Farm diversification for glamping purposes is on the up-trend, and Blackdown Shepherd Huts customers are keen to take either a self-build or a full-build shepherd hut and repurpose their land and space.
Tessa and David from Staffordshire saw the potential in their farmland and thus, their turnkey shepherd hut has transformed their land, with ‘The Parlour’ now very much part of the family. Read on to find out more about Tessa and David and their relationship with Blackdown Shepherd Huts
We’re Tessa and David, and we live with our son Tom, our Border Collie Dara, and three cats in the family farmhouse on the edge of the small country village of Denstone, Staffordshire. Tessa’s family has been here since the middle of the 19th century, and we moved here 14 years ago so that Tom could grow up in the countryside.
Like many traditional farmhouses in this part of Staffordshire, half of it was a cow byre with a cock loft above it, which is where hay was stored during the winter. The Barn was converted into a home about 10 years ago, and for the last few years it has been used it as a very popular holiday home.
Why did you decide to get a full build shepherd’s hut?
We wanted to expand our holiday home business, but we wanted something that was built to the very highest standards for our guests to enjoy. It had to be very stylish, it had to be installed quickly and easily, and most importantly it had to fit the landscape and our home perfectly. A “Turnkey” Blackdown shepherd’s hut was the ideal solution. We think “The Parlour” looks wonderful; we are delighted!
How have you enjoyed bringing your hut ‘to life’ with the design?
It’s been great fun! We started by selecting the colours, and being able to choose precisely the right Farrow and Ball shades for the interior was the ideal start. The fittings and finish are of course beautifully done and quite contemporary, so the next step was to find finishing touches that suited it. A lot of the pieces come from independent shops at Leek, as well as the market stalls there, which is always a fascinating place to visit on a Saturday. We particularly like the old-fashioned alarm clock!
Where are you located, and what will guests enjoy about staying with you?
Denstone is on the edge of the Peak District, close to the border with Staffordshire, and not too far from the market towns of Uttoxeter, Leek and Ashbourne. Our farmhouse is set in the middle of 11 acres of pasture which is also home to a herd of cattle. Because the fields are organic, in springtime there are plenty of wild flowers, bees and other wildlife. The hedges are where we collect our elderflowers and wild garlic in early summer, and blackberries and sloes in autumn. If we are lucky we can pick field mushrooms too. We grow lots of our own herbs, fruit and vegetables, and The Parlour is in an orchard of apples, plums and cherry trees. Our guests in The Parlour will enjoy the dawn chorus in the morning, the great walks we have close by (the Staffordshire Way is on our doorstep, as well as the Peak District of course), and there are lots of interesting things to explore (the award-winning Denstone Farm Shop is 10 minutes’ walk away). They will really enjoy the two swings that hang from Ash trees in the fields. The Victorian swing is gentle and sedate, the other one not so much. That’s the one Tom goes for!
How many does the hut sleep, and what facilities/features does it have?
The hut sleeps two, and has a fully-fitted kitchen with induction hob, ensuite shower and toilet with heated towel rail, double bed (which converts into a table), and is heated by a log burning stove. There’s no television or internet, but there is a radio, lots of board games, and good lights to read by so we have included lots of classic books to read. Outside on the patio is a picnic table and chairs, and an Indian Kadai to cook on or use as a log burner. It’s a great place to enjoy the sun going down with a cocktail next to a roaring fire.
What do you love about shepherd’s huts?
They are the perfect combination of style and function-there’s everything you need, and nothing that you don’t. The Parlour might be small, but it’s perfectly formed!
What was the delivery and general customer service like from Blackdown?
Very good – the chaps from Blackdown arrived exactly when they said they would and had the hut off the low loader and installed on the hard standing within a couple of hours. We also had some very useful advice before delivery so that we could set up the site properly, and the hut fitted precisely where we wanted it to go. All we had to do was connect up the services and we were ready to go.
Why would you recommend the hut you have and why?
The build quality is outstanding-by far the best that we have seen, and we’ve seen a lot! Everyone who has seen it has commented on the quality, and it’s beautifully designed and made too.