Thursday, 25 August 2016

Review: A babymoon at Dimpsey Shepherds Hut


I was 11 weeks pregnant when we arrived for a stay in Dimpsey shepherd's hut, just getting through the worst of the pregnancy nausea and much in need of sleep, carbs and the absence of other humans. I was in luck. The hut
is located three hours drive from North London, in the Blackdown Hills, Somerset, I admit I chose it based mainly on the criteria of working plug sockets (the fringe must be tamed). This is glamping at its finest.

Dimpsey Shepherds Hut review

Isn't it in someone's garden? 
Not really, no. It's on their farm, so you do pass the house on your way in and out but your closest neighbours are a small herd of sheep and a Llama. Neither had all night parties but the sheep did like to clear their throats as soon as the sun was up. 

What if it rains? 
No problemo. We had more than our fair share of April (May) showers but we popped the tiny log burner on, took advantage of "hot chocolate corner", watched the grazing sheep, played draughts and read all of the magazines. It got so hot we had to open a window! It was cosy, it was calm, it took a long time to get used to being 'off grid'. 

Woah, are you saying there was no phone signal? 
Nope, nada. 'No service' displayed in the corner despite turning the phone on and off a few times and holding it in the air in every spot in the hut. Once the shock had passed and I finally gave up searching for signal, being off grid was a good experience. I read an issue of Betty magazine cover to cover. We talked to each other. I took 1000 photos of everything in this tiny space. Everything just slowed down. Don't get me wrong, I whooped with joy as soon as we drove back into range the next day but it was a lesson in how much I rely on my phone. I'm slightly more aware of being so attached to it now.

What was the interior like then? 
Oh so pretty. The hut is newly built, painted in muted colours and is filled with vintage finds and cosy sheepskin throws. There's a stash of brilliant independent magazines and old board games to while away the hours. Tom was a bit scared to move his arms at first for fear of knocking something off a shelf but we managed the whole weekend without so much as a broken china sheep. 





And what about food? 
We arrived to find homemade cake and fresh bread waiting for us, bacon eggs and milk in the fridge. There is an option to have meat ready for an evening barbecue but after a three hour drive from London, we were more than happy to let someone else slave over a hot stove! The owners recommended the Candlelight Inn, a five minute drive away. It didn't disappoint. A proper old English pub feel, with Flint walls and open fires. We shared a starter, dipping toasted soda bread into baked camembert and onion marmalade (Oops! Pregnant slip up) followed by good ol' fashioned burger and chips (done proper, mind). I wasn't exaggerating about my carb craving!

Yum, then you went back to the hut to bed...hang on, where's the bed? 
Oh, it's clever this, the table swings down then the bed levers down from the wall, ready made to jump right in. It's full of space saving tricks like this, it actually sleeps four, the seat bench that runs alongside the kitchen turns into bunk beds, although I think it would be more suited to a family of four, that number of adults would take cosy too far for me! 

And the ahem, bathroom arrangements? Don't tell me, it's outside, but the Llama averts his gaze? 
No, silly! There's a fully working bathroom at one end of the hut, cleverly fitting a small shower, toilet and sink in a space no larger than my downstairs loo. Ok, maybe slightly small, but all the essentials were there. No al fresco toilet trips. They supply towels too so no need to bring any extra. There is also a wood fired hot tub outside the hut but neither of us fancied an outdoor bath in the rain. As tempting as it sounded.





What about the cooking facilities?  
Everything you could possibly need, two rings of a gas hob and a whistling stove kettle. Surprisingly this was actually more luxury than we were afforded at home at the time, we had been without a kitchen for 6 months so a using a hob to fry bacon was a dream. We got so excited about the hob that we bought ingredients for pancakes the next morning. They were delicious.

Anything else we should know? 
There's very little storage so pack light! You won't need much; a raincoat and some wellies for country walks and something for inside that's cool, it gets pretty hot in there with the log burner  on. You can park right by the hut, and there's a gravel path so no lugging things across a muddy field. There are also plug sockets, actual working plug sockets. You know, for charging that phone that you can't use. 

Sounds great, where do I sign up? 
We booked our stay through Canopy and Stars where one night starts from £125.



  1. That actually sounds rather blissful (although it may be having a four-year-old which makes peace and quiet even more tempting!) - I do love Canopy & Stars, they have such great places to stay.

    1. Absolute bliss! It would be a totally different experience with a little one but bet they'd love it.


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