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Gribbles Shepherds Hut, near Higham, Colchester

Gribbles is a bespoke shepherds hut ideal for a solitary retreat set in beautiful Suffolk countryside halfway between Ipswich and Colchester. Although only 30m from a single bedroom cottage it is private and quiet. Gribbles inside is heated and has a separate toilet, basin and shower, mains pressure hot water is provided by an LPG water heater. There is a very comfortable double bed, a writing desk and chair, a small armchair and shelving for a shrine. We now have a good range of meditation mats and cushions. There is ample room for private meditation and prostration either under cover or outside. The informal garden is surrounded by woodland.        

Gribbles has a well equipped covered kitchen with hot and cold running water, a two ring gas hob, small electric oven and a fridge with a small freezer compartment. Bed linen and towels are provided.

There is free access to an 8 acre Chestnut woodland, ¾ mile of the River Brett and a further 12 acres of land undergoing rewilding, and a beautiful ancient oak! Miles of public footpaths are accessible from the doorstep.

There is ample off road parking. The nearest train station is Manningtree which has a large co-op and the excellent Whole Food Store. There are also several local taxi companies.        

For availability please contact cathmarno1 [at]

Please note: Gribbles will be closed from December 2023 to early April 2024.


Minimum stay of 7 nights – Friday to Friday £220

Longer stays welcome, please contact for details.

Booking Info & Location

cathmarno1 [at]
Details on booking,
near Manningtree,
United Kingdom



I have recently spent two weeks at Gribbles. It’s a small Shepherds hut but it has all you need for a solitary (a comfortable bed, hot shower and it is warm). The outside kitchen was also fine for simple cooking and it is protected from the elements. I loved the chestnut wood, ancient oak, the surrounding countryside and the various creatures and birds that I shared the wilds with. I felt like I was living in a Zen poem. Cath and Nick were very accommodating and friendly and there also left me to it. With gratitude and appreciation Sraddhagita

Gribbles Shepherds Hut

The hut is delightfully located in a large wood not far from a cottage but it felt very peaceful. I enjoyed both eating and meditating outside - a real feeling of being in the midst of nature surrounded by birdsong. There were plenty of visitors to the garden including a song thrush feeding her young, deer, a sparrowhawk and plenty of rabbits! Thanks to Nick and Cath who were very friendly and helpful.


I spent last week at Gribbles and found it a really beneficial experience. The hut is warm and the kitchen stayed remarkably dry even when there was heavy rain. The local area is quiet and peaceful with beautiful local walks. The garden around the hut is secluded and peaceful so even though there were people staying in the holiday cottage next door, I did not find their presence intrusive.


Just beautiful. A great, extremely comfortable place in the middle of the woods. Perfect for a first solitary. Stillness, simplicity and Contentment at its very best. Cath and Nick were the perfect hosts, so helpful from beginning to end. Thank you both. highly recommended.

Solitary Retreat

Fantastic week in a quiet environment. The accommodation was ideal for the solo retreat, local walks a plenty and a private wood to dive into nature. Plenty of wildlife to enjoy and the conditions made it a smooth transition into being on retreat.  Kitchen area worked very well in the sunny and warm conditions. I would highly recommend to anyone needing a solitary retreat space and I will certainly be planning another visit.

Solitary september

I've just had a beautifully, peaceful week at Gribbles. Probably the most comfortable solitary retreat accommodation I've stayed at. Gorgeous countryside to explore, but a lovely, private garden to rest and contemplate in, if you don't want to venture far. Loved watching the wildlife sitting in the garden or sat in the armchair with the double door open. Will definitely return. I had no problems with visitors in the holiday cottage nearby and wasn't bothered by farm traffic during my stay.

A Beautiful Place

I’ve stayed at Gribbles 4 times, for 4-6 weeks each time and in each season. Cath and Nick are compassionate and helpful, always making sure everything is set up to facilitate the time of solitude. Gribbles and it’s surroundings have a beautiful energy. The woodland next to the hut feels like a place of quiet support and the wildlife seems to trust the peaceful intentions of the place and be unfearing of human presence. The hut and kitchen are both so thoughtfully designed. I loved having somewhere to cook and eat outside, especially in the colder months when I wouldn’t normally think to eat outdoors. The place is not spartan but comfortable and well equipped which really helped me let go deeply into my inner journey, knowing that I was in a safe space. It’s been a truly magical place for my times alone and I feel blessed to have found Gribbles, Cath and Nick.

My stay at Gribbles February 2023

Was I mad to book a shepherds hut with an outside kitchen in February? That's what I thought the night before coming here. I needn't have worried - the hut had really good insulation and a very effective heater. I quickly adjusted to getting wrapped up whenever I wanted to go outside to make a cuppa or a meal. There is excellent lighting in both the kitchen and the hut, so reading after dark was no problem. The hut is in a lovely location, guardian trees all around, and a huge area of woodland and fields to wander in, owned by the hosts. The road at the top of the track is not at all busy, and I did daily walks out on the lanes and footpaths. Many thanks to Cath and Nick for making this great place available. I very much benefited from my week there. Bodhivajra

Warm and comfortable

This was the perfect place for a first solitary retreat, and very quiet and peaceful. Despite the freezing weather and unexpected snow, the cabin stayed toasty warm. Lots of bunnies and birds to watch through the window too.

Great place for a solitary!

Spent a week here on retreat and was a lovely place to stay and would love to come back for a couple of weeks! I appreciated the collection of books, mats/cushions and pots and pans! And of the 4 bunnies that would pay a visit to the patch of grass everyday too and the beautiful woodland and fields to go for walks to! The weather was fantastic during my stay so I really enjoyed the kitchen facilities. Cath is also a wonderfully friendly human being and if you get to see her dogs, they're quite adorable too! Thank you for providing me a place to sit with myself and be recharged in nature :) Kiruthicka :)


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