It’s safe to say that 2013 ended with a bang! Less than 12 months after our official launch we’ve had the absolute pleasure of delivering two gorgeous Shepherds Huts to two separate celebrity customers, both to be placed in good time for Christmas!
Our first delivery took us to Kent to the home and meadow of comedian and author Andrew Clover who chose our Shepherds Hut as his personal writing space- A 13ft Hideaway style hut complete with a bespoke fitted bookshelf, folding desk, double bed and a wood burning stove.
He’s the handsome one on the right, not the pudgy, bedraggled one on the left!
Our second delivery resulted from a call about a week ago with an urgent call for any Shepherds hut we had in stock, so long as it arrive by Christmas- The callers client was very clear on this! Luckily, we like to keep one about and in this case it was our darling Mama Cass, the very first Shepherds hut we’d made! Although we were very sad to see her go, we were absolutely ecstatic to discover that the client was none other than Liz Hurley!
This Shepherds Hut is now a playroom and hangout for her young son- Not bad eh?
So that completes the first chapter of The English Shepherds Hut Company- in a year we launched ourselves, began building a fleet and created spaces for a range of incredible customers and have met and worked with dozens of extraordinary individuals and groups among the way- long may it continue. In 2014, we are building ten more Shepherds Huts to provide to camp sites across the UK so if you’d like you’re own hut, book early so we can fit it into our busy schedule!
We’re putting together this delightful writing hut for acclaimed author Andrew Clover, writer of Dad Rules and Dirty Angels. We received the enquiry out of the blue and he really is a charming fellow (His emails read much like his books). We often design our huts based on the specifications from the customer, so having a specification written by Mr Clover made the whole design process feel incredibly Mary-Poppins-esque!
It’s based on The Hideaway, our classic Shepherds Hut design, with a double bed, oak floors, a wood burning stove, extensive book shelf and of course, a writing desk!
We will keep a running commentary going on this one and have more pictures of the finished hut up soon- If you’ve got your own design in mind and would like us to bring it to life then feel free to call us any time.
We are excited to start working with Love Glamping, the online glamping directory which covers boutique camping holidays worldwide. Our friends at Whitlingham Broad Campsite (www.whitlinghambroadcampsite.co.uk), is the latest addition to their site, standing out due to their unique offering of the best of both worlds between a quiet and relaxing countryside glamping and a city break.
Love Glamping, which is sister to UK Travel Boutiquehttp://www.uktravelboutique.com/ which specializes in a wide range of luxury holidays, from glamping to B&B’s to boutique hotels, focuses on those hard to find outdoor secrets, selecting only the best locations.
We are also in partnership with Love Glamping in our “Glampaign”- our mission to get our Shepherds huts out to prime campsites in East Anglia at no cost to the camp site owner! Any sites who host our Shepherds hut from now until April 2014 will receive a 20% discounted introductory offer on their first years listing!
Turns out that it’s not a “Bunky”, it’s a “Bunkee”! But what’s in a name?
The proud new owner of this hut was absolutely ecstatic at the final result of his new Shepherds Hut. Even more so after having the delivery postponed due to some particularly foul weather. However, as soon as it was clear and relatively dry we were straight back on the job!
An additional hurdle to jump was that, although we’d gotten permission to access the clients garden via an adjacent field so that we could deliver the hut, the farmer had gone ahead and ploughed it two days before! This made it practically impossible to get our loading transport in position without the risk of miring a 14 tonne lorry in a muddy field!
Fortunately, with the use of lifting strops and a telescopic fork lift courtesy of Mrs Temples Cheeses, producer of the renowned “Binham Blue”, we were able to take the hut off road and experienced the most intense touch-down since the Apollo landings.
Now there are only a couple of minor finishing touches- The solar panels simply need to be hooked up and the steps cut to fit the angle of the ground! Out of all our Shepherds Huts, this one was definitely the most inventive, eco friendly and fun one we’ve built so far and the customer, Ian, who led the design with his clear brief which was a perfect balance of imagination and practicality.
If you’d like to buy a Shepherds Hut but want it to be made exactly to your own design, The English Shepherds Hut Company are on your side!
This month we started construction on a brand new hut for a client’s garden- named by the client as his “Bunkee”! We probably say it too often, but we offer a bespoke build- built exactly to the specifications of the customer. We relish the customers’ ideas and use their own influences and lifestyle to create them something unique.
