You don’t need to go too far afield to have a break away from everyday life, why not explore the wonderful county that we live in so you can spend more time relaxing and less time travelling!
We all love the idea of a short getaway, but sometimes you spend too much time travelling and not enough time enjoying yourself. We have begun a search for hidden gems within Dorset and Hampshire, perfect for a couple of days away, without having to go too far, maximising your enjoyment time.
To help us with our search we got in touch with our friends at Canopy & Stars who have a selection of accommodation throughout Dorset. The great thing about Canopy & Stars is their ethos; they aim to inspire people to connect with nature through meaningful experiences, whilst having a positive impact on the environment. They offer a unique selection of accommodation types, including treehouses, gypsy caravans and yurts, just to name a few! This is the perfect company for anyone looking for a break with a difference!
With such a wonderful selection to choose from we felt spoilt for choice so handed over to the experts to inspire us. After talking through what we were looking for they recommended we try a converted Shepherd’s hut at the Farmstead Glamping in Sturminster Newton. As a lover off all things quirky I jumped at the chance of a unique escape, armed with my partner in crime, in this case being my sister, we headed off for a couple of days of unwinding and exploring.
Tucked away in the Dorset countryside, just an hour from Bournemouth, we pulled up at the gate of the Farmstead Glamping, making our way through we were struck by the idyllic view, in front of us lay fields as far as we could see.
Our home for the next couple of nights was to be the Pleasant Pheasant (www.canopyandstars.co.uk/ThePleasantPheasant), this is one of two huts on site, situated at either end of the field you have no worries about being disturbed by your neighbour. Greeted by our friendly host, Hannah, who took the time to show us around and make sure we knew how everything worked, we excitedly set about exploring our hut.
They have set everything up perfectly to offer all of the home comforts you could want, plus more! Inside the hut there is a kitchen area with two gas rings and all of the kitchenware you might need, a wood burning stove for those chilly nights, and at the far end was a very comfortable double bed. Being amongst those who still like our creature comforts we were happy to find a door in to a bathroom with a toilet, sink and shower! As you would expect from a shepherds hut, space is tight but they have done a wonderful job at maximising the use of it including storage under the bed containing a selection of games, plus extra blankets if needed.
Outside the hut they have laid out a lovely seating area with a fire pit, which can also be used for cooking on, and the piece de resistance, a wood fired hot tub!
After having fully explored every nook and cranny we pulled up the Adirondack chairs around the fire pit and settled down with a glass of bubbles in our hand to fully absorb our surroundings. The peace and quiet washes over you here and you feel like you have completely escaped every day life in a little piece of heaven. Thinking that the evening couldn’t be anymore perfect we stepped in to the hot tub and tranquility ensued as we both laid back, relaxed and put the world to rights.
The next morning we woke up and decided to explore the local area, but first we needed fuel! When booking your trip they offer the optional extras of ordering food and breakfast hampers. We opted for the Veggie Breakfast, which included free range eggs, mushrooms, a loaf of bread, butter, jam and apple juice. We whipped up a feast of scrambled eggs and mushrooms on toast and settle back outside to enjoy our feast, there is something about eating breakfast in the fresh air in the middle of the countryside that makes it taste even better!
Over breakfast we browsed through the leaflets that have been left for the guests. There are a selection of walks to choose from ranging in distance and difficulty. With so much choice it came down to one simple thing, which one had a local pub en route, we were on holiday after all! We pulled on our wellies and set off across fields, over stiles, through forests, even along an old railway track. We have driven through here many times on the way to see family but there are so many beautiful sights that you just don’t see from the car, it is a truly wonderful part of our county that we never truly appreciated until now.
After a long day on our feet we opted to go out for dinner, looking through the recommendations from Farmstead Glamping we settled on heading to Plumber Manor, a local manor house. The food was wonderfully indulgent, with a varied menu made up of fresh ingredients set in a beautiful country home, keeping all of the original charm, you could almost believe time had stood still.
After dinner we head back to our Shepherd’s hut and settled down to play a game of cards whilst reflecting back on our stay. It really is a wonderful place to visit; for anyone who needs a break away from everyday life, craves some peace and quiet, or just wants to explore the local countryside, this is the perfect place for you. All the creature comforts you need but with nature on your doorstep, you would be forgiven for not wanting to go home.
About Canopy & Stars
Canopy & Stars offer a range of accommodation not only in Dorset but across the whole of Britain, and even abroad, proving spaces that surprise and inspire you from the moment you arrive.
They believe in making travel as low impact as possible, by working with owners who build and live sustainably, and encouraging people to appreciate the natural world, so that we can all be a part of preserving our environment. Visit www.canopyandstars.co.uk to see the full range of inspiring places they have to offer.
FIND OUT MORE
T. 0117 204 7830
Photos courtesy of Canopy & Stars