Watch red squirrels play in the trees, from lovingly-created havens set amongst three magical acres of ancient woodland in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
  • Sleeps: 2 per unit
  • Bedrooms: 1 per unit
  • Bathrooms: 1 per unit
  • Minimum stay: 2-3 nights

There’s a soothing sense of life slowing down, and the clock turning gently back, as you arrive at Thorney Mire Woodland Retreat.

Set within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the retreat comprises three mesmerising acres of ancient, wildlife-steeped woodland that still looks just as it might have done centuries ago.

In the midst of the woodland, where roe deer forage and red squirrels play in the whispering trees, are three enchanting havens. Complete with full self-contained facilities, each sleeps two guests in cosy comfort, promising to help you relax and unwind in the most natural way possible.

The luxurious, eco-friendly Shepherd’s Hut is perfect for daydreamers and creative spirits, with stirring views that lead across Widdale Beck to the fells beyond.

Huge windows mean you can sit back and watch daily visits to the bird and squirrel feeders, and there’s a beautiful outdoor deck with a barbecue and chimenea for sunset suppers and dark-sky stargazing.

The Cabin, meanwhile, has been lovingly hand-built with materials reclaimed from a Chester mill. Exquisitely designed, there’s a stargazing window above the downy kingsize bed, and not one but two romantic wood-burning stoves; inside and out on the covered, furnished decking (there’s toasty central heating inside, too).

Prefer something a little more traditional? Thorney Mire Cottage is a two-storey barn conversion that also welcomes two small, well-behaved dogs… so nobody has to stay behind at home.

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At a glance

  • Three cosy havens-for-two, peacefully secluded amongst three acres of ancient woodland in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, just outside Appersett.
  • Accommodation comprises a shepherd’s hut, a hand-built cabin, and a cottage converted from a barn, each with full self-contained facilities and ample outdoor space.
  • Thorney Mire Cottage also accepts two small, well-behaved dogs at no additional charge.
  • Sit back and watch birds and red squirrels visiting the feeders, or roe deer grazing in the woodland. There are plenty of footpaths to explore in the surrounding area.
  • The bustling market town of Hawes – famous for Wensleydale cheese-making! – is a 25-minute walk away.


  • Adults Only
  • Dog Friendly
  • Family Friendly


Shepherd’s Hut (2 guests): small bathroom with eco-toilet, shower and toiletries, washbasin, borehole-water, double bed with Egyptian cotton bedding, kitchen with kettle, toaster, fridge, microwave, crockery and cutlery, tea and coffee. Table and chairs, USB sockers and power, Wi-Fi available to hire on request, large window with views of bird and squirrel feeders. Decking with table and chairs, barbecue, chiminea.

Cabin (2 guests): bathroom with flushing toilet, rainfall shower and toiletries, washbasin, borehole-water, kingsize bed with cotton bedding and stargazing window above, wood-burning stove, central heating, kitchen with oven, hob, kettle, fridge/freezer, crockery and cutlery, tea and coffee. Table and chairs, USB sockers and power, large window with views of bird and squirrel feeders. Covered decking with wood-burning stove, table and chairs. Firepit.

Cottage (2 guests): Ground floor: wood-burning stove, Smart TV, Wi-Fi, double sofa bed, kitchen/diner with electric oven, induction hob, microwave, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, French doors to garden with furnished patio, barbecue and firepit. Wet room with shower, toilet, heated towel rail. First floor: kingsize bedroom, en-suite with bath and shower over, toilet, heated towel rail, underfloor heating in bathrooms and hallway. Travel cot and highchair, welcome pack. Private parking for 2 cars.

Local Activities

Walking, cycling, wildlife-watching, woodland trails, picnic spots, stargazing, shops, pubs, cheese-tasting, coffee shops, historic sites, watersports.

Accommodation Options

The Cabin - sleeps 2

  • Adults Only

Shepherd's Hut - sleeps 2

  • Adults Only

More information

A wonderfully homely space, there’s underfloor heating in the hallway and bathrooms, while a wood-burning stove is the perfect accompaniment to evenings spent snuggled in front of the Smart TV. On sunny days, simply head through French doors to the charming patio – perfect for morning coffee, lazy lunches, and freshly-mixed sundowners alike.

Whichever hideaway you choose, and whatever the time of year you arrive, there will be plenty of unique woodland delights in store. Here you can wander through sweet-scented spring flowers in May, rich-hued autumn leaves in October…

The woodland is a beautiful place to escape for a winter break, there’s nothing quite like lighting the stove on a frosty day, before cradling a steaming mug of hot chocolate! You’ll also find those cheeky red squirrels much easier to spot in the leafless trees.

If you’re in the mood for a stroll, there’s plenty of woodland footpaths to explore. You could also take a 25-minute walk into the market town of Hawes, where you’ll find plenty of ways to spend your time – from taking tea and visiting the Wensleydale Creamery (where you can taste delicious cheese and have your photo taken with Wallace and Gromit!) to holing yourselves up in a cosy country pub until sunset-time.

Things to note

Woodland paths are not lit at night, due to the National Parks’ Darker Skies policy. Torches are provided for guests staying at the Shepherd’s Hut and Cabin.

Where you'll be staying

Wensleydale, North Yorkshire

What the guests of Thorney Mire Woodland Retreat say

Hut: “Absolute gem of a find for a break away from it all loved our stay in the shepherds hut watching the wildlife and how close they get to the hut best TV ever red squirrels were amazing and various birds too wandering through the woods as well just magical definitely will be back Caroline and Archie were so welcoming and helpful Thanks for a great break away just what we needed.”

Cabin: “An amazing, beautiful, tranquil retreat to go and recharge from the hustle and bustle. The cabin is stunning, you feel at one with nature but the hosts have not skimped on luxuries or home comforts. Beautiful walks all around from the doorstep, incredible wildlife watching opportunities and the log cabin and veranda were just some of the highlights.”

Cottage: “Beautifully presented cottage in pretty and peaceful location. Perfect for exploring the Yorkshire Dales either by car or on foot. Very friendly and helpful owners. We had a lovely relaxing time and have already recommended Thorney Mire Cottage to friends.”

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