The Scrumpling, Somerset

2

Off-grid vintage hideaway tucked beneath trees in a Somerset woodland, close to Bruton and Frome (sleeps 1-2)

1 Bedroom

1 Bathroom

Child friendly

Eco conscious

Parking

Private garden

Walk to a pub

Space & setting.

*Brand new*

With 2 acres of woodland and meadow solely for the use of guests, your days at this vintage-luxe caravan are likely to involve nothing more arduous than taking a book out to the hammock, gently swaying above glades of bluebells and cow parsley, or lighting the outdoor woodburner at sunset and lying back to gaze sky-wards as the constellations unfold. The site once served as a grange for the abbots of Glastonbury Abbey and visitors are welcome to follow their lead, pepping up campfire dinners with produce plucked from help-yourself herb planters, veg beds and fruit trees.

More like a shepherd’s hut than a traditional caravan, The Scrumpling is light and spacious inside, with a kingsize bed at one end, a mossy-hued velvet sofa at the other and decor that reflects the woodland surroundings (the kitchen shed’s handles have been wrought from ancient twists of ivy foraged on site). While the caravan and kitchen shed are off-grid, the washroom is home to a proper flushing toilet and a shower lined with distressed Delft-inspired tiles. A calm and quirky base for exploring this orchard-peppered corner of the country, its location off an old Roman road means it’s also brilliantly placed for exploring the local area — walk in the Mendips, visit Frome’s indies and explore Bruton’s art and foodie scene.

Getting here: drive, or train to Frome and taxi (15 mins)

Rhiannon and Richard are travel writers who, after having been lucky enough to stay in some of the world’s loveliest cabins, treehouses and cottages, were inspired to open their own off-grid hideaway. They live next door in an old coaching inn, having moved to this gloriously offbeat little corner of Somerset with their 2 young boys in search of a more sustainable, outdoor life.

 

 

My Kip favourites

They love
“The immersion in nature – it’s great for forest-bathing and star-gazing.”

We love
The hand-embroidered cushion cover from Experience Ukraine, and the sheepskin rugs from a Glastonbury store.

You may not love
Some road noise during the day. Being off-grid means basic facilities, no WiFi and no electricity. The washroom is 40m from the caravan; lanterns are provided for night-time visits. Sorry, no pets.

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Sustainability.

“We believe deeply in the joys of green travel. Rather than build something new, we bought and restored a vintage caravan. The kitchen shed was built from salvaged wood and even the woodchip on the paths came from our felled ash trees. The caravan sits within a biodiverse-rich environment that includes a 350 year-old dewpond and a wide variety of mature trees, including oak, plum, apple and chestnut. We follow a pollinator-friendly approach to gardening and our cleaning materials and toiletries are all eco-friendly.

Keeping the caravan and kitchen shed off-grid reduces our draw on electricity (where guests want to charge phones, we are on a renewables tariff) and the heating for the shower is fuelled by biomass. Full recycling is in place, and supporting local producers and suppliers is a key strategy. Guests receive an in-depth guide to local cafes, restaurants and small, independent businesses and we encourage exploration on foot/bike where possible.”

Surrounds.

