Willow Springs Campsite Blog

Shepherds Hut – the inside story!

I quickly put this slide show together to give you all an idea of what went into the interior finish. I haven’t included any of the solar power equipment because I’ve been asked loads of questions regarding it – hence I’ll give it’s own post at a later date ūüôā

In essence the inside could be broken down into , insulation, paneling, Varnishing/painting, Stove install, Solar/Electrics and decor/furniture. The little vid suggests I had this kicked in a couple of days…..errrr nope, a few months would be more accurate. I never really considered the merits of a summer type house, but whilst completing the interior – I found myself spending more and more time sitting in the hut (technically not working – don’t tell Mrs Willow Springs!) ,just being there- in that moment. Taking time to appreciate the same amazing views but from a different angle and place, whilst feeling almost comforted by that sweet timber aroma. I can see why people have summer houses. This Hut however, was built for something greater – to share with other people, and for those people to have ‘Their own moment’.

 

 

Posted in Ye Olde Shepherds Hut

Ritchie loved our Hardstands on every pitch….never getting stuck!

We found this little gem while looking for a remote Campsite with plenty of walks. Willow Springs Campsite fitted the bill perfectly, it’s remote and yet access isn’t difficult and it is surrounded by beautiful forests.

As you drive up the track along the valley you soon start to feel you are driving into an exclusive isolated site. Upon arrival we were greeted warmly by the owners and given a tour of the facilities. We didn’t need to use them ourselves however they seemed perfectly suited to the size of the site and there were a number of nice touches.

They have a number of additional services such as fire pits and wood, phone charging etc.

The pitches are a great blend of hard standing and grass so you know you can park up and not worry about getting stuck without it feeling like a tarmac car park like some seem to nowadays.

Our pitch was next to the waterfall, with a beautiful view however every pitch seems to enjoy a view of the forests and valley.

There are extensive paths through the forests all of which can be accessed directly from the end of the site. We are walkers rather than cyclists however it’s clear there are plenty of routes for both walkers and cyclists.

The owners Marc & Jude are excellent proprietors and the friendly nature of the owners and guests alike really add to the overall experience and set the site apart from many others.

All in all this site is a gem and we will certainly be returning for more visits. Highly recommended.

Thanks for the great review Ritchie ūüôā 

Posted in Reviews

Shepherds Hut is ready!!!!

Ladies and gentlefolk…we’re really excited to announce….. Our Shepherds Hut is ready to rent!! Visit the Shepherds Hut page on the website or click here¬†for all the details!

Shepherds Hut

Posted in Ye Olde Shepherds Hut

Aim Archery shredding the trails and reflecting on tent styles!!…

First time camping and mountain biking in Wales back in August. We had a great time, Willow springs campsite is quiet and clean. Marc is great, wealth of local knowledge. Just looking to get a bigger tent for more trips in 2017.

Hey guys – looking forward to seeing your eventual tent choice!

Posted in Reviews

ye olde shepherds hut video #blog

Hi all, It’s been so¬†busy that writing a blog has unfortunately had to take a back seat….so here’s a short video, from the workshop to the pitch…and some serious erecting! You’l notice it says part 2 – I figured that it made sense to actually put some videos together of the whole progress – I’m still planning on finishing the¬†written blog – but some people just prefer less reading and more watching. Hopefully I’ll have pleased everyone in the end!!!

Part 1 is probably going to be all the base construction in the workshop and part 3 will be all the interior – including soft furnishings…who knows maybe part 4 will be your blog from our hut! I have my head full of solar panels and controllers – because we need to put basic power in…enough for lights, phone and laptop charging, I’m toying with idea of a small fridge, just big enough for some milk, bacon, butter and beer!..or wine…maybe both!!! But power consumption is a big factor in designing a simple solar arrangement.. we’ll have to see how it develops.

feel free to either email via the website or tweet via @WillowSpringsUK or a Facebook message @WillowSpringsUK with your thoughts on what you’d expect when staying in¬†a shepherds hut, how would you want to cook? would you prefer to bring your own bedding and towels? Would you ever consider staying in a 4 berth hut with friends? We value your opinions and points of view and love to chat, so get typing!!

Posted in Ye Olde Shepherds Hut

Karen Church loved our bathrooms especially the hot showers…

Thank you Marc for a lovely weekend at your campsite. The facilities were clean, tidy and well placed. Nice to have hot showers without having to find money to use them. The countryside was beautiful with plenty of walks. The weather could have been better but didn’t dampen our stay too much. Nothing was too much trouble, even lending us a hand to start the van. Definitely worth 5 stars.

Hi Karen, thank you for taking the time to leave a review, we’re so glad you enjoyed, it was lovely to have you stay with us… looking forward to seeing you both again. Take good care. Marc.

Posted in Reviews

More trails than you can shake a stick at!!

Mountain ( and road) biking is big in our neck of the woods (pardon the pun!), If you know how varied and beautiful our area is you’d wholly understand why people come from all over the world to ride here. As far as I know we are the only valley or borough that has 2 visitor centres linking both walking and cycling trails. Obviously¬†the majority of visitors will only ever see the more advertised routes, trails and places….and amazing as they are, its tip of the iceberg stuff! ¬†You can’t get bored here, as for the trails well if you think you’ve done them all, think again – try hopping over to the¬†Garw and Llnfi valleys which are only minutes away in the Borough of Bridgend – have a look at the youtube video from our friends at¬†BridgendBytes.com courtesy of Brent Davies.

