Olive Magazine
A shepherd's hut in a woodland

Cool UK cabins

Published: March 10, 2022 at 9:01 am
Travellers are advised to read the FCO travel advice at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the country they are travelling to

Cuddle up in a cosy British cabin, from off the grid glampsites in Cornwall to grass-roof topped 'dens' in Wales and rustic hideaways in the West Country

Cabin stays have become more and more popular, thanks to the scandi "hygge" trend and our lust for cosy campfire vibes. We've found some of the best cabin lodge breaks in the UK, including self catering accommodation in forests to unique holidays in the countryside.


The Fish, Broadway, Worcestershire

Huts from £290, b&b, check availability at smithhotels.com

The 400-acre Farncombe estate is home to a group of luxury boutique hotels, Dormy House, Foxhill Manor and The Fish, all with sweeping views of the Vale of Evesham. Book a Hideaway Hut in the latter for the ultimate glamping experience, where two spacious shepherd’s huts are adjoined in individual secluded woodland plots. Raid the complimentary mini bar for snacks, hand-painted chocolates and Hoogly tea to enjoy in your private outdoor hot tub or snuggled up by the wood burner. Soak in the rolltop bath before plunging into bed and peeking up through the bespoke skylight to watch the trees swish in the breeze. Book the Boaty McBoatface hut to bob around on your own private lake for the ultimate romantic nature weekend.

Clamber up the woodland walk to The Lodge, a succession of Scandi-chic rooms where you can enjoy springy pizzas splodged with pools of 'nduja, lavish tipsy tea or Cotswolds-brewed craft beer by contemporary chimney fires. Dinner at The Hook focusses on seafood, including plump pil-pil prawns mopped up with deep-fried bread, delicate sea bream fillet on a citrussy tartare sauce, and a crisp, chunky cod kiev served with seaweed salt fries and umami-rich miso mayo.

Continental breakfast can be selected from the table of freshly baked pastries, compotes and juices before tucking into the estate’s cooked-to-order full english. Or request a breakfast hamper for a leisurely start to the day in the secluded cosiness of your hut.


A bed in a shepherd's hut with blue floral wallpaper and a skylight

Shepherd’s Hut, Artist Residence, Oxfordshire

From £120 per night, check availability at booking.com

At the bottom of Artist Residence Oxfordshire’s abundant kitchen garden, a wooden trailer nestles in the shade of a gigantic fir tree. Inside, quirky fabrics embellish wood-panelled walls and floors, including foliage-patterned curtains, a burnt-orange velvet window seat, and hand-woven cushions in muted tones. Though compact, the tiny space is kitted out with the venue’s signature luxuries – Bramley toiletries to enjoy in the rainfall shower, a flat-screen TV to watch from the double bed, and individual pouches of infusions from Joe’s Tea Co to sip in front of the diddy, tile-backed log burner.

Potter through the herbs and vegetables growing in the quintessential allotment to dinner in the 16th-century Cotswold-stone farmhouse. Choose between the cosy bar area with a classic pub menu or the more sophisticated dining room, with its up-cycled crystal decanter lamp shades, to enjoy the likes of lamb loin and crisp courgette flower bhajis, followed by peaches with elderflower cream and delicate puff pastry beneath.

Check availability at booking.com

Shepherd's Hut Artist Residence Oxfordshire

The Artisan Bakehouse, West Sussex

From £325 for a two-night stay (minimum), check availability at theartisanbakehouse.com

Surrounded by five acres of woodland and gardens with more lush countryside beyond, this cosy, rural shepherds hut – complete with kingsize bed, log-burner and ensuite – is ideal for peaceful, relaxing escapes, not to mention wildlife spotting.

When it comes to mealtimes, guests can make use of the bounties from the herb and vegetable patch and fruit trees, and are welcome to collect eggs from the chickens. There's a fully equipped kitchen in the hut but, if you fancy cooking alfresco, make use of the barbecue and firepit outside.

