BUILD YOUR OWN TREEHOUSE, LLAMA TREKKING IN KENT, COUPLE’S FORAGING IN PEMBROKESHIRE AND LAMBS, CHICKS AND BLUEBELLS GALORE
It must be spring! Why else would a string of ideas madder than a march hare have come our way? There are shepherd’s huts where you can go llama trekking, couple’s foraging in Pembrokeshire, an architect-designed bothy where you can name a lamb or a ‘build your own treehouse’ course. Take a peek at the full effect of the changing of the seasons.
1. Our very own Rebecca models this season’s must-have llama accessories at Gabriel & Bathsheba in Kent
Wake to the sight of a field full of furry llamas. You can help feed them and take them on a llama walk through the bluebell wood and in return they will bleat at you and peer curiously from the fence just down from the shepherd’s hut! The hut is cosy, cute and only an hour from London, decorated with floral prints, pretty bone china and a wood burner to keep you snug. The bathroom hut has a luxurious slipper bath to relax in after a hard day’s llama trekking.
From £90 per night (sleeps 2) – www.canopyandstars.co.uk/gabriel Free 40 minute bluebell llama walk with every midweek stay from 15 Apr - 16 May
2. Build your own treehouse in Gloucestershire
West Lexham, the incredible, sustainable event venue has teamed up with High Life Treehouses to bring you the chance to learn how to build a treehouse from start to finish. Henry and his team of experienced treehouse builders will be showing you how to build a brand new treehouse (based on a Viking mead hall!). You’ll learn how to finish the interior of an existing treehouse with smart tongue and groove boarding, as well as the secrets of rope bridge and tree deck building. The build will be split over two weekends and included in the price is 2 (or 4) nights’ accommodation at The Grange; delicious, locally sourced meals; a DVD of the full build, a certificate and the chance to learn a broad range of skills and techniques to build your own treetop dream.
Courses run on 22 – 24 March & 5– 7 April, £415 for one weekend or £750 for both – To book: email@example.com
3. Springwatch in a converted truck in Pembrokeshire
A converted truck might not seem the most bucolic of settings to see in the season, but this one is in a tranquil woodland spot. The cosy glade has a picnic table, a spacious outdoor bathroom and resident chickens, ducks and pigs that wander around freely. Activities-a-plenty on the farm from pet renting, egg collecting, river wading, cycling, fishing, chicks start hatching and the Welsh mountain ewes start lambing in March, it really will feel like Springwatch. The truck has a rustic, floral interior and homely touches. There’s a comfy double and a bell tent if you decide to bring the kids.
From £79 per night (sleeps 2 in truck, up to 4 in bell tent) - www.canopyandstars.co.uk/matilda
4. Shepherd training at Scales Plantation in Cumbria
Play shepherd in handcrafted shepherd’s hut camps on a working sheep farm high in the wilds of the North Lakes. Each is a world of its own set within a private clearing. Double bed and bunks have feather down duvets, blankets and the sheepskin rugs and woodburner keep things snuggly (far cosier than shepherd’s ever had it!). Simple wooden furniture gives the hut a traditional rustic feel, to help you get into shepherd character, whilst the fridge and running hot water in the bathroom and kitchen will keep you comfortable after a day of hard work - lend a hand with the lambing or help feeding the ever so cute ones that have already been born.
From £70 per night (sleeps 4) - www.canopyandstars.oc.uk/scalesplantation
5. Name a lamb at Brockloch Bothy in Dumfries & Galloway
On a small, family-run farm in the Galloway hills: up the farm track, through the bluebell wood, and in a field grazed by their Scottish Blackface sheep sits this magnificent architect-designed bothy. It has all the luxuries of a boutique cottage - a swish kitchen, a crackling fire, goose-down duvets and home-baked welcome treats – with the space and light of the contemporary design and floor to ceiling windows. There’s no TV or wifi so head out with the kids. On the farm there’s plenty of animals to see and this spring you can meet the new lambs, watch them being bottle fed and maybe even name one and there are also going to be lovely fluffy Galloway calves. And if that isn’t enough entertainment you can go sailing on Loch Ken, visit Laggain outdoor centre which boasts the longest zip wire in the UK or Cream o Galloway, a dairy and adventure park.
From £86 per night (sleeps 4) - www.canopyandstars.co.uk/brockloch
6. Become a junior farmer at Swallowtail Hill in Sussex
Swallowtail Hill Farm is almost over-run with wildlife; butterflies, birds, bees, bats, barn owls and not to mention all the farm animals. Your home for the duration of your stay is a wooden creation that looks like something out of a fairytale with a comfy double, two singles, a dining table, indoor cooking range and a log burner. There’s plenty to occupy your little Hansels and Gretels this Spring – longbow archery, rowing on the pond, animal feeding, tractor driving lessons for the more ambitious and children can even become honorary ‘Swallowtail Hill Junior Farmers’.
From £100 per night (sleeps 4) – www.canopyandstars.co.uk/swallowtailhill
7. Couple’s foraging at Cariad in Pembrokeshire
A romantic, handcrafted timber pod in a woodland clearing among Pembrokeshire’s beautiful countryside where you can go on a spring foraging guided-walk, followed by a locally-sourced picnic. Inside are vintage woollen blankets, chunky brocante finds and a welcome hamper with local eggs, fresh bread and organic milk. As well as all the foraging Riverbank walks, a nature reserve and a boat trip to Skomer Island will keep you busy this spring.
From £56 per night (sleeps 2) – www.canopyandstars.co.uk/cariad
8. A romantic brush with nature at Rambling Rose in Cornwall
A very Cornish gypsy caravan, built in Penzance in the 1930’s, tucked away in the garden lover’s paradise of Delancey House. For that extra touch of the outdoors, why not book yourselves in for one of their 3-4 hour bushcraft and survival workshops. With panoramic views of the Fowey River Valley from your doorstep, beautiful gardens to explore and a snug double to cosy up in together this really is the most romantic place for a brush with nature this spring
From £75 per night (sleeps 2) www.canopyandstars.co.uk/ramblingrose - Bushcraft and survival workshops are £35pp for 3-4 hour course