Shepherd’s Huts – 9 Remote Retreats for an Off-Grid Break in the UK

Shepherd’s Hut stays are becoming popular as the multiple lockdowns give us all a taste to break free from TV, electricity and even buildings with roofs.

Shepherd’s Huts are quirky getaways that have long been a hit with those looking for something a little sturdier than a tent for camping – you get all the comforts of a bed, kitchenette and bathroom, while still getting to enjoy remote landscapes.  They tend to be popular with couples, but there are also some properties for families if you do want to bring the kids on an adventure.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Shepherd’s Hut stays across the UK worth having on your radar…

1. Rock View Shepherd’s Hut, Devon

Hidden in the woodlands three miles from the village of Gunnislake, this cosy hut has everything you need for a comfortable stay  -there’s no TV and no access to Wi-Fi.

Spend the day exploring the landscape there are some nearby market towns.

How much: Prices from £249 for seven nights with Sykes Holiday Cottages. Sleeps two people. Find out more here.

2. The Hot Tub Hideaway, Brecon Beacons

As the name suggests, this charming hut offers a luxurious perk for guests; an outdoor hot tub with views of the breathtaking scenery.

Located in a private meadow, you’ll get exclusive use of the hut and its hot tub, while other highlights include a wood burning stove inside, and a large fire pit if you do fancy some al fresco dining. There’s a separate hut for the wet room and toilet.

How much Prices from £409 for three nights with HolidayCottages. Sleeps two people. Find out more here.

3. Maylies, Northumberland

If you’re looking to get away from the daily grind, Maylies could be just the spot. For a start, the outdoor bath is the stuff of dreams with views of the sprawling countryside, while inside you’ll find two bedrooms with cosy beds, as well as an open plan kitchen and lounge.

The hut actually sleeps up to four people, so it can also be ideal for friends or families looking to have a fun countryside escape together.

How much Prices from £200 per night with Canopy & Stars. Sleeps four people. Find out more here.

4. The Happy Hare, Dorset

Couples after a romantic getaway surrounded by picturesque landscape won’t be disappointed at this quirky spot in Dorset.

The Happy Hare offers an idyllic camping break from the outdoor seating area and fire pit to the hot tub. Inside the hut expect modern and sleek interiors, including a double bed and a kitchenette with everything you need for a hearty post-countryside-walk meal.

How much Prices from £80 per night with Canopy & Stars. Sleeps two people. Find out more here.

5. Shepherd’s Hut Avon Farm Estate, Bath

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Lockdown Winner – Underground Realty

When the lockdown started, some people literally went down.

Northeast Bunkers, a company in Pittsfield, Maine, that specializes in the design and construction of underground bunkers has been growing steadily for the past 18 years. Former general contractor Frank  Woodworth outfitted his first steel vault and changed his business model to focus solely on designing, installing and updating underground shelters.

He stresses that these are not ”luxury bunkers” for the top 1 percent, and only a small part of the calls are coming from Doomsday preppers or Cold War-era holdovers. Rather, about two-thirds of his business comes from consumers who pay approximately $25,000 for an underground livable dwelling. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Woodworth said he has been unable to keep up with the demand.

Buyers of these kinds of underground dwellings say that they simply want to protect their families from an increasingly turbulent world. For many, the decision to build a bunker was made before the coronavirus pandemic surfaced, but they say that they now feel prepared for the next local or global crisis.

Aaron, who spoke on the condition that his full name not be used to protect his privacy, said he bought a bunker three years ago to keep his family in the Washington D.C. area safe in a variety of situations. ”If something happens, I can put the family in there, or if I’m gone, my wife can lock the family in there,” he said. ”Not just the coronavirus, or civil unrest. Even in environmental things” — like earthquakes and tornadoes — ”my family is protected.”

Aaron, who has three teenagers and is in his mid-40s, said he is currently using his 1,100-square-foot bunker as an office. ”Parts of the bunker are off-limits to all my children, like any of the security rooms, the weapons room, the food and storage room, the pantry,” he said.

Other amenities include a food and storage room, as well as an aboveground ”safe room” which is used ”if you need to quickly get away from something immediately. Basically, a panic room.”

He bought his bunker from a company called Hardened Structures based in Virginia Beach, Va., one of the many bunker builders across the country.