All sorts of lovely homemade bakes will be waiting for you here in a generous welcome hamper, and there are discounts for guests on the baking courses that are held on-site. Learn how to bake bread, make pastries and master sourdough or, if you have a sweeter tooth, check out the chocolate making workshops.

If your idea of a holiday is more about kicking back while someone else rustles up your meal, head to the fully licensed Bakehouse (open seasonally) and tuck into homemade lunches and afternoon teas featuring locally grown ingredients.

Check availability at theartisanbakehouse.com

Elmley National Nature Reserve, Isle of Sheppey

From £85 per night, check availability at elmleynaturereserve.co.uk

Back-to-nature luxury; privately owned Elmley, on Kent’s Isle of Sheppey, sells itself as the only nature reserve in the UK where you can stay overnight.

If seclusion is priority, book vintage-styled Samphire, the most remote hut, with a wood-burner and sweeping vistas across the marsh. Vanellus is plugged into the mains (and comes with an electric radiator) but our favourite is the slightly larger Saltbox, a custom-built cabin whose front wall is fully glazed so you can drool over sunsets while snuggled under Romney Marsh woollen throws. There’s a separate kitchenette with a dining/lounge area too (huts and houses are thoughtfully provided with marshmallows for you to toast over your firepit).

Check availability at elmleynaturereserve.co.uk

Click here to read our full review of Elmley National Nature Reserve

Elmley Nature Reserve

Kudhva, Cornwall

From £122 per night, check availability at canopyandstars.co.uk

An off-grid glampsite near Trebarwith Strand, Kudhva means ‘hideout’ in Cornish and this former quarry site truly immerses you in the natural world. Among willow groves and dense woodland are tree tents and four kudhva – compact, futuristic cabins on stilts designed by Ben Huggins of New British Design.

Each cabin has its own firepit, or you can cook in a shared kitchen. At nearby Hilltop Farm Shop stock up on locally made wines, beers and gins, Davidstow cheddar, clotted cream and sourdough (check out our guide to sourdough here). Slightly further afield, Boscastle Farm Shop sells homemade quiches, pies and cakes, and has a butchery selling meat from its Ruby Red cattle.

If you prefer a less DIY approach, seafood specialist Tan & Mor and boutique caterers Beautiful and the Feast will send chefs to cook for you on site. Breakfast hampers can also be arranged and monthly Sunday Services see Kudhva combine locally sourced food and cocktails, with music from local DJs.

Check availability at canopyandstars.co.uk

Kudhva, Cornwall

The Old Apple Shed, Kent

From £120 per night, check availability at booking.com

Used to store apples and cherries up to the 1970s when the land was a working orchard, then left to slump into its surrounding meadow, this little black clapperboard shed has now been transformed into a shabby-chic cabin for two. A woodburner, board-games, flower-flecked curtains and an iron-framed bedstead strung with fairy lights all help create the cosiest of atmospheres. Expect to find a home-baked cake waiting on the apple-crate coffee table too. Outside you might find Toast, the New Forest pony, grazing on your doorstep while two beehives are hidden across the field – you can buy a jar of their honey if you like. Bethersden village is a five-minute walk, with its two country pubs, village shop, artisan butchers and deli; Biddenden, England’s oldest commercial cider producers and vineyard, is only five miles away.

Check availability at booking.com

Inverlonan, Loch Nell

From £400 for two nights, check availability at inverlonan.com

Designed for visitors looking to disconnect from the day-to-day Inverlonan’s “rough luxe” bothies are only accessible by boat, on foot or (the slightly less cool option) by buggy. Overlooking Loch Nell, on the west coast of Scotland near Oban, the bothies are surrounded by ancient oaks, inky waters and wild moorland. Each comes with an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven and open fire pit, plus a breakfast hamper stuffed with the likes of Isle of Seil eggs and Inverlonan Farm jams. For an additional charge, everything from a pizza kit to ingredients for a seafood BBQ (think whole bream, langoustines and rustic rolls) can be delivered to the door.

