The Shepherd's Hideaway on the Isle of Wight

When you hear the words 'Shepherd's Hut' you imagine a small wooden structure on wheels that sounds as if it might be a bit too small for a holiday destination. But The Shepherd's Hideaway at Into the Woods, just outside of Wootton on the Isle of Wight, is anything but cramped as it is actually four large shepherd's huts that make up one very cool and comfortable glamping experience.

Gathered around a central decked area, there are two 'bedroom' huts and a double hut 'The Living Room' that houses the kitchen and living area. The huts can sleep up to six people and everything you need is supplied: stylish bedlinen, fluffy bath and beach towels, soap and shower gel and basic kitchen ingredients.

The Living Room is heated by a woodburning stove that you can cook on too, although a gas hob and microwave are provided. There is no dishwasher to make things more green and natural, but eco friendly products are supplied and all waste water runs away through a reedbed back in the woods, plus there's a special composting area for kitchen food waste. The dining table has wraparound benches for cosy meals and the living room area has two comfy sofa areas with French doors leading out to the decking area where you are likely to prefer your meals al fresco on sunny days.

Also leading from the decking area are the two sleeping huts. One hut is a luxury en-suite double bedroom with raised bed and room for a toddler bed or cot if required, or just an area to chill out. The other has bunks for four people – two good sized single bunks and a further two narrower bunks. Both of these bedroom huts have en-suite bathrooms with shower, loo and washbasins and views into the surrounding woods and the waste runs off to a green composting system outside.

You are encouraged to interact with each other during your stay, with books, puzzles and games provided but no TV! But there is free Wifi for those who have to stay in touch with the outside world. Children can run around the grassy area in front of the huts or play in the woods and there are swings, rope ladders and outdoor games to play. Plus there are bikes to hire and children's mini tractor rides.

There are plenty of friendly chickens and ducks and you can buy their eggs in the honesty shop, along with homegrown vegetables and even homemade cakes and evening meals. Deliveries of fresh local produce can also be arranged.

Or if you want to get into the country scene you might like to try a shooting lesson, which is available on site. Plus it's only a short drive to Cowes where the owners offer exhilarating RIB (Speedboat) charters on the Solent with a fully qualified driver.

You're not far from the sea – you'll see it from the car park when you arrive. A secret path through the ancient hazel and oak woods leads down to the Shepherd's Hideaway and The Treehouse, which is another 'Into the Woods' holiday destination on this site. You'll feel as if you've entered a secret world, and yet you're only a stone's throw from the outside world.

Jo Macaulay

15 April 2016

By Jo Macaulay in Articles