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UK England South East England East Sussex

The Rolling Downs, Halland, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 5AF

Lovingly restored shepherd’s huts in the grounds of Sussex' famous Bentley Estate

Since it's inception a few years ago, The Rolling Downs in East Sussex has fast become the region's worst kept secret. Lovingly crafted and hidden away in a quiet nook on the renowned Bentley Estate, this pair of homely shepherd's huts seems to have something for everyone. For couples, the cosy, secluded feel of it all provides an obvious romance, with access to endless country walks and stop-offs in the cute tea rooms on the estate. For families, meanwhile, there's the fun of staying in the shepherd's huts themselves, paired with making your way across the meadows to the Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum and riding on the estate's miniature steam railway.

Despite the attractions on the doorstep, however, this no commercial 'add-on' but a thoroughly sympathetic stay that lets you really tuck yourself away in the countryside. The two shepherd huts, coloured in soothing egg-shell tones of white and sky blue, are plotted amongst a spacious patch of Sussex meadow and are a real labour of love for the glampsite owners, Brett and Clare Young. Both the main family hut and the more recently built younger sibling are mini masterpieces of ergonomic, eco-friendly design. Unlike some shepherd huts, whose compact dimensions and stuffiness can be a little on the oppressive side, the light décor coupled with the cosy textiles and compact wood burning stove give the accommodation a perfect balance of airiness and comfort. Power, from the huts' little wind-turbine, too, means this is a truly eco-friendly affair.

The innate tranquillity of the place is something that Brett and Clare work hard to preserve, so much so that the smaller of the two huts can only be booked as additional accommodation to the larger one (on account of the shared facilities). Consequently, this makes them ideal for parents with young children. The kids will love telling stories by lantern light in the dinky adjacent hut, while mum and dad have the double bed and bathroom to themselves next door.

From the huts it's a relatively easy walk over to the motor museum. It's just one proverbial feather in the 60-acre estate's cap. The place is also home to 1,000 birds (130 species from around the world), including a breed called the Wandering Whistling duck; a craft barn for kids; a superb tearooms and a miniature steam train that even the most grown up of grown ups will want to take a ride on. For those seeking to make the most of tranquility, meanwhile, a walk around the estate grounds peeping in on the Palladian mansion is just as enticing, along with a trip to the cobbled streets of nearby Lewes (15 minutes away).

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