- Sleeps 2 (max 2 adults, 0 children)
- Cooking facilities
- Beds Provided
- Bed Linen Provided
- Towels Provided
- Private Bathroom
- Authentic 1890's shepherd's hut built by Marshalls of Gainsborough
- Get cosy! It's fully insulated with sheep’s wool and features a luxurious kingsize bed
- Everything is provided, including a Nespresso coffee machine and all your bedding
Many shepherd’s huts in the UK may offer the utmost modern comforts but few can combine it with the rich and dramatic history of the Shepherd’s Watch hut at Greenhill Farm. Set in a hillside meadow in the south eastern stretches of the Kent Downs, this single, humble-looking hut is the genuine artefact – an 1890’s shepherd’s wagon, built by steam engine manufacturers Marshalls of Gainsborough. Abandoned on the Romney Marshes for over 75 years, it was only recently that new owners, Wendy and Neil Burrows, dragged it out and into the 21st century, luxuriously but tastefully fitting it up for the modern glamping audience.
Inside there’s been careful restraint in order to maintain its sense of history. The interior wood-slat walls remain unpainted and are still marked with the names of World War II soldiers – who sheltered in the hut while manning a local gun battery – while the structural wooden beams are also wonderfully exposed, accentuating the warmth of the glowing wood-burner. Yet while the antique table, vintage stool and 1930s-style switches hark back to its olden days, this is still a proper glamping experience. The fitted king-sized bed, en-suite shower room and kitchenette facilities have made it a compact home from home, though it’s the attention to detail that really makes the hut stand out. Locally sourced toiletries are provided in the shower, fresh towels and bedding are all supplied and there’s even a welcome hamper on the sideboard so you can simply sit and enjoy the view from the moment you arrive.
And what a view it is. Beyond the shepherd’s hut, the chalky land is full of native grasses, buttercups and cowslips. A scattering of sheep from the farm graze the neighbouring meadows, while a host of birds and fledglings nest in the trees that back the field. Wendy is more than happy to point you in the direction of the best local walks, taking in the key viewing points of the Alkham Valley and exploring the land around the farm. Find the roof-top of the 12th-century village church poking above the trees and venture into Alkham. Sadly the village pub is no longer open but The Marquis Hotel offers some fancy fine dining in its place. The food is fantastic.
Beyond, the south coast attractions await: Wind-swept walks along Dover’s famous white cliffs, wartime tunnels and fresh fish in Folkstone harbour or visits to the castles and cathedrals inland. Equally, you can simply sit around in your newfound, miniature home. There’s a pit outside for campfires and a westerly horizon fit for that essential summer sunset. Stay quiet and you may even spot a badger. They too are happy to make their homes in the chalky Kentish hillsides.
The Owner Says
Features & Facilities
Each of the huts at Greenhill Glamping is completely unique but both feature a kingsize bed (all bedding provided), antique table and chairs, wood-burning stove (with ample wood stored undercover) and a large ensuite bathroom with a shower, basin, and flushing toilet, plus towels and toiletries provided. There is an electric 2 ring hob, fridge, mini butler sink, china, cutlery, pans, BBQ tools, toaster, kettle and Nespresso coffee machine. Outside table and chairs, a wood store and outdoor firepit with BBQ grill are also provided. A welcome tray awaits your arrival. The farm is part of a national environmental stewardship scheme, so expect plenty of wildlife, and it's a short walk down to the stables to see the ponies.
ActivitiesGreenhill Glamping is in the heart of the Alkham Valley with its network of footpaths and bridleways. Horse riding at the Alkham Valley Community Project (07472910009) is a 15-minute walk away, while Port Lympne Safari Park (01303 264647) is a 10 minutes drive and also has great views across Romney Marsh. Walk the white cliffs after a visit to nearby Dover Castle (01304 211067) or explore the Folkstone seafront. This stretch of UK coast has seen more battles, skirmishes and occupations than anywhere else in the UK and has a bucket load of castles and abbeys to show for it. A day exploring the streets of Canterbury isn't a bad place to start for history – pop into the cathedral (01227 762862), nose around the castle (01227 378100) and, if the weather's good, rent a punt (07786 332666) for an hour on the water.
Food & DrinkYou can order generously sized breakfast hampers (£15 for 2 people) with local and homemade produce delivered to the hut in the evening. Wendy can also provide excellent packed lunches if you decide to stay local (£7.50 per person). Canterbury Farmers Market runs 6 days a week in the city centre and there's also great farm shop (01304 212040) in Farthingloe. On weekends, the Folkestone Harbour Arm opens up with pop-up restaurants and live music. It's seasonal but, when running, highly recommended.
From the ferry: On leaving the Port of Dover follow signs to London M20. After the last roundabout continue along the A20 (M20) towards London, then take the 2nd exit (signed Canterbury/ Folkestone to A260) and at the roundabout follow signs to Alkham. After 2 miles Meggett Lane is 2nd on the right and Alkham Court is on the right just before the top of the hill.
From the M20, follow signs towards Dover past Junction 13 where the M20 joins the A20. Drive through the tunnels and then immediate exit direction A260 Canterbury/Folkestone. Turn left at roundabout, back over the motorway, then turn left again following signs to Alkham. Proceed down the Alkham Valley road for approximately 2 miles, turn right into Meggett Lane and Alkham Court is on the right just before the top of the hill.From the M2/A2, follow signs for Dover. When you reach a roundabout with McDonald’s on your left, take the 4th exit (Dover North/ River and Temple Ewell). At the next roundabout take 2nd exit (River, Temple Ewell) then after 100 metres turn left to Alkham. Go through the village of Alkham then turn left after the garden centre into Meggett Lane and Alkham Court is on the right before the top of the hill.
Trains from London Charing Cross – Folkestone Central are every 30 minutes at peak times and, with the high speed train from St Pancras International Station to Folkestone Central, journey times are now only 55 minutes. At Folkestone Central Station there is a taxi rank just outside the main entrance or a short walk towards Kingsnorth Garden where there is also another taxi rank.