from the Roberts revival DAB FM radio. Jazz FM always goes down a treat in my opinion.
It doesn’t take long for the hut to heat up, so if you are travelling in the colder months, like myself, fear not. The wood burner really looked after us. Just be sure to top up the wood when needed. Saying that, if you visit in the summer months you can enjoy the views, which include a cheeky horse called spirit and the french doors which open up invitingly.
Not only do you have the wood burner, should you come back from a walk in urgent need of heat you can use the snazzy shower in the bathroom. It’s separately heated with its own radiator, also where the towels are hung keeping them toasty. However if needed, there is also a mini heater you can plug-in to give you a quick blast of warmth. Stored in the cupboard next to the bathroom.
Although your fire will probably burn into the night once you turn in for bed, the duvet and some thick bed socks will keep you comfortable through the night. You can use the kindling and fuel blocks to light a new fire in the morning, if you are staying on. If you are unsure how, someone can help you with this.
All in all I completely loved my short stay at the North Downs Shepherd Hut. Everything about the stay was first class. It’s so important to get away from the bustle of the city and just immerse yourself into peace and calm, and for me this was the perfect place to do it. Special thanks to Sheila for the amazing hospitality.
If you guys know any similar stays to this I’d love to see