Herefordshire quickly became shortened to ‘the shire’ in our London plannings, a hidden hilly wonderland of ancient hop farms, pagan festivals and hippies who left the rat race to work from the bounteous hills. The Malverns draw people to take the water and drive huge muddy 4x4’s down the middle of tiny winding roads, making the whole area a haven for small, interesting businesses run by real people. My first introduction to this was exploring our new woods and discovering down a bark strewn path the Hobbit House. We opened it in June 2016 with some trepidation as to whether people would go for it, it makes use of the cooking facilities in the workshop, the hot outdoor shower nestled in a field ash grove peeking out at the view to the Malverns and the compost loo (my favourite building in the whole woods!).
We took advice from the lovely people at Canopy & Stars and published it on their site then awaited the bookings. And how bookings came! By the time we closed down for the winter we have had people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and getting engaged. It has been given as gifts, wedding presents and as a thank-yous for painting my house! Some guests have been planning and expecting it for months whilst some have been treated by a partner and walk into the workshop with an array of emotions that range from incredulous to ecstatic! One couple had traded nights away, staying in a spa hotel in Malvern for two nights (his choice) then coming to the woods for a wild couple of nights (her choice). After a small adjustment period he re discovered the childhood joy of building a fire which he proceeded to do all weekend for anyone that needed one! Without exception everyone that has stayed become smitten with the little wooden hobbit house.