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Huts Upon a Hill
Just beyond the southern edge of the Cotswolds, where the hills begin to shallow and rivers weave their way through a wheat and crop-covered landscape, Baggridge Farm – home to Huts Upon a Hill – sits atop a high point between Norton Brook and the River Wellow, tributaries both bound for the Avon and the nearby city of Bath. Even when you put the historic city aside, its grand sweep of Georgian terraces, cobbled streets packed with museums and galleries and the famed Roman baths, this is a spot steeped in history. It’s just half a mile as the crow flies to Stoney Littleton Long Barrow, a Neolithic tomb from 3500BC, and even the 18th century local pub – The Fox and Badger – seems lost in time, with cute hanging flower baskets and old-fashioned, metal lamps outside.
Huts Upon a Hill is a fittingly traditional glamping site given such surroundings. Based upon the design of classic, old-fashioned shepherd’s huts, the two abodes have old iron wheels, green, corrugated walls and quaint little windows for peeping out at the hill-top views. Inside, they’re furnished to suit, with a farmhouse-style kitchenette, wooden surfaces and a log-burning stove, but the huts are also suitably modernised; books and board games are accompanied by a flat-screen television and there’s an en-suite bathroom with a hot, powerful shower. In all, it gives the appearance that the huts have been perched in this spot since the first shepherd’s were using them in the early 18th century. In reality, it’s modern glamping at its best.
Owners Casey and Jeremy live in the nearby farmhouse and are on hand to welcome you with complimentary tea and coffee and a freshly-baked loaf of bread. Their free-range chickens also do a fine line in tasty, yolky eggs that you can collect. On a sunny morning, breakfast is best enjoyed at the table outside your hut, enjoying the view that, on a clear day stretches at least 20 miles into the distance. If it coaxes you out, you can take one of the farm footpaths across country to Stoney Littleton Long Barrow or bring bikes and hop on the Two Tunnels cycleway just beyond Wellow. The former railway route, now converted into a flat, scenic path, is the ideal way to breezily pedal your way to Bath. There you can relax in a thermal spa and await the call of the countryside to beckon you back again.
Each shepherds hut is fully furnished, with a king-sized bed (bedding and linen supplied), kitchen (fridge, slow cooker, utensils and more), en suite bathroom (with shower), and a wood-burning stove (with a basket of logs, fire lighters and matches). Each also has a radio, TV, Wi-Fi, towels, books, board games, hair dryer and complimentary selection of tea, fresh coffee and a fresh farmhouse loaf. There are free-range hens you can collect eggs from. Parking provided. Horse livery available (enquire for details). Bicycle hire available.
Glamping only. Tents, campervans, caravans – no.
Since 2014 the old Somerset and Dorset train line has been transformed into a flat, paved cycle route that runs right the way to Bath and can be joined 1¼ miles from the campsite. It provides views of Bath's Georgian crescents and passes through dramatic Devonshire tunnel, emerging in a wooded valley that feels a long way from the city centre. The path can also be used to create a scenic 13-mile loop between Bath and Midford, and back again via the canal towpath. Enquire on site about bike hire if you haven't brought your own. Walking and riding (if you've brought your horse) options are also extensive with routes directly from the site. Bath itself has plenty to keep you busy – the Roman baths (01225 477785), Jane Austen Centre (01225 443000), Bath Abbey ( 01225 422462), Royal Victoria Park and more. The tourist office (09067 112000) is always a decent place to begin. Further afield, Bradford upon Avon is 7 miles away, Longleat Safari Park (01985 844400) is 13 miles and Wells Cathedral is 14 miles.
Food & Drink
A breakfast box is available upon request at an extra charge, as well as any additional requirements by guests, such as champagne, flowers or chocolates for a special occasion. Walk into the village where The Fox and Badger (01225 832293; 1 mile) serves lunch and dinner daily and has a good selection of beers. After that, there are a range of equidistant pubs all around 3 miles away. The Wheatsheaf (01225 833504) in Combe Hay, plus The Rose and Crown (01225 722153) and The Stag (01225 723456) both in Hinton Charterhouse.
From Wellow, turn onto Mill Hill by the school (signs point you toward a ford). Stay on this road down the hill and through the ford. 100m later, where the road splits, keep left and then, after around another 100m, take the first right turn you come to. Continue up this road for ¾-mile and you will come to Huts Upon a Hill at the top.
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