If you’re looking for a cosy autumnal stay surrounded by beautiful countryside in the Midlands, then look no further than Naomi’s Shepherds Hut.
Located on her family’s farm, Rebecca Naomi Greenfield launched the unusual staycation spot last August, after returning home from travelling the world as a cruise ship dancer.
Shepherds huts date back to the 15th century and were big enough for a farmer, his dog, and a sheep or two, often used to help nurse an orphaned or injured lamb in front of the stove.
The shepherds hut, situated just outside Twycross, in Leicestershire, is completely private with it’s own woodland trail from the car to the gorgeous duck-egg blue painted holiday home. Outside, there’s a pallet sofa where you can sit and watch the sun set, as well as a fantastic fire pit for keeping warm in the evenings, and cooking food. There’s also a cast iron table and chairs perfect to sit and enjoy a morning cuppa and watch the some 1,000 sheep grazing in the next field.
Rebecca met us with the keys at check in and showed us around, and told us that ‘the boys’ would keep us company – six woolly rams in the same field as our hut, separated only by an electric fence a few meters away from the doors.
Open the wooden double doors to the 18ft hut and climb the stairs to find to the left, a beautifully made double bed with a pure woollen blanket and bedding, scatter cushions and the most comfortable mattress and wool pillows I’ve ever lay on. The hut is Wi-Fi and TV free for a digital detox weekend (though you can get good phone signal if you’re desperate to watch Bake Off) but it does have a DAB radio, which Jake and I had on whenever we were lounging around.
The kitchenette had everything we needed, including a kettle, toaster, fridge fully stocked with the BBQ and breakfast hamper we ordered, as well as a stunning basket of bread. Rebecca had even bought a bunch of blooms for the kitchen – and it really was the finishing touches and attention to detail that made they stay all the more lovely.
To the right of the hut was the bathroom with shower, a space to hang clothes, and a log burner for those cosy evenings snuggled up on the teal chair and woollen stool. I was completely blown away – it was breath-taking, and we certainly had everything we could need for our stay.
Upon booking, we ordered Rebecca’s BBQ hamper, which was packed full of fresh produce to cook on the fire pit, including four minted lamb chops, two rump steaks, four sausages, two beef burgers as well as a side salad, BBQ and tomato sauce and butter for the two baked batons from the basket. Jake took charge of building the fire with the kindling from under the hut, and the food was absolutely amazing – especially the burgers and steaks. We sat on the two tall stools at the kitchen work surface and watched the sun set over the sheep’s paddock, in total tranquillity and calm.
As dusk fell, we spotted wild rabbits and pheasants in the field too, but Rebecca says that sometimes, you’ll even spot monk jack if you’re quiet.
One thing everyone asked about our stay was: “Were you warm enough?” Whilst the hut may offer a TV and Wi-Fi free weekend, it’s by no means unmodern, kitted out with underfloor heating which warmed up to a comfortable 20 degrees, which was just right as temperatures dropped outside the hut.
We woke to the soft sound of birdsong and bleating sheep. It felt amazing to lift up the blinds to the crisp autumn morning and a thousand fluffy ewes, put on a woolly jumper, and start getting ready for the day ahead. But no day can start right without a proper breakfast, with a wonderful hamper put together by Rebecca, featuring four pork sausages, six rashers of bacon, Heinz baked beans, tomatoes, two fresh eggs from the farm’s chickens, as well as HP and tomato sauce, and two Kilner bottles of fresh orange juice. In the bread basket was also some sourdough, which we toasted and had with our fry up, cooked between the induction hob and the mircrowave combi/grill.
We were out for a good part of the day enjoying Twycross Zoo just five minutes down the road, and Lucky Tails alpaca farm, half an hour away. We’d been caught in the drizzle, so couldn’t wait to get back and put the log burner on to dry off. I pulled up a pew beside the burner on the woollen footstool and wrapped myself in the grey checked blanket from the bed and the room soon warmed up when the fire got going. It burned for a good few hours before we let it die out as we headed out for food, and when we returned, the hut was still toasty hours later – ideal for curling up with a good book.
Before switching off the lights for the night, take a peek out of the bedroom window and you can find yourself quite literally counting sheep before bed. In all we spent two nights in Naomi’s Shepherds Hut, which is the minimum you can book at a cost of £100 per night Sunday to Thursday, or £110 on weekends. We could have easily stayed longer, and when locking up and waving goodbye to the sheep, I really couldn’t bring myself to get in the car! It was so peaceful and stress-free, and the surroundings were beautiful for the season.
Naomi’s Shepherds Hut still has plenty of availability for the next 12 months, and Jake and I can’t wait to head back!