  • Summer fields
  • Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
  • Mells
  • Pomme Pomme, Somerset
  • Sip cider, or apple juice, as the sun sets over the site’s large, wildlife-friendly pond or stroll to the village pub for a pint of local ale (15 mins’ walk across the fields).
  • Nearby Mells (5 mins’ drive or a leisurely 90-minute walk along quiet, off-road footpaths) is home to the wonderful Walled Garden café and plant nursery (great for tea and cake overlooking an ancient ha-ha). There’s also a pop-up vintage china shop and an excellent dining pub, The Talbot Inn, in the village – a great starting or finishing point for lovely riverside walks and bike rides.
  • Head into Frome (15 mins’ drive) on the first Sunday of the month to browse the carefully curated indie art, craft and food stalls at The Frome Independent. If your stay doesn’t coincide with this stellar market, you’ll find some great independent shops and cafes open through the month along pretty Cheap Street and Catherine Hill (Rye Bakery is a favourite for coffee or lunch; The High Pavement for delicious tapas-style dinners in its flower-filled secret garden).
  • The Mendip Hills are a cult favourite among cavers and hikers. There are walks with dramatic views all around the Cheddar Gorge but we recommend the slightly quieter – but equally mesmerising – Ebbor Gorge (25 mins’ drive), stopping off for a pint of cider at the Queen Victoria Inn in Priddy for a slice of offbeat Somerset hospitality on the way home.
  • At the other end of the topographical spectrum, the otherworldly Somerset Levels are also well worth exploring. Start among the crystal shops and costumed soothsayers of Glastonbury (25 mins’ drive), climbing the Tor to get your bearings, then wend your way out among sleepy, bird-rich waterways to the idiosyncratic Sheppey Inn.
  • Quirky Shepton Mallet is just 10 minutes’ drive away. An overlooked treasure, it’s home to gorgeous period buildings, vintage homewares shops, a socially minded farm shop, a boho café and live music venue, a hip little Filipino restaurant (Aurora Kusina) and a Toast outlet store.
  • Hauser & Wirth may have put Bruton on the country’s art map but this creative little town (20 mins’ drive) has many other sides to explore. Gardeners can buy organic bulbs from landscape designers Urquhart & Hunt and finely crafted tools from Hole & Corner before  seeking inspiration in the gardens at nearby country estate, The Newt. Foodies, meanwhile, can graze their way around hot-ticket tables such as Osip, and The Three Horseshoes in nearby Batcombe.
  • Pack your swimming costume, or a wetsuit, and head to Vobster Quay (7 mins’ drive) for an open-water swim, dive or paddle-boarding session. Numbers are tightly managed by membership but sessions are occasionally open to non-members. Alternatively, Soho House members can use the outdoor pool, bar and restaurant at neighbouring Babington House.

Specifics.

  • Restored caravan amongst 2 acres of woodland and meadow
  • Open-plan layout
  • Kingsize bed
  • One babe in arms and ages 10+ welcome; travel cot on request
  • Extra childs double bed available (£10 per child per night) Extra adult sofa bed available (£80 per night for up to two).
  • Sofa area with board games, books (that change every season), binoculars
  • Separate bathroom (40m away) with shower, flushing toilet and basic eco toiletries
  • Separate camp kitchen with 2-ring gas hob, portable BBQ and a cool box
  • Basic supplies plus pre-bookable cheese and charcuterie platters
  • Local independent take-out companies
  • Alfresco dining area with woodburner and hammocks
  • Large wildlife-friendly pond
  • The owners live on-site; available by phone if you need them
  • Phone reception but no WiFi
  • Sorry, no pets
  • Off-road parking
  • Bike storage
  • Walk to a pub, drive to farm shops (8 mins) and supermarkets
  • Booking conditions: A 2-night min stay. Closed Oct-April. Note, the price increases for Glastonbury week.
  • Remember to pack: wellies, torch, power banks if you’re planning to use a lot of electronics

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30% deposit, with the balance due 8 weeks prior to stay.
Cancellations permitted 8+ weeks prior to stay, with deposit refunded minus a £30 processing fee.
No refunds if booking cancelled within 12 weeks of stay.
See our full booking Ts & Cs

FAQs.

In: 3pm, out: 10am
Self check-in with lock box.

No, it’s 30m from the caravan, a private washroom set along its own little path. It’s connected to a mains water supply, so there’s plenty of hot water for showers and washing up, and a proper flushing toilet. Please note, it doesn’t have electricity so a torch may be handy!

Not in the caravan, but if you’d like to come here and work there is an additional cabin you can use, with a desk and WiFi.

A babe in arms, absolutely; please BYO travel cot. As there is a large wildlife pond, this hideaway is not suitable for toddlers or young children below 10. An additional 2 older children can sleep in the caravan, too, thanks to a sofabed (£10 per night, per child), but it’s not huge so best suited to a single older child.

There’s a sunken trampoline and swingball on-site, and the owners can give insider tips on where to go locally with children. At heart, though, this is a space that’s all about getting back to nature. Children can roam free in the two acres that surround the caravan, climb trees, swing in hammocks, toast marshmallows and spot baby toads.

The caravan has a kingsize bed as standard, and an additional sofabed. There’s also a simple, private cabin in the owners’ back garden, with a double sofabed and electricity supply, and you can share the caravan’s washroom. £80/night, and room for a baby cot too.

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