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Review: We Discover a Luxurious New Treehouse Lodge in County Durham

Treehouse Lodge Images: ROAM PHOTOGRAPHY
September 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes

We check into Rest at the Nest and discover a treehouse like no other - complete with its own hot tub

Nestled in the County Durham countryside (but just 15 minutes from the A1 and five from the A19) arriving at Rest at the Nest is instantly a calming experience. The farm road gives way to a well-maintained track, which winds through fields of crops until we reach our destination, an elevated, timber-clad cabin on tall stilts, which reminds us of a treehouse.
double bed with views out of bi-folding doors
modern sleeping, sitting and dining area

Nuthatch, our home for the night, is one of just five exclusive hideaways here. There’s another treehouse nearby (although their layout means you can expect total privacy), