Part-time Traveller, Full-Time Brummie

Accommodation Review: Glamping at the Apple Inn, Lucker

The return of foreign travel meant that we neglected our UK holidays in 2022. After all, we couldn’t wait to feel a little sun on our face and the sand between our toes. We went to North Yorkshire at the start of January, and an Edinburgh city break in April. Then we swapped our pounds for euros, and winter woollies for shorts, and left the UK behind. But I remembered how much I loved a quirky accommodation stay. And after seeing a couple of North East instagrammers mention the shepherd’s huts at the Apple Inn in Lucker, I told Mr Fletche that we’d be revisiting Northumberland for our wedding anniversary break.

“A shepherd’s hut. In November. Have you really thought this through?”

Mr Fletche reminded me of our last Northumberland shepherds hut experience. Where he made me beans on toast on the woodburner. It only took two hours. For lukewarm beans on toast. I assure him that these shepherd huts are made for year-round stays and will be toasty warm. Plus there’s a pub and a café for breakfast, both just steps away. It’s this that convinces him. And so we find ourselves travelling up to the North East.

**This blog post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you go on to make a purchase or booking after clicking through one of my external links, then I may make a tiny bit of commission, at no extra cost to you!**

The Apple Inn is in Lucker, a small village about 5 miles from Bamburgh on the Northumberland coast. Lucker has a pub, the Schoolhouse Cafe, a church and a spa but not much else. Which actually makes it the perfect base for a relaxed getaway, and there’s no shortage of holiday rentals scattered around. Stablewood Coastal Cottages seem to run most of the local facilities accommodation, including The Apple Inn and it’s shepherd’s huts.

There are four brand new shepherd’s huts at The Apple Inn (with a fifth on the way), just across the road from the pub itself. Each sleeps two people, and if you have a four-legged friend, the huts are dog-friendly, with an enclosed garden area around each one. Embracing the rural setting, each hut is named after wildlife. We stayed in Badgers Sett; the others were named Otter’s Couch, Red Squirrels Drey and Foxes Den.

If you’re staying in summer, and all the huts are occupied, I can imagine there isn’t much privacy as the huts are very close together. Although this means it may be an excellent option for a group stay.

Mr Fletche handily indicating which is our shepherd’s hut

Unlike our previous shepherds hut experience, Badgers Sett isn’t set up for self-catering. Which thankfully means no lukewarm beans on toast. With the pub just a stones throw away, and the School House offering breakfast even closer, there are dining options close by. If you are bringing supplies, be mindful that there’s no fridge. But no kitchen facilities means that the huts are surprisingly spacious.

Badgers Sett backs onto a babbling stream. There’s a little traffic on the road outside but nothing that’s too intrusive. A skylight above the bed allows for star-spotting – although when we pulled the blind across we did get a damp patch from condensation dripping.

I’ve become quite adept at wood burner lighting after early failures. The fire in Badgers Sett is even easier, having one of those fancy burn-in-the-bag logs at hand. No messing around with fire lighters or pyramids of kindling here. I manage to get quite the roaring fire going which keeps the hut cosy throughout the evening. Not so good for Mr Fletche’s sinuses though, as his melodic snoring proves. In fact, we didn’t even need the wood burner as the hut was also centrally heated. Chilly temperatures are definitely no barrier to staying at The Apple Inn during the cooler months.

The shepherd huts share a car park with The School House, and this is where we have our breakfast, included in our rate. We have our pick of the menu, and there is plenty to choose from. Mr Fletche likes the look of my School House Croissant so much that he opts for it on the second morning. Little wonder, it’s oozing with sausage, bacon, avocado, cheeses and chutney, all locally sourced. I have the pancakes on day 2, a hefty stack with perfectly crisp streaky bacon and maple syrup.

We celebrated our wedding anniversary at The Apple Inn itself. After all, it was named the Greatest Gastro Pub in the North at the Food Awards England in 2022. We get a warm welcome, and a celebration banner decorates our table. There’s plenty to tempt us on the menu, all good pub classics with a local and seasonal twist. Mr Fletche goes for the pork chop, topped with a duck egg; I have the sirloin steak. The Apple do a good selection of local beers and gins, with my favourite being Hepple gin, distilled in Morpeth.

There was a small mix-up on Day 2. We asked for extra teabags and milk for our shepherd’s hut at breakfast. As requested, we left our key with the staff at The School House, but not only were no teabags or milk delivered, our room key had also gone missing. Luckily there was a spare at the inn, but it was a little disappointing that our key could be mislaid so easily.

I loved our trip up to the Northumberland Coast, from walks on almost deserted beaches to festive castle exhibitions. Badgers Sett at the Apple Inn was a surprisingly cosy accommodation option and I’d definitely recommend for an autumn or festive break!

You can book a stay at the Apple Inn or one of their shepherd’s huts here.


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