Caban Dan Ser - 'Glamping under the stars'
"A fantastic magical little place"
Paul - October 2017
We're big fans of gazing out at star filled skies and in early 2013 this led us to have an idea. Not content with all the other little projects that we were working on we decided to step it up a notch and build our very own shepherds hut. These huts were originally used by farm workers tending their livestock. However, our shepherd's hut has a sofa, wood burning stove, welsh dresser and fully specced shower and kitchenette. We thought it would be perfect for guests coming to the farm to have their own space and bit of luxury whilst enjoying the Welsh mountain views and clear night skies. The 5 star reviews suggest we got it right.
We found an old trailer chassis under a pile of scrap at an Uncle's farm and, only learning how to do these things as we went along, we reconditioned it, welded new bits on (don't worry - we had good guidance from pros) and turned it into the platform we needed for our custom design.
This is a year round retreat and it was important that it could deal with varied and often cold, wet & windy conditions you get in the country. It had to be not just tolerable but comfortable to use in all seasons. We built an insulated wooden panel floor before assembling the walls and handcrafting the roof structure. In our imagination we knew how we wanted it to look and we worked hard to get it just right. We ended up needing custom made roofing so that the colour and fit was as we wanted it to be. After all, "If you're going to do something you should make sure you do it right!"
For it to be a perfect retreat it's not just about looks, it has to both feel right and function well when you're in it too. We made sure it was finished to the highest quality knowing that little things left undone would really annoy us later on. Its fair to say it took time, several years in fact, and we learnt - measure twice, cut once!
We worked through two summers, through one bitter winter and one slightly less cold winter. We painted on Christmas day and if we had an hour to spare we went down to the hut and did a little more. We could see it slowly coming together and it was a labour of love.
We recycled whatever we could. The slate for the fire was an old cow trough and the lights are up-cycled candle holders from an old Great Western Train. There is vintage handmade iron work for the steps up to the door and we hand made the tow bar too.
So it was long overdue when we rolled the hut out into the daylight for the first time. Our old Massey Ferguson - still going strong after 50+ years did the honours pulling what is definitely an over engineered/very well built shepherd's hut.
And after all that work, the hardest bit of the project - where should we put the hut? After much fence leaning, chin scratching and good old fashioned discussion we wheeled it into place. It has an unbelievable view South West over Moel Famau amd the Clwydian Range. Sat under the old apple tree it is the perfect spot. You can sit back and enjoy the nature around you watching the weather over the mountains on the horizon. In the evening after watching for shooting stars in the clear country sky, stoke the wood burning stove and snuggle in comfort. It is the perfect escape.
The hut is furnished with a handmade (by us) slide out double bed which doubles as a sofa. There is an up-cycled Welsh dresser with loads of info on local walks and things to do and a reconditioned pull out table perfect for laying out maps and planning days out. The mattress is hand made so we could get the optimum size and comfort and it provides a great night's sleep after all that fresh air.
To provide the luxury glamping experience and to help our guests really unwind we've also built a dedicated kitchen and bathroom next to the shepherd's hut. We've received 5* reviews from everyone who's stayed in it and we're happy we get to share our amazing project and little corner of North Wales with you. We hope to welcome you soon.
To make a reservation please visit our Caban Dan Ser Air BnB page.