Let’s go camping in Northumberland, in winter, said no one ever.
Glamping, I said, not camping, duh! Oh well, now you’re talking.
The Shepherd’s Hut at Beacon Hill Farm (near Morpeth) is a lot less hypothermia and a lot more Hygge. Built from a wooden kit, it’s modelled on, but isn’t, a bone fide ye olde working shepherd’s hut. (You may or may not be disappointed to learn that it doesn’t come with a crook, a collie dog, or any sheep.)
This hut is about relaxation. It’s a 30-foot-long, cosy cocoon with a well equipped kitchen (fridge-freezer, halogen hob, sink and combi oven/microwave), a living/dining area with a table and chairs, a comfy leather armchair and a wood burning stove, a bathroom with a shower, and a sleeping area with a huge raised bed and a flat-screen TV. Oh, and there’s WiFi too.
I doubt many shepherds ever had it so good. Once the heating is on and the fire is lit, the hut is so cosy it’s a wrench to step foot outside, especially if you’ve stocked up on good food, wine and books. Should you muster the willpower then there’s plenty to do.
Beacon Hill Farm has its own spa, offering various treatments form facials to massage. There’s a steam room, sauna, jacuzzi, a heated indoor pool, and a gym fully loaded with various machines and weights.
The wider area has lots to offer too. I’d never ventured to Northumberland, despite it being just a couple of hours’ drive from Edinburgh. I’ll definitely return. In our two days we took in a windswept walk along to Dunstanburgh Castle, procured some of Craster’s famous kippers, and made it safely along the causeway to the Holy Island of Lidisfarne. The seascapes and beaches are beautiful on a cold, clear winter day, must be be amazing in warmer weather.
My favourite part of the weekend? The rural-iydll location. Perched on a rise at the edge of the farm, the hut looks out along the flat plain to the east coast, making for spectacular sunrises. We were woken by hundreds of rooks kawing and flying together to gather in the nearby treetops, had pheasants loitering on the doorstep, and one morning had five Roe deer munching their breakfast in our ‘backyard’.
Sheep? Who needs them.
- Prices (per couple, 2 nights minimum stay): from £125 per night in winter and £145 per night in summer, or £650 per week in winter and £750 per week in summer.
Beacon Hill Hideaways