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Stocklinch Shepherd’s Hut

UK England South West England Somerset Ilminster

  • Campfires allowed
  • Adults only
  • Hot Tubs
  • Adults Only
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Hot tubs
  • Good walks nearby
  • Short walk to the pub
  • Walking
A hand-crafted shepherd's hut in purposefully planted orchard, with great views, wonderful privacy and a wood-fired hot tub to use

On the lower slopes of the Linches – the range of Somerset hills that give the little village of Stocklinch its name – there’s a couple on a mission to create the perfect glamping space. Fiona and Matt Day first discovered the area on a cycling holiday in 1997, but it wasn’t until a few years later that they made the big move altogether and not until 2012 that they settled here on the gentle slopes of the Isle Valley.

“One of the very first things we did when we moved into The Old Post Office was to plant hundreds of trees in our field”, Fiona explains. Willows, oak and other native trees now shelter almost an acre of space, with a perfect slice left open for the shepherd’s hut. Owls tweet-twoo in the night and hedgehogs take autumn shelter in the hedgerow. Only a neat gravel pathway divide the space. And the hut itself? “That’s thanks to Matt's brother, a carpenter extraordinaire” Fiona continues. Nothing is off the shelf here.

Sleeping two and showcasing brother Jim’s dedication to his craft, Stocklinch Shepherd’s Hut really is a thing of beauty. Neat, blue, French-window-style doors open up to let light pour in during summer and sheep’s wool insulation keeps things snug in winter, while, inside, a built-in bed at one end can be reached via clever pull-out steps that slide, like a giant Tetris piece, from amongst the storage drawers. An ergonomic kitchen – complete with oven, fridge and sink – and an en-suite shower room are all neatly fitted in, too, never compromising on the sense of space.

Thoughtful touches abound. The slide-out, pine table is ideal for rainy-evening board games (games and magazines provided, of course) and, when the weather is good, what could be better than soaking in a wood-fired hot tub? Sat just adjacent to the shepherd’s hut, you can light the tub before dinner, then spend the evening steaming beneath the dazzling stars that this rural spot affords.

Unsurprisingly, Matt and Fiona are quick to recommend a trip back to their old favourite, the Quantock Hills, a 35-minute drive away, and it only takes around 35 minutes to reach the Dorset and Somerset coast too. But the real joy of this place is that, despite how rural it feels, there’s plenty right on the doorstep. A pleasant two mile walk over the hill leads you to the grand Tudor mansion of Barrington Court (now owned by the National Trust) and it’s a five minute drive to the renowned independent pubs, eateries and breweries of Ilminster – Stocklinch even has its very own micro-brewery just a couple of hundred yards from the hut. So, whether your venturing afar or intend to go no further than the hot tub, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied.

Details

Facilities

Shepherd's hut sleeps 2 in a raised double bed with neat storage underneath (bedding and linen provided; accessed using pull-out steps). En-suite bathroom has an electric shower, washhand basin, heated towel rail and flushing loo (towels and toiletries provided). Compact kitchen has a microwave oven, hob, fridge, sink and a selection of pots, pans, utensils and crockery along with essential breakfast supplies to get you through your first breakfast, including milk, bread, butter, eggs, jams, honey and marmalade, cereals, muesli, teas, coffee, hot chocolate as well as oils, salt and pepper. Fold out chairs, pull-out table, radio, board games, books and magazines. Heating inside. Outside, there is a wood-fired hot tub, tables and chairs, BBQ, fire pit, and a supply of logs and coals. Additional logs can be provided at £10 per wheelbarrow load. Guests have sole use of the orchard area, which is about a third of an acre.

Suitable For

Glamping only. No pets allowed.

Nearby

It’s 2 miles to National Trust-owned Barrington Court (01460 241938; adults £12; children £6; families £30), a Tudor manor house that took over a decade to build and was beautifully restored in the 1920s, with farm buildings, a vernacular stable court, abundant flowers and orchards – the place is classic Somerset. There’s a nice café there for lunch and it makes for an excellent walk from the shepherd’s hut. In the summer months, The Potting Shed at Denis Chinaworks (2 miles; 01460 240622) is another great walking option and has a delightful tea garden, too, where you can enjoy coffee, cakes and light lunches. Being on the edge of the Somerset Levels you can opt to pedal along the gentle flat lanes or alternatively take a slightly more strenuous route up the hills and down the valleys if you bring your bikes – Stocklinch Shepherd’s Hut is on the National Cycle Route Network 3 (the Stocklinch village website has several suggestions or you could grab the map and be adventurous). It’s a 40-minute drive to the coast – the likes of Lyme Regis, Charmouth and Axmouth are closest – while it’s 30 minutes to the Quantock Hills and 50 minutes to Exmoor National Park.

