"Widgeon" is a spacious 20ft x 8ft luxury shepherds hut which has a king size bed, fully fitted kitchen ensuite bathroom, kitted out to the highest of standards with mains power and water. There is no television or internet access ensuring peace, relaxation and tranquility for true enjoyment of this beautiful setting.
What is inside The Shepherds Hide?
- Spacious king size bed
- Dining area
- Log burner
- Plenty of storage
- Electric cooker with hob
- Kettle & toaster
- Ensuite shower room and toilet
- Complimentary toiletries including shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
- "Local breakfast basket" for your first morning
On your arrival you will be welcomed by a "local breakfast basket" for a perfect start to your first morning in "Widgeon". Just relax and enjoy your break and not have to worry about leaving for the shops on your first morning.
There is no wifi at The Shepherds Hide huts. We hope you will restore yourself to the basic pleasure of a connection to the outdoors, to a sense of the seasons and time away from the fevered rhythm of the modern world.
What is outside The Shepherds Hide?
Arrive and park in the farm yard in the allocated area, and transport your belongings by wheel barrow past the mill pond, through the trees to the Shepherds Hide huts. Once in and unpacked, you can step down onto the patio, enjoy a glass of wine, watch the sun set and enjoy the sounds of ducks on the mill pond and surrounding birdlife. If the weather is changeable you can light the log burner, get cosy and relax in the warm and luxurious accommodation.
If you venture further afield by foot, you can enjoy glorious bird watching along the Colne Estuary, walking the many footpaths direct from The Shepherds Hide.
The farm has the only fully restored water mill in Essex located within its heart, Thorrington Tide Mill. This is now owned by Essex County Council and is open as a museum between April and September on the last Sunday of every month, some bank holidays and special mill open days.
Enjoy our menagerie of tame ducks, geese, chickens and guinea fowl!
During the Summer between late May and mid July (season length is subject to the weather) the farm opens for pick your own strawberries. This is a busy time of year for the farm but the Shepherds Hide is located away from this busy hub. If you do choose to have a go at picking your own strawberries, we promise you will not have picked and tasted such amazing strawberries. They are truly wonderful. We have been growing strawberries here for over 37 years and grow varieties chosen for their flavour - a world away from supermarket varieties!
The Shepherds Hide owners, Mark and Polly Baines live on the farm and are available to ask any questions you may have during your stay here.
The area that surrounds The Shepherds Hide is an excellent coastal location in North Essex just south of the Suffolk border but only 90 minutes from London.
On Your Doorstep
Brightlingsea is a market town situated just 2 miles away and offers a range of supermarkets (including Tesco and the Co-Op – the latter being a 20-minute walk away from The Shepherds Hide), shops, cafes, an outdoor swimming pool, a marina and sandy beaches lined with beach huts and a lovely promenade.
Thorrington offers a local store for basic supplies, a post office and a fantastic local pub - The Red Lion. This is about a 30-minute stroll from the accommodation.
Places to Explore, Eat & Drink During Your Stay
Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town and is only a 20-minute drive away. It has a colourful history dating back over 2000 years. Find out more at the town's award-winning museums where you can see collections of international importance. There’s so much to see and do in Colchester, you certainly won’t get bored. Take a look at Visit Colchester’s site here for more info.
Dedham is along the River Stour, in the heart of Constable Country and is just 25 minutes’ drive away. It was here that Britain's greatest landscape artist – John Constable - went to school. The attractive main street is lined with Georgian-fronted houses, old inns, and a leading Art and Craft Centre. The magnificent 15th century church was built from the wealth of the medieval cloth industry.
This area is frequently rated as containing some of England's most beautiful lowland landscape – specifically the Water Meadows of the River Stour which passes along the northern edge of the village, forming the boundary between Essex and Suffolk.
Dedham has a wide range of truly lovely restaurants and pubs. We highly recommend the Boathouse, the Sun Inn or Milsoms. If you’re looking for a little extravagance, Le Talbooth is an award-winning restaurant with excellent service, food, atmosphere and location, sitting right on the edge of the River Stour.
You can also visit the famous Flatford Mill owned by the National Trust.
Wivenhoe is a picturesque town known for its fishing history and is only 10 minutes’ drive away – or about an hour’s walk. The streets are small and quaint and bring you down to the charming waterfront where fishing boats and small sailing craft bob up and down at their moorings.
Get refreshments at The Black Buoy Pub or dine at Valentino's - a unique Italian restaurant with a homely atmosphere … but book in advance as it’s pretty popular. Or head to Wivenhoe House for a great afternoon tea.
Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze are traditional seaside towns located 25 minutes away by car.
The Naze, as well as being a natural open space, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) famed for its fossils found in the Red Crag cliffs. Walton-on-the-Naze is also known for having the 2nd longest pier in the country, its yacht club and marina, and the iconic Naze Tower from where panoramic views of the Walton backwaters, Harwich and Felixstowe and the Suffolk coast can be enjoyed.
