Hut at the Lodge, Essex

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An especially gorgeous shepherd's hut with outdoor bath and a wild-swimming pond (sleeps 2)

1 Bedroom

1 Bathroom

Dog friendly

Parking

Private garden

Walk to a pub

Woodburner

Space & setting.

*Brand new*

A bone-white tree trunk ossified by lightning makes for a striking centrepiece here, overlooking a stretch of Essex’s countryside-on-the-coast. More specifically, it stands sentinel over this beautiful, bespoke hut, built on the land the owner was raised on. He and his partner designed and created the hut themselves, hand-sewing textiles, digging out the pond and sourcing preloved antiques from car boot sales and vintage fairs. Warm, reclaimed wood cladding gives way to a Yeabridge green bathroom, kitted out with natural toiletries, and the glass-fronted design frames the trajectory of the sun throughout the year.

Less than 1.5 hours from London on a direct train, it’s totally on-point for those who want a proper pause: the bed, with super-soft linens, has views over yellow rapeseed fields plus a shelf of paperbacks on foraging and rewilding. A glorious Swedish-style outdoor bath is heated by a log-burner – you’ll find yourself forgetting to check your phone and excitedly checking the temperature as it warms up, instead – and is soundtracked by the hum of crickets at nightfall. You can gather fruit and veg from the kitchen garden, and eggs in the breakfast basket are supplied by the rescue hens that rule the roost here.

Getting here: drive, or train to Thorpe le Soken direct from London then walk (20 mins) 

“Until 2018, we were both in the rat race, working in jobs that we didn’t particularly love. After taking time off to travel, we came back to live out here for a fresh start. Our house was once the 15thC Earl of London’s hunting lodge, which was rebuilt by Ollie’s dad in the ’70s. We started by creating the wild-swimming pond and an organic garden to try to be more self sufficient. This place offers everything that aligns with our values, and we hope others can benefit from it too, relaxing and recharging away from the hectic world we live in today.” Owners Ollie and Ffion

My Kip favourites

She loves
“Starting the day with a fresh dip in the pond. I love to float on my back and watch the trees swaying above.”

We love
Sinking into the log-fired outdoor bath and looking out for the barn owl that swoops across the skies at dusk.

You may not love
A cabin bed. A compost loo, albeit a fancy Swedish one. Some noise from machinery on the surrounding working farm.

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  • "We had a wonderful 2 night stay and felt more relaxed than we have for a long time. The views are amazing and the hut has been finished to a really high standard. Being someone who finds it extremely hard to switch off and not do anything, I could have stayed in bed with the view all day. However, we did manage to get ourselves out and about to explore. The sea is not far away so there are plenty of options for a swim and to explore. Knowing we were returning back to a warm shower made the cold all the more manageable! We enjoyed starting the day off slowly with breakfast looking out at the countryside and then finishing the day with a glass of red looking at the stars. We went to Dedham for a Sunday lunch based on a recommendation from Ffion and both agreed it was the best we have had."

    Rebecca, August 2021

Sustainability.

A compost toilet and an organic garden on-site where the owners compost all food waste.

Surrounds.

  • River Stour
    River Stour
  • Frinton Beach
    Frinton Beach
  • Thorpe le Soken, Essex
    Thorpe le Soken, Essex
  • Swim in the pond and drive to sandy St Osyth for paddle-boarding and kite-surfing (10 mins).
  • Walk to the village of Thorpe Le Soken, for a pint of local ale and homemade pizzas at the Rose & Crown or dinner at the Bell Inn Bistro, overlooking the village church.
  • We love Frinton Beach (declared the UK’s second best beach by The Times) for paddling, picnics on the promenade and postcard-perfect beach huts.
  • Rent a boat from Flatford Mill and row along the River Stour.
  • Ask Ffion and Ollie to book a private fireside candlelit sound healing at their house, with crystal singing bowls.

Specifics.

  • Shepherd’s hut secluded amidst 3 acres of private land
  • Open-plan interior warmed by a woodburner
  • Double cabin bed
  • Ensuite shower bathroom plus a log-fired bath outside
  • Bathrobes and toiletries provided
  • Well-equipped kitchen including mini fridge and gas hob; basic supplies
  • Outdoor seating and grill over firepit
  • In school summer holidays, a bell tent is added for up to 2 kids
  • Breakfast, brunch and meal platters on request
  • Cards, dominoes, books and binoculars
  • Wild-swimming pond
  • One dog on request – please send enquiry to discuss; extra cost
  • Walk to pubs, the train station and restaurants; drive to a farm shop and supermarket 
  • Phone reception but no WiFi
  • The owners live in the main house, available by phone if you need them
  • Booking conditions: a minimum 2-night stay
  • Remember to pack: wellies, beach towels and swimmers for the pond or sea, bikes if you can

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A 30% deposit, then balance taken 8 weeks prior to stay. Cancellations made before balance taken can be refunded in full. 

After this, cancellations made 6-8 weeks in advance will forfeit the 30% deposit (we will retain our percentage of this 30%). 

Cancellations made 4-6 weeks in advance will forfeit 50% of the total booking (we will retain our percentage of this 50%). 

Cancellations made within 4 weeks of arrival are fully non-refundable. 

Resells / date changes / further refund at owners’ discretion

To see our full terms and conditions relating to booking our hideaways please click here.

FAQs.

Set in three acres of rolling fields and wildflower meadows, this bespoke shepherd’s hut makes a wonderful rural retreat for couples looking for a relaxing break. You’ll also have access to a lovely private pond, where you can try out wild swimming if you’re feeling adventurous.

When it’s time to unwind, a luxurious double bed is waiting in a cosy nook at one end of the hut. A 3000-spring mattress with super soft bed linen will ensure a sound night’s sleep, and you can wake up to a great view out of the window opposite the bed.

The nearest village Thorpe Le Soken is within walking distance and has a good selection of traditional country pubs where you can grab a drink or a bite to eat.

If you’re travelling by car then the town of Colchester is within a 30-minute drive and has a vibrant town centre with plenty of shops, bars and eateries, as well as a famous Norman Castle and park. You’ll also be perfectly located for a trip to the seaside. Beaches at Frinton on Sea, Walton on the Naze, Clacton and Holland on Sea are all within a 15 minute drive.

And finally, the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is also nearby and offers some wonderful scenic walks and fabulous countryside to be exlpored.

Yes but with an additional £20 cleaning fee.

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