Our annual hut trip took a hiatus (for obvious reasons) in 2020, so we were over the moon to renew our tradition with a New Year visit to Morndyke Shepherd’s Hut.
Based just outside the North Yorkshire town of Thirsk, the Morndyke glamping site has everything you need for a chilled, relaxing break in striking distance of pubs, towns and National Parks.
Whilst finding somewhere to stay we had to make sure two of our more important boxes were ticked – dog friendly and has a log burner. Morndyke did indeed tick these boxes and looked the part too, so we made the trip on New Year’s Eve to bring in the year 2022!
Morndyke Glamping Site – Location and Facilities
Morndyke Shepherd’s Hut is located on a fantastic family run farm in Busby Stoop, around 3 miles outside of Thirsk. The farm is home to arable land, horses and a number of rescue and retired animals. It’s ran by husband and wife couple, Alan and Tricia.
Recently, Morndyke farm has been scaled back from over 200 acres to a more manageable 85 acres. On the glamping site you’ll find:
- Four shepherd’s huts (with a fifth coming)
- The bookable Morndyke Annexe
- A well-stocked mini honesty shop
- 2 acres line fishing lake – which used to be a clay quarry used for brick making.
Slightly further afield, you’ll find the North York Moors roughly 10 miles to the east, 13 miles to the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the west and 30 miles to York going south.
Busby Stoop consists of a garage and an Indian restaurant (which has rave reviews), but aside from that you’re likely to need a car to get to any local amenities.
Thirsk is your nearest hub, to which we headed to a couple of times. It’s a great little town with lots of pubs, places to eat, and shops. The Cod Beck river runs through Thirsk, which offers a nice riverside walk. On the 3 mile drive to Thirsk, there are a number of recommended pubs along the main road.
Features of Morndyke Shepherd’s Hut
For our three night stay, we were placed in the Mopsy shepherd’s hut. This hut was actually made by the Yorkshire Hut Company in 2017. It’s worth saying now that the newer huts at Morndyke have been built by Alan, one of the farm owners alongside his wife Tricia.
Once you enter the glamping area, the shepherd’s huts are located in a single row facing out towards the fields and hills in the distance. Each hut has enough space around it and also a well-crafted private outdoor space with table, chairs, BBQ and fire pit.
There’s a large grassed area immediately in front of the huts, which is expertly fenced and safe for dogs to run around in – Alan is also a fencing contractor, so he knows what he’s doing!
Inside Morndyke Shepherd’s Hut
- Double bed and top bunk bed
- One armchair
- Fold up dining table
- Log burner
- Two under-bed storage drawers
- Large outside lockable storage container
- Hot plate
- Kitchen sink and bathroom sink
- Small flatscreen TV and built-in DVD player
- Outside private table and chairs
The Morndyke hut had a large double bed, then a single bunk bed above this. There are two storage drawers under the bed which are very deep but not so tall. The bed was comfy and I had a three very decent sleeps.
The kitchen area was small but well-equipped. There’s a good Belfast sink, small fridge, microwave, kettle, toaster, large cupboard and smaller head-height cupboard, with plenty of storage on top.
There was a selection of complimentary tea, coffee bags and a jug of fresh milk. There was a nice range of Emma Bridgewater animal themed mugs, but if you like your beer or wine in a glass, there was only plastic glasses available. I brought my own glass, plus cafetiere and ethical ground coffee from the sustainable Balance Coffee roastery.
The hut had three good windows, a nice wooden stable door and a lovely stain glass window above the beds.
Also featured in the hut was ‘The Hobbit’ by Salamandar Stoves. This is a very popular small log burner with a courtesy bucket of wood to use. As The Hobbit is actually a multifuel stove, I also brought my own logs and even some heat logs, which I put to use on the outdoor fire pit.
Morndyke also comes with a number of good communal areas to enjoy. As well as the little on-site honesty shop, there’s a wash house with washing machine, tumble drier, spare wellies, dog leads, umbrellas and more, bird feeding station attracting a large array of birds, a wildflower garden and fruit plants. I really did enjoy the owners passion for wildlife.
Just outside the huts in the car park, there’s also a recycling and refuse section to get rid of any waste in the most sustainability and eco-friendly way possible. This was good to see.
The glamping area is dog friendly, as long as all poo and considerations are taking for the other people on site – make sure you bring your compostable dog poo bags. Here are my top tips for a dog friendly shepherd’s hut.
Things to do near Morndyke shepherd’s huts
After an enjoyable and relaxing breakfast (watching the copious number of birds have their breakfast too), we drove the short journey into Thirsk town centre.
Here we had a good walk round, including on the fields next to the river and a local park, before heading back to the centre. As it was New Year’s Day, most places were closed so we had our sandwiches in a bit of New Year sun, then made our way back to the hut to get the fire pit going to enjoy with a few drinks and a bit of food later on.
The day after we ventured a little further and out to Sutton Bank National Park Centre in the North York Moors. Alongside Sutton Bank is Garbutt Wood Nature Reserve, which come recommended in the book written by hut owner Tricia.
This was a great walk and I’d highly recommend it too. We first took in the ‘finest view in England’ before dropping down into the woods and nature reserve, heading towards Gormire Lake. It’s not a huge walk but there’s a good 800ft of ascent to factor in on the way back up. The lake was stunning as was the woodland and reserve. This was actually a partly planted reserve, which does show the importance of tree planting.
It’s fair to say we were a little peckish after a few hours of walking, so we headed back to Thirsk and found a lovely spot in the historic Golden Fleece pub. Slightly pricey, but a really nice establishment, with very friendly staff, great pub food and a fine pint of Black Sheep cask. Can’t ask for too much more really.
Price and communication
We paid £353 for a three night stay, which included £20 for the dog and £15 for all the bedding and sheets. £100 a night is roughly what we’ve paid previously, so we were happy with this.
Communication beforehand via email was good, with lots of information and details sent across. We met and had a good chat with one of the owners (Alan) who was very friendly and always seemed to be doing a job or two around the farm – as I guess you’d expect from a farmer!
All in all, we had a terrific stay at Morndyke Shepherd’s Huts and would recommend a visit.