We’re not going to say the best things in life are free, because many are, but when was the last time you were sent off on holiday with a truckload of wine and a masseuse – gratis? Probably not recently. What we can say, however, is that many good things in life are free, and best of all, readily available at our spaces. Whether it’s a dazzling burst of amber through the morning mist in the treeline, listening to a stream burble past as you lie back and watch the tree canopy sway or watching deer hop hedgerows in the failing light – there are things you’d pay for if you could, but nature offers them up free of charge, as long as you’re there to look for them. To make sure you are, we’ve rounded up part two of our best budget glamping spaces, so you can go in search of some of the best things.
You find Millie, glowing with the warmth of a wood burner and golden lantern light, down a leafy lane, where steam trains once ran, and over an old Victorian bridge. You can take a dip in the water and on the banks you’ll find a parasol and pair of deck chairs to relax in, and a firepit where you can cook up meals on the tripod. There’s also a BBQ and more traditional facilities in Millie’s kitchen. Then you can retire to the riverside fire pit for an after dinner drink, while the stars burst out in some of Britain’s clearest skies.
Laverstock Farm is a quiet stretch of the woodland to settle down. Inside the hut you'll find cool cream furnishings and a comfy bed, with the covered outdoor kitchen boasting gas hobs and a big solid sideboard for prepping and cooking. The hot shower and flushing loo are about 125m away in a purpose-built washroom. There's no electricity in the hut but you'll be given some lanterns, and where you'll also find a fridge for keeping drinks and food cool. There is a communal games room available with table tennis, table football, air hockey and a pool table, perfect for those rainy days!
There’s a friendly and relaxed atmosphere on this sheep farm and Jesters, the shepherd’s hut, is beautiful inside and out. There’s a vintage modern style, a separate hut for tea-making, and a firepit for outdoor barbecuing or marshmallow-toasting. An outdoor shower is set among the trees next to the hut, but the standout feature is the twin tin baths on the deck, so you can bathe side-by-side. The farm is under an environmental scheme and you can enjoy wonderful walks around the farm as well as biking (bring your own or hire from the next village) or walking to the local pub.
Ted has been kitted out with a stylish wood-fired hot tub and pizza oven, plus an interior that you’ll love for its comfort and style. There’s a big double king bed across one end and a kitchen textured with brass, copper and weathered wood. Luxuriating in Ted’s beautifully crafted space is a wonderful way to spend a day or two, but there is a range of things, from the gentle to the extreme, to tempt you out into Nottinghamshire. The canal walk to The Windmill is a must, with a two-mile stroll bringing you straight to the classic country pub.
Crook's View is a cosy hut with sea views, set on Victoria and Andrew's peaceful smallholding, which doubles as an unofficial animal sanctuary. During your stay you’ll undoubtedly meet the other residents; the goats share the hut’s field and have been known to peer in through the stable door in the hope of sharing your breakfast too. By being here, you aren’t just entertaining the menagerie, you’re supporting them, with every night’s stay providing for two days of food for the animals.
On the far west of North Wessex Downs AONB, eight miles from Devizes, waits Gladys’ Riverside Cabin. it’s a world unto itself. Once an open field, the site the shepherd’s hut resides in is now bordered with trees and has its own pond. As well as the cleverly crafted shepherds hut, there’s a fully stocked kitchen in another cabin, should you not want to cook on the open fire, plus another rather unique space. At the site of a fallen tree that straddles the River Avon is a platform built on the recumbent trunk - perfect for stargazing and outdoor naps. Drivers need not apply. If you’re coming, you’re asked to arrive via bike, foot or train, and protect this little microcosm.
The Old Orchard Shepherd’s Hut is the epitome of simple elegance, with its hand-stitched curtains and roses entwined around the door. It’s an entirely local project, made from local timber, and even the wrought iron curtain rods were forged on site. The shepherd’s hut is at the top of the hill looking down over the orchard, which at the right time of year is carpeted with gorgeous pink apple blossom. Inside a double bed and wood-burner to keep you cosy and there's a small fire pit just outside the door where you can warm your fingers in the evening and watch the sun go down behind the Chillies Copse on the other side of the valley.
A traditional shepherd's hut with a vintage feel deep in the woods Surrounded by bluebells in the spring and swathes of ferns throughout the summer months. This ancient woodland also provides a canopy of trees with birdsong and owls hooting during the night. Fairy lights and lanterns add to the magical setting. The hot safari shower under an oak tree is another delight, a short stroll through the woods. The floral theme of the décor inside echoes the woodland and the camp kitchen means that mealtimes evoke a sort of Enid Blyton existence.