We were lucky enough to be treated to some fresh Somerset sunshine last month when we paid a visit to Len, one of the two Tor View Shepherd’s Huts situated on Thrupe Marsh Farm near Wells.
We’d had a nice smooth journey from the wilds of Essex, the latter part of which took us past Stonehenge which, however many times I’ve seen it, still captivates me.
On through the rolling countryside, we eventually reached our destination and friendly owner Phil was there to greet us.
In case you haven’t guessed already, this wonderfully rural retreat perched on the Mendip Hills enjoys distant views of the legendary Glastonbury Tor, which Phil pointed out to us as we made our way down the pathway to Len (named after Phil’s grandfather, the original owner of the farm).
The gently sloping field in which the huts are situated allows for some truly glorious views, and to make the most of this Len’s bespoke hot tub is perfectly positioned, along with a firepit area, day bed, patio table and chairs and BBQ to allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the great outdoors.
Phil talked us through how to use the handcrafted wood-fired tub which, like most good things, takes a little bit of time to get going but is well worth the effort – more about that later though!
After our introduction to lovely Len, Phil left us to explore our little hideaway and to settle in for the evening.
Len sleeps 2 guests but is also roomy enough to accommodate a small child, which was handy as we happened to have one of those with us (our little boy who is almost 1 year old).
This was our first ever experience of a shepherd’s hut, and we were surprised at the amount of character, detail and charm Phil had managed to fit into the space, not to mention how well equipped it was.
There were all sorts of interesting objects lining the walls, from old family photos of the farm to vintage nick-nacks and ornaments, carefully chosen to fit the rural theme. Tor View’s tagline, ‘Inspired by the past, living in the present’ is perfectly apt!
The bed looked incredibly inviting, and the storage space underneath was really useful (plus there was a little portable record player under there too, perfect for us vinyl fans…)
The little kitchenette area had everything we could need, all in miniature – and there was a wood burning stove which we are sure would have kept the hut wonderfully cosy in chillier months – but we had no cause to use it during our stay as we were treated to some glorious sunny weather.
Len also has welcome touches of glamping luxury, such as full mains electricity, a TV and DVD player, Bluetooth speaker, dimmable lights and WiFi (which came in very handy when we needed to watch the latest instalment of Game of Thrones).
The addition of an ensuite shower and flushing toilet meant that this little hut had all the mod cons of a posh hotel room, but still managed to maintain the rustic rural charm of a shepherd’s hut at the same time.
After having explored and unpacked, we knocked up a little supper on the hob and sat outside to enjoy the last of the sunshine. Once we’d managed to get the little one to sleep, I took my chance to sneak outside and try out that fantastic hot tub.
If you’ve never tried a wood-fired hot tub, you’re in for a treat when you do! No noisy bubbling jets means you get to just sit back, relax and soak up the sights and sounds fully. The evening birdsong and gently fading sunlight coupled with the view of Glastonbury Tor made for a magical, mesmerising experience – all the better from the vantage point of a 38 °C outdoor bathtub!
There’s no better sleep than post hot-tub sleep, and Len’s double bed was very roomy and so comfortable that it didn’t take us long to drift off that evening beneath the dark, unpolluted skies and in such peaceful surroundings, so we awoke the next morning feeling refreshed and raring to go.
After an al fresco breakfast and some fun and games with the little one on the picnic rug, we headed off to visit the town of Cheddar, so named after the cheese it has been producing since the 12th century and is still stored in the caves here to mature.
Cheddar Gorge-ous! Cheddar town, Somerset
We drove in via the beautiful Cheddar Gorge and parked at the top of the little town to walk down and explore, walking alongside the river and popping in and out of the little gift shops along the way. We stopped for a delicious lunch at Slice of Heaven (falafel burger highly recommended and a bargain price too!) and then made our way to the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company for some cheese tasting. Needless to say, we left with some tasty purchases that got polished off before our 2 night break was up!
Delicious lunch at Slice of Heaven
After our cheesy expedition we decided to head to Glastonbury for a look around the town and shops – alongside the new age shops we found some great little vintage and retro places, and a lovely little toy shop. Then it was time to head back to our lovely little refuge to spend the evening relaxing, eating cheese, listening to the birds and pretending we didn’t have to go home the next day.
Our little shepherd’s hut glamping adventure may have been over, but we felt the positive effects would last far longer. The lovely Len had captivated us, cared for us and left us feeling utterly relaxed and contented…. who needs a spa day when you can have a shepherd’s hut and a woodfired hot tub to soothe away the stresses of modern life!
Find out more about the gloriously rural Tor View Shepherd’s Huts or to book a stay here.