Four new luxury Treehouses are the latest addition to Cowdray’s holiday portfolio providing guests with a calm and beautiful place from which to explore the Estate and the local area.
Four new Treehouses tucked away in an ancient beech woodland behind Lawns polo fields offer visitors a chance to relax, unwind and reconnect with nature while enjoying a luxurious stay. Known as Buzzard, Chukka, Griffin and Muntjac, the well-equipped and beautifully designed treehouses, which each sleep two adults, are named after either wildlife in the local woodland or things you can spot from the balcony.
They are integrated with the woodland with wrap around balconies featuring an outdoor bathtub on the terrace, glass doors and large windows. Guests arrive at the Treehouses in electric buggies which can then be used to transport them around specified areas of the Estate.
Built using sustainably sourced timber from the Estate, the Treehouses are the result of a collaboration between Cowdray and Tree House Retreats, who have designed, built and now operate them as holiday lets.
They are the most recent exciting new addition to Cowdray’s extensive holiday portfolio, with nearby Costers Lodge being the latest refurbished holiday cottage to be available for short term lets. Challens Yarde in Easebourne and Apsley Cottage in Bepton have also been newly renovated and are available alongside the popular four holiday cottages at Benbow Pond. There is also bed and breakfast accommodation at the Lodge overlooking the Lawns Polo Field complete with a quirky bothy.
Jonathan Russell, Cowdray’s CEO, and Adam Coxen, Founder of Tree House Retreats along with his partner Mike Ruddock, have worked together over the past four years on the project to turn it from a vision into a reality.
Jonathan Russell said: “At Cowdray there is a desire to innovate and to embrace new yet environmentally friendly projects which allow as many people as possible to enjoy the Estate and the stunning surrounding area. That is why I have been so passionate about the Treehouse project and about expanding our holiday portfolio.
“The Treehouses are beautiful, natural, sustainable buildings built sensitively within Cowdray’s woodland. They offer guests the best possible experience, which is also respectful of the natural environment. The values and vision for the future of Tree House Retreats aligns strongly with Cowdray’s, and it is fantastic to see this project come to fruition.”
The project started four years ago and involved two years in planning with a collaboration between Tree House Retreats, Cowdray Estate and the South Downs National Park Authority. Being built in an ancient beech wood meant that there have been several planning conditions to take into consideration as well as the need to sensitively manage the project to ensure the local landscape and the woods are protected.
Once all the planning requirements were met, the Treehouses took a year to be built. The Cowdray forestry team were instrumental in enhancing the five-acre woodland site including removing rhododendrons, which are non-indigenous invasive plants and helping to manage and prepare the woodlands.
Adam Coxen, from Tree House Retreats, said: “It has been a long journey to get here but it is fantastic to now step back and look at the Treehouses through the eyes of a guest, and we feel really blown away by the project. “Cowdray and Tree House Retreats have a shared attention to detail, and a desire to create the best and most sustainable possible experience for visitors. The Treehouses are an incredibly special place to visit whatever the time of year and I love spotting the wildlife from the balcony as well as just absorbing the view.” Inside there are super king-sized beds, spacious open plan living rooms and kitchens, and a bathroom with walk-in shower. The Treehouses also have carefully thought-out details such as yoga mats, picnic rugs, board games and books for use during guests’ stay. The Treehouses were developed using a ‘fabric first’ approach and are highly insulated to reduce energy consumption, use Structural Insulated Panels and air-sourced heat pumps along with other measures to ensure their sustainability.
A lot of thought has gone into the interior design with Lou Davies of Box 9 Studios taking charge of the interiors. Vintage and antique furniture sits alongside locally sourced materials, all chosen with sustainability, provenance and durability in mind. The interior design celebrates natural beauty with vintage linens, sheepskins, woollen blankets and antique rugs in earthy forest tones. Modern art has been sourced in conjunction with Migrate Art, who collaborate with international celebrated artists to raise money for displaced and homeless communities.
Each guest receives a welcome hamper from the Cowdray Farm Shop stocked with locally produced food and drink such as honey from hives on the Estate, seasonal fruit and vegetables and baked goods made onsite. Guests also have access to everything that the Estate has to offer. The Farm Shop & Café is an easily stroll away, and Cowdray’s 18-hole championship golf course is nearby. As well as classic country pursuits such as polo, golf and shooting there are also wellness retreats, art classes, foraging walks through the grounds and star gazing. Cowdray is situated within the South Downs which became the newest International Dark Skies Reserve in 2016.
Written by Matilda Reid
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