Shepherds huts with hot tubs: Somerset retreat REVIEW

How many times can you bring up the Instagram profile of luxury Shepherds huts with hot tubs (@theshepherdshutretreat) before you find yourself, somewhat surreally, stoking the wood fire of said hut’s lakeside hot tub – the object of your scrolling affections. Answer? Multiple times a week. All in the name of manifesting!

My stay at The Shepherd’s Hut Retreat, near Hinton St George and Crewkerne was complimentary for the purposes of this review. However, as always, all views are my own.

Somerset Shepherds huts near Hinton St George

In my defence, it’s hard not to go down an Instagram rabbit hole when whimsical images of stargazing telescopes under willow trees, twinkling lakefront gardens, rustic outdoor kitchens and steaming tubs pop up in your feed. To me, this is what mini break dreams are made of.

Taylor Swift wrote a whole two albums on such romanticised woodland escapism, but the reality is right here in Somerset. And, as luck would have it, was about to become a reality for me too.

My press review of this adults-only shepherds hut glamping retreat timed perfectly as a special treat for my husband’s birthday in January. A shepherds hut break in January I hear you exclaim? Indeed, and jolly lovely it was too. This is one of the few Somerset glamping spots that do remain open for the winter season, so if you’re looking for a special getaway in the colder months, definitely put The Shepherd’s Hut Retreat on your list. I imagine it’s equally wonderful in summer.

The Shepherd's hut retreat, Somerset
Shepherd’s Hut 1898
The Shepherds Hut Retreat, Somerset
Lake views from 1898

Shepherd hut retreat location

As we only live a short ten-minute drive away, I make my partner shut his eyes to try and keep the exact location of the shepherds hut retreat a mystery. But the surrounding scenery and approach to the hot tub glamping site is so striking, I have to let him see. Following a narrow country road that drifts off into the picturesque landscape, we pass acre after acre of sweeping green fields and a 140 metre-high mound of a motte and bailey castle (possibly Norman), which we shortly discover, will also provide the backdrop to our stay.

On the approach, a lengthy driveway flanked by black metal and timber gates bearing bespoke lettering (F and C for Fords Croft – the estate’s working farm) signals the entrance, and sets the tone for the meticulous attention to detail that will characterise our getaway.

Circling around the castle hill, it is the water glinting through the trees, and the six individually-styled wooden huts all set around a lake that next attract our attention. Each has its own private hot tub, kitchen, private garden, al fresco cooking areas, sumptuous interiors and eco credentials (they use spring water from their own well, electricity from a huge solar array and locally-sourced timber). 

Motte and bailey castle

Shepherds Hut 1898

The most recent addition at the shepherds huts glamping site is HUT 1898. This shepherd hut is the grandest in both size and style, and the one I had my beady eye on when I came across it online. As I had imagined, it’s love at first sight. With the kind of ‘lived-in’, homely interiors you’d expect to find in The Pig hotels, there’s a private hot tub, fire bowl area, outdoor Ooni pizza oven, and a gin bar (the first drink is on them, with a suggested contribution of £5/drink thereafter). It could have been designed based on my very own ‘country escape’ wish list.

Despite its ‘hut’ status, nothing about this place feels like we might be skimping on conveniences. This is a level of luxury shepherds of old could scarcely have fathomed. Not only is it a sizable space, both inside and outdoors, but everything here has been carefully considered to enhance your stay. Kitchen facilities comprise a two-ring hob, kettle, toaster, oven, fridge and sink.

The Shepherds Hut Retreat Somerset
Hut 1898

Big glass doors opening onto the deck and a window overlooking the lake beside the bathroom’s monsoon shower, bring the outside in, and mean you don’t miss out on lake-gazing opportunities even when indoors.

We quickly get to exploring our little abode for the night. Both of us are like excited children pointing out the thoughtful details to each other – from a jar of marshmallows to toast over the fire bowl, to a built-in trivet helpfully placed beside the BBQ.

Mini toiletries, matching gold kitchenware, board games, fresh white bathrobes and a ‘roaring’ electric fire add to the charm. A discreet TV (plus DVDs) in handsome wooden shelves has been strategically placed to separate the living space from the sleeping area. A bottle of prosecco kindly welcomes us, which will go perfectly with that hot tub. Talking of which….

The shepherd’s hut hot tub, woodland sauna and games room

The instructions explain that the hot tub will take around three hours to get up to temperature, so we start filling it with the hose and get the fire going. While we wait, there’s more exploring to temporarily lure us from our hideaway, namely snacks from the honesty shed, a woodland sauna and a beautifully-renovated, open-plan 100 year old barn. The barn houses a yoga and activity space, wood burner, gym, sauna, table tennis and pool table and a sauna.

We secure a one-hour session in the woodland sauna by signing our names in a time slot on a board outside, grab our towels, and soon find ourselves peering out through the trees, trying to spot some nocturnal bird life while we sweat.

Dining out

The hot tub isn’t quite ready when we return from the sauna, but in the twilight, the deck is now glowing with fairy lights and I half wish we were rustling up pizzas and cosying down at the hut for the evening.

However, we are child-free for the night, and the law states we must go out, which isn’t too much of a hardship given one of our favourite pubs, The Lord Poulett Arms, is just down the road.

Although walkable from the retreat (approximately 40 minutes each way), I’d say hiking there is best saved for daytime or summer, as when we step away from our glittering abode, the deep South Somerset countryside is pitch black, save for the gleaming eyes of a lone deer caught in our headlights as we head out for the evening.

Back at the hut after dinner, the water in our hot tub has reached scorching proportions, which is easily remedied with a dash of cold and then it’s ready for us to take a dip in the dark. We wallow for a while, before heading inside, popping on the TV and sinking into Egyptian cotton sheets. 

The Shepherds Hut Retreat hot tub and lake view
Hot tub and lake view

Things to do nearby

Come morning, my husband is awake before dawn and is eager to get the hot tub going again. The fairy lights are still glowing and the moon is still shining over the lake when I join him. Wisps of steam rise bewitchingly from our hot water, as cheerful bird song and the sound of ducks quacking and flapping provide the soundtrack. 

The magnetic pull of the water and enthusiastic warbling of the birds are hard to tear myself away from, but the skies are bright blue and the sun is shining, and I’m eager to soak up some of Somerset’s countryside at its finest.

There are a number of walks right on the doorstep, including a leisurely 20-minute woodland stroll, and a footpath to the market town of Crewkerne. Off I trot, counting my lucky stars and revelling in the magic of it all.

Click here to check pricing and availability at The Shepherd’s Hut Retreat.

Discover more ideas of things to do near the romantic shepherds huts:

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8 Vineyards in Somerset to go wine tasting

23 Stately homes in Somerset you need to visit

Like glamping in Somerset? You might want to try this Yurt holiday in Somerset Yeabridge Farm Hideaway.

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