Trailer happiness: flat-pack shepherd huts offer a cheaper – and surprisingly stylish – alternative to country living

If you've never considered living in a shepherd hut then it may be time to follow the flock as one Somerset company has seen a 200% surge in orders for its self-build towable homes

Let’s face it, mobile homes have earned themselves a bit of bad rep over the years – and that was before My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding – but a small family-fun business from Somerset could be about to change all that.

Blackdown Shepherd Huts specialises in luxury flat-pack, self-build ‘sheds’ and, if 2013 is anything to go by, mobile living could be the answer to the UK’s housing crisis.

OK, so that may be stretching the truth a little, but business in the company’s bespoke homes is positively booming and orders for 2014 are already up an inflation-busting 200% on the previous year.

It’s not difficult to see why they’re so popular. More Swiss chalet than trailer park, the homes come complete with beautiful wood panelling, luxury fitted kitchens, bespoke furniture and even woodburning stoves.

And, with prices starting from £3,700 for a basic self-build and going up to £25,000 for a deluxe pre-built version, they won’t break the bank either.

The company’s burgeoning success is as much down to the versatility of its products as the quality.

And you don’t have to be a farming enthusiast to appreciate them: order requests have been flooding in from all over the world and the huts have been transformed into everything from writers’ and artists’ retreats, shooting lodges and gastro-food huts to overflow guest bedrooms and modern offices.

George Bannister, Blackdown co-founder, said: ‘2013 has been a great year. We’ve seen a flood of orders come in from the UK, Australia and around the world. Demand has been so great, we’ve increased our range of self-build and pre-built hut options.

‘A 19th-century shepherd would never have imagined the luxurious grandeur of a modern shepherd hut with its bespoke electrical and plumbing systems!’

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