When you want something enough, somehow it happens! 12-ish years ago, i had a young family & a husband who had a job working long hours & long commutes. I was spinning so many plates I don’t really know how I survived. I’d worked as a mortgage adviser for the same company for 26 years & I loved my job, I was good at it & the rewards were great. But times had changed in my work place. Trying to work in an ever changing market at a time of financial uncertainty was becoming impossible to achieve on my 3 working day week & as a result, I wasn’t really happy. I didn’t feel like I was doing anything 100% to the best of my ability & quite often switched into auto mode to get things done. In truth, I never intended to leave my job, but because I wasn’t happy, I think there was always that itch that I needed to scratch.
We’d bought & were renovating our current Peak District home. It was definitely a doer upper! After 7 years living there, we decided to add an extension, which meant major groundwork. It gave us the chance to create some useable outdoor space for the family & it also gave me the chance to think about an area for a garden room/office. So the land was levelled, landscaped & electrics added in readiness for whatever we decided to install. The space remained like that for a couple more years & I continued to work. Then a chance visit to family in Lincolnshire one weekend, found us at an agricultural show. The boys loved it. Ploughing competitions, farm machinery to climb on. It was boy heaven. In the corner of the field, a row of ‘gypsy wagons’ ( I now know they were shepherds huts!) caught my eye. Basic huts on wheels, used by farmers at lambing time for protection from the elements & to be on hand with any difficult deliveries. With a simple wood burner & bench to sleep/sit on, they were stunning! I spent so long mooching around them, looking, day dreaming, the family had to come & find me. The boys clambered on the beds & thought they would be great as a playhouse/den. Ping, that was my lightbulb moment. How great would it be to have a shepherds hut at the bottom of the garden, a place to play in, stay in, use as our own? We spent the journey home, planning our virtual dream hut & what we could do with it. Of course, nothing works out like that does it? Well, not quite.......
We never stopped dreaming. Infact, the next stage of our little green hut story took us South on family camping holidays to Suffolk & Dorset in search of the perfect hut. It was important to us to get just what we wanted, to work with craftsmen using artisan features of the highest quality to make our hut unique. A space to work in, relax in, unwind & even sleep in. It had to meet all those criteria & be simple yet stylish too. Luckily for us, we met Richard & Jane from Plankbridge Shepherds Huts, a then small, family run, business who worked with individuals to make their hut dreams a reality.
After. chatting, planning, exploring the endless possibilities, we came up with a design which would be sympathetic to its surroundings, of the highest quality build & even incorporated a few of our unusual but personal requests! Heart holes & wine glass shelves! So, in 2013, we took delivery of our very own shepherds hut. And there it sat, at the bottom of our garden, played in, & stayed in by family & friends. & I still worked & I was still unhappy with that. The boys had grown up & were in the midst of exams, & as any (honest) parent will tell you, that is a tough time. I began to wrack my brain for ways of escaping the 9-5, to be at home where I was needed by the family & then it struck me. We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of the world. Why not share it with others & let out our little green hut for somewhere to stay, for weekends?
So that’s just what we did. We commissioned a website, joined a holiday rental site & went “live”. The bookings came through thick & fast & in no time, I was working AND running a busy holiday accommodation business. Ahhhhh. Within 6 months & with a giant leap of faith & amazing support from my family, Thehuteyam b&b became my full time “job”. Swapping the 9-5 to 5-9 was the best decision we made. I was around for the boys (& the dog!) the house is calmer & everyone is happier. So today, 6 years on, I continue to welcome the loveliest of folk to our beautiful corner of the Peak District, where they can celebrate, relax, unwind & explore together after enjoying a homemade & locally sourced breakfast hamper in bed or outside enjoying the views, & look forward to doing so for many more years to come 💚