Review: The Hideaway Retreat
Uninterrupted views from a luxury shepherds hut in its own private field in Hunningham – but does Hilltop Hideaway’s latest venture pass the Muddy test?
Just three miles from Leamington and eight from buzzing Warwick is the rural village of Hunningham, home to the superb family-run Hilltop Farm Shop (recent finalists in the Muddy Stilettos awards, no less). But that’s not all, the Ellis family also provide glamping from their Warwickshire bolthole. Hilltop Hideaways offer bell tents, cabins, shepherds huts which prove popular with families, and there’s also room for pitching a tent, along with the brand spanking new addition of the Hideaway Retreat – a gorgeous state-of-the-art Shepherd’s Hut ideal for special occasions or those looking for a rural stay with their creature comforts (sound likes us).
Despite being so close to two of Warks major towns there’s a real feeling of being off the grid here with rolling hills for miles, a chilled atmosphere and lashings of fresh air. On our visit most groups were either romantics or families which suits perfectly – there’s an adventure playground as well as cute rescue farm animals (baby goats!), the farm’s dogs running around to keep the nippers entertained, as well as a chill out zone with barbecues and wood burners. Special creds must be given to the showers – a serious upgrade from your usual campsite in lovely converted horseboxes.
There’s also the option to eat at the on-site farm shop & café, a short walk from the campsite, which serves delicious breakfasts, lunches and Sunday lunch using free-range meat from the farm and all local produce. Or there are plenty of lovely local pubs within walking distance including The Stag at Offchurch, a thatched country gastropub with excellent steaks and a great wine list to boot, and the Red Lion at Hunningham for pub grub and lunches. Alternatively, you can get a takeaway from one of Leamington’s eateries (Red Hot Mamma is a dead cert) and eat alfresco with a glass of fizz in hand.
On our visit we stayed in the new Hideaway Retreat Sleeping two, the shepherd’s hut is set in its own private field, comes with it’s own bathroom, underfloor heating plus all the little luxuries – we’re talking Le Creuset kettle, log burner, super soft king size bed, fresh flowers and cushions from stylish Leamington favourite Fable. It feels like you could be in a luxury cottage instead of glamping. And what makes it even more special? Opening the door to uninterrupted views over miles of countryside – you can see as far as Warwick, Princethorpe and even Coventry on a clear day.
Breakfast isn’t included in the price but in the morning head up to the on-site Hilltop Farmshop for a delicious hearty breakfast ahead of a day of exploring. Costs are reasonable between around £6 for eggs on toast and £10 for a full English.
OUT & ABOUT
Pack your waterproof and your walking boots, there’s miles of gorgeous walks around here which owner Lotte will be more than happy to point you in the direction of. The pretty River Leam runs through the farm so why not follow it into the town itself and enjoy a few hours shopping, and stop off at Muddy favourites Fizzy Moon or the Fox and Vivian for a drink too. If you fancy a day out Warwick Castle is just a ten minute drive away or Stratford-upon-Avon takes about 25 minutes. You could equally just pack yourself a good book, stock up on tasty supplies from the farm shop (including local gin) and call the place home for a couple of days.
Good for: What’s not to love? It’s a lovely secluded place for romantics or for a chillout weekend away treating mum, or even just to treat yourself and enjoy some true peace and quiet away from it all.
Not for: If you’re all about the modern and the great outdoors isn’t your thing then you may not like the timber-clad interior (it is a hut after all).
The damage: It’s £150 a night for a minimum of two nights in the luxury Hideaway Retreat, which is about the price of a nice local hotel – but you get your own field with this little bit of bliss! For a bell tent, shepherds hut or cabin you’re looking at around £75 to £90 per night, or £35 to pitch your own tent.
Hilltop Hideaways, Hilltop Farm, Fosse Way, Leamington, Warwickshire, CV33 9EL. Tel: 07966 797474
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