The Blackdown Glamping story.

Last week, my husband and I spent the night at a beautiful shepherd’s hut in Somerset. Kip had gone live earlier that day, so I was in equal parts buzzing and frazzled, but as soon as we drove onto the owners’ farm, I felt my shoulders sink about 4 inches.

It felt extraordinary to suddenly be somewhere so calm and peaceful. Our hut was perched next to a fruit orchard, with sheep cutting the grass just outside the pretty sage door. I could smell lavender and pine; hear birds singing.

Hut 1 - Blackdown Glamping (2)

Wandering into the cosy hut, we exclaimed over all the little details, and were delighted by a tea tray awaiting us, with big slices of homemade Victoria sponge cake. I brewed up and we sat out at the quirky little table, gazing at the Blackdown Hills and lazily chatting about things we never normally have time to stop and notice.
(Me: “Check out that buzzard!”
J. “That’s a crow. Don’t you freelance for the RSPB?”)

Hut 1 - Blackdown Glamping (2)

Owners Emma and Andrew started their glamping business 4 years ago, after staying in a shepherd’s hut in Wales and being inspired by how much comfort you can wedge into such a small space. They came over to welcome us in person, and demonstrate how to work the wood-fired Swedish tub, which was surrounded by solar fairylights and candle lanterns.

“Light it now,” advised Emma, “and have supper while it warms up. Then you can get in and watch the stars come out.”

Pretty idyllic, huh. And I seized the moment to find out where she bought the beautiful concrete sink…

A little Q&A with owner Emma

How does it feel to have guests stay in your (enormous) garden?
We’re very lucky to live here – the Blackdown Hills are amazing, and sharing this farm is something we wanted to do from the outset. Hearing the restorative effect it has on people is something we will never tire of.

Did you have a very deliberate vision for the hut, from the start?
Yes – my mood board was Babington House in a field! Aspirational, everything catered for but supremely comfortable.

How did you choose your furnishings?
We only use British designers: Tom Raffield lighting, Owen Barry Sheepskins, Naturalmat bedding. We love to showcase new talent, too, and have bespoke things made for us. Sunshine Bindery is a local company who make our notebooks, and our dishcloths are knitted by a local company.

Hut 2 - Blackdown Glamping

What about all the little collectables?
I wanted the hut to have a historic theme to pay homage to our farm, which is is so old it was listed in the Domesday Book. I have a friend who used to design film sets and she was brilliant at finding pieces for us in vintage bric-a-brac and antiques places.

What are people always surprised by when they stay?
The innovative use of space, how luxurious we have made the hut, and the magic of the surrounding countryside.  Oh, and the fact they actually have time to have a conversation with one another and reconnect – which absolutely delights me.

Hut 2 - Blackdown Glamping

What time of year would you most recommend for a stay?
That’s a toughie – can I say anytime?  Our repeat guests are hard pushed to choose winter or summer, as obviously the warm sunshine is glorious, but the log-burner inside creates a real cosy charm in the colder months. And there’s something brilliant about sprinting out through the snow to jump in the hot tub!

Liz x