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Review: Dittisham Hideaway, Dittisham, Devon, UK

Dittisham Hideaway is the latest venture from hotelier and entrepreneur, Peter de Savary and his wife Lana, and consists of a luxury collection of treenhouses, shepherds huts and an iconic 1950s American Airsteam. Offering dog-friendly accommodation with plenty of outdoor space and wood-fired hot tubs, this unique venture is hidden away in a private, sun-dappled wooded valley and wildflower meadow, just one mile from the beautiful River Dart in South Devon.

The welcome

We received a call from Alice ahead of our stay, asking what our likely time of arrival would be, and whether we would like the hot tub heated in advance of our arrival. Directions were easy to follow and we had been emailed a code for a security box making access seamless. Electric wheelbarrows – that could be set on ‘tortoise’ or ‘hare’ mode – are assigned for each shepherds hut and can be used to transfer luggage from the parking area (where there are also charging points for electric cars).

The room

We stayed in Willow, a luxury shepherd’s hut for two people, finished to a high standard throughout and, as the ‘end hut’ of five, enjoying the best view down the wooded valley. Unlike some shepherds huts which can be quite small to live in, this came with ample room (234 sq. ft.), full of character and charm, whilst still being a practical living space too.

The huts have been lovingly hand-crafted to Dittisham Hideaway’s high specifications by West Country Artisans. At one end lay a king size double bed looking out over the meadow with a very comfortable bed with Egyptian cotton linen and a duvet that is 100% natural, 100% responsibly sourced and 100% sustainable, locally sourced from Devon Duvets and made from 100% authentic, fully-traceable British wool from carefully-selected farms in Devon and the south-west.

One corner of the central living area is occupied by a fully-equipped kitchen, complete with baby Belfast sink, fridge, microwave and two-ring hob, Dualit kettle and toaster, and Nespresso coffee machine. Pans, plates, utensils and a knife block are all present, too.

There is also a traditional wood-burning stove that ensures the hut holds a year-round appeal, a relaxation area with coffee table, and a breakfast bar with foldaway stools, making maximum use of space.

Every amenity has been thought of from the designer fabrics and made-to-measure furnishings to a small collection of books (on British birds, butterflies and bees) and a games compendium (backgammon, chess, dominos and cards). There’s also free WiFi, an information folder with emergency details, practical information about the hut, a woodland walk and map, local information and things to do.

The bathroom

At the opposite end of the hut to the sleeping area lies a generous bathroom with a walk-in power shower, basin and WC. Soft, fluffy towels are provided and there are Basic Earth toiletries, a Fragrance Society diffuser and Hyacinth and White Birch room spray.

The facilities

Outside lies the hut’s own private terrace with a wood-fired hot tub, barbecue, Adirondack loungers with detatchable foot rests, a teak dining table and parasol with seating for up to four people.


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Guests can also enjoy a woodland walk within the grounds, and there’s outdoor table football and an outdoor chess board.


Whilst the location feels quite secluded and remote, Dittisham Hideaway is just one mile from the pretty waterside village of Dittisham and a 10-minute drive to the historical port of Dartmouth, 20 minutes from the market town of Totnes, and 30 and 40 minutes from the seaside towns of Paignton and Torquay respectively.

There’s a Sainsbury’s just 3 miles away and a number of pubs close by that serve food. Try The Red Lion at Dittisham. Advance booking is recommended for the The Angel in Dartmouth, which is listed in the Michelin Guide, holds 2 AA Rosettes and is led by Head Chef Elly Wentworth. For younger families visiting, Woodlands Family Theme Park, with a theme park, play centre and falconry, is only 5 minutes away by car.

Other nice touches

Inside our hut we found complimentary sloe gin, a bottle of wine, a jar of marshmallows and a welcome hamper with all manner of goodies that included a farmhouse loaf, cereal and a variety of snacks. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate were provided and, inside the fridge, an initial supply of milk, butter and orange juice could also be found.


The shepherds huts start from £195 per night, based on a minimum 2-night stay.

The best bit

What I really liked about our shepherd’s hut was the tranquillity, and the ability to open the doors and windows to the fresh air and sound of birdsong. The accommnodation is well-spaced and there is plenty of outdoor space assigned to each hut, perfect for soaking up the peace and solitude of the Devon countryside, and for being at one with nature.

The final verdict

Dittisham Hideaway offers something very different to the traditional self-catering break, providing all the ingredients for a unique UK staycation, in understated luxury away from some of the more touristy parts of the West Country.

Disclosure: Our stay was sponsored by Dittisham Hideaway.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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  1. I had always thought that a Shepherd’s Hut wasn’t really for us. This post has made me think again. It all looks far more spacious than I would have thought and it’s made me think afresh on booking a Shepherd’s Hut.

    1. Hi Andy… I’ve stayed in a couple now. Both lovely, but this one was definitely more spacious than the first we sampled. For a short break, it’s ideal – and with the outdoor space also, I think you’ll find you have more than enough space and freedom to have a relaxing break.

  2. The paths look good, I’ve only done a Shepherd’s Hut once and the approach was very boggy. Such little details can make a huge difference. I would imagine that the wheelbarrow is very useful too.

    1. Hi Sue

      Yes, there are good gravel paths all around Dittisham Hideaway. It wasn’t far from car to accommodation, but there’s a little bit of an incline so the electric wheelbarrows make it even easier on arrival and departure.


  3. Those welcome hampers help you settle in and yours was a good one. Though once we had a hamper which we lived off for the first 36 hours.

  4. It’s such a beautiful part of Devon with so much to do that you would have to book in for several nights to make the most of the region.

  5. It’s reassuring that the Dittisham Hideaway is from the Peter de Savery stable. I’ve stayed in one of his beach huts on the south coast in Sussex and it must be the most luxurious “beach hut” in Britain. Let’s be honest, you don’t get many beach huts spread over three levels. And if there are any they don’t feature original art.

    1. Yes, that’s the place. One of the best things there is that you are only 50 metres from the hotel with its bars and restaurants, so self-catering isn’t really much more than making a cup of coffee or pouring a glass of wine from the fridge. Whilst we’re talking distance, from the beach huts, the beach is across the coastal path which means it’s only about 10 metres away from the hut. I found the sound of the surf on the pebbles very soothing but it may not be for everyone.

    2. Thanks, Nick… I can’t think of any reason why other people might not find it similarly soothing and relaxing! It’s not a part of the country I know that well, but it sounds lovely.

  6. We really like the cosy side of Shepherd’s huts and have stayed in a few. The finish of the fittings and the equipment looks a level up from those we’ve stayed in so far.

    As I write it’s coming back to me that David Cameron bought himself a Shepherd’s Hut so that he could get some peace and quiet when he wrote his memoirs. I bet that was nicely furnished. On his previous salary as Prime Minister and future book royalties he could probably kit it out to a very high standard.

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