Staying in a Shepherd’s Hut: My First Airbnb Experience

As someone who loves to explore new places and go on short trips away, I’m always looking for more unique but budget places to stay. This is where Airbnb comes in.

What is Airbnb?

For those of you that may not know, the idea of Airbnb is that private homeowners can rent out a room or a whole property to travellers. The main phrase used by Airbnb, “Don’t go there. Live there” summarises what the experience is like pretty well; you get a space that you can use as you would your own home. It’s a good option if you don’t want to pay hotel prices and want to come and go as you please but would also like something a bit more private than a hostel. Although, some of the more pricey listings on the site are simply incredible – think manor houses, luxury treehouses etc!

Booking a Property

In terms of booking, all hosts are reviewed by their guests so you can see the experiences of previous visitors prior to booking. Some properties can be booked using the “Instant Book” function where you can immediately book the property at the listed price. However, to book the rest you usually have to send the host a message so that they can approve your stay.

My first message was along the lines of “Hi! I’m Charlotte, I’ll be visiting you with my boyfriend. We’ve been looking for somewhere a bit more unique to stay and your hut looks perfect! You look brilliantly located for us to explore the area and find some lovely walks and pubs too!

The payment is all done online through the Airbnb site so there’s no worry about paying when you arrive/depart. The cancellation policies and payment info are all very well displayed on the site too so you’re not likely to get caught out as long as you have a good read!

The Shepherd’s Hut

The bedroom of the hut

I only used Airbnb for the first time on my recent trip to The Cotswolds at the start of April. My boyfriend and I wanted to stay somewhere a bit more unique but also somewhere that wasn’t a hotel, which led us to find a Shepherd’s Hut. Our Shepherd’s Hut had everything we could possibly have needed including TV, WiFi, a hob cooker, microwave and a lovely bathroom with a VERY hot shower (this was not a basic hut by any means). There was also an outdoor decking area with a table and chairs surrounded by fairy lights! Unfortunately being April it was a bit cold to sit outside, but it would be lovely in the summer for a BBQ and a glass of wine.

Decking area at the Shepherd's Hut

Some of you are probably imagining a hut to be tiny and cramped with not enough room to swing a cat, but we were actually both really surprised at how spacious it was. We were there for 2 nights so only had small bags but even with all of our clutter there was still plenty of floor space!

The hut was in an amazing location, 5 minutes to the centre of Naunton village and 10 minutes from the  popular town of Bourton-on-the-Water. The hut itself was set amongst fields full of horses and was incredibly peaceful, all we could hear were birds with the exception of the odd tractor. We had super sunny weather for our stay too, so our mornings were spent looking out of the window next to the bed, letting the fresh air in and just watching the animals outside, perfect.

The View from the Shepherd's Hut

The Host

Our host Linda was extremely helpful, she made sure she was at the hut when we arrived in order to show us around as well as recommending us places to visit. She’d even left us some milk in the fridge along with plenty of tea, coffee, sugar and some biscuits! In this respect, it was almost like staying in a hotel as we had all the usual things that you would find in a hotel room, no need to worry about packing towels or hairdryers! We didn’t actually see our host other than on arrival and departure, but she left us all of her contact details incase there was anything we needed.

The Kitchen in the Hut

My Verdict

Overall I had an amazing experience for my first Airbnb and it was far better than I was expecting. I’ve even booked an Airbnb apartment for my upcoming trip to Edinburgh in May. If you’re looking for more of a “base” on your trip that’s more luxury than a hostel then Airbnb is definitely worth a look. They’ve also recently started offering experiences and tours too so that may be worth having a look into!

Let me know about your Airbnb experiences in the comments! You can also follow this link to get £30 credit for your first trip!

Until next time,

Charlotte xx

  • I love Airbnb! Especially because there are adorable places like this to stay! This little cottage looks so cozy and adorable. Looks like you had an amazing time and you’ve definitely convinced me of where I need to stay if I ever visit.

    • charbrown

      It was so super cute! I spend far too much time rummaging through Airbnb for quirky places!

  • I’ve just seen your comment above about rummaging through Airbnb for quirky places. I do that ALL the time! I have wish lists on Airbnb for places I’ll probably never make it to or be able to afford, but hey, a girl can dream! This place looks totally delightful, and I’m UK-based too, so the Cotswolds are a totally doable weekend destination 🙂

    Heading over to Airbnb now to find and save the Shepherd’s Hut…

    • charbrown

      There are so many incredible places! Definitely go if you get the chance, I’ve got a lot more Cotswold posts coming soon too!

  • Bri

    I love Airbnb! And also staying in unique places whenever possible 🙂 That Shepherd’s Hut is so cute!!

    • charbrown

      I’m exactly the same! The more unique the better in my book 🙂

  • Super cute! And the hut looks so cosy and well-equipped to stay in! A great experience for your first AirBNB =) Are the horses wearing those ‘clothes’ because the sun is too strong? Definitely caught my attention, lol

    • charbrown

      It was basically like a hotel room in terms of facilities! I think it helps to stop them getting muddy and keeps the flies away, but I may be wrong!

  • I’m writing this comment from an air bnb in Malta right now 🙂 I’ve had good and bad experiences with them, but I like the fact that if a host is dodgy or the place isn’t as advertised, there’s an actual company you can go through to rectify the problem rather than having to argue with the actual owner. I’m headed to the UK next month for a motorcycle road trip, hopefully I get as lucky with the weather as you did!

    • charbrown

      Definitely, Airbnb as a company are so great, it’s much more secure than just renting privately! Aaaah that sounds so exciting, I hope you have a great trip!

  • What a cozy AirBnB! Not too shabby for your first experience 🙂

    • charbrown

      It was everything we could have hoped for and more, we were definitely a bit spoilt with it!

  • I love the unique places Airbnb offers. This also looks like such a nice experience. I wish I had such a hut of my own 🙂

    • charbrown

      I wish I had one too, would be so much fun!

  • This place is so cute and cosy. And the horses make it feel like a farm stay. I’ve never used AirBNB before even though I’ve heard tons about it. I think it’s about time I consider it though 🙂

    • charbrown

      They really did, it was so incredibly peaceful, a proper break! Definitely do, they have some fabulous properties!

  • I love Airbnb. I have stayed in a a quite few in my time now, including treehouses, yurts, caves and all sorts of fun places. I am so glad your first experience was a good one! Looks like a beautiful place to stay!

    • charbrown

      Those all sound amazing, a treehouse or yurt is definitely next on my list! Thank you, we had a great time!

  • That is such a cute place to stay! I’ve never heard of a shepherd’s hut before, but I want to stay in one now!!

    • charbrown

      I’d definitely look into it! If you just want somewhere to base yourself they’re great!

  • Airbnb has a touch that hostels and hotels don’t. Privacy combined with a Local Feel. Nice Hut! I haven’t had a bad experience with Airbnb yet, although sometimes they can be a bit pricey compared to a Hostel. I think over the years, people have raised prices. that’s my main complaint.

    • charbrown

      That is very true, although for a bit of privacy and a little more luxury I think it’s work paying a little extra sometimes!

  • Super cute! Such a lovely little cabin, I love that there’s so many unique accommodation options available now 🙂

    • charbrown

      Me too! Love more unique places to stay, just something a bit different!

  • That place is heaven! I will try AirBnb soon. And your post encouraged me to use this thing. This is really cool!