Stay the night: Eco log cabins, Ludlow
These log cabins provide a cosy hideaway that's both friendly to the environment and luxurious
Sunday 29 November 2009
On the edge of a meadow two miles from Ludlow, Shropshire, and framed by a river and woodland, lies a cosy, eye-catching gem of a cottage, perfect for a winter weekend.
Constructed almost entirely from wood, this imaginative log cabin is as close to the genuine article as those who endorse low-carbon holiday properties can hope to get, putting most places that claim "green" credentials to shame.
The most striking element is the design. The main structure is built from chunky trunks of Douglas fir logs. At one end, the gable overhang creates a beautiful veranda allowing you to sit outside in even the wettest weather. The logs, floors and doors have been gloriously polished (with low-impact varnishes), and a dramatic, wooden trifold door opens up on to the meadow.
This cottage shows green can be stylish: there's a guitar on the wall, a Shaker kitchen and a natty music system. Above all, you get the sense that building the cabin was not just a business decision, but that the owner, George Tasker, put his philosophical beliefs into its construction.
Innovations include low-energy induction hobs on the cooker and a wood-pellet stove, which provides the sole source of space heating in the cottage and keeps the cabin as warm as toast in winter. Hot air from the stove is pumped by a ducting system to the double bedroom; heat the twin room by simply leaving the door open. In good weather you can drink and dine around the firepit by the river.
The name suggests there might be two cabins: in fact there is only one for now, Annie's Cabin, with plans to build a second on the far side of the meadow.
There is one double bedroom and a twin bedroom, both comfortable and tastefully furnished, plus a double sofa bed. The twin room has a startling crossbeam made locally from green oak that acts as the structure's main support. There's a separate shower and bathroom, with water warmed from the two solar roof panels (with a back-up immersion heater to occasionally top up).
The food and drink
Guests are welcomed with locally sourced goodies on arrival – real ales, cider, organic eggs, butter and milk. The wood-pellet stove contains an oven, perfect for cooking casseroles.
Head for the Stiperstones and the Long Mynd for dramatic, wild scenery, popping into The Bog visitor centre (bogcentre.co.uk) for tea and cake along the way. Annie's Cabin is also close to Acton Scott Working Farm (actonscott.com), a superb introduction to Victorian agriculture.
Children and families welcome. Rooms and outdoor areas are all on the same level and good for wheelchair access.
A week costs from £375 in low season. Short weekend or midweek breaks also available.
Ludlow Eco Log Cabins, Caynham Mill, Ludlow (07977 091928; ludlowecologcabins.co.uk).
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