A few years ago I stayed on safari in an amazing tree house in Botswana. Took ages to get there, was horribly expensive, but well worth it. Had an all round magical experience. I spent hours watching exotic African animals roam the grassland in front of my porch. I loved it.
Made me think I’d touched the top of the tree when it came to these things. But now, after a recent staycation close to home, I’m not so sure.
If you’ve always wanted to spend some time in an amazing treehouse, see exotic wildlife parading up and down, but don’t want to go too far or pay too much, then I’ve got just the thing for you. Rewild Treehouses, the Rolls-Royces of wooden wendy house adventures close to home.
The Elmore Estate is set in the Gloucestershire wilderness, close to the River Severn. To get there, you travel along quiet country lanes, through forgotten lands, you feel as if you have left civilization far behind, although the city of Gloucester is actually only a few miles away.
Elmore Court Estate
The place has a wonderful, otherworldly vibe, mainly thanks to a rewilding project that the current owner has embarked on over the past few decades.
Letting the land go wild and free. Plant trees here, graze longhorn cattle there, pay sympathetic attention to the local environment everywhere.
All told, a thousand acres filled with eye-pleasing greenery, gently fringed by ridges of ancient, pristine forest.
Perched on a wooded bluff are six eco-friendly, sustainably sourced treehouses with world-class luxury, comfort and wow factor.
All hidden, shielded by hazel and hawthorn, providing privacy and expansive views of the valley stretching below.
We left our wheels in the private parking lot and made our way through a wooded wonderland. We zigzag down a wooden staircase before we find ourselves in front of a shelter, a marvel of woodworking art. All clean lines and cedar trim.
Tree house living space
Behind the front door was a glorious indoor, outdoor, outdoor living space. Scandinavian cool, with design touches beyond the dreams of mortal man. Or woman.
A fully functioning kitchen, complete with blastcool fridge, stocked with estate prepared, locally sourced delights to eat and drink. As well as a welcome pack to get us started.
Fresh pasta with beef ragu was waiting for us in the fridge for dinner, while for breakfast we enjoyed free-range scrambled eggs and bacon on estate-baked sourdough toast. All without stepping outside our magical treehouse.
Leading from the kitchen was an open plan dining area, with sheepskin upholstered benches and overhead heating on standby in case it got cold.
The walls were a mix of cedar planks, floor-to-ceiling glass, and wide open spaces, bringing the canopy atmosphere to every corner.
Not content with such a smorgasbord of decadent delights, the designer also added an outdoor steel bath, set up to take full advantage of the view. Just right to sit and enjoy surrounded by bubbles, watching the sun sink below the surrounding hills.
The Tree House Bedroom
The bedroom had a kitchenette corner with coffee maker, kettle and eco oven. But the main attraction was the super comfy, super king size bed, made up with the finest linens known to civilization, or at least that I know of.
Some of the treehouses comfortably accommodate a family of four, while ours settled for a pull-out trundle bed, just right for the third wheel in your life.
The en-suite bathroom was another exciting piece of the puzzle, with matte black surfaces, premium toiletries (which smelled divine, by the way. Truly amazing fragrance work, right there!) along with a drench shower that seemed to be blessed with the power of tropical rainfall.
If the weather turned brutal, which is always a possibility in this green and marshy country of ours, there was also a tiny wood-burning stove in one corner. We lit it up one night and within half an hour it was kicking out enough heat to shoe a herd of small horses. Or camels.
But all of the above was nothing, just a tray of tapas, an amuse-bouche, compared to the absolute star of the show. The porch.
An exquisite symphony of stylish satisfaction, with chairs to lounge in, fabulous fire pit to warm your clams and, most breathtaking of all, far-reaching views of the wide-open grasslands below that seem to stretch for miles. And miles. Bounded only by waterways, wild forests and wide open skies.
Using the binoculars provided, we alternated between nibbling on a treat and sipping on something bubbly, watching the wildlife under our very eyes.
The longhorn cattle, with their clumsy cowbells, the constant stream of birds blowing by. Lazily flapping lapwings, buzzards on their way home, clutching their food in their claws, as well as an endless assortment of blackcaps, treecreepers, long-tailed tits and goldcrests. All booked after the sun went down, by a pack of bats fluttering through the huge oaks overhead.
The next morning we were entertained by my favorite hopping beasts. A family of handsome hares of various sizes passed by on their way to do what hares do all day. In between nibbling grass, they stopped jumping and dropped their feathery ears when a buzzard howled overhead.
Was worth the entrance fee just to watch these charming creatures go about their big rabbit business.
Out and about
One afternoon we took a four-mile walk around the estate. Very pleasant. For a snack, we stopped at “Wholly”, a neighboring dairy farm shop that makes delicious gelato with brownie cookie flakes.
Later that day we took a short drive to one of the nearby pubs, where we sat by the river and had a delicious dinner of fagots, chips and gravy. Just what the doctor ordered at the end of such a great day.
If you want to holiday like a boss, in your own Wendy House wonderland, and enjoy a great British safari at the same time, this is the place to go. Who needs Africa when you have such beautiful, wild and wooded treehouses on your doorstep? I don’t, that’s for sure!
Go to to book herwild things with prices from £250 per night with a minimum stay of two nights.
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- Alnwick Garden Treehouse – A Celebration of Nonsense by Sarah Beeny
- Go Nest At Twin Lakes, Lancashire: luxury and tranquility
- A weekend at Burnbake Forest Lodges, Purbeck, Dorset