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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Walker

Back to Nature in Norfolk - Shepherds Huts & Cabins

The third in the series of "back to nature" accommodations is here and my goodness there's some amazing places to share with you.


If you missed our other blogs, so far, we've covered the best of the best when it comes to both camping and glamping in Norfolk. From dreamy waterside locations for the adventurers out there, to perfectly curated family stays and the perfect couples retreats. All offering something different while all immersing you in the beauty that is the nature of Norfolk.


Even if you're a true nature lover, camping isn't for everyone. Neither is glamping. Yes it’s a great bridge between DIY camping and hotels and offers you complete protection from the elements in luxury, but sometimes you miss the “homely feel”. To have solid walls and log burners and nestle down in a more “snuggly” comfort and somewhere you can connect with nature all year round. Enter the rise of the Shepherd's Hut. I’m a huge fan of Shepherd's Huts (we actually stayed in a Shepherd's Hut the night before and after our elopement wedding in December at Godwick Hall, where they’ve incredibly cutely trademarked the term Schlamping™ for luxury glamping in their beautifully crafted Shepherd’s Hut’s). As well as Godwick (which is amazing and you absolutely should look into their accommodation there - it’s dreamy and we will 100% be staying there once a year every year now), Norfolk now has lots of other incredible Shepherd’s Hut options that would make the perfect couples retreat back to nature.


Twin Barn Shepherds Huts, Hethersett 🐶

Alison and Oliver who own Twin Barn Shepherd’s Huts with their gorgeous working Cocker Spaniels, Dylan & Watson, definitely set the tone for what dreaminess looks like when it comes to “back to nature” stays in Shepherd’s Huts. Not only that, they’re doing amazing things to look after the planet at the same time too.


If you want a car free trip to Norfolk this is the one!! If you get the train to Wymondham, the amazing Alison will collect you from the station and then you can borrow two bikes for the duration of your stay with them. They’ve also done some serious work to offset the emissions from their Shepherd’s Huts by planting trees, and if you did want to drive, there’s even an emissions offset calculator on their website.


There’s three Shepherd’s Huts to choose from here. Two of them comes with wood fired hot tubs and the other one comes with it’s own private sauna (more on this later). Oliver is a woodwork specialist and it absolutely shows when it comes to the interiors. I've never seen such incredible attention to detail and luxury in a Shepherd’s Hut in my life.


The site is so secluded too. No road noise. No seeing your neighbours. Just the dreamiest little dens to bunker down and enjoy each others company, whilst immersed in the most beautiful surrounding nature.

Every morning you get a continental breakfast basket delivered, or for an extra charge, they’ll even fill your fridge with local produce so you can make yourself a Full English in the fully equipped kitchen. Honestly, Alison and Oliver just go above and beyond for their guests, it’s amazing.


If you did want to venture out, both Norwich and Wymondham are within touching distance. So you can have the perfect mix of city buzz and nature (although it wouldn’t surprise me if you didn’t want to leave the site at all). If you wanted to stay local though, within walking distance is Home Farm Gin who make and bottle Norfolk Gin from their farm and even do Gin tasting and Cocktail making classes on site.


If you did want to bring the kids along, there is an option for that too. They’ve got a gorgeous converted Gypsy Wagon that can be booked alongside “Isabelle” the Shepherd’s Hut for an additional charge. It’s right next door and is perfectly set up for two children with bunk beds and books. Such an exciting adventure for your confident little explorers.


If you’re looking for just a day trip adventure, Twin Barn Shepherd’s Huts have you covered too. On Sundays, even if you’re not staying with them, you can rent the sauna and kitchen / toilet of one of the Shepherd’s Huts for three hours for 2-6 people. I mean sauna and BBQ in a field on a Sunday sounds pretty dreamy to me!! This place really does have it all.

Hickling Campsite, Hickling 👨‍👩‍👧🐶

Another creation from the amazing Jo (who also runs Canal Camping), Hickling Campsite would be my absolute dream if I had small children. Jo (who has her own gorgeous little boy) has designed Hickling Campsite to absolute perfection. She’s thought about literally everything. EVERYTHING!


