Monday 20 August 2018

Luxury Glamping in Northumberland at Hesleyside Huts

* This is a collaboration with Hesleyside Huts

After our last glamping experience in Northumberland my husband declared that glamping wasn't for him and that he wouldn't be in a rush to do it again, leaving me a little heartbroken as I absolutely loved it. So when Hesleyside Huts got in touch to invite us for an overnight stay at their luxury glamping site in rural Northumberland I didn't know how on earth I would convince him to give it another go.

I kept my fingers crossed as I showed him their beautiful website - pointing out the comfortable looking beds, cosy huts and telling him how it would be the ultimate luxury camping experience. I was over the moon when he agreed and quickly arranged a date before he could change his mind!

No pressure Hesleyside Huts but I really really needed something very special to get my reluctant glamping husband back on side. I had promised him an idyllic luxury glamping experience and I pinky promised that if he didn't enjoy himself I would never make him glamp ever again.

Luxury Glamping in Northumberland at Hesleyside Huts

Hesleyside Huts have everything you could possibly need to convince the most unadventurous person in your life to give glamping a go. Each Hut promises comfortable luxury with plenty of home comforts including fully functional kitchen spaces, luxury bedding and even electricity!

It was time for a very enthusiastic glamper and her rather reluctant (slightly grumpy) husband to put it to the test!

Luxury Glamping in Northumberland

Hesleyside Huts

You'll find Hesleyside Huts in the beautiful Northumberland National Park, just outside of Bellingham, and a few miles from Kielder. Set in acres of private woodland with river walks and meadows to explore, it's the ideal escape from modern day life with enough on the doorstep to keep every type of adventurer fully entertained.

After weeks of planning (and by that I mean googling s'mores recipes!) we arrived at Hesleyside Huts for check in at 4:00 pm with minimal effort using the extensive guide that we had been sent with our booking confirmation. As a self confessed control freak I loved having so much information in advance and the directions, arrival details, maps and contact lists were much appreciated. No one wants to worry about things when they're planning a night to switch off.

Luxury Glamping in Northumberland at Hesleyside Huts - Holly Hut
Hesleyside Huts have five gorgeous huts to choose from, each different in style and a good distance away from each other to ensure a peaceful break.  From romantic breaks for two to big family trips there's a hut to suit every need and having a quick nose through the trees at the other huts they all looked beautiful.

Each of the huts has its own designated parking set out clearly on a map and we loved that our space was marked so we knew exactly where to leave our car.  Each space comes with a wheelbarrow (for transporting your luggage to your hut) and a little box with a torch in case you arrive after dark.

We loaded the contents of our boot into the wheelbarrow (after I'd failed to convince Simon to push me up to the hut in it!) and set off through the most beautiful little pine forest in search of our hut.

Hesleyside Huts Northumberland

Holly Hut 

Our home for the night was Holly Hut, the cutest little hotel on wheels, perfect for a romantic break for two.  Inspired by New England pioneer chapels and made entirely from reclaimed timber, she's clad in reclaimed wood salvaged from an old Victorian school and has original church doors. A double height hut on wheels, she's the ideal hut for a cosy staycation for couples and when we saw her for the first time I honestly felt like pinching myself.

I think you'll agree she's quite the beauty!

Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Holly Hut

Holly Hut was ready for us with the key left in the lock, although you can arrange to meet the owners for a little tour of your new home, we preferred to discover Holly for the first time on our own - it certainly made our adventure more romantic.

It took us a while to finally throw open the doors, I was too busy running around the outside just taking in how beautiful our hut looked. It almost seemed a shame to turn the key and take a look inside because she was just looked so perfect with her doors closed.

Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Luxury Glamping Holly Hut

When we did finally open the doors to Holly I couldn't believe what we discovered inside. Her interior was far bigger than I imagined and was even more adorable than I could have hoped for. I'd seen the photographs on the website, but seeing it all for myself in person was just magical.

Walking through the doors we were greeted by a gorgeous living space for two complete with a kitchenette (boasting a small fridge, stove and sink!) chairs, and a tables for indoor dining, our very own flushing loo (how posh!) and, the absolute highlight, the most perfect double ended copper bath tub with hot water.

Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Luxury Holly Hut

It was incredible how everything was packed so neatly into the hut to utilise the space. The chairs were hanging on the wall and the huge shelves above the sink were packed with all kinds of treasures including books, a radio and a jar of marshmallows.

Tea, coffee and sugar were all provided as well as washing up liquid, loo roll, hand soap, tea towels and, my husbands personal favourite, a generous amount of sweets that he spent our entire stay chewing on every time he thought I wasn't looking!

We had a full list of what we would find in Holly with our booking confirmation which had made packing simple, we knew exactly what we needed to bring and what was already there waiting for us.

Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Luxury Glamping Holly
Our bedroom for the night was on the mezzanine level which was accessed by a very sturdy wooden ladder on wheels that pulled to the centre of the hut for access up and could then be stashed away to the side if we wanted to use the space downstairs. I have to admit I'm not the most confident of ladder climbers (you'd never catch me going up in to our loft!) but Holly's ladder was very sturdy and more like stairs, slightly slanted with nice wide steps. Going up to the top floor was quite an adventure and by the end of our trip I could race up and down easily transporting things to and from the bedroom.

The top level of our hut was very cosy and boasted a King Size bed with luxury mattress, Egyptian cotton bedding and even hot water bottles. Being tucked away underneath the wooden beams of the hut was very beautiful. We had everything we needed including plug sockets by the bed (yes really!) and light switches to control the lights in the hut as well as some very pretty ambient lighting round the bed.

 Luxury Glamping at Hesleyside Huts Northumberland
We were so impressed by all of the little details that had been taken care of in Holly to make our glamping experience truly luxurious.  We couldn't believe how much we discovered in our little hut - we had everything from plates, bowels and cutlery, wine glasses and pans to towels, bedding, fluffy towels and even electricity points!

After thoroughly inspecting our hut I had a little glance over at Simon and caught a little smile, I think Holly was winning him over!

 Luxury Glamping Hesleyside Huts Northumberland
Location, Location, Location

Of course, no one wants to be completely cut off from the outside world and it just so happens that Hesleyside Huts are perfectly located around 9 miles from one of our favourite places in the North East, Kielder. Miles of walks, the most stunning countryside and one of the best places in the country to spot red squirrels (read all about our last visit to Kielder here).

As it hadn't been very long since our last visit to Kielder we decided instead to head to nearby Bellingham for a beautiful waterfall walk at Hareshaw Linn followed by a cream tea at Carriages Tea Room, both recommendations we had discovered from our welcome pack at Hesleyside Huts.

Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Hareshaw Linn

Dining in Rural Northumberland 

I'd love to tell you that we spent our evening cooking up a slap up meal on our little gas hob but I have to confess that we actually ended up in a pub up the road. I know, it's such a cop out, but as my marriage is all about compromise I promised Simon a few hours in the local before a full evening in the wilderness.

Hesleyside Huts gave us a full list of recommended places to eat and we decided to pick one off the list and booked a table at The Pheasant in Stannersburn, a 10 minute drive up the road. The cosy pub served up delicious homemade dishes and we both tucked into Chicken Pies with loads of veg and then shared a dessert because it would have been rude not to!

I think we wolfed our food down in record time because we were both so keen to get back to Holly Hut!

Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Posh Hut
Switching off

I doubt there's many people who could claim that their relationship isn't somewhat ruined by the constant need to be on their mobile scrolling through social media. Our night at Hesleyside Huts allowed us the luxury of being able to return to the early days of our relationship where we would sit and talk for hours, sharing stories and giggling like teenagers. It possibly sounds a bit silly, but Holly made me fall in love with my husband all over again and if you're wanting an idyllic night of romance I can't recommend Holly Hut enough! With no TV and limited mobile phone signal, we had a rare opportunity to just enjoy each others company without distraction.

So how did we spend our evening?

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts

By the camp fire of course! We had been very lucky with the weather and a gorgeous sunny day had lead to a wonderful warm evening which allowed us to spend our entire night outdoors enjoying the beautiful evening.

