A dreamy weekend stay at Rodin's Retreat shepherd's hut

Penned on the 14th April 2023

A dreamy weekend stay at Rodin's Retreat shepherd's hut

On the first weekend in April, we drove up to Rodin’s Retreat near Dartmoor in Devon. We thought there might be April showers, but a heavy storm was blowing through - we’re talking horizontal rain and 50mph winds - so we were touched to be greeted by Diane and Andrew on arrival! They came equipped with umbrellas and helped us unload our luggage into a handy wagon provided for all guests. They then escorted us over Rodin’s Retreat and filled us in on everything we might need to know.

Once inside we were amazed at just how comfortable the space was. Toasty warm and exuding quality craftsmanship, you would not have known a storm was raging outside. In fact, the quiet patter of rain only added to its cosiness.  On first inspection, we also found a welcome pack which was such a nice touch. It included homemade brownies, a local elderflower cordial and a pack of dried herbs. Peckish from the drive and ready for dinner, we tucked into the brownies straight away!


(left) Luxurious king-size bed within shepherd's hut (right) flowers in front of shepherd's hut window

Settling in for the evening we cracked open a bottle of wine and began cooking. There’s a Bluetooth speaker on the dining table, so we put on some music and had a little dance as we cooked. After dinner, as the hut is Wi-Fi-free, we thought it’d be nice to leave our phones in our bags and switch off for a while. We’d brought books to read and also found a great selection of games in the storage beneath the dining seats. But our favourite feature was the skylight window above the bed. It was so magical to be all tucked up in bed and looking out into the night sky. We took a few moments to be mindful, just watching the rain pitter patter on the glass above us, there was something deeply soothing to that – in fact I’d recommend staying in this hut when it rains just for that experience.


Inside of Castle Drogo, large window and painting.

On Saturday, whilst the storm had passed the weather was still on the wet side, so we headed to Castle Drogo. Only a short drive away, there was so much to see and do within the castle. If it wasn’t for the guided route round, we’re pretty sure we would’ve got lost in the maze of corridors or stairways! By the afternoon the showers had largely passed so we wandered round the gardens and down to Fingle Bridge, where we stopped for a pint in the pub and game of Pooh sticks.

That evening, we wanted to head out for some food, Diane recommended The Oxenham Arms. Formerly a mediaeval monastery built around the prehistoric Menhir Standing Stone, the whole building exudes history and character. The staff were wonderful too. They warmly welcomed us in and secured us a bar-side table where we enjoyed their range of local gins and gourmet evening menu.


Outdoor Swedish bathtub (Left) Fluffy white robe hanging up (right)

On returning to Rodin's Retreat we found Diane and Andrew had set up and pre-heated the outdoor bathtub for us! It was such a treat coming round the corner to see steam rolling over the top. We quickly changed and nipped back out for a bath beneath the stars – something neither of us had experienced before! With no light pollution in the area, you can lie back and really take in the astonishing array of constellations.


Fluffy alpacas grazing in field

On Sunday, we checked out of the shepherd’s hut and got better acquainted with the alpacas in the adjacent field. Curious and timid they mostly kept to themselves. Although we did find that with a bit of coaxing one would come over to bestow forehead kisses. Following this we joined Diane and Andrew at their sculpture school and studio. It was so fascinating to see their work and hear the stories behind each piece. True artists and wonderful hosts, we felt throughout our stay that our needs were always anticipated and we were so well taken care of. Thank you Diane and Andrew!


Dartmoor National Park (left) | Foggintor Quarry (right)

After saying our goodbyes, we drove down into Dartmoor National Park and stopped in the Four Winds Car Park. Enclosed in an old dry-stone wall it’s a picturesque spot, so we stopped here to eat our packed lunch before heading out to Foggintor Quarry. Roughly a mile away it only takes around 30-40 minutes to walk. Due to the weather, the boggy terrain and river crossing slowed us down a little, but it was so worth the ramble! With mirror flat water surrounded by dramatic cliffs, this abandoned granite quarry is a truly stunning spot. Great for walkers, wild swimmers and those who just appreciate a good view.


Locking up shepherd's hut (left) | Deep blue kitchen interiors (right)

Once back in the car – thoroughly muddy and exhausted – we decided it was time to head home. Talking on the drive we agreed that the stay had completely surpassed our expectations, both in how luxurious and comfortable the hideaway was, but also in how much fun we’d had.

We’ll definitely be looking to return or perhaps stay at DaVinci’s Den or The Artist’s Garret next time!


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