Posted in Wales

#blog Shepherds hut cosy adjustments…

The most eco-friendly action you can do these days is insulate, insulate, insulate. Here’s how we insulated the floor section of the hut which wasn’t initially designed to accommodate¬†insulation.

The front and rear sections are joined by butting together 2 ends and then flat bracing, these load bearers (7 in all) end up around 5m long.

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Basic geometry ( measuring corner to corner diagonally) helped to ensure we were able to square the hut. Mrs Willow Springs insisted on shin pads and safety goggles on account my spring loaded tape measure would give Arkwrights till drawer a run for its money!

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As we are fitting a rather shnazzy stove, I decided it wouldnt hurt to add some noggins between the bearers to give extra strength where the stove will be sitting.

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The kit comes with good quality ironmongery – probably over the top for its intended use, unusually pleasant feeling that you haven’t been short changed!!

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We can’t have daylight between the bearers – as all the insulation will fall out of the bottom, so we panelled the bottom with a good quality plywood, and of course treated it.

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Then once it was treated all the joints were sealed with a mould resistant flexible filler.

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Time to get itchy ,eeeew!!! Recycled glass fibre insulation left over from when I did the loft was perfect for this, good tip when using this stuff is buy some disposeable overalls, cheap gloves and an old cap and face mask .Use some electrical tape to tape the joint between your gloves and the cuffs on your sleeves, and when you are finished take a cool shower ( preferably without the overalls on!)

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When you are finished with the itchy stuff…its time to lay the boards! A welcome change from looking like an extra from Silent Witness!

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Oooh I had to use a paintbrush…again! 15 square meters means lots of floor varnish to seal the wood… after I’d sanded the higher sitting edges.

Mrs Willow Springs was a bit worried that the hut was too small, so I suggested she lay down on the floor where one of the beds will be. The hut sits about 3ft off the ground and Mrs Willow Springs doesn’t like heights, so much so she gets airsick if she wears 3 inch heels. Mans ingenuity knows no bounds, so, with the use of a blindfold, 2 fire blankets , some scaffold, 4 asthma pumps and a life size cut out of Justin Bieber we did indeed elevate Mrs Willow Springs onto the dizzy heights of the hut floor (albeit in the prone position!)

‘wow’ she said, ‘this is huge!’ ….I contemplated whether my life could indeed get any better!

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So the floor is completed!…and that was the easy bit!!

Next It’s time to roll her out of the workshop and onto the pitch. That way I can use the space in the workshop for yet more painting – the sides, door and roof. Although before that, I need to put some carefully positioned slabs on the pitch so that levelling the hut will be the perverbial lemon squeezy thang!

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Vic Reeves would get just as much pleasure rubbing my floor as he does his knees!! ooooh lovely Bob!

Just out of interest, these huts date back to the 1500’s and were initially a reasonable investment on farms, towed by horses usually to remote areas where the shepherd, having worked all day and far from home would then settle down for the night with nothing but the very basics…and absolutely no added insulation! Not unlike the difference between camping and glamping, for some ūüėČ

 

Posted in Ye Olde Shepherds Hut

#blog Camping rallies…what’s it like?

Ever wondered what it’s like to ‘takeover’ a campsite?… this short video will give you an idea, and yes, everyone loved the slip ‘n slide. Thank you Port Talbot Town girls under 12’s football team (and parents of course!!), we had a blast!

Keep an eye on our youtube channel for more videos ūüôā

 

Posted in Events, News

#blog Shepherds hut… how many coats?

Ok, guess what – there’s no miracle product!… and everyone tells you something different – sometimes the internet gives you too much info.

This week has been seemingly slow progress. mainly because I’ve been waiting for return calls or emails regarding the right wood treatment. As a result of that, I had to bite the bullet and get a general wood treatment product that would protect all the underside and internal floor area – nothing that will be really visible so the level of protection the treatment gave was more important than the colour or finish.

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As it happens the finish is top quality…. I can tell none of you are surprised by that…Aherm…..

This is the underside – the kit doesn’t allow for a cavity in which to insulate…this is part of the additional work I need to carry out. Going back to the ‘it’s been slow progress’ remark – the treatment on this is at least 4 coats, with a 4 hour drying time… minimum…with good weather….no humidity (rain!…errr¬†this is Wales!)…consequently with panelling the bottom, I’ve just about managed 4 coats this week!

The actual treatment I’ll be using is¬†called Carefree protectant, containing no solvents and it’s¬†waterbased – about as environmentally friendly as I could get….the cost is painful, approx ¬£40 per 2.5l of clear, or just over ¬£60 for the same size¬†with a colour pigment…they didn’t have clear! Other cutting edge products were even more expensive and required so much preparation.

Next I’ll turn them over and do it all again….¬†Mrs Willow Springs has openly admitted that her painting technique is more akin to a 5-year-old on a sugar rush! I’m fresh out of bibs so I’m doing this part on my own.

 

 

Posted in Ye Olde Shepherds Hut

Welcome to Our Blog

Hello! Willow Springs Campsite is a family business which is located in the beautiful Afan valley in South Wales, UK.

This is our blog where we share latest news and updates from our small holding.

Best wishes
Marc, Jude and Liberty