Holly Hut has her very own fire pit and we gathered up our complimentary wood, fire starters and matches and had the fire going in no time. Being fully committed to keeping the fire alive Simon spent his entire night nursing the flames like they were our first born child, carefully feeding the fire with wood and giving me very srtrict instructions not to let it die every time he left it for a few moments.  We soon realised that we would need more wood so left £5.00 in the honesty box and helped ourselves to another bag.

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts Northumberland

Although there were comfortable looking deckchairs we could use we happily sat ourselves down on the wooden stumps by the fire with a couple of cheeky ciders that had been cooling in the fridge. Toasting to our great success (you honestly wouldn't believe how smug we felt about getting that fire going!) we sipped on our sweet ciders whilst watching the bright orange flames lick the wood - you don't get much more relaxing than this!

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Camp Fire

Of course you can't have a camp fire without marshmallows and, although we knew we'd have some in the hut, we had brought our own pack along too just to make sure that we had enough along with a packet of chocolate biscuits which I hoped would be the perfect ingredients for s'mores.

We decided to practice our toasting skills with the marshmallows we'd brought from home first, carefully feeding them on to sticks and hovering them over the flames to try and get them hot and sticky without completely singeing them (it's quite a skill let me tell you!)

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Marshmallow Toasting

Once we'd got it just right we decided to crack on with Holly Huts very special mammoth marshmallows that we knew would be perfect for s'mores. They were so huge we decided to toast them with two sticks to ensure their safety in the fire and carefully toasted them to perfection before placing them between two chocolate biscuits. A very easy way to make s'mores without any of the mess, we squished the hot marshmallows between the biscuits and they began to melt the chocolate perfectly as we happily tucked in.

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - s'mores

Absolutely delicious but believe me you only need one, we were full to bursting!

We had been so engrossed in our marshmallows we'd barely noticed how dark it was getting and the lights inside Holly Hut were inviting us into the warmth but we decided to sit out just a little longer to see if we could get a look at the famous Dark Skies.

Rural Northumberland is famous for its star gazing and on clear nights you can see thousands and thousands of stars as well as a rare chance to spot the Milky Way. The best time to enjoy the stars is in Winter when the skies turn very dark and a stay at Hesleyside Huts would be perfect in the Winter time for a night of star gazing.

We stayed up until around 11:00 pm and although the sky was beautiful with far more stars than we'd ever spot at home it never got truly dark so in the end we decided we were too tired to stay awake any longer and needed to retire to our bed.

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Dark Skies

Sleeping in Holly Hut

Simon's biggest complaint about our last glamping experience was that he was cold and uncomfortable so this time we were both fully prepared with layers of clothes to wear. I had brought a fleece lined tracksuit as well as knee high fluffy socks to ensure a comfortable night's sleep.

We didn't actually need any of it! Holly Hut was so cosy and warm and our bed was even more comfortable and snuggly than our bed at home. We both fell asleep as soon as our heads touched the pillow and I got a solid 8 hours sleep!

Morning Bath Time

The one question I was asked over and over once I'd shared a photograph on my Instagram was "have you had a bath". We've stayed in some very beautiful places with impressive bath tubs over the years and I'll admit I do tend to leave without hopping into the tub because as much as I love the idea I'm too lazy to run the bath! But I knew if I didn't have a bath in Holly Hut I would seriously regret it so as soon as I got up in the morning I decided to run myself a bath in the beautiful copper bath tub.

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Bath Tub

I poured in a generous slash of bubble bath and began to fill the tub up. I hadn't really appreciated until I started how huge the tub was!  It took a good while to fill up but once it had I threw open Holly's front door and sunk into the hot bath.

The beautiful sunshine of the previous day had been replaced by grey skies and never ending downpours but sitting in the bath watching the rain outside was the most relaxing way to start a morning.

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Bath
Breakfast in the Hut

As we'd wimped out of cooking the night before we decided to dip our toe slightly into the world of glamping by preparing ourselves some breakfast in Holly. We had brought some breakfast bits along with us and had every intention to rustle ourselves up some omelettes, however being the complete amateurs that we are, we completely forgot to take any butter for the pan! So it was a good job I had some emergency croissants ready!