Food & Drink

Cider is produced locally at Burrow Hill Cider (01460 240782) and Perry’s Cider (01460 55195), where you can sample and buy. There are two pubs within walking distance: It takes about 20 minutes to walk over the hill to The Barrington Boar (01460 259281), home to a good choice of beer and cider, excellent burgers and fish and chips as well as tasty puds (very comfortable sofas around the fire, too). The Duke of York (01460 240314), Shepton Beauchamp is also within walking distance, though a tad further. For most other things, Ilminster is the nearest market town and has ample independent food shops, including a cheese shop, deli, wine merchant, award winning butcher, bakery and the renowned Trading Post farm shop (01460 241666) at Lopenhead. For a light bite in town, No. 57 (01460 54856) is great for healthy options, The Meeting House (01460 55783) is fab for art fans in need of a quick coffee, while Feast (01460 53183) is great for vegetarians (Pip’s Railway Carriage – 07729 685412 – at The Trading Post is also a top veggie and vegan café, set in an old railway carriage).

Opening Times

All year.

Are you the Owner?

Accommodation

A single, luxury shepherd's hut (sleeping 2) set in a Somerset orchard.

Location

Contact Stocklinch Shepherd’s Hut, The Old Post Office, Owl Street, Stocklinch, Somerset TA19 9JG

Show Map

Getting There

From the A303: Turn off at either South Petherton or Ilminster roundabouts and head for Whitelackington. There, turn near the big thatched house signed for Stocklinch. The road gets narrow and twisty as you enter the village with no road markings and some blind corners, so take care and drive slowly. Pass the village hall on the left. The Stocklinch Shepherds Hut is at The Old Post Office, Owl Street, the next house on the left after the old phone box. There is a gravel drive and wooden gates. Please drive straight in and park up on the grassed parking area beyond the hedge which is solely for your use. The nearest train station is Crewkerne (Waterloo line) and Castle Cary or Taunton (Paddington line). You'll have to book a taxi from these though. There is a demand-responsive bus service called Slinky that runs all the way to the village. Contact Stocklinch Shepherds Hut for more details. By bike, you can cycle through Dillington House estate to get to Ilminster (2 miles) if you don't fancy the main road from Whitelackington.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 3 reviews

★★★★★

Lovely peaceful break

We had a lovely anniversary break fiona made us feel right at home with all the the extra touches that made our break special. The lovely location and hot tub were great in the summer evening. The fire pit was also amazing just to keep us nice and snug in the evening. Would definitely like to book again and would highly recommend Louise and Gareth august 2019
Aug 15, 2019 by Louise King
★★★★★

Perfect anniversary celebratory getaway

What can we say, from the very start at the booking process Fiona has been amazing and massively helpful, communication is excellent. On arrival we were greeted to the beautiful shepherds hut with home made cookies (which were truly scrumptious) and everything we could need for breakfast/hot drinks (even a galaxy ripple and being a chocoholic this was amazing!). The fresh flowers inside were beautiful and such a nice touch. The hot tub is amazing and we enjoyed both evenings and mornings in here together. Watching the birds from the bed in the morning on the feeder is also a real treat. We played a couple of board games in the evening and just enjoyed being together, in private, just us. Fiona has thought of everything and we simply couldn’t have asked for a nicer anniversary break. Oh and not to forget the local pub, amazing food (and puddings!) and a nice walk away to not feel guilty about indulging - This is highly recommended and we will certainly be returning
Apr 15, 2019 by Simon & Jodie
★★★★★

Really lovely little cabin with a great hot tub!

Stocklinch Shepherd's Hut is place with few distractions. A really lovely place to take time out of a busy life and enjoy the company of your partner. There are some nice walks around: we walked into Illminster (a town with more cafes than houses). The whole experience was capped off by watching the birds on the feeder from bed with a cuppa first thing in the morning. Oh and did we mention the hot tub? We got the water nice and hot (a bit too hot really) in January under the stars on a frosty evening.
Jan 22, 2019 by Josh and Annie

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