Just an hour's drive or train journey from London, in the East Sussex village of Bodiam, the Original Hut Company makes for a perfect romantic retreat from the hustle and bustle of city living. It's a top choice for shepherds hut holidays, and the lovingly decorated huts are a comforting cocoon of cosiness, with wood-burning stoves to keep glamping couples warm. There are also separate huts with pristine showers and eco loos. The area is a real foodie hub, with the Michelin-starred Curlew restaurant, world renowned Lighthouse Bakery School and several decent country pubs in the vicinity, plus the site's own shop, café and meeting place, The Hub, where they also have free wifi. There are also countless food festivals nearby including Rye's famous Wild Boar Week and Rye Bay Scallop Week plus the autumn and spring harvests of the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival just down the road. There are even foraging courses and a summer forest school for your little pioneers – the kids can spot woodpeckers, deer and maybe even the odd badger if they're lucky. All this, plus the fairytale Bodiam Castle just a short stroll from the site, with its magnificent panoramic views over the famous Weald. One other thing: you can rent electric bikes from the site to explore the gorgeous surrounding countryside on two wheels – something we heartily recommend. They have a sister self-catering cottage in East Sussex too, be sure to check it out.
The Owner SaysThe Original Hut Company consists of two sites of 5 Shepherds huts, these have been designed and built by us on site, from largely reclaimed and recycled materials, 4 of the huts provide living accommodation and the 5th houses 2 loos and 2 showers. We believe we have created a unique and comfortable Glamping experience which is very user friendly and convenient as well as being of minimal environmental impact. It is equally usable for couples, families and groups of friends. The huts are set in a small area of woodland on our family run farm in Bodiam. The woods being big enough to explore and build camps in, yet small enough that children can explore independantly . The farm land flanks the National Trust site of Bodiam castle, the River Rother Flows through the bottom of the farm providing fun and fishing! The Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway has its Bodiam Station within the farm itself. This coupled with our proximity to the historic towns of Rye, Battle , Hastings and Tenterden, the amazing sandy Beach @ Camber, unique woodland habitats at Brede High woods and Bedgebury Pinetum which also offers mountain biking and Go Ape. There are amazing foodie experiences and vineyards all within a stones throw, with a range of activities and services available form the site. Means there is something for everyone.
The Huts themselves can accommodate 4 or 5 people, they are fully insulated and fitted with wood burning stoves. The wooden construction and double glazed windows ensure the huts are really warm and cosy. The kitchens are fitted with a 4 burner gas hob for convieniece, all the cooking and dining equipment is provided. We also provide cast iron cookware to enable our guests to cook over the open fires outside. Down in the woods we have a little hide with a tin roof (perviously a wood store), this provides a covered eating area, it houses a 13 foot long table which has proved to be invaluable dining space for our group bookings. Providing shelter should the Great British weather let you down, there is also a larger campfire down there surrounded by logs for shared time, stories and marshmallows!!
All bed linen and fire wood is provided.
The Hub - On site Cafe and Shop now open daily
Our favourite spot
Large groups, families, couples, hen parties and stags (by pre-arrangement)— yes. Dogs— no.
The local area
The National Trust-run Bodiam Castle is a mere 10-15 minute stroll accross three undulating fields of Sussex lushness. Entry to the grounds is free, but the entry fee to the castle (adults £7/children £3.50) is worth it for the views from the top of the towers. They also host various events and family fun days throughout the year and boat trips (01797 253838) run from the castle down the river to a nearby pub, The White Hart (01797 252166) in Newenden. Kids will love the Kent and East Sussex Railway, an old steam train that chugs from Bodiam Castle, through the farm itself and on to Tenterden. The huge sandy beach of Camber Sands is about half an hour away (17 miles) and well worth a visit on a sunny day. The enchanting medieval port town of Rye is only 8 miles away— as are Battle and Hastings. There's lots of lovely walks and nature and bike trails to be had at the National Pine Arboretum at Bedgebury – plus a new GoApe location. Bewl Water is only 20 minutes away for a great family day out. Camber Sands is a 30 minute drive.
Best local places to eat and drink
This part of East Sussex is a real foodie's paradise with troughfuls of gastro-nations to eat your way around. The surrounding woodland is brimming with culinary treasures so why incorporate a stay with a foraging course, to find out your hogweed from your wild asparagus. The world-renowned Lighthouse Bakery School is also just across the field – well worth joining in one of their artisan courses if you fancy yourself the next Mary Berry. For a less labour-intensive dining experience, catered meals can also be prearranged – just speak to Anna. The OHC can also collect pre-ordered boxes from 'Busters' the nearby farm shop and deliver those up to the site – particulatly handy for guests who are arriving by train and don't want to lug too much stuff with them (campers at Hop Pickers Wood are charged for this service but not 'Glampers'). Pub-wise, The Castle Inn is just the other side of the river and does some great homemade pub fare. Or try the renowned Curlew restaurant, a 2 mile trek away – amazingly affordable for a Michelin Starred restaurant. The Salehurst Halt (01580 880620) and The White Dog Inn (01580 830264) are both lovely local free houses and about an hours walk (5 minute drive) away.
Why stay with us?
There is a wash hut with 2 clean loos and 2 gorgeous, hot showers. There is no mains electricity however lighting is provided by solar power, while heating is provided by the beautiful cast-iron wood-burning stoves. Each hut is kitted out with a fully-equipped kitchen area including gas hob and sink. There's a dining area which folds out to form a double bed plus a sofa/kid's bed and fold-out bunk, sleeping two. All huts have top of the range cool boxes. As there are often groups of families and friend staying, a communal covered cook house is kindly provided allowing guests to dine and hang out if it rains! Campfires are permitted in the firepits. Ask Anna about the pampering bell tents, specialising in manicures, pedicures, facials and other beauty treatments – ideal for glamping hens wanting a break from partying. Plus they now offer kayaking, paddle boarding, archery and wild swimming. Plenty to keep you busy!
ReviewsAdd Your Review
We had a lovely stay!
We had a lovley stay, this winter, in the Huts. It was warm and cosy thanks to the little fires in each hut. When we arrived everything was clean and tidy and a little bunch of fresh flowers in the hut to top it all off. Theres so much to do in walking distance.. but building camps and toasting marshmallows is just as much fun. Thankyou to Anna and Nick for making sure everything was perfect! We will be returning in the near future.
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