We just returned from our stay at Wriggly Tin Shepherds Huts and are already planning our next trip back! After a weekend of early mornings in the fresh air and late nights by the bonfire, no wonder we want to return. This was our first experience with glamping sites in the UK and it has definitely set our expectations high for future outdoor adventures.
I found out about Wriggly Tin Shepherds Huts when browsing Instagram and knew immediately that I needed to book a stay for one of our UK weekend trips. Once I found out the site was located so close to London, I jumped the gun and messaged the owner, Alex, immediately. Sean and I picked out a free spring weekend and booked our stay back in December. We were counting down the days for nearly three months! When the weekend finally came, we were so excited and our two nights away definitely lived up to the expectations we set!
Slower Living at Wriggly Tin Shepherds Huts
Our weekend at Wriggly Tin consisted of long countryside walks, slow mornings cooking breakfast over an open fire, and late nights drinking wine by the light of a hurricane lantern. That honestly sounds so poetic that it can’t possibly be real. However, it really was our life for two nights in South Downs National Park!
Nights by the Bonfire
We didn’t feel like figuring out a meal for our first night, so pre-ordered a first night supper from Alex. He handed over our shepherds pies and our breakfast basket when we returned from a little walk after arriving and we immediately started preparing things (a slower lifestyle means slower cooking times, as well!). As Sean started up the wood-burning stove and the outdoor bonfire, I jumped into preparing the most important thing – our glasses of sparkling wine!
We sat outside drinking our sparkling wine by the fire while the shepherds pies warmed. After dinner, we made some English s’mores as the bonfire died down and then got cozy inside for a game of Scrabble before heading to bed. English s’mores are my new concoction of marshmallows + chocolate digestive biscuits. In reality, we couldn’t find graham crackers anywhere before we left. It worked out for the best, though! We had the whole place to ourselves that night. Without a moon in the sky or other fires nearby, it was the perfect lighting for stargazing (aka none). And oh, how beautiful the stars are out in the countryside!
The next night, we followed almost the exact same routine, but with some peppered steaks from the local shop. Spending the evening cooking and drinking is very similar to what we do at home, but it was so nice to do it differently for once. Sean mentioned that the experience made him realise how important heat and water are; he made about 10 water & wood runs a day! By the end of the weekend, we always had a warm kettle on the stove and kept the fire burning almost constantly.
Early Mornings Enjoyed Slowly
On both of our mornings at Wriggly Tin Shepherds Huts, we cooked items from our breakfast basket over the bonfire and ate them outside in the early spring sunshine. We are not normally morning people; however, it’s not hard to enjoy the early morning air when its as fresh as it is at Wriggly Tin. Even Giorgio would get up and take his place in the sun as soon as we opened the door in the morning!
While Sean managed the cooking, I would sit by the fire or at the outdoor table and do a bit of reading before setting the table. Giorgio would alternate between exploring the area around our hut and jumping up the stairs to sit in his favourite spot at the door.
A Look Around Butser
The moment Alex opened the door to Butser and Sean saw the inside, he reacted with “this is so adorable.” Those words rarely come out of Sean’s mouth (unless he’s talking about Giorgio), so it was clear that he was impressed and it’s easy to see why!
We chose to stay in Butser after reading on the Wriggly Tin website that it’s perfect for couples – after our stay, we couldn’t agree more! We felt extremely secluded during our stay, as if we had the whole back half of the Wriggly Tin site to ourselves. Everything is set up in the perfect way to make it feel as private and romantic as possible. Alex literally thought of every single detail, from the perfectly located hooks for hanging the hurricane lanterns to all the hidden storage areas allowing us to keep the small space tidy during our weekend stay.
Butser has a double bed, an expandable table, and all of the kitchen equipment you could need for stay at Wriggly Tin Shepherds Huts. Even better, the entire area under the bed was storage! We immediately felt at home in our little wriggly tin.
Exploring the Countryside
We could have easily sat outside of Butser all day sipping sparkling wine and playing games, but it would be a weekend wasted if we didn’t get out and explore at least a bit of the countryside! Wriggly Tin Shepherds Huts is located close to the village of Hambledon, the perfect English country village. After arriving on Friday, we took advantage of the location and walked up the hill and down the vineyard to Hambledon, where we popped into The People’s Market for some groceries (wine) and stopped at The Vine for a drink. It was nearly sunset at that point, so we went back to Wriggly Tin to prepare our shepherd’s pies.
The next day, we went back to Hambledon Vinyard for a tour and a tasting. It was the perfect start to our day – the staff at Hambledon Vineyard were so lovely and the sparkling wine was delicious. One of the girls, Katrina, showed us around the vineyard. Not much is growing yet, but it’s easy to imagine how beautiful it must be in the summer! She also showed us the summer, talked about some expansion plans for the vineyard, and gave us a tasting. We learned that Hambledon’s wines won in a blind taste test against the big champagne houses in France. After tasting them, we totally see why, but it’s still cool to hear that they are recognized at that level of fine wines!
As always, we purchased some wine from Hambledon Vineyard before going on with our day. When the girls learned we were about to head out on a walk, they even offered to drop our purchases off at Wriggly Tin later that evening – a true testament to how friendly they were! So we purchased two bottles but left without having to carry them on our 45 minute walk to the Bat and Ball. Believe me, we were so tired by the end of that walk I have no idea what we would have done carrying wine as well.
Hambledon is known as the ‘cradle of cricket’ because it is where many of the rules of cricket as we know them today were created. The Bat and Ball is a local pub that used to be Hambledon Cricket Club’s clubhouse. There is a ton of cricket memorabilia in the pub, as well as lovely views over the local cricket ground.
The Vine, which is more centrally located in Hambledon Village, is another pub within walking distance of Wriggly Tin Shepherds Huts. It’s a typical village pub with a lovely garden in the back.
For both pubs, we recommend booking any weekend meals you are planning on having. We almost had to go without lunch after walking all the way to Bat and Ball without a reservation. They had a huge lunch on and didn’t know when they’d be able to serve us. Luckily, things cleared up and they were able to make us lunch, but it was a close call.
Sunsets & Star Gazing
The vast expanses and unpolluted air in the countryside make for some incredible views, especially from the moment the sun started to set. We were treated to stunning sunsets during our stay in Hambledon; once the sun went down, a perfect starry sky replaced the colours of the sunset. We didn’t manage to capture a photo of the starry sky, but we have incredible images of constellations ingrained in our minds. The sunset, on the other hand, loved the camera! It’s so great to be able to look back at photos and remember these moments that we shared so clearly. The sunsets – and the whole weekend – at Wriggly Tin will definitely remain at the top of our memories for awhile!
Until Next Time…
We were honestly so sad to leave Wriggly Tin, but there is no doubt that we will be back. I think we’ve already told every couple we know that they need to book a weekend there!
Wriggly Tin Shepherds Huts are open from mid-March through October. Prices start at £90/night.
Find out more about Wriggly Tin on their website!
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