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Outdoor living

This article appears in the spring issue of Magazine, distributed with the Guardian on 07 April 2017. Click here to read the full digital issue online.

The Yorkshire Hut Company

Forget the extension: if you’re looking for extra living space then the search ends here. A shepherd’s hut is the perfect environment for living, working or getting away from it all.

Over the last eight years The Yorkshire Hut Company has handcrafted over 40 shepherd’s huts from its workshop in York. It has created home of fices, studios, extra space for growing families and even a bespoke f ishing hut for cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham!

The family business has also designed and built huts for award-winning rental businesses, fitting solar lighting and compost toilets for clients with off-grid getaways and underfloor heating, micro-kitchens and even wet rooms for others with luxury glamping sites.

The timber is certi fied by the Forest Stewardship Council, the windows are double glazed and the walls, floors and ceilings have Thermafleece insulation made from locally sourced sheep’s wool.

From individually stained glass windows and hand-carved plaques to concealed time capsules, wood-burning stoves and bespoke furniture, every detail is crafted by a team of fully quali fied experts.

‘We believe in diversity in the workplace’, says Pennie Lordan, business manager at The Yorkshire Hut Company, ‘so our team is made up of craftspeople of various ages. We value experience and recognise the importance of passing skills forward to future generations, so we always employ and train a bench joiner apprentice.’

There’s even an in-house Yorkshire welder who makes the chassis and axles, and the large ductile cast iron wheels are cast in a Yorkshire foundry from recycled brake discs. As well as looking gorgeous the wheels mean the huts don’t usually require planning permission.

They may evoke the charm of a forgotten time, but the thermal qualities of these shepherd’s huts put many modern homes to shame.

Click here to find out why The Yorkshire Hut Company’s shepherd’s hut is a Hero.

Glamping at Wowo

For anyone without space in the garden – or without a garden – for a shepherd’s hut, fear not: there are other ways to get a taste of outdoor luxury.

Wowo campsite in Sussex offers a whole menu of glamping options, including a range of yurts, shepherd’s huts and lotus bell tents. It’s camping, but not as you know it.

Imagine driving up to your own bell tent, unzipping the canvas and f inding a luxurious space fully equipped with pans, crockery, cutlery, candles, beds – in a tent! – and bedding. While other not-so-happy campers wrestle with damp canvases and leaky tarpaulins, your only concern is whether to give in to the temptation of a wood- fired pizza from the visiting van.

Inside a Yorkshire Hut Company shepherd’s hut
Wowo's Woodland Yurt
Inside the Woodland Yurt at Wowo, Sussex


You have your own f ire pit – with logs delivered to your spot by tractor – so in a matter of minutes you can be toasting marshmallows, brewing coffee or snuggling up to watch the sun set with a glass of wine.

It might all feel a bit fraudulent if you’re used to ‘proper’ camping, but the beauty of the glamping experience at Wowo is that you’re free to enjoy great activities with friends and family.

A central ‘village’ area brings campers together for free soup and acoustic music on Saturday evenings, and there are daytime workshops for all ages and interests – from foraging and wild herbalism to basketry and pottery.

Still, you may well f ind your luxury glamping quarters so comfortable that all you want to do is kick back and enjoy the crackle of wild ire – and the clearest sky of stars you’re likely to see anywhere south of the Humber.

Click here for The Yorkshire Hut Company’s gallery and testimonials. More on Wowo is here.

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