I’m fortunate to be one of the lucky ones who really enjoy their job and gets on well with my work colleagues, however last week was one of the longest weeks, Friday seemed to take forever to arrive. Why? On Friday night we were going on a weekend staycation to Hesleyside Huts, something I have been looking forward to for a number of weeks.
Hesleyside Huts are located just outside of Bellingham in beautiful Northumberland National Park, set in acres of private woodland with meadows and river walks to explore. It’s the ideal escape from modern day life, with plenty to keep you entertained. There are 5 gorgeous huts to choose from, each differing in style and a good distance away from each other so you are sure to have a peaceful trip.
Just after 4pm, (check in is from 4pm) driving up the tree lined avenue, which looks beautiful in autumn, the excitement mounted. Using the extensive guide that we had been sent with our booking confirmation we knew exactly where to go. Each hut has it’s own designated parking place set out on the map, we parked up and loaded the wheelbarrow provided for transporting our luggage and set off on the short walk to our home for the evening. I felt like a kid at Christmas!
We were staying in Holly hut, which sleeps two. Inspired by New England pioneer chapels and made entirely from reclaimed timber, it even has original church doors. The key was in the door ready for us, it took awhile for us to throw open the doors as we were too busy taking in how beautiful it was. Is it corny for me to say it was love at first sight? Walking in the door, it was much larger than we imagined, we’d seen images on the internet,but seeing it in the flesh it was better than I ever imagined.
We were greeted by a generous living space, a kitchen area with fridge, stove and sink, table and chairs, flushing toilet and the piers de resistance, a double ended copper bath with copious amounts of hot water! So much more than glamping.
Not one with a head for heights, being met with a very sturdy wooden ladder to get to the bedroom didn't fill me with great enthusiasm, However, by the end of our stay I was up and down the ladder with ease. The top floor was cosy with ambient lighting and the king size bed very comfortable, being tucked under the beams was beautiful. Whilst we weren’t blessed with stargazing weather during our stay, it was very wet, there was something incredibly relaxing lying in bed, cosy and warm listening to the rain just above your head.
Not really wanting to spoil the meticulously clean stove (cop out, I know!), however we decided to head to the local pub for something to eat. However, not really wanting to be away from our retreat in the woods for long, we decided to have a quick drink before heading back to Hesleyside via the takeaway in Bellingham for some nibbles.
So how did we spend our evening? In front of the cosy wood burning stove of course, sipping prosecco, tasting marshmallows, playing jenga and connect 4! The limited access to mobile coverage meant that any desire to scroll through social media was taken away. For the added out of sight, out of mind feeling, Hesleyside have thought of everything, a handy little box to hide your phone away.
As we’d abandoned cooking the night before, we decided to prepare ourselves some breakfast glamping style. We had brought some bits with us, so we cooked some bacon for a tasty sandwich. The rain continued for fall, with the doors of the hut open, the fire continuing to keep us cosy, we watched the animals in the fields beside us whilst eating our sandwiches and drinking our coffee. If you didn’t feel like preparing your own, you could order a breakfast basket. For £20 Hesleyside Huts will deliver a basket of goodies including croissants, local marmalade, eggs, sausage and bacon to your doorstep.
Our check out was 11am, we left just before this to head into Bellingham where we had a visit to The Heritage Centre. This fantastic, volunteer run museum showcases the history of the North Tyne and Redesdale communities. We enjoyed listening to tales of making the butter, to the killing of the pig, complete with sound effects. Learning about the history of the coal mining and iron works to finding images of my great grandparents. We could not have been greeted by more knowledgeable, helpful people.
Whilst we had not long had breakfast we had to visit Carriages tearooms. Their homemade scones melt in the mouth, you must take the opportunity to try one when in Bellingham, you won’t be disappointed. The tearooms are located on renovated Mark one railway carriages, similar to the ones that would have been seen in the latter years of the Border Counties Line. What an amazing place, all homemade on site which is given the size of the premises is no mean feat. We enjoyed a warmed cheese scone and latte, but were inspired by the plates of home made quiche, salads, sandwiches that were going past us.
Hesleyside Huts, you amazed us, we enjoyed every minute and were so sad we could only stay for one night. 100% you need to book two nights to really benefit from the magic of Hesleyside Huts. and there is no doubt in our minds, we will be back. There is something to be said for exploring what’s pretty much on your own doorstep, a relaxing night away without doing battle with the traffic!