British shoe designer Adrian Herring has created the perfect retreat in nature by building his own shepherd’s hut and says investing in the Oak self-build hut designed by Blackdown Shepherd Huts was “the best thing [he’s] ever done”.
Inspired by traditional shepherd’s huts, Blackdown Shepherd Huts are the Somerset-based creators of luxury dream huts, man caves, she sheds, hideouts, or family retreats – and they are becoming increasingly popular in both self-build and bespoke design forms.
Adrian, who owns the British brand Herring Shoes, spent six months building his very own den to retreat to so he could have his very own sanctuary away from it all. He says: “I spent two days a week for about four months building my hut, which is hidden away in my eight acres of woodland. Blackdown Shepherd Huts delivered me an Oak Chassis self-build hut and the whole process of putting it together was a total pleasure. It was a real sense of achievement when I completed my hut – I thought ‘I made that!’.”
Adrian’s shepherd’s hut is constructed with an oak chassis and double doors, complete with an internal log burner and solar panels, which allow him 24 hours of battery time. In addition there is a functioning water pump and LED lighting. The aim of getting of the hut was so that Adrian could escape to the woods for some peace and quiet, but it’s not always a solo sanctuary.
Adrian explains: “Whilst I use the space and time in the hut to disconnect, it’s also a delight to share it with my wife and friends. My mates and I go there to get back to nature, chopping wood for the burner and chilling out. It was great fun to construct an adjacent building to accommodate the loo in the same style as the shepherd’s hut.
“My wife and I love to take a lunch to our shepherd’s hut. We have Classic FM on the radio, light a fire, read a good book, and simply relax. Time flies when you’re at the hut, and we never want to leave, but the great thing is that we can sleep in the hut too and it’s very cosy. We also took great pride in decorating the hut ourselves and have added to it using local artists’ pictures of wildlife.
‘It’s the perfect spot to watch the wildlife and have some time away from modern stresses and strains. Our shepherd’s hut is a place that makes us both very happy. Getting a Blackdown Shepherd’s Hut really is the best thing we’ve ever done.”
Blackdown Shepherd Huts design and create their huts in their workshop in Ilminster, Somerset. The huts come with an oak-clad or metal-clad exterior and include a bathroom and a kitchen, or simply a log-burner. Recent customers have purchased shepherd huts for a range of purposes – from summer houses and glamping businesses, to saunas and garden offices.
Will Vickery, who owns and runs Blackdown Shepherd Huts, says: ‘Our Self Build Huts have been especially developed for those with the time to indulge their artisan leanings and hand-build their own hut. We can give self builders as much or as little support as they need and, like Adrian, our clients feel very accomplished when they sit in their finished hut for the first time.
“The oak chassis, as Adrian has, is a real trademark of a Blackdown Hut, and as carpenters we have to confess to loving them! They are available in a choice of lengths with the option to add our pre-built frame and joinery, which represents a very cost effective way of combining Blackdown heritage and quality with your own hard work and ideas to create something really special. We provide instructions and extras to make your life easier, though we can’t guarantee that you won’t swear at all during the self build process – but it will definitely be worth it in the end!”