Blackgrounds Farm Shepherd Huts
Blackgrounds Farm, Culworth Rd, Chipping Warden, OX171LZ
Running through the folds of the Oxfordshire countryside, the River Cherwell strings its way into Blakgrounds Farm. It’s a serene setting for a glamping site and the shepherd's huts here certainly capitalise on it. Indeed, it is the hut furthest from the farmyard that perches right along the water’s edge, the sound of the river’s flow faintly audible in the night. The extra 350-yard stroll from your car is well worth it.
In total there are, in fact, five different shepherd’s huts on the farm, each with its own private space and equipped with personal facilities, so you feel like the only guests around. The huts have specifically been placed so that they are not visible from one another, with one nestled among the low trees of an apple orchard and another in the open pastures beyond the farmhouse with wide, magnificent views.
Inside, the huts are well equipped for glamping – they have fitted, king-sized beds, a table and chairs, plus tea and coffee making facilities for your morning cup around the campfire – but the style is in keeping with the huts’ humble origins. There are no slim TVs or DVD players and the hot showers are off-grid and gas-powered. Two of the huts do have solar power, while the other three are on on-grid, although the romantic flickering of candlelight is a more atmospheric alternative.
Footpaths lace their way through the farm. There is one directly outside the ‘Blackgrounds’ hut, though it is rarely used by the public. As a result, guests have instant access to the local routes. The Millennium Way and the Battlefields Trail are two particularly well-known paths, or you can have a more urban adventure, by car, in nearby Oxford, Warwick or Stratford-Upon-Avon. For most, it must be said, the riverside route to the local pub is the most popular option. After all, a visit to the inn after a few days in your hut is exactly what the shepherds of old would have done, isn't it?