Dorset Forest Garden

UK England West Country Dorset

Dorset Forest Garden, Beaminster Bottom Farm, Beaminster, Dorset DT8 3SG
Beautifully finished shepherd’s hut on a Dorset farm in a 1.5 acre forest garden with stunning views.
The idea of ‘glamping’ hadn’t even been invented when Tracy and James Oldfield bought this green strip of land, ten miles from Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, two decades ago. Their aim was to transform the space into a farm and forest garden – a natural, multilayered plot where fruit and vegetables thrive. And, today, ‘thriving’ is certainly the perfect word. Sheep, ducks and rabbits are dotted about the farmland and the young saplings they planted have grown into fruitful trees. There’s the aquaponics area (where fish help fertilize the plants), the passive eco house in which they live and the community open days they host. Just like the plants, things here have been growing quickly. And now there are also two gorgeous shepherd’s huts to show for it too.

Each of the huts has its own private space within the garden. The ‘Artisan’ hut faces south and has excellent, far-reaching views of National Trust-owned Eggardon Hill visible in the distance – an Iron Age fort and a good starting place for local walks. There’s a pamphlet with the best routes stashed inside your hut too, so there’s no excuse. The ‘Forager’ hut, meanwhile, is directly in the center of the garden, surrounded by hedged fields and woodland. Both are built in the traditional style – corrugated tin rooftops and old fashioned metal wheels – while inside they’re furnished to a more luxurious modern standard. A king-sized bed, en-suite bathroom and toasty wood burner all ensure a comfortable stay. And, of course, no visit to such a productive garden would be complete without a basket of homegrown goodies, including fresh potted herbs and local organic milk.

Offsite, the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has the highest density of Iron Age hill forts in the country, a sign of the counties rich history that has also resulted in an endless number of charming old villages spread around the countryside. Nearby Beaminster is particularly quaint. It goes by the name of ‘Emminster’ in Thomas Hardy’s famous novels and has a fantastic old red-brick pub, The Red Lion, while further the south Dorset’s famous Jurassic coast needs little introduction. A good yomp along sweeping Chesil Beach is the perfect way to tire you out before retreating to the comfort of your shepherd’s hut and a good feast in the shared BBQ hut in the garden.

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The Owner Says

Two shepherd’s huts set amidst fruit trees with each hut positioned to enjoy its own breathtaking views across the Dorset countryside. They are beautifully decorated with some lovingly restored furniture and vintage fittings. You snuggle up in a proper king size sprung bed with a feather duvet and pillows. There’s fresh running water, a hot shower and a flushing toilet all in the shepherd’s hut. For cooking, the hut contains all the kitchen utensils and necessities – including marshmallows to toast over your fire pit or in the communal BBQ hut.

Reviews

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★★★★★

Wonderful stay!

Jun 27, 2016 by Alex&Jo

This is an amazing hut, quiet, peaceful and beautiful surroundings.The log burner kept us very warm and we created outside fires too – which also gave us a very nice breakfast.Our stay was very homely and is something we would definatley do again.Thank you very much.

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