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Blackgrounds Farm Shepherd Huts
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?
FacilitiesAll huts have private facilities, built in beds (bedding provided), table and chairs, BBQs, firepits outside, gas-fired showers, eco toilets, tea and coffee making facilities, 2 can accommodate children and 2 are solar powered, 3 are on-grid. On-site parking, garden for guests to explore, drying facilities, BBQ area, stabling available and swimming in the river for those willing to give it a try!
Suitable ForGlamping only. Dogs welcome (with an additional charge).
NearbyIt’s less than half an hour to ‘the city of dreaming spires’, where you can roam around the various Oxfordcolleges and quads, admiring the architecture. Punting(01865 515978) is a great option on sunny days; relaxing in a good book or coffee shop is a good choice on rainy ones. Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon is around the same distance – worth a visit not just for the theatres and Shakespeare-centred history, but also as an attractive little town in its own right. Just beyond, Warwick is particularly popular for its well-kept Norman castle (08712 652000) – family activities run throughout school holidays. It’s also 40 minutes to Blenheim Palace (01993 810500), a monumental 18th-century house in Woodstock and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Closer to home, enjoy walks directly from the campsite. There are several local footpaths along the riverside, while long distance routes – the Jurassic Way, Millennium Way and Battlefield Trail – are also accessible.
Food & DrinkPicnic hampers can be supplied with advanced notice and a butchers van, with free-range meat and fresh vegetables, comes to the farmyard every Saturday morning. The Griffin (01295 660311) in Chipping Warden is within easy walking distance (dog-friendly and serving hearty pub food) or, if you want to really treat yourself, the renowned Butchers Arms (01327 260504) at Priors Hardwick is only a 15-minute drive. Other top pubs for within 5–10 minutes drive are The Red Lion (01295 760050) at Culworth, The George and Dragon (01295 711500) at Chacombe, The Three Conies (01295 711025) at Thorpe Mandeville and The Red Lion (01327 261200) at Hellidon.
From the M40, leave at junction 11 and take the A422/A361 exit to Banbury. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto the A361 to Daventry, then turn right onto Culworth Rd at the Aston Le Walls crossroads. Turn left opposite the barn conversion, through a green gate (Sat Nav users will be taken to this barn conversion with the postcode). Go through the green gate – it will open when you drive up to it.
The nearest station is Banbury (0845 748 4950). There is a bus once an hour that goes to Chipping Warden. The campsite is a 12-minute walk from the bus stop.
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★★ over 15 reviews
Idyllic getaway on beautiful farmland
Amazing and relaxing weekend away
2 people in the Tree Tent 1 night.
Expensive, dirty, misleading
Response from Blackgrounds Farm Shepherd Huts
Thank you for your comments Debbie Fisher. Had you mentioned any of these things before you decided to leave you would have been given a free upgrade. We assumed you had left because you could not control your two large dogs that were freely wandering around the farmyard causing havoc. You said at the time you were "very happy" with the cabin. The cabin was most certainly NOT dirty indeed it was spotless and all the crockery had just been through the dishwasher and double checked. Cobwebs can appear within hours so we apologise about those.
The cabin is clearly advertised that it is in the farmyard NOT a "log cabin nestling in a field" All our past guests have been very happy with it especially as it has so much room and is very reasonably priced. We have never had anyone mention rats before and we put poison down twice a year to guard against this as it is an occupational hazard on a farm. You managed to complain about everything after you had left and yet did not have the courtesy to say anything before when it could have been so easily rectified. All we want is for our guests to have a lovely stay and we will do anything to facilitate that. I am just sorry you didn't give us the chance to rectify matters.