Unusual Airbnbs: Shepherd’s Hut with Magnificent Berkshire Views You Can Stay In
With vacations on the cards for a lot of people this year, you might be looking for something a little different.
Located in the hamlet of Beedon Common – an area of outstanding natural beauty a few miles from Chieveley – is a small wooden shepherd’s hut on wheels.
It sits in a leafy enclosure by the edge of a large lily pond, where free-range chickens scratch the dirt and friendly dogs roam lazily.
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The view from the window stretches across the fields to the east, allowing the rising sun to penetrate and gently wake occupants from their sleep on a plush double bed for a breakfast of fresh bread, eggs fresh and fresh coffee.
Then they can stroll the country lanes, take a day trip to historic market towns, or just read a good book in the hammock outside their fairytale accommodation.
If this lifestyle sounds like an unattainable rural idyll, think again – you can have it for under £ 100 a night.
Voted one of Britain’s best quirky getaways by readers of the Muddy stilettos travel blog, this beautiful vintage caravan can be booked for weekend getaways or weeklong retreats through the Airbnb budget accommodation website.
Rebuilt and refitted on the chassis of an original 1920s vehicle, it is owned by Sally Carter and Peter Jones, parents of Paramedic Helen Harter, who now lives in Hampshire with her partner Dan Sheerman and daughter of two years.
Peter found the ruined remains of the hut in a farmer’s field, arranging to take them away and rehabilitate them over the next four or five years. Then he sat in an unused shed – until Helen persuaded them to list him online as alternative accommodation.
“One part was completely rotten because it had been in a hedge for 50 years,” said Helen. “All of the fixings that had survived were salvaged, and Peter went to local specialists to get the other parts as close to the original as possible. He did a very good job. “
Helen took care of the upholstery, while the green-fingered Sally transformed the surrounding plot into a veritable Garden of Eden. “My parents aren’t tech-savvy, so I put them on Airbnb about five years ago when I was still living at home,” said Helen.
“I come to clean to help, but they take care of the day-to-day management,” she added. “They both like to have visitors, show off the area and make sure people have a great vacation.”
The rural hideaway has an almost perfect score of 4.99 out of 5 on Airbnb, with reviews calling it a “real gem” run by “friendly hosts.” “Our second visit, another lovely time,” said one guest, adding that “even the soggy weather couldn’t cool our spirits.”
Another called it her “Favorite Airbnb… absolutely sensational”, located in a “quiet place that was perfect for relaxing and getting away from the city”. Incredible views and breathtaking sunsets made nightly barbecues a must, added the enthusiastic reviewer.
A third noted that “a lot of thought and detail has gone into making it a truly special place,” with flowers and tea lights adorning its retro-themed interior. “The little extra touches make all the difference, I think,” said Helen. “We have a lot of people coming back over and over again. Many people celebrate their birthdays there every year.
Muddy stilettos honored the family with an award in 2017, calling the venue one of the best in Berkshire. “It was lovely,” said Helen. “We even went to a small ceremony in Reading. And those are the votes of the people who stayed there, so that means a lot.
Helen, who has since started running a second Airbnb from their farm in Hampshire, traveled extensively in her 20s and missed hanging out with people from all over the world. “It’s nice to have this again,” she said, “and it makes you appreciate where you live.
“We started another one this year and also enjoyed welcoming people there, I recommend it wholeheartedly. Everyone who stayed was lovely. And it’s always a treat to read a great review.
The popular Shepherd’s Hut is full until mid-October – view the Airbnb list of the place for more information and availability.
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