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Beautifully finished shepherd’s hut in a 1½-acre forest garden, each with their own private hot tub and quiet, secluded space

The idea of ‘glamping’ hadn’t even been invented when Tracy and James Oldfield bought this green piece of land, less than 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 ecosystem where fruiting trees, shrubs and herbs thrive together. And, today, ‘thriving’ is certainly the perfect word. Young saplings they planted have grown into fruitful trees. There’s the aquaponics area (where fish water help fertilize the plants), the passive eco house in which they live and ducks waddling about the farm. 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, where a wood-fired hot tub also awaits. The ‘Forager’ hut faces south easterly and has excellent, far-reaching views all the way to National Trust-owned Eggardon Hill – an Iron Age fort visible in the distance and a good starting place for local walks. There’s a map showing all the nearby walks stashed inside your hut too, so there’s no excuse. The ‘Artisan’ hut, meanwhile, is surrounded and sheltered by trees, giving a private, peaceful feel. 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.

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 restaurant – The Brassica – that recently featured in The Sunday Times' Top 100, while, further 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 around the site's shared BBQ hut.

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The campsite owner says

Far from the Madding Crowd - Dorset Forest Garden Glamping offers characterful vintage shepherd's hut glamping.  Set amongst fruit trees in a food forest, Dorset Forest Garden is in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the heart of rural West Dorset. Both huts have their own private hot tub.

Located close to the Jurassic coast, the two huts have stunning views across Hardy's countryside.

Inside each hut, there is a kingsize bed with sprung mattress and feather duvet, a private ensuite with flushing loo and a hot shower. The Shepherd's Huts also contain a wood burner to keep the hut cosy (complete with a supply of wood), china and cutlery, plus a range of camp cooking equipment for cooking outside or in the BBQ hut. Bed linen for two, washing up liquid and starter essentials for the kitchen including coffee, tea, sugar, and marshmallows for toasting are provided.

For cooking - in front of each shepherd's hut is a fire pit with all the equipment you need to cook a good meal. As well as this, there is a BBQ hut in the forest garden to make cooking fun whatever the weather.  A fridge freezer and electrical points are also available in the BBQ hut.


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