If you go in to the woods today, you’re in for a stylish surprise. A rural escape has never been so chic; from the eccentric rustic extensions of luxury country hotels, to brilliant independent tree-hugged cabins and huts. Here are four of the very finest.
Forest Hut at The Pig Hotel
The preferred rural retreat for those who want the rustic charms of the countryside without sacrificing any of the snazz of the city; The Pig hotel chain has been monopolising the ‘country idyll’ market since its inception. Besides its various period properties, the New Forest hotel also boasts an assortment of forest cabins and lodges; for those who want a touch more authentic seclusion. Nestled within the trees, the best example is the gorgeous Forest Hut which, typical of the brand, is no back-to-basics cabin but comes complete with a huge bed, a monsoon en-suite shower room and a roll-top free-standing bath tub. Oh, and a larder fully stocked with snacks and an espresso machine. Go wild. Only, cleaner.
Hazel Tree Cabin, Chiltern Yurt Retreat
Less than 45 minutes from London, in picturesque Wendover in the shadow of the Chiltern hills, is the Chiltern Yurt Retreat. You will be hard-pressed to find a sweeter, more genuine forest escape than this. Comprising four accommodation choices, the retreat is spread over a secluded wood, with a luxurious, hand-made yurt, a retro caravan, a converted tabernacle with roll-top bath and the delicious Hazel Tree Cabin; an eccentric and imaginative selection, each made with considerable love and attention. The cabin, the venue’s newest addition, boasts its own porch (complete with hammock) overlooking a babbling stream and, like its curious neighbours, its own private outdoor seating area, barbecue and hot tub. All sustainable, eco-conscious and adorably put together, this is the number one choice for relaxing, rustic charm, in a stunning woodland setting.
The Hilly Huts, The Fish Hotel
This delightful Cotswolds hotel is an ideal blend of country chic and Scandi style, nestled in the Broadway hills across 400 acres of scenic countryside. A smattering of small retreats have been designed to accompany the 63 room main hotel, with treehouses and hideaway huts opening this summer. The existing Hilly Huts are the cosiest, most unique option: luxury shepherd huts with under-floor heating, wood-burners and sitting room areas, as well as en-suite bathrooms and even a TV and DVD player. Plus, there’s a complimentary mini-bar and hot tub; for the feeling of a luxury hotel contained in a miniature forest hut. Genius.
The Arc Cabin
This gorgeous wood cabin is set in the grounds of Island House, in Cambridgeshire, where Kenneth Grahame stayed and supposedly drew inspiration to write Wind in the Willows. It is easy to see why. The location is stunning and deliriously peaceful. The cabin itself deserves its self-appointed moniker of ‘home away from home’- sleeping up to four people and possessed of heaving book shelves, a log fire, small kitchen and cosy, open-plan sitting and dining room. Oh, and the requisite free-standing, roll-top bath, of course. Simple, but utterly charming, it’s a brilliant location for woodland wandering and fireside relaxation.