That’s why we leapt at the opportunity to start this one. Our customer got in touch after seeing our Boutique Glamper at Top Farm and wanted something similar- and different! This was to be a guest room and a crafts and writing den. As it was to be positioned quite a long way from mains electricity, we needed to provide some way of powering a laptop, a phone charger and even a sewing machine.
Always one to rise to a challenge and embrace clean energy solutions, we have sourced a simple and surprisingly compact solar panel- flexible to fit discreetly with the curved roof, which will be more than sufficient to power these appliances. Not only this, but it can be upgraded and linked with several more for additional power. And if the hut is to be moved elsewhere with less sunlight, we have a simple 240V 16 amp socket which can be attached to the mains or a generator. The solar package also contains two long life batteries making it convenient and economical.
The insulation is made from snug and environmentally friendly sheep wool from Thermafleece Ecoroll which makes the Shepherds hut warm all year round- it even smelt a little bit sheepy! We are also fitting it with a classic wood burning stove and a beautiful natural larch finish giving the whole hut a rustic and welcoming feel.
Delivery has been postponed due to the wet weather- this one requires us to drive a hi-ab lifting truck through a field and lift it over a fence, so we’d rather play it safe… But it’s going to be worth the wait!
If you’d like us to design or custom build a shepherds hut to suit you call us now on 01603 397777.
At the English Shepherds Hut Company, we love nothing more than a quirky, one-off, custom design. Our current range of products is not a catalogue, it’s more of a portfolio or even a scrap-book full of ideas that we can use to move forward!
That’s why when we receive an enquiry from someone who wants something unique, we leap at the opportunity. Normally our huts go up to 16ft in length, as that’s the largest size that our current trailer can carry- But that’s no reason to shy away from anything bigger.
This particular brief is for a hefty 19ft 8in long shepherds hut in a natural larch feather edge cladding with a pitched roof (We do those too!) with gorgeous cedar shingles. This is to have a full double bed on each side and plenty of room to relax in between- like a cosy communal bunkhouse. We’d part fabricate this in the workshop and assemble the rest on site. We can potentially build any sized hut on site if access is an issue!
Whether you want to buy a shepherds hut in one of our existing designs, or you’ve got a unique or novel concept which you’d like us to size up, we’re always happy to talk possibilities at The English Shepherds Hut Company.
Our latest offering, the Shepherds Trail, links three of our partner campsites with a beautiful, off the beaten track cycle trail leading all the way from North Norfolk to Whitlingham Broad, with each leg of the journey ending with a relaxing sleep in a luxury Shepherds Hut.
Along the way, of course, are plenty of sights to see and places to eat, drink and rest, such as the Checkers Inn in Binham, the Hunworth Hunny Bell and The Pigs in Edgefield. The first trail leads from Deepdale Backpackers and Camping in North Norfolk to Top Farm Camping, near Aylsham and the second trail spans Marriotts Way from Aylsham right up to Whitlingham Broad Campsite.
The first thing to do was map the trail and also test it out on somebody who is not in peak physical condition. Enter Chief Combobulator Wong, who’s favourite activities include scotch eggs, sitting down and sitting down with one leg slightly crossed over the other, in order to rest that particular leg more than the other one. He would be accompanied by equally sedentary girlfriend Rachel, who had not ridden a bike in over 8 years.
This 35 mile trek passed through a number of attractive locations, from market towns to quaint villages (Including Lord Horatio Nelson’s own local pub), from big Norfolk skies to winding country lanes dappled with sunlight from the huge leafy canopies above. For an ex-smoker with the physical constitution of a diabetic fairy, it was actually a very doable ride- Some challenging uphill bits but mostly easy downhill stretches where you can shout “wheeeeee” and stick your bum up in the air to go faster.
With about two hours or so of dawdling in between, including a visit to the Priory Ruins at Binham, followed by a pint at the Checkers Inn, lunch and a beer at the Hunworth Hunny Bell and a general chill out under a big oak tree near Stody, the journey took us about six and a half hours. I may have had to sit on one of those doughnut shaped cushions for pregnant ladies the next day, but could have quite easily done the second part of the trail without even whinging! (Note- Cycling shorts with a build in cushion and a gel seat cover are a fantastic investment)
However to keep things fair, trialling the second leg of the journey was the founder and director Craig (A plump middle age man with liquid stilton coursing through his arteries) with his two young children (who have short legs, because they are children) aged 8 and ten. This beautiful off road trail, Marriott’s Way follows the path of an abandoned railway and tells the story along the way with a number of trail markers, monuments and quirky artworks forged from the remainders of the track.