Some buyers go through a bunker broker to find a shelter that fits their needs. Jonathan Rawles is the owner and manager of SurvivalRealty.com, a national company based in Idaho that works with agents and brokers specializing in remote, off-grid bunker-type property.

”There is continual demand for people that are looking to find more of a sustainable future for themselves, for their families,” Mr. Rawles said. ”A lot of real estate markets only focus on housing in the urban areas, suburban areas, exurbs, and there is very much a missed opportunity for people who are looking to live off-grid, wanting to live remote, or actually looking to secure a property, …

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Remote vacation deals on Priceline and AirBnb

Remote vacations will be all the rage as the unlockdown begins.

Outdoor recreation is slowly beginning to reopen in Oregon with social distancing rules. Playgrounds and restrooms remain closed, but some public campgrounds will be allowed to open on June 9. Until then, there are still plenty of places in nature where you can be far from crowds. Why not hide away on a vineyard or alpaca farm? Here are getaways to inspire your Memorial Day weekend and beyond.

Farm Stays

Leaping Lamb Farm and Farm Stays: Owner Scottie Jones, who wrote “Country Grit: A Farmoir of Finding Purpose and Love,” conducts private tours at her farm in Alsea, on Oregon Highway 34 west of Corvallis. Watch lambs romp, pick berries, collect eggs and breathe fresh air on this 1862 homestead, then stay the night. The lodging staff is taking extra safety and cleaning precautions. Book via Priceline

The 1895 farm house, which sleeps 12, starts at $300 a night, depending on travel dates, and the two-bedroom cottage that sleeps six starts at $250 a night. Wake up when you want. Jones says the alarm clock is a lazy rooster. Check out other Oregon farm stays on Airbnb, from a five-person bunkhouse at Wine Down Ranch in Prineville (about $90 a night depending on travel dates) to a one-bedroom apartment on an alpaca farm in Hillsboro (about $80). Priceline has a McMinnville farm house for rent with four bedrooms, but reviewers say bring earplugs because of road noise. Find quiet hotels across Oregon at a discount.

Tiny Houses to Check Into

People who don’t want to walk down a hallway to their hotel room are renting standalone micro houses, says Deb Delman, co-owner of Caravan-The Tiny House Hotel in Northeast Portland’s Alberta Arts District. When guests arrive, they find everything is within reach inside the five compact dwellings, which are spaced apart around an open courtyard. Each tiny house is fully furnished with an efficient seating area, kitchen, two beds and a bathroom with a flush toilet, shower and hot-and-cold running water. Hotel rates of $125-$185 a night are being temporarily discounted. The family-friendly Vintages Trailer Resort has refurbished retro travel trailers with an outdoor grill and no contact check-ins. For Father’s Day, The Vintages is offering dads 20% off already discounted prices.

Campers and RVs for Rent

Release from the long lockdown may inspire a road trip. You can ride your own wheels or rent a roomy RV, sleek Airstream or colorful camper van, through a company or private owner, a la Airbnb, RVs are in Oregon’s DNA. Wally Byam, who founded Airstream in 1931, was born in Baker City. Holiday House modern travel trailers were dreamed up by Medford’s David Holmes of Harry & David fruit basket fame. The canned ham-shape Alohas started in — you guessed it — Aloha and Timberlines hailed from Sandy. Outdoorsy, which matches …

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A solution to California’s disasters – Microgrids

After years of deteriorating power lines owned by PG&E, California’s biggest utility, plus months of windy wildfires, warming California is wondering how to keep the lights on. Small communities all over the state have been pioneering the answer for decades

Take back control – Build your own utility

The Blue Lake Rancheria tribe in Mad River, Northern California has built a microgrid on its 100-acre reservation, a stitching-together of technologies including wind turbines, solar panels, storage batteries and its own power lines that integrates with the outside utility network or can stand alone from it. It is a state-of-the-art system — and an indicator of what might be the future for every American.

In early October, Pacific Gas & Electric cut power to more than 2 million people across Northern California, including all those who live in rural Humboldt County, where redwood forests fringe the wild edge of the continent. The shut-off aimed to reduce the risk of wildfire, and as the region sat in darkness, the tribe’s multimillion-dollar investment in its power system glowed.

Responding to public needs, the tribe transformed a hotel conference room into a newsroom so the local paper could publish. The reservation’s gas station and mini mart were among the only ones open, drawing a nearly mile-long line of cars.

