What is it that’s so appealing about the idea of sleeping in a little haven, hidden among tall branches and the rocked by the wind? Treehouses featured big in the storybooks of my childhood, and even now that I have my own baby, the idea of holing up in a cabin high in the woods makes me as excited as when I was little. I don’t think you could wish for a more wonderful eyrie than Earth Treehouse, part of the Elmore Court Estate on the edge of the Cotswolds. Down wooden boardwalks are six very special treehouses, each hidden from the next by bosky branches – these are the Rewild Things.
Review: Rewild Things Earth Treehouse with Canopy & Stars
Earth Treehouse sounds like a simple structure, but inside this modern treehouse is less rural cabin, more architectural gem. This is definitely the poshest side of glamping – inside there’s a huge bed, a wood stove, a smart bathroom and, my favourite corner, a cosy reading nook complete with pillows, blankets, books and a picture window overlooking the trees. Wooden walls, a cork floor and a lot of warm pinks and creams make this treehouse feel like a restful, clean-edged space that wouldn’t be out of place on Grand Designs, and those huge windows bring the view right inside – sitting in bed with a coffee early in the morning and watching the sun come up over the surrounding fields and wetlands was a joy.
Life above the trees
Life at the treehouse is designed around the outdoors – glass doors open up onto decking where there’s an outdoor kitchen, a firepit and, joy of joys, a deep copper tub for an alfresco bath. Earth Treehouse feels geared up for balmy summer days outdoors, but we stayed in a December cold snap and I still managed a deep hot bath with a glass of wine, looking over the frosty fields. As I lay silently in the steam watching my breath evaporate in the cold air a hare, blissfully unaware of my presence, snuffled among the tree roots just below me.
Each treehouse is a little different at Rewild Things – ours, Earth, is great for families, as it also has a rather adorable single bed tucked away in a corner plus a pull-out trundle bed, and was roomy enough for us to bring our 3-month-old baby, Sylvie. She slept next to us in her crib and thought watching the sunlight filter through the trees outside was great entertainment. Other treehouses are wheelchair-friendly, and all welcome children and pets. Rewild Things can also provide tempting breakfasts and snacks (homemade scones and foraged hedgerow jam, anyone?) for their treehouse dwellers, and supper hampers can be ordered ready to cook up when you arrive.
As the name suggests, Rewild Things is part of a bigger push by the surrounding estate to welcome nature back to the land – you’re free to follow footpaths through 250 acres of woodland and chemical-free farmland. And there’s a hidden wild gem that makes a stay here really special. A stroll through the trees leads to the Rewild Swim Club, a deep, spring-fed pond edged by reeds. On the banks of Madam’s Pool is a gorgeous sauna cabin imported from Denmark. A swim at the club costs from £18 for a session and I think it’s worth every penny for the delight of a fresh cold dip followed by a warming blast in the sauna – the water was 4C but I didn’t even notice the chill. Sarah Guise, who runs swimming sessions here, sometimes even whips up hot cacao on frosty days to warm chilly swimmers. A spine-tinglingly fresh swim followed by a warm sauna session with a bunch of friendly local swimmers felt like a real balm for the soul – especially as I knew I’d be heading home to the treehouse to warm up by the fire.