To celebrate the hubby’s birthday we decided to book a last minute trip glamping at Hesleyside shepherds huts in Northumberland.
We had a couple of days booked off work and we weren’t too sure what to do. We fancied a mini-break not too far from home but something a bit different which led us to scope out some glamping options.
If you read my 30 things I’d like to do before I’m 30 post you will know that glamping is actually number 18 on the list.
We felt like it might be a bit cold in April to stay in a yurt given our recent Beast from the East battering which is why these huts caught our eye!
Handcrafted and fully insulated, the shepherds huts include a wood-burning stove with oven and hotplate, snug king-size feather beds, ensuite shower, loo and everything else you need for a relaxing and memorable break.
After a quick peruse of their website I was sold.
The Bracken was inspired by the huts used as shelter by Northumbrian shepherds and is absolutely perfect for a romantic getaway.
Our hut was fully made from reclaimed timber, clad in wood salvaged from an old flour mill, and had stunning panoramic views of the Northumberland National Park.
For those with a little one under the age of 8 you could also stay in this hut as Bracken comes with a discrete bed for a smaller child.
The day after we made our booking online I received a wonderful email outlining our reservation; as well as being packed full of useful information about our stay, suggestions of where to eat, what to explore and much more.
A lovely little touch is that a breakfast basket can be delivered to your door for £20.
It consists of croissants, local marmalade, eggs, sausages and bacon etc. This will be delivered and left on your steps (weather permitting) at 9am or at the time you prefer.
The croissants were warm but the rest of the contents were raw ingredients so that you can cook them on your woodburner or outside over the fire pit or using the gas BBQ.
We staggered our breakfast over the morning as cooking took a bit longer than it would back home!
You are asked to order your breakfast basket in advance (ideally a week before) and bring cash to pay on delivery which we did. Each basket is designed for two adults. They can supply additional milk, eggs, cereal and croissants for £5 per additional child.
The hut is very well designed and although small it has everything you need including entertainment – a radio, pack of cards, dominoes and a telescope and binocolars for stargazing.
You get a handy welcome pack which has a list of places to eat, visit and emergency contact details too.
What did we get up to during our stay?
The weather on Saturday was brilliant so we decided to set off early and explore nearby Bellingham before our glamping adventure began.
We bought some sweet treats from the local bakers and I bagged some bargain books from the bookshop and we even squeezed in some lunch too at the Carriages Tea Room.
It’s really cool – a tea room which is actually an old train packed with original features. Prices are really reasonable and the food was good!
After our exploration of Bellingham we made our way to the hut and followed the instructions we had been emailed to ensure all gates were properly closed after passing through.
After I carefully drove down the narrow tree-lined road we parked up and unloaded using the handy wheelbarrow to cart our bags from the car to the hut.
Later that evening we went for a lovely meal at the Pheasant Inn as suggested in our welcome email.
We had pre-booked a table as it’s popular and quite small. We weren’t starving so decided to plump for just the one course.
Our food was delicious and we made our way back to the hut with satisfied tums. Steve couldn’t wait to return to get the fire going and to get the stargazing equipment set up.
I was chuffed that I managed to focus in on the moon. It was quite a cloudy evening so we didn’t see many stars unfortunately.
When we’d had our fill of stargazing we settled into the hut for the night and enjoyed our sweet treats from the bakery and each other’s company.
The hut was warm and cosy and we slept really well, as it was dark and quiet (apart from the local wildlife). Some birds did wake us up on Sunday morning but there’s definitely worse ways to be woken up!
Steve was in charge of the cooking and we polished off most of our hand-delivered breakfast basket over a few hours while listenining to the radio.
On Saturday night Steve had been a bit over zealous with the wood in the stove so our supply was running low. We went for a lovely walk in the grounds and successfully foraged for our own wood.
We also checked out the other huts on our walk and they all look fabulous from the outside.
The weather was a bit more up and down on Sunday so we spent the day in and around the hut. It was lovely to catch up on some reading and walking.
We went for another great meal in the early evening at Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant which was again recommended in our welcome email and pack.
Once again we called ahead and pre-booked a table. It’s a lot bigger than we first thought and was quite busy.
Our food was delicious and this time we had three courses.
With very full tummies we made our way back to the hut where we played dominoes and cards and had another really chilled evening.
And all-too-soon Monday rolled around and we had to be all packed up and on our way back home by 11am. After a lovely lay in we got up and followed the departure instructions.
We stripped the bed and popped all the dirty linen and towels inside the duvet cover, made sure all dishes were washed and dried, the ashes were cleaned from the stove and the floor swept.
The wheelbarrow was used to cart our bags back to the car and then we were off.
Would we stay again?
This is a great glamping experience that you can enjoy as a couple, friends or a family. Unfortunately, pets are not welcome at the huts and I imagine this is for a number of reasons including the nearby animals such as lambs.
We had a fantastic mini-break and would absolutely return in the future but we would be keen to stay in one of the other huts for a different experience.
Where is Hesleyside?
Hesleyside is 1.5 miles west of Bellingham on the south side of the North Tyne river. The postcode of the Hesleyside Huts is NE48 2LA.
What huts do they have?
There are five huts to choose between:
This hut has a drop down bunk suitable for an infant (under 5) and an enclosed bed area to make for a really cosy feel.
The fold down table optimises space in the living area and the large pull out drawer houses everything guests need for a night of stargazing under the unique dark skies of Northumberland.
Other features include oak shelves, wooden ladder storage and oak shutters.
From £95 per night, minimum of two nights stay.
This hut has a higher bed creating space for a pull out child’s bed (under 7) and pull out table of a generous size.
A monks seat bench provides seating area and storage and further storage lies behind oak cabinetry under the bed.
Some timber previously in Hesleyside was reused in this hut. It has been crafted into the table and the monks seat bench as well as fascia boards on the exterior.
From £95 per night, minimum of two nights stay.
Bramble is their new large or family sized hut which boasts a king size four poster bed and a separate bunk room.
The bunk room can accommodate 2 additional adults or 2 children and 1 infant.
It has a large ensuite shower, loo and basin and compact kitchenette with gas hob, grill, oven, fridge and sink.
Bramble has a covered balcony for you to take in the private view, a woodburner and all the equipment you need for a luxurious camping experience.
From £115 per night, minimum of two nights stay.
Inspired by New England pioneer chapels, this double height hut has a mezzanine level with a king size bed and ample ground floor space.
Very luxuriant and private, perfect for a romantic gateway. Made from reclaimed timber, cladding from a Victorian school and large reclaimed church doors.
From £120 per night, minimum of two nights stay.
Their newest and boldest creation to date. Rowan is inspired by the wilderness cabins of North America.
It boasts a mezzanine king sized bed reached via a magical iron staircase, with stargazing dormer window and bench.
Underneath there is a separate bunk room for little people as well as a loo, sink and shower. Rowan is not suitable for infants or children under the age of 5.
A compact kitchenette with copper sink, oven, grill and fridge. All leading out to a sizable deck housing its very own insulated and roomy outdoor tub!
From £125 per night, minimum of two nights stay.
If glamping isn’t your style; Hesleyside also offers luxury bed and breakfast in the Hall.
You can stay in one of three plush rooms and enjoy the superb views, ensuite bathrooms, roll top baths and full English breakfasts.
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