Sometimes you just need to get away from the madness of life in a busy city. Thankfully, weekend breaks are the perfect balance between saving up your annual leave and exploring places nearby. So on a breezy Friday afternoon, we got in our car and travelled four hours south to Wales, where we stayed in your not-so-regular type of accommodation.
The Shepherd’s Hut
Yep you guessed it, we stayed in a Shepherd’s Hut for the weekend – which in itself raised some eyebrows! But this wasn’t your standard, run-of-the-mill type of shepherd’s hut. Oh no. It was a particularly special one which wouldn’t have gone a miss in those glossy magazines – but instead it can be found on Airbnb.
We rocked up a little shy before midnight after a not-so-rural drive. Perhaps rather naively of me, I thought the drive from Manchester would take us down picturesque scenic routes. It certainly wasn’t like that however, as we ended up down a two-lane M6 motorway for 4 hours during peak rush hour!
Inside the Shepherd’s Hut was a double bed, table and chairs, a copper kettle and Welsh cakes – along with a log-burner and lovely bathroom. It had everything we needed for a few days, along with an ice box (with milk provided), a picnic basket with plates, napkins and cutlery and a blanket basket with the prettiest of throws.
Autumn leaves and trees
When we first arrived, we couldn’t see much apart from the Shepherd’s Hut which sat glowing in the pitch-black field. After a great night’s sleep, we woke-up to such a breathtaking and autumnal view.
Whilst diving into our freshly packed breakfast bags (which included fresh pastries, orange juice and a creamy yoghurt with granola), we couldn’t help but stare out of the windows towards the tree-stacked hills. The trees rippled with colours of rich oranges, bold yellows and crisp greens signalling the mid-way point to autumn.
The whole surroundings were just so completely chilled. Our days dragged – but not in a boring or frustrating way, instead it was just so easy and relaxed. We spent most of our time over the weekend eating, sleeping, watching Game of Thrones and attempting to light fires – when in Wales!
Re-light my fire – you’re my only desire
Moving on from the Take That reference (thanks Mum), we got busy building and making fires to roast some goodies and keep us warm. The Shepherd’s Hut came complete with a fire pit AND a log burner and put it this way, my dreams came true!
When we weren’t busy grilling our fat-free, cardboard-like burgers on the fire pit (followed swiftly by marshmallows and chocolate bananas), we become ever so slightly obsessed with the log-burner. It came complete with a little bucket of sticks, matches and chopped up wood which made our hut feel like a sauna – but I felt so toasty in my fluffy pyjamas!
Cosying up and relaxing by the fire
With our bellies full of sausages, burgers and 1/4 of a failed butternut squash mac & cheese, we poured ourselves a glass of wine and grabbed the blankets before watching an episode of Game of Thrones outside by the fire pit. With the medieval castle lurking in the background, smell of smoke and flames keeping us toasty, it actually felt like we were in GOT! We seem to have a thing about watching GOT wherever we go (case example being in Lisbon), but sometimes it’s just the perfect way to relax.
The surprise the morning after
After a restful night’s sleep in the hut, on our final morning we woke up to a surprise. I peeked out of the window and spotted the neighbours (a flock of sheep), as well as three pheasants and wild rabbits! Being city dwellers this took us by complete surprise as I had only come to terms with the fact a field full of sheep were just a few meters away!
We watched them hop about and explore our little plot – all the while making sure our breakfasts were safe and sound in our bellies ready for the long drive back to Manchester. Before leaving, we ventured over to the Castle for one more peek into history and spent some time soaking up the views and sunshine.
If you’re looking for a place to escape for a few days, I’d highly recommend a stay at the Shepherd’s Hut. It was such a different and unusual experience for us, but we’d go back in a heartbeat and for even longer! On the way back home, we passed by even more beautiful scenery which wouldn’t have looked out of place in New England. But why venture across the pond when there’s so much to explore on our doorsteps over a weekend?
Extra details: Our stay at the Shepherd’s Hut in South Wales cost £85.00 per night.