I think in future to save any breakfast mishaps we'd probably order a breakfast basket! For £20.00 Hesleyside Huts will deliver a basket of goodies including croissants, local marmalade, eggs, sausages and bacon to your doorstep which, in hindsight, would have been a good idea!

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Breakfast

My Husband

A very important part of sharing this adventure with you is to get Simon's honest feedback on Hesleyside Huts. As long time followers of mine will know, my husband isn't always the most willing when it comes to outdoor adventures, and as we were packing our bags to begin our journey he was muttering under his breath about having to "sleep in a shed".

Our first glamping experience a few years ago he hadn't really enjoyed - mostly because we'd had to put the bed together ourselves (which lead to a few arguments!) and he spent most of the night having to put up with me going on and on about amazing it all was whilst freezing himself silly.

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts Northumberland - Fire Pit
So I am so so happy to share that he loved every second - he enjoyed the campfire, had a comfortable night's sleep and I even caught him sitting on the grass outside for 10 minutes trying to photograph a grasshopper!  Anywhere that can bring the outdoor loving side of my boy out is a truly special place!

We both loved our stay at Hesleyside Huts and were very sad when we had to leave, there is no doubt in my mind that we will be back!

Holly Hut Hesleyside Huts Northumberland
Video Highlights: For a guided tour of Holly Hut you will find a video review of our stay on my Instagram Highlights here

Find Hesleyside Huts at:

Nr Hexham
NE48 2LA

Huts cost from £95.00 per night (minimum two night stay) and you can book your stay here

We were invited to a complimentary stay at Hesleyside Huts in exchange for this honest review


  1. What a beautiful place, I've had my eye on Hesleyside huts for years but always thought they were more expensive than this, so definitely going to book up. So glad you've both had a positive glamping experience now, hopefully the start of many! That bath looks so dreamy! Also glad to see it's not just my boyfriend who likes to 'deal' with the fire...must be a man instinct 😂 Steph xx

    1. Yes .... and we're actually going glamping again this weekend! SO SO happy that Simon is now on board!

  2. This looks unbelievable! Gutted theres a minimum stay of 2 nights, I'm looking for a cute little night away for a midweek getaway next week and this would have been ideal. Still, I'll pop it on the backburner for another time, it's too pretty to pass up.

    Katie xoxo

    1. I get frustrated sometimes when places have a two night booking policy too, can understand why because it must take up a lot of time turning round places if people keep booking one night breaks, but yeah it's annoying sometimes! Might be worth dropping a cheeky message to ask if there's any chance you can book a night? Shy bairns get nowt!

  3. This looks amazing! I've never been glamping but my last camping experience had me wishing I was in a warm hut, haha. That bath is amazing too - not mucky shower block in sight!

    1. Honestly, dump the camping and go glamping - it's the best of both worlds! You'll never look back!

  4. Wowza, what a beautiful little hideaway! It looks amazing, love that they provide all the essentials too. It feels so glam! I'm not a fan of camping as such but I think my arm would be twisted to stop in this hut! x

    1. You would definitely be fine in here .. electricity, lights .. everything a girl needs :)

  5. Ah it looks MAGICAL. I can't wait to take the kids - I am 100% stealing your s'mores idea x

    1. Just don't eat a mammoth amount of marshmallows first like we did, we were so so full up!

  6. So glad you had such a good time. We loved our stay in April and the breakfast basket is well worth the £20 it kept us fed until tea time!

    1. I really regret not getting the breakfast basket not - next time!!!

  7. Wow what a review! This sounds amazing. We went glamping in Yorkshire last year and thoroughly enjoyed getting that fire going so I totally get you there! Definitely would love to stay at this place next year, I like breaks not far from home as well so you can have a long Sunday!

    1. I think Northumberland is the best county to go glamping in and we're so lucky to have so many beautiful sites - there are loads more I'd love to try!

  8. It looks amazing! I would definitely be down for glamping if my hut looked like this! x

  9. This looks like such a fun experience! The hut looked so small from the outside but inside it's a different story... it's like a Tardis! x

    1. It really is, we couldn't believe how much there was inside the cabin - so much room and everything we could possibly need! Really wish we could utilise our space like that at home!


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