Shepherds Retreat – Dog Friendly Glamping Huts In Beadnell, Northumberland
With staycation and glamping holidays in higher demand than ever over the summer I was very surprised when I got a cancellation for a two night stay at Shepherds Retreat in Beadnell at relatively short notice. They offer two shepherd huts, The Sanderling that sleeps two and The Sandpiper that sleeps four. Here’s our experience of The Sanderling.
I just have gone through the photos and video walk through on the website before our visit so many times before we got there, as I was just so looking forward to it after we had a pretty rough month in July. It seemed too good to be true, with an enclosed garden area, hot tub, fridge and glass roof to look out at the Northumberland dark skies.
It seemed like Glamping at its best, and the pre arrival information was really thorough so we knew exactly what we needed to take and what was provided. There wasn’t much they don’t provide, with everything from coffee, tea, salt and pepper, bathroom towels, hot tub towels, everything you need for the hot tub, fire pit and log burner fully included.
We still turned up with a car full for our two night three day stay which I think is a minimum booking time certainly in peak season. It was easy to find, located on the straight road into Beadnell with the sea straight ahead of you. Directions and the sat nav code they provide work a treat, and there’s plenty parking space.
Straight away it was great for Arthur, as the enclosed wall and gated garden around our hut meant we could let him off to run around without him venturing onto the road or the farmland. This is a huge benefit of Shepherds Retreat especially if you’ve got a less well behaved dog who would run off! We just didn’t have to worry about him and not many Glamping sites have this privacy outdoors.
The Sanderling at Shepherd’s Retreat
The keys for the hut itself were in a locked key box by the steps, so it’s all contactless. Both huts were designed by the owners, and were inspired by the huts used as shelter by Northumbrian Shepherds. The Sanderling is made entirely from reclaimed wood and is powered by solar energy.
Complete with en suite bathroom, double shower, king size bed, pull out table and benches, and gas stove and oven, as well as an inside log burner for colder months they have literally thought of everything. It’s gorgeous! And a far cry from the very basic Glamping huts you might be expecting. It’s definitely luxury glamping.
Each of the windows have a different view, including over to the sea at Beadnell Bay, inland over the Northumberland countryside, and from the window directly opposite the bed, on a clear day you can see right down the coast to Dubstanburgh Castle in the distance. It’s a fantastic spot, just a 15 minute walk to the village and coast.
There’s plenty room by camping standards, and as it was summer we used the table and benches for our bags. There are working sockets for chargers etc too and free wifi which was surprisingly good. The outside area is really quite big, with the wood fired hot tub taking centre stage.
There’s two sun loungers, a wooden table and chairs, a fire pit that also works as a bbq and a pizza oven, and an outdoor shed that has a fridge, and all the equipment you need. Literally everything – logs, charcoal, pizza shovel, bucket, fireproof glove, the works. They’ve considered everything.
Straight away we put our welcome treats – a bottle of fizz and some local beers into the fridge, as well as all the wine, beers and food we took with us. I had planned and booked quite a few meals out at various places, but for our first night we chose to spend it at the hut, to make the most of the pizza oven and the hot tub.
For the first time heating the hot tub, instructions left told us it could take up to an hour and a half, so we set that going before we did anything else. There’s a big paddle to stir up the water and get the heat passing through, and a thermometer to keep track of the temperature. I’d probably say get in after an hour, as we let it go a bit further and honestly we felt like lobsters it was too hot for about twenty minutes.
Sitting with a glass of wine in a wood fired hot tub overlooking Beadnell Bay though was one of my highlights of the summer. We really needed the break and it was just so good to be relaxing in such a beautiful spot.
Kieran didn’t get much time to relax though before I was on at him to get the pizza oven going. Again there were plenty instructions left but it was very straightforward – heat up the charcoal for about fifteen minutes, slide in your pizza and it will be done in about ten minutes.
We played music, dipped in and out of the tub, drank, and once it got dark lit the fire pit and got the marshmallows out. We made s’mores with those chocolate covered biscuits too, unreal.
I feel like we fully embraced the Glamping experience throughout our stay. We kept the roof back to enjoy the glass roof, and all the fresh air meant we had a very good night sleep despite the light coming in early.
We had bbq sausages for breakfast, and coffee out of Sanderling metal camping mugs in the morning. We were so lucky with the weather it was hot the entire time, which obviously made all the time spent outside very enjoyable. Once you’ve heated the hot tub for the first time, if you put the lid on when you’re finished it really retains the heat so takes only about half an hour each time after that.
It would be a lot harder in the rain, but as long as you’re prepared with the right clothing and footwear it would be absolutely fine. I’d love to go in winter I think the hot tub on a freezing cold day would be glorious. The one thing you shouldn’t forget though is flip flops, as it’s stone gravel for most of the outside area, and although there are stepping stones from the hot tub they make life a lot easier.
Shepherd’s Retreat Location & What’s Nearby?
When it comes to the location the huts are in a fantastic spot for exploring a lot of the Northumberland coast. It was just a few minutes drive to Beadnell Bay, where parking was free and the huge stretch of sand was amazing for Arthur to run around on.
The village itself was in walking distance which we did on the second evening for dinner at Beadnell Towers which came highly recommended. The Craster Arms is there too – great for a pub lunch or a few pints as you don’t need to take the car.
Just a short drive up the coast and you find yourself at both Seahouses, and Bamburgh, both obviously having a lot to offer in terms of things to do and places to eat. We went to the Potted Lobster at Bamburgh and if you’re a seafood fan I can’t recommend it enough. Craster and Dunstanburgh are down the coast in the other direction too.
I won’t go into detail about everything you can do at these places, as I’ve got blogs coming, but I’ve already got some about Craster and Dunstanburgh, Ingram Valley, and Amble & Warkworth if you want to take a look. All very easy places to visit from the Shepherds Retreat Huts.
I felt like we did a lot while we were up there, with morning beach walks, pub visits, two visits to Bamburgh, as well as spending time relaxing in at the hut itself. It was so nice to return to our little garden and hot tub after every activity.
The Sanderling at Shepherds Retreat was perfect for the two of us, and Arthur. I’ve not seen many that give you the privacy of your own garden and outside space where dogs can wander and it made a big difference.
There is a gate round the back of the hut that leads to the garden of the other one, so if there was a group of you staying in both huts at the same time they could be joining. Because of the way the huts are positioned, if you aren’t there with others you still get complete privacy. It’s very cosy at night when you lock up and go to bed.
For two nights in August the total cost was £275, with a £5 charge for Arthur. We paid half up front as a deposit and then the rest a couple of weeks before we stayed. For the standard of the huts, the hot tub and the whole set up I think it was worth every penny. It was significantly cheaper than caravan stays, and in a really good spot for access to the local and wider area.
We’re already talking about booking up with some friends next year.
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