The Blue Lake Rancheria served more than 10,000 people during the day-long outage, by some estimates, roughly 8 percent of Humboldt’s population. And the tribe suddenly became a vital part of its emergency response.

“The irony was not lost on us,” said Jason Ramos, a member of the tribal council who ran emergency operations during the blackout. “When these power cuts started, we looked like geniuses for what we had done. But in truth, we didn’t really see them coming when we made our decision.”

California, a hive of rapid private-sector innovation, is adjusting slowly to the accelerating changes in its climate. The sharp transition between heavy rains and hot, windy weather has primed the landscape for wildfires, which have burned larger and deadlier in recent years than at any time in history.

After an autumn of power cuts and economic losses, the reliability of California’s electricity grid and of its three largest investor-owned utilities is among the most pressing public policy issues facing Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). The state lags behind some on the East Coast, where Tropical Storm Irene swamped towns in 2011, causing blackouts and a rethinking of how to strengthen a vulnerable electrical grid.

The ideas under consideration here are complicated by the bankruptcy of PG&E, the state’s largest investor-owned utility. All would require a measure of public money — such as a state takeover of the grid or breaking up utilities into municipal agencies — and changes to a regulatory system yet to adapt to California’s new climate-driven threats.

“It’s like we have a high schooler stuck in the sixth …

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Off-Grid Gas in rip-off Britain

One in five households are without mains gas… and they need help say Welsh politicians.

THE one in five Welsh homes without mains gas need help to pay their fuel bills, it is claimed.

Now Plaid Cymru has unveiled a three-point plan to help the estimated 400,000 households in Wales who are off the gas network and who the party says face higher costs with little consumer protection.

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Building WIld

The task is simple — take cabin-building to new extremes. Tackling this on “Building Wild” are opposites.

Pat “Tuffy” Bakaitis knows cabins; he has five of his own. One is just to visit with his family; another is for what he calls his “happy hour” crew. “It just gets trashed every Friday night,” he said.

Paul DiMeo knew little about the cabin world. “It’s a lifestyle that a part of me longs for,” he said.

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Power giants hate solar in Australia

The Australian solar industry is preparing for what it calls a “David and Goliath” battle against the country’s biggest generators and network operators. The outcome will likely decide the immediate fate of rooftop solar in Australia, and the pace of the so-called “democratisation of energy” — a contest that pitches households and their solar modules against the centralised utilities that have dominated the industry for a century or more in Australia and across the developed world.

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digital detox, unplug,disconnect,offthegridnews,eric valli

Step Away from the Phone, Sir

U-Wire University of Colorado at Boulder; Boulder, CO –

Every few weeks, a group of people — typically a dozen or so professionals, from Silicon Valley and Wall Street, academia and Hollywood — pay for the privilege of ditching their smartphones, laptops and tablets and spending a few days at a lodge in the California Redwoods for a “Digital Detox.”

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Ted Turner goes off-grid

Ted Turner’s hunting and fishing resort, Vermejo Park Ranch, has installed a new $1 million solar system that will take the lodge off the power grid.

Turner, the 239th richest man in the US with a fortune of $2bn bought the 578,000 acre ranch in New Mexico in 1996. It stretches into Colorado and reportedly is one of the largest privately owned ranches in the country.

In 2007 Turner partnered with New Jersey-based Dome Tech Solar to create DT Solar, a renewable energy company focusing on solar power.

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Nature and Survival Shows on US TV 2014

There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors. However, with the hustle and bustle of daily life it can be difficult to get out there are truly appreciate all nature has to offer, if you want to share that experience with your children. But there are educational programs on TV that are a great and exciting substitute. Here are three of the best nature and survival shows.

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Details of my Off-grid Plan

Oki doki folks! Jenny here. Hello out there once more!

Continuing on from my previous article, which can be found here, I shall now home in on some finer details beginning with choice of van, and energy sources, both for powering the van and for power in the van.

Van:  I already discussed in the pre-mentioned article my reasons for choosing a van/minibus to live off-grid in…..but now how do I go about deciding, which van (from this point forward meaning minibus as well as van) to use? Does it matter? Well, from my research I have learnt that yes, indeed it does matter! Especially if, like me, one hopes to use USVO (Used Straight Vegetable Oil) as the fuel – more on USVO specifically in a moment.

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