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Legend may have it that Samlesbury Hall is one of the most haunted houses in Britain but the black and white, half-timbered building is also undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. Fortunately, for those looking for a sound nights kip, it’s the outdoor ‘glamping hamlet’ that offers a safe resting place to lay your head. And what the place may lack in ghost-free security it makes up for with its lavish modern comforts. Mixing old with new, the three colourful shepherd’s hut pull this medieval hall firmly into the 21st-century. Ye Olde England has never seen such luxury...
Built in 1325, Samlesbury Hall may be almost 700 years older than the huts but they still seem to blend subtly amongst the expansive grounds that front the building. The earthy colours, wooden doors and small, wooden window frames compliment the setting – encircled by trees – while inside they’ve catered for everything you need. Memory foam mattresses top the pair of bunk beds in each hut, low wattage electricity runs throughout and each has its own en suite bathroom with an excellent shower and towels and toiletries provided.
Each hut really operates like its own enclosed bedroom space but there are no in-built cooking facilities. Instead, guests have the full range Samlesbury Hall facilities to use, returning via the weaving lantern-lit pathway each night. For food there’s the main restaurant, a guilt engendering wafflery and an excellent ice-cream parlour, all of which source their ingredients from the Lancashire surroundings. Indeed the herbs that garnish the restaurant food are all fresh from the Hall's own Courtyard, while eggs and honey are produced by a few of the varied animals on site – the bees and chickens are joined by rabbits, goats, sheep and pigs. For children it’s a boon.
The Hall is open to the public every day – except Saturdays (and occasional Fridays) when weddings are hosted – and tour guides can provide you with a more educated perspective of the place. There’s a museum, a gallery and frequent theatre productions, while, during school holidays, the hall has a particularly busy calendar of events and activities. Down by the animal area you can also join a charming woodland trail, with bridges, swings and obstacles for children. And if it all sounds like too much fun then book yourself in for an evening ghost hunt – a few scary encounters will bring you back down to earth with a bump. Needless to say a quick return to your cosy shepherd’s hut will soften the blow.
FacilitiesAll three shepherd’s huts sleep four people in double bunk beds and come complete with low-wattage electricity, heating, and en-suite shower room. There’s no kitchen, but you’re welcome to rent a BBQ or fire-pit kit. Bedding, towels, and toiletries are all provided. Parking for one car is available close to each hut, with additional parking available at the entrance. If the Hall is open then you’re welcome to wander around the exhibits, visit the shop, and indulge in Dottie’s Wafflery – be sure to check the varied events calendar on their website to check what’s coming up. Kids can visit the animals, play on the woodland trail and enjoy the Mayflower play area. Groups of 20+ can even dine in the great hall by special request! Even if the hall is closed the grounds are beautiful, with a mini golf course and driving range just a minutes’ walk from your front door.
Suitable ForGlamping only. Large groups, families, and couples – yes. Tents, caravans, campervans, dogs – no. Whole site hire available (e.g. corporate bookings). Wedding guests should book via the bride and groom.
NearbyIf you love nature you’ll have to visit Brockholes Nature Reserve (01772 872000), just a five minute drive away. The site boasts walks for all abilities, along with the famous Preston Guild Wheel cycle route. Blackburn (10 minutes) is famous for its beautiful cathedral (01254 503090), and local Witton Park (01254 55423) is ideal for a day out with a picnic. The historic town of Clitheroe is a short drive away, as is Hoghton Tower (01254 852986). Preston city centre (10 minutes) is ideal for shopping in the day and for a meal in the evening. The city’s bars are varied, and host a variety of entertainment. Ribchester and its’ famous Roman heritage are 20 minutes away. Samlesbury Hall is also close enough to the motorway for you to reach Blackpool, Lancaster, and Lytham within 30 minutes, and Manchester and Liverpool in under an hour.
Food & DrinkSamlesbury Hall restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch (Sun–Thur; occasional Fri), as is Dottie’s Wafflery, which serves ice cream, crepes and milkshakes along with its namesake waffles. Huntley's Farm Shop (01772 872820) supplies local produce 5 minutes away and, in the picturesque village of Mellor (also 5 minutes by car), there's a range of local pubs – The Millstone (01254 813333) is a particular Samlesbury Hall favourite. Almost across the road from the Hall is Mezzo (01772 877772), the local Italian, and further down the road Bukhara (01772 877710), the local Indian. The nearest supermarket is 15 minutes away; Waitrose in Walton-le-Dale (01772 886066).
All year, check in from 2pm (early check in by special request).
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