The Tower, which was built in 1720 to help navigate ships into Harwich Harbour, is now an art gallery and tea rooms and well worth a visit.
Harwich is a busy coastal town and international port around 25 minutes’ drive away. The old town is a conservation area containing many historic buildings and well worth a wander. If you fancy sampling some wonderful fish, we recommend The Pier – or if you’d prefer something lighter, they also do a lovely afternoon tea.
Neighbouring Dovercourt, while giving the appearance of being much more modern, actually merits a mention in the Domesday Book.
Aldeburgh is a little further afield, at around an hour’s drive. But we highly recommend making the trip. Sitting on the Amber Coast it’s renowned for its mix of music and drama, fine eating and drinking, sailing and shopping - you'll definitely find something to enjoy. Take a look at the Visit Aldeburgh website for more info.
Charming Southwold is just another 30 minutes’ drive from Aldeburgh, also on the Amber Coast. A quintessentially English resort town, you can easily while away a few hours wandering the attractions of the working lighthouse, beach huts, award-winning pier, Adnams Brewery, busy harbour, cliff top cannon and of course the beach. Plan your visit with Explore Southwold.
For local tide times see Brightlingsea Tide Times.
Contact us today for more information or to make a booking
We recommend having a car when visiting this region, if only to be able to get out and truly explore.
If you have Sat Nav, enter CO7 8JJ and you’ll arrive in the centre of Brightlingsea Road. Then continue Brightlingsea Road until you’ll the houses on the right-hand side stop and a hedge line begins. It’s here you’ll see signs for Mill Farm, Thorrington Tide Mill and Hill Farm Landscapes on your right.
Turn into the driveway and follow it all the way to the bottom. Drive past the Mill and on through to the farm yard. Your parking space is straight ahead of you.
If arriving by public transport, local Taxi firms include:
NwC Taxis: 01206 302491 - 8 Queen Street, Brightlingsea, Colchester
V P Cars: 01206 825001 - Colnehaven Phillips Rd, Wivenhoe, Essex, CO7 9BA
The Station: 01206 820044 - Station Road, Wivenhoe, Colchester, Essex, CO7 9DH
||Stansted - 44 miles
|Nearest Ferry Port:
||Harwich - 15.5 miles, Dover - 127 miles
|Nearest Railway Station:
||Alresford (Essex) - 2.5 miles
|Nearest Motorway Junction:
||M25 Junction 28 - 51 miles
If you like the sound of our luxury glamping experience in this beautiful part of England, take a moment to have a look through our photos.
We think you’ll love the facilities on offer, making it an ideal base to explore this delightful region.
Many of the photos you’ll see were taken by Charlotte Graham and Diana Jarvis.
Thorrington Tide Mill on our farm - a unique farm holiday
Alresford Creek, right on your doorstep
A unique rural and romantic retreat
View of Mill Farm - a countryside holiday close to London
Footpath to Alresford, Wivenhoe and Colchester - enjoy bird watching along the way
Tucked away in some trees adjacent to a mill pond, quiet and secluded, romantic and unique - The Shepherds Hide
Reconnect with nature, the best glamping experience
View over the mill pond adjacent to The Shepherds Hide
View of Brightlingsea Church
Cosy and romantic - luxury glamping at The Shepherds Hide
Log burner for those chilly days and nights
Fully equipped country oak top kitchen - all you could possibly need.
King size bed perfect for couples
Luxury bathroom all ensuite, with complimentary eco toiletries
Enjoy complimentary tea and coffee
View from the Shepherds Hide window
Here you’re see unbiased reviews of our accommodation. Take some time to read through them, particularly because some past guests have been kind enough to leave their own lovely tips on where to visit during your stay.
If you have stayed at The Shepherds Hide we’d love to hear from you.
Simply click the 'Add Guestbook Entry' button below.
Many thanks and we look forward to welcoming you back to our glamping retreat soon.
We aim to make booking your holiday as easy possible for you so if you have any questions or if you’re ready to book, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Please note that:
PAYMENT IS BY CARD USING SECURE STRIPE PAYMENT GATEWAY (JUST FOLLOW PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS)
-We do not accept children or pets.
-No single sex groups (more than 2 people)
Weeks, weekends and mid week breaks are available throughout the season.
A week runs from Friday to Friday or Monday to Monday. A weekend runs from Friday for 2 or 3 nights and a mid week break runs from monday for 4 nights. If you wish to book a holiday outside of these days please just contact us.
Low season ( October to April)
High Season (May to September)
Check in is from 3pm and departure is by 10am
Contact us via the form below and we will be in touch to discuss your requirements.
Alternatively, click on the Rates & Availability page to search for your preferred dates and make your booking.
We look forward to welcoming you very soon.