People come and stay in our shepherd huts at Dimpsey for so many different reasons, some we get to hear about and some we don’t, but I thought that it would be nice to share a few of them with you over the next few weeks (without breaking any confidences, guest privacy is really important to us).
So firstly, let’s cover the one that you might not have expected (given that we mainly market to couples), which is a solo guest.
We’ve had quite a few over the years, sometimes staying a night or two and sometimes the whole week, I guess the stays are retreat-like in nature but the reasons for travelling solo have been really varied.
I absolutely loved the idea of the break our first solo traveller was on. Our guest was a lady who had been saying to her family for a long time that she just wanted a couple of days to herself, so for her birthday her daughters purchased her a voucher to stay at Dimpsey. Evidently we were chosen because we were a luxury destination offering seclusion, but we’re on hand if needed, which is reassuring if you’re staying on your own. Our guest was dropped off by her partner and was armed with food and books and lovely treats for her two day break, we showed her round and lit the fire for her and left her to her own devices. We discreetly checked from a distance that we could see smoke from the chimney every now and again, but that was it.
Just before departure time, I happened to see our guest and she was looking like the most relaxed person ever “Emma,” she said, “you’re the first person I’ve spoken to for 48 hours and it has been absolutely blissful, I have slept and eaten to suit myself, I’ve read 5 books and I have really just had the best time, I feel ready to take on the world!”
I have to admit to feeling a slight pang of jealousy about a break that just was away from everything for a while, I could really see the appeal, which only deepened when I opened the shepherd hut door to do the changeover and the bed just had the most divine set-up I have ever seen. All the pillows, blakets and sheepskins arranged to make the most perfect spot for sitting up in bed and reading…how lovely!
Other times, we have hosted photographers or people who are passing through the area and want somewhere a bit different to stay for a short break, they’re on their own and the fact that we have luxurious accommodation and a great place to eat called the Candlelight Inn just a mile away, really seems to hit the spot for this group of travellers. 4G is good and we have an office with wifi on the estate – so working quietly in beautiful surroundings is a big draw for them.
Talking of work brings me on to the solo travellers who book longer stays with us and that’s the people who are in the process of writing a book. Again, a luxury retreat, peace and quiet, stunning views and the lure of a hot-tub once you’ve hit your word count – all sound very appealing to me! The Blackdown Hills are an inspiring place to be, bird song to wake up to and stunning views to help those little procrastination breaks! I hear that the wordcount achieved here is pretty good, so we must be doing something right! Usually, people have a routine to write to and also want to get out and explore the country, so we help out with suggestions of places to visit and places to find good food. Our latest author had an electric bike with him, so we sorted charging and secure storage and in his break times he explored the Blackdown Hills – I’m thinking the electric nature of the bike was a good shout personally, some of the hills can be a bit steep if you’re pedalling!
So there you go, luxury retreats for the solo traveller.