Jo and her husband, Tom, built everything on the site from scratch. From the five Shepherd’s Huts and one Pod (called the Pod Father which I absolutely LOVE), to the onsite shop which serves the most amazing coffee and has everything you could possibly need when it comes to supplies.


Everything is local, from the interior furnishings which have been handmade by a local seamstress to all of the produce in the shop. There’s even the most amazing selection of handmade children’s giant games. From ring toss, to connect four.


I honestly couldn’t think of anything better than a day exploring the beautiful Norfolk Broads and then coming back here, buying some local meat from the onsite shop and then cooking it up on the fire pit that comes with your Shepherd’s Hut and dining alfresco under the stars.


This place is an outdoorsy family’s dream. If you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids this summer, this is absolutely the one! You can even hire the whole place if you’re looking to go with a group of friends and there’s also additional space for DIY campers further down the site. Honestly, this place is magical.


Thompson Hall Retreat, Thompson 🐶

Been looking at Spa Hotels but not quite feeling the vibe? Imagine finding an outdoor wellness spa in the middle of the Norfolk Countryside that offered you luxury “back to nature” accommodation too.


Completely secluded down a long drive and through a private woodland, when you get out of your car and walk through the woods into Thompson Hall’s outdoor wellness spa, it’ll absolutely take your breath away. Their natural swimming pond is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen on my Norfolk adventures and if you stay with them, it’s literally a one minute walk from your accommodation.


You get a choice of Shepherd’s Huts or Spa Lodges here. Each with hot tubs and the Shepherd’s Huts even come with covered outdoor baths and outdoor kitchen areas too. They’ll all perfectly secluded so you don’t need to see a soul if you don’t want to and waking up and hopping in that natural swimming pond after an evening drinking wine in a hot tub looking at the stars.

You can book treatments at the wellness spa, there’s a barrel sauna, infrared sauna, cold plunge and swim spa. There’s also an incredible onsite bistro that uses ingredients grown on the land and perfectly blends nature and wellness.


You don’t need to be staying to use the wellness spa. You can book a morning or afternoon here on its own, but trust me, once you arrive, you won’t want to leave.

The wellness spa, spa lodges and Shepherd’s Huts are adults only, however, if staying in a historic woodland sounds like the perfect family adventure anyway, they also have the most incredible safari tent that’s hidden away and looks like the most amazing family adventure. It sleeps six and has it’s own private wood fired hot tub.


Crafter Retreat, Upwell

Set right on the Norfolk / Cambs border, Crafters Retreat is so much more than a Shepherd’s Hut. In fact, it’s not one at all. It’s the most beautiful and spacious cabin, set in its own private “woodlet” and a 1/4 acre of private garden, on the land of Simon & Louise’s home.


The cabin is perfect for creatives who want some space and time away from it all to rest, recuperate and let their minds wander and fill with new ideas. I imagine writers coming here and the most beautiful of words pouring onto their pages. Artists filling their cup with inspiration and it flowing like a river onto canvas (there's even an easel in the cabin for the doing just that).


Simon and Louise founded Blended Monkey (a ceramics and woodturning crafts company that offers workshops you can book and attend while staying there) when they first moved to this land in Upwell and you can 100% see what inspired them. The beauty of the grounds of this place are incredible. As I walked with Louise to the cabin, a deer ran in front of us in the “woodlet” and the sounds of beautiful nature were just everywhere.


This really is the perfect couples retreat. It’s ideally set up to not have to leave at all if you don’t want to. From huge rooms consisting of a bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen, to an incredible outdoor hot tub. This cabin might be set on Simon & Louise's land but I haven't found anywhere as private on my travels. It's just the most stunning spot. You could literally be anywhere and anyone in this secluded little nook of nature and it’s just dreamy!


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With this summer looking so unpredictable weather wise, Shepherd's Huts and Cabins feel like the absolutely perfect way to get your nature fix, without worrying that your trip is going to be washout. Even on rainy day, snuggling up by those wood burners, toasty warm and snuggly feels like the perfect way to relax and find that inner zen.


Don't forget to tag us in your pictures on Instagram if you do end up booking and staying at any of these incredible places - @norfolkuncovered.


Next up in our "back to nature" blog series, and the last one in the series is "totally unique stays". We'll be posting later this week so keep your eyes peeled 👀

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