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A single, traditional shepherd's hut with countryside views, and a cosy feel
The squawk of a car horn, the flash of a camera, the constant shuffle of pedestrians bustling on the busy streets – the frenetic energy of London is never easy to escape. And when you do decide to head for the countryside, it’s always important to find a removed, secluded slice of the natural landscape. Less than 30 minutes from the M25, Lockhurst Hatch Farm is a site that manages to create such an 'away-from-it-all' atmosphere, despite being an easy journey from all the action. Here the fumbling of tent pegs and clipping together of poles are replaced by the pre-arranged comforts of a traditional shepherd’s hut, where privacy is guaranteed as guests are sole occupants of this cosy hill-top abode.

Hand built by craftsmen in Dorset using oak, spruce and Douglas fir, Lockhurst's charming dark green hut has been built with tradition in mind, based on the proportions of a Victorian shepherd’s hut. Despite harking back to these shepherding days, the hut's history still pales in comparison to the farm itself which dates a good 200 years further. Beautifully timbered, Lockhurst Hatch Farmhouse is as quaint as they come and though now operating as a B&B, it is still the centre point of the 30 acre farm where Portland and Jacob sheep graze and chickens scratch around.

Inside the hut, space is carefully managed with a sofa that folds out into a double bed topped by a deep, memory foam mattress. Table and chairs are provided and allow somewhere to relax while you stoke the wood-burning stove, complete with a healthy stack of logs. Outside, to one side of the hut, a small pine cabin houses a composting toilet, while, on the other side, a shower is found. Gas-powered, this outdoor ablution makes the most of the stunning views the site affords its guests. A bark screen is pulled across to protect your modesty, but beyond you can gaze across the Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with its verdant rolling hummocks stretching into the distance.

Making the most of this landscape does not involving travelling far. Welcoming owners, Gill and Pete (the same people that provide your daily breakfast hamper), are quick to suggest a host of excellent cycle routes and footpaths. Happy to lend a map, they can point you offsite where paths and bridleways lead directly into the woods and out into the open heathland. Wander through Winterfold Forest (abuzz with wildlife), or take a bike for the rolling ride to the village of Shere, a beautifully untainted village complete with two pubs, a tiny museum and ducks dabbling in the ford. If you return after dark then remember to bring a torch, it’s a short wander up to the top corner of the field, where the quiet privacy of your Surrey Hills hideaway awaits.

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