Elsie – Shepherd’s Hut in The Cotswolds

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a last minute getaway, right? In January I was lucky enough to get a couple of days in a row off of work, so quickly decided it was the perfect time for a little escape into the countryside. My friend and I were looking for somewhere relatively local, cheap, and of course I love alternative living so anything alt was a winner for me. After stumbling through Airbnb for a while we found a Shepherd’s Hut based in the Cotswolds, about and hour and a half away and was £55 a night. Ticked all the boxes, so of course, we booked it.

We arrived Friday evening about 6 o clock so it was already dark; we had a rough idea of our surroundings as the host, Sarah sent us immaculate instructions on how to find the site.
The inside of the hut was gorgeous, a proper country house, Cath Kidston vibe with adorable trinkets that lent to the cosy feeling without becoming cluttered. With the aim of spending a weekend away without breaking the bank we used all the information the host had kindly left us in the hut to find the local supermarket and stocked up on easy no-cook food for snacks and breakfast. Once we got back to the hut we sifted through the rest of the leaflets to look for activities for our weekend (I like looking through local guides as there’s occasionally things you miss when doing research online), drank lots of tea and grabbed an early night.

The next morning I felt like I was in a movie, we woke up to the sounds of cockerels and popped our wellies on to grab a proper look of our surroundings. Our view was absolutely stunning: chickens, horses (the owner runs a horse riding school (you can book in for lessons!)) and an endless horizon of fields. We grabbed a shower and some breakfast and headed out for our days adventure to Bourton-on-the-Water.

Bourton-on-the-Water is a small village based in Gloucestershire, a popular tourist village but not over-crowded. We parked up and dawdled around, appreciating the village’s architecture and thriving cream tea scene and then headed to the model village. It was so cool! Each house and shop on the high street has been recreated into a tiny village, with each building being no more than a foot high. We spotted the cafe where we planned to grab lunch and the bakery that we’d walked past ten minutes prior and appreciated their amazing looking tiger loaves.

Unfortunately with the time of year a lot of places that we’d like to have visited were closed, so we went for a drive around Gloucestershire to find a nice spot for a walk after too much Victoria sponge and scones. We ended up at Sudeley Castle, another thing that was unfortunately closed but we were able to walk the grounds and meander about the village, Winchcombe. The grounds were lovely and perfect for an afternoon walk, of course we would love to go back and explore the castle once it reopens.

By late afternoon we headed back to the Hut for a cuppa and a chill. While deciding where to head for dinner I got my sketchbook out and started drawing one of the chickens from the morning wake up call and read my book. It was lovely to spend a weekend slowing down and being more mindful about everything around me; the taste of a hot cup of tea, the texture of the thick paper in my sketchbook, the sound of the drizzle on the roof of the hut.

Time for dinner and we got ourselves a little dressed up and headed to a local pub down the road, it was classic pub grub and nothing too fancy but filled the void in our tummies after a day of walking. Back to the Hut for more reading and my Slow Living Vibes playlist and off to sleep with the toasty hot water bottles by our feet.

Morning two and we woke up before the cockerels to start packing before checkout. Both nights were so peaceful, with nothing but the rain as a lullaby singing us to sleep, a nice change from town and city living, it was a shame to be leaving so soon. I would 100% visit this part of the Cotswolds again, ideally in spring/summer time so that there’s more sites and activities open but the Hut was super cosy in the middle of January so I would recommend it no matter the time of year.

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