Check availability at inverlonan.com

Cedar Falls, Monmouthshire

From £90 per night, check availability at canopyandstars.co.uk

This bijou but bonny wooden-shuttered bolthole is named for a nearby waterfall – and you may well leave the place quite well-watered yourself. Cedar Falls is tucked into the leafy garden of owners Edward and Tori, who also run the award-winning Kingstone microbrewery in nearby Tintern; the brewery often hosts tastings, and samples are available to buy. Tori offers private bread-making classes too, so you can spend an afternoon baking a variety of styles and flavours, and then eat the spoils for breakfast the next morning, either cosied up in the woodburner-heated open-plan living room or out on the little deck, which gazes down the Wye Valley (read our guide to the Wye Valley here).

Check availability at canopyandstars.co.uk

Log Jam, Cornwall

From £110 per night, check availability at canopyandstars.co.uk

A stylish log cabin built with locally-sourced wood and lit by old miners’ lamps, to reach Log Jam involves locating Little Menherion smallholding, near Redruth in Cornwall, then bumping over half a mile of unmade track and walking a little way along a lane bordered by fern-thick hedges. Perched at its handmade breakfast bar, guests can listen to woodland birds chirrup outside while warming up saffron buns, or apple and cinnamon Cornish pasties (bought from Portreath Bakery in nearby Lanner), in the wood-burning stove.

Check availability at canopyandstars.co.uk

Tinwood Vineyard Lodge, West Sussex

From £175 per night, check availability at tinwoodestate.com

Simply standing on the decking of the cabins on tranquil Tinwood Estate might be enough to make you feel tipsy. Tucked on the edge of the South Downs National Park, Tinwood is renowned for its fine sparkling wines, and the estate’s three neat wooden hideaways gaze out across the serried rows of vines. The cabins are crisp and contemporary in design – think wooden floors, white walls, big sliding patio doors. They’re also comprehensively kitted out, with king-size beds, Jacuzzi baths, barrel saunas and, naturally, a fully stocked wine fridge. If you want to know more about the estate’s brut, blanc de blancs and rosé, you can book vineyard tours, where the winegrowers themselves will walk you around the grounds before talking you through a tasting.

Check availability at tinwoodestate.com

Read our full review of Tinwood Estate lodges here

Tinwood Vineyard Lodge, West Sussex

The Woodshack, Monmouthshire

From £369 for 3 nights, check availability at sugarandloaf.com

In the middle of a private woodland outside Abergavenny, in deepest Monmouthshire, the Woodshack sits in such a tranquil setting that it comes as no surprise to learn it used to be a writer’s cabin. Sugar Loaf mountain is just over the lane if you fancy a hike – or, for less strenuous ways to while away the days, there’s a hammock to swing on, and The Crown at Pantygelli is a gentle 20-minute walk away – worth it for a plate of locally-made venison sausages and mash. Play board games, browse the cabin’s mini library, and enjoy the views from huge portrait windows.

Check availability at sugarandloaf.com

The Blue Cabin by the Sea, Berwickshire

From £800 per week, check availability at bluecabinbythesea.co.uk

The first task here is finding the place: drive an hour south of Edinburgh (check out the best places to eat and drink in Edinburgh), park up, chuck your bags in a wheelbarrow and walk, via a tunnel, to reach the beach. There sits this cute cornflower-blue bolthole, tucked into the grasses above a tiny traditional harbour – which the cabin raises funds to maintain. It’s the sort of place to spend days rockpooling, shore-strolling, bird-spotting and, if you dare, wild swimming. Owned by an architect-sculptor couple, the cabin itself is small but thoughtfully designed and creatively decorated, from the vivid-green boxed beds and Orkney chairs to the iron-seaweed cupboard handles and extensive library. Outside a small veranda looks over the sea, the ideal vantage for watching the fishermen who go out every weekday, and who’ll sell you crabs and lobsters direct from their pots for a couldn’t-be-fresher seafood barbecue.

