Elmore Court has introduced six treehouses to their burgeoning estate, overlooking an ongoing rewilding project. We sent Emily Anderson to take a walk on the (re)wild side.
Elmore Court is a Grade II-listed mansion. The original building dates back to 1580 and has been in the Guise family for 750 years. It is now a grand wedding and events venue with a variety of places to stay, eat and celebrate.
The latest edition to the estate is six bespoke ‘treehouses’ — often described, more accurately, as cabins or pods — which opened for booking earlier on in the year. They’ve been designed to make the most of a section of the estate that has been dedicated to rewilding. Inspired by the Knepp Estate, the owner stopped all agricultural activity on 250 acres of land, leaving Nature to do its own thing. They admit to being at the start of a longterm process, but you wouldn’t know so from my balcony view — which resembles something more akin to the African savanna than the more typical English patchwork of farmland. We didn’t see any of the 29 longhorn cows (above), but we did enjoy daily visits from a resident family of hares, and the consistent soundtrack of birdsong.
We left our car at the top of a long, meandering walkway — built to avoid the need to lop down any native trees and help immediately immerse you into your new surroundings. Our house — high up in a canopy of laurels — was open plan and Scandi in style. Exposed wood, natural materials and texture, muted fabrics and black accessories. The all-encompassing black bathroom felt particularly special. The floor-to-ceiling doors and large windows framed starry skies comes night, but ultimate escapism came courtesy of the outdoor roll top bath.
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Some of the unusual extras I loved were: the binoculars, outdoor fire pit and the Ruark music system — with its distinctive analog radio sound.
Eating and drinking
Two hampers and a fridge full of food and drink (some complimentary, mostly made up of what we had selected prior to arriving) were waiting for us when we arrived. The Elmore sourdough loaf, freshly squeezed orange juice and house Prosecco were particular highlights.
You can also ask for handmade, restaurant quality, ready meals, which come ready to reheat in enamel baking tins (try the slow cooked beef shin hot pot). There’s pudding too. I personally requested more triple chocolate brownies than one could possibly eat in two days. They were the biggest, richest, densest brownies I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve sampled my fair share (I would return simply for these).
Just down the road from the treehouses, and well worth a stop, is Wholly Gelato. It serves award-winning, artisan ice cream. Unique flavours include orange zest and white chocolate lavender, produced on site. The milk used is the same milk stocked inside the treehouse fridges.
How they’ll keep you busy
You have access to all of the rewilded land for free, straight from your boardwalk and there’s a handy map of the Estate’s favourite routes in the welcome pack. If you’re into photography, don’t forget to pack a camera — there are endless opportunities to capture the beautiful flora and fauna.
There are also a number of things you can book, including: wild swimming, foraging and mindful photography.
What else to do while you’re there
Further afield, there’s Berkeley Castle, Gloucester Cathedral, Stroud Farmers Market and much of the Cotswold Way to explore. We did the four mile Devil’s Chimney Loop which has some steep climbs — entirely worth it for the uninterrupted views of British countryside from the top.
Who is it for?
We stayed in Sky, one of the bigger treehouses, with a super king-sized bed and an additional two single beds. It’s perfect for young families.
What gives it the ‘wow’ factor
The real gem is the outdoor living space which elevates the accommodation from ‘just somewhere to stay’ to an experience in itself. The large outdoor kitchen, dining area and bath encourages you to spend most of your time outside.
The one thing we’d change
Having said that, as much as I loved the outdoor kitchen, access to a kitchen sink and fridge inside would have made life easier. Plan ahead for anything you might need during the night or early in the morning.
Treehouses at Rewild Things on the Elmore Court Estate from £250 a night (minimum of two night stay) — call 01452 720293 or book direct at www.rewildthings.com