‘Not a single negative review’: shepherd hut holiday firm to expand
PUBLISHED: 08:54 20 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:35 20 September 2020
With luxury accommodation, lakes for fishing and private hot tubs, a Norfolk ‘staycation’ site said business has never been better and has revealed plans for its expansion.
Wispy Meadows Shepherd Hut Holidays, in Saham Toney, has lodged a planning application with Breckland Council to build two single-storey, two-bedroom lodges, as demand for holiday homes soars.
The site, located on Ovington Road, next to Richmond Golf Course, currently has one two-bedroom lodge and four shepherds’ huts, each overlooking the lake.
Since coming out of lockdown, Wispy Meadows owner Mark Garner said they had been close to 100pc occupancy every week and saw no sign of it letting up going into the winter months.
The 58-year-old said: “By far the biggest draw is the fishing on the lake. They say there are more people into fishing than football.
“We have had visitors who have captured carp up to 30lbs and the other day someone caught an eel 3ft long, people who are into fishing absolutely love it here.
“But also, if you want a bit of peace and quiet, it’s perfect. We only allow visitors over 18, no children but dogs are welcome. The lodge and shepherd huts also have a private hot tub, gas fire pit and BBQ.”
Mr Garner, formerly the owner of a groundworks company, was originally granted planning permission to build 22 homes on the land but changed the business direction and built his first shephard hut for rental in 2015.
He is hopeful that permission for the new lodges will be granted and hopes to add more accommodation to the 10-acre site in the future.
Mr Garner said: “We are very proud to say that around 75pc of our business are people who have been before and I can’t tell you how satisfying that is.”
“I don’t think we have had a negative review or a single bad comment and that is something to be proud of. We are keen to add to new lodges because the one we have now is very popular and because it is two bedrooms, two couples can share the cost.”
As flights abroad are being swapped for breaks in the Norfolk countryside, Mr Garner believed tourism in the county would be at an all-time high.
He added: “Since lockdown, I think a lot of people have realised that there are some amazing places to visit in this county.”
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