Check availability at bluecabinbythesea.co.uk

The Blue Cabin by the Sea, Berwickshire

The Arc, Cambridgeshire

From £120 per night, check availability at thearccabin.co.uk

A wood-burning oven, an alfresco firepit, antique saucepans, jars of spices, a whole library of cookbooks and every utensil you could name... The Arc may be compact, but keen chefs will want for nothing here. Owner Lotte, a trained nutritional therapist (and bookable for cooking courses if you like), will even leave a selection of local goodies – bread, jams, a lemon drizzle – to start you off. Or you can pop to one of the nearby farm shops or farmers’ markets for supplies. The cabin itself is bright and cheery, with pale walls and wooden beams enlivened by colourful crocheted throws, vibrant textiles and twinkling fairy lights. The latter lace the veranda too, adding extra magic to an evening meal eaten outside looking over the fields and the lazy River Nene.

Check availability at thearccabin.co.uk

The Arc Cabin, Cambridgeshire

Tinhouse, Isle of Skye

From £895 per week, check availability at tinhouse.net

This lonesome shack does what it says on the, er, tin, but in the most stylish fashion. Winner of many architectural awards, its simple tin-clad exterior hides a cool, modernist inside, with white wooden walls, cement floors and, best of all, generous windows so the wild Skye coast seeps in. It’s well placed for windswept walks, dolphin-spotting boat trips and visits to ruined castles. It’s also well placed for foodies. Two of Scotland’s best restaurants are close by: Michelin-starred Loch Bay (read our restaurant review here) is less than 20 miles away while The Three Chimneys, voted number 28 in the Top 100 UK Restaurants Outside London in 2018, is only five. If you’d prefer to eat in, make the short walk downhill from the Tinhouse to Meanish Pier, where fresh seafood can be bought direct from the fishermen.

Check availability at tinhouse.net

For some of the best places to eat and drink on Isle of Skye, click here

One Cat Farm, Ceredigion

From £160 per night, check availability at onecatfarm.com

Just south of Aberaeron, One Cat Farm is home to four cosy cabins. These heated, grass-roofed ‘dens’ blend seamlessly into a buttercup-dotted field. Inside, comfy double beds are topped with woollen blankets, and hammocks swing outside in the sun-dappled shade. Showers and toilets sit at the top of the field, as does a communal kitchen, home to a mini honesty shop offering marshmallows, Fentimans ginger beer and bars of NOMNOM chocolate.

Stop off at Watson and Pratt farm shop, in Lampeter, to stock up on tubs of creamy Neal’s Yard Dairy yogurt, and country loaves and croissants from Lampeter Bakehouse (and at Aberaeron for scoops of honey ice cream from Hive). In the evening, watch the sunset from an outdoor wood-fired bath, then sit by the fire pit with mugs of fresh mint tea as the sea mist gently engulfs each den in a mystical haze.

Check availability at onecatfarm.com

Click here to read our full review of One Cat Farm

One Cat Farm, Ceredigion

Babington House, Somerset

From £565 per night (for four people), check availability at babingtonhouse.co.uk

If you’re seeking a rustic hideaway but don’t want to rough it, The Cabin at Babington House is a neat solution. A two-bedroom wooden lodge (adults only), set overlooking a lake, it may have a wood-burning stove and a kitchen that’s a lotta Little House on the Prairie but, beneath the country styling, it’s every bit as pampering as the hotel’s other rooms.

There are two bathrooms, a kitchen supplied with grocery basics and the best hotel drinks tray we’ve seen (including craft mixers). Guests can also wallow in the hotel’s spa, outdoor and indoor pools, fill up on (free) afternoon tea pastries, or book in for dinner in the restaurant – think charcoal-grilled meats, or Cornish plaice served with sweet little shrimp and a buttery lemon sauce.

Check availability at babingtonhouse.co.uk

Soho House Babington House Cabin

Words by Clare Hargreaves, Alex Crossley, Sarah Baxter, Ellie Edwards, Rhiannon Batten, Charlotte Morgan and Hannah Guinness


Images by Clare Hargreaves, Alex Crossley, George Fielding, Rhiannon Batten

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