This 26 mile trail runs between Aylsham and Norwich, looping through some fantastic traffic-free stretches. Although off-road, the ground is mostly flat and hard making it easy going for most.
Attracting a number of hikers, ramblers and cyclers of all ages throughout, this is a more sociable trail and passes straight through the Norwich- a perfect opportunity to lock the bikes and explore the fine city! However, after pushing on, they made the journey in 6 hours, arriving at a cosy shepherds hut in Whitlingham Broad.
The Shepherds Trail is now available for bookings and starts at £60 a night per person. We also include a trail map, deal with all the bookings, transfer your kit to your destination and provide an SOS service- Just for peace of mind. To book, call us on 01603 397777.
Today we’re ecstatic to be at the Royal Norfolk Show (Avenue 6 Plot 173, just so you know!). As a keen advocate of grand gestures, we’ve picked up a slice of Whitlingham Broad and dropped it onto our pitch on the Royal Norfolk Showground!
Well, not quite but we’re sharing our pitch with Whitlingham Broad Campsite, featuring Lola the Shepherds hut, a delightful bell tent provided by our friends at Soulpad and most importantly, Linda who runs the campsite! Here we’ve created a delightful “Chill-out” zone where visitors can enjoy glamping in convenient ten minute bursts and make a booking for a great holiday in one of our Shepherds huts.
But that’s not the only one of our Shepherds huts you can see at the show. Why not swing by the horse rings and see our very own Little Nancy in pride of place as the Events Office, housing Sonia Bell the Event Organiser and team. Feel free to swing by and have a look!
We’re also please to meet our neighbours Phil from Mode Living makers of rattan furniture and nearby Tom from Firepits UK.
It’s rare we meet someone who so completely shares our ethos for creating a calm and inspiring space. Enter SoulPad, a Norfolk based provider of luxury Bell Tents and campfire accessories. With their motto “stylish cotton tipis and bell tents that are kind to your soul”, these are some seriously cool people to work with!
We got in touch with them just days before the Royal Norfolk Show as our plan to co-exhibit with Linda from Whitlingham Broad Campsite were almost scarpered by the fact that the stylish bell tents at Whitlingham Broad, provided by SoulPad , which was going to be paired with our Shepherds hut on our display, were simply too big for the size of our pitch.
Luckily, SoulPad stock a handy 3 metre bell tent in both a traditional canvas and anultra-lite polycotton version which they kindly lent us and thus saved the day! How many times has your bell tent provider saved the day?!
They also found the time to leap to the rescue despite being in the middle of providing over 50 bell tents for VIP accommodation at The Glastonbury Festival. Enough said!
We’re going to be exhibiting from their bell tent again at the Holkham Hall Country Fair on the 17th-18th July (Our show-hut Little Nancy has now found a home at The Hollies Kessingland- Booking info soon!). Swing by and feel the quality for yourself.
Finally, SoulPad are sponsoring the Home Festival in Mundford on Saturday 17th August, which is raising money for St Martins Housing Trust! Incidentally, our own Chief Combobulator will be making a musical appearance on the same day…
I’d like to take a moment to mention a great little restaurant that we had the pleasure of working with at our Campfire Supper. They set the evening off to a flying start by greeting our guests with delicious canapés. I even caught a group of guests in our kitchen area, licking the leftover hazelnut puree from one of their whisks and mixing bowls! Bearing in mind these guests were in their forties, it speaks volumes about good food when it can turn respectable adults back into naughty children!
So when the dreaded day came where my girlfriend and I had to introduce our parents, what better way to break the ice than round a table at The Madder Market Kitchen? Based in the middle of Norwich, opposite St Andrews Car Park, round the corner from Pottergate and The Rumsey Wells pub, this quiet and quirky venue is both central, yet reserved. Stepping into its quaintly decorated reception with its slightly slanty wooden floors and cosy, yet bright interior, this restaurant clearly has a unique charm but in no way feels pretentious or overbearing.
With a warm and friendly greeting from our waitress, we were led into the dining area which was intimate and offered plenty of privacy. The food was excellent, freshly prepared, well cooked and expertly presented. More surprising still was the value; three courses cost just less than £25, when many restaurants could have charged that much for the main course alone! The pan fried hake is a definite winner as well.
Despite having been established for mere months, this place is already set to become one of the best places to eat in Norwich with people queuing down the street. Book your table now by calling 01603 460558!!!
Chief Combobulator Wong. While the rest of the team gallivant and build Shepherds Huts, I sit here and combobulate.