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The Bothy and Shepherd’s Return

A characterful bolthole in West Sussex full of rustic style, from a site specialising in quirky places to stay

Looking at quirky Sussex stays for your next weekend break? Here’s a cute Bothy and Shepherd’s Hut full of country character tucked away between Petworth and Arundel.

I found this bolthole through a fun site called Host Unusual (see what they did there?) I’ve known one the Sussex-based founders, Alex, in travel circles for years – in fact I distinctly remember him once taking the mick out of my taste in music at a nightclub in Bangkok! So, they have good travel industry credentials and an eye for fun and unusual places to stay, from lighthouses to futuristic pods to railways carriages across the UK and increasingly abroad, as far afield as New Zealand.

The Bothy sits at the end of the owner Lizzie’s garden, with a field to one side which contains a cute shepherd’s hut you can also rent. It’s a cottage-style conversion from an historic outhouse which still has the original beams, with a kitchen, lounge and bedroom with en-suite bathroom.

It’s all very Country Living – beautifully accessorised with various vintage and upcycled finds including a coffee table that was once a market trolley and a side table made from a reclaimed plank from Eastbourne in the lounge. Lizzie had thoughtfully left some stylish fresh flowers and plenty of magazines. In the bedroom is a wood-burning stove (plus a hot water bottle to get you extra snuggly), in warmer months you can open the French windows onto the garden.

The ‘Shepherd’s Return’ which sleeps two if you don’t mind being cosy, is modelled on a 16th century-style hut and also contains a wood burner. It has cute gingham curtains and a faux fur throw and my friend thought it the perfect writer’s retreat. The visitors’ book is full of lovely creative thanks you with hand drawn pictures.

There’s a pretty well-stocked kitchenette in the Bothy and most people self-cater (you’ll also need to bring your own towels) or, you can pay a bit extra for a breakfast basket with eggs, sourdough bread, cold pressed tunny, marmalade, jam and more. If you’re staying in the Shepherd’s hut Lizzie will provide a basket of basics and bring you tea, coffee and scrambled eggs (from her free range hens) in the morning and hot chocolate at night.

It’s not a place I’d automatically think to bring children but there’s a highchair in the Bothy and children can stay for a small extra charge if you bring your own travel cots, camp beds etc.

In the area

You’re in a great area for days out and exploration – very handy for the South Downs and about five miles from pretty Petworth and Petworth House (I recommend lunch or dinner at the Leconfield). You’re also a short drive from Arundel and within ten miles or so you can get to Cowdray Park, Goodwood and Chichester. Lizzie leaves leaflets with suggestions for days and meals out.

The Bothy is at 1 The Hollow, Sutton End, Sutton, Pulborough, West Sussex RH20 1PY



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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Sussex