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Secluded, peaceful glamping on the edge of the New Forest

The approach to Fernwood is like a steady fizzle out of the urban world. As you leave the historic market town of Ringwood, the houses gradually seem to retreat from the edge of the road, before a church and a thatched-roof cottage mark the start of the New Forest proper. From here, the road weaves into the smudged shade of the trees and the holiday begins. You feel miles away from anywhere.

It’s through a wooden gate and down at the end of a large garden that the shepherd’s hut at Fernwood is eventually found, it’s wood-lined interior rustic and warm. Inside, it sleeps up to four (though it works well as a romantic break for couples) with a double bed that folds away into a dining space and two pull out singles for children. At one end an all-important wood-burning stove provides heating throughout the year with a free supply of logs included. It’s also cleverly backed by a strip of shiny, corrugated metal, reflecting the heat and filling the place with warmth in seconds.

There’s something very apt, in this environment, about staying in a shepherd’s hut. The lightly painted structure has an agricultural feel that fits among the surroundings, where foxes and deer can be spotted. An old treehouse works nicely as a deer and bird-spotting hide and there’s a small pond that also attracts the critters – frogs and newts can be found bathing along its edges. Indeed, Fernwood itself also plays host to chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs and a pet tortoise. So though this may be a quiet hideaway from the rest of the world, you’re not entirely alone!

Also available is Fernwood's beautifully painted gypsy caravan. Snuggled into a woodland area in the garden, this cosy caravan was built on an original 1930's dray base overlooking fields where deer and rabbits are frequently seen. The cool caravan arrived here in 2016 and is ideally booked alongside the shepherd's hut for a family with older children or two couples going away together.

Finally, the the wooden summerhouse in the garden is a handy accomplice to the shepherd’s hut and gypsy caravan. The structure has electricity for charging phones, powering a small fridge and running the kettle, with free tea and coffee for you to use. And it’s a great spot for powering up in the morning before you set off on foot or by bike to explore. Head east to submerge yourself further in the trees and heathland of the New Forest or return to busy Ringwood for the Wednesday market and a visit to the local restaurants. The choice is yours.

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The Owner Says

It is through a wooden gate and down at the end of a large garden that the shepherd’s hut at Fernwood is found. Facing south and over looking the fields grazed by deer, it is hard to imagine you are only a mile away from the friendly market town of Ringwood. Inside, it sleeps up to four (though it works well as a romantic break for couples), with a comfortable double bed that can be converted into a dining space and two pull out singles for children (aged 4 -10). At one end a cosy wood-burning stove provides heating throughout the year, with a free supply of logs included. Alternatively, on a summer evening, guests may use the fire pit outside. Fairy lights and lamps are provided as there is no electricity. Guests have a choice of using our compost toilet or a more traditional one outside the garage. A shower will also be available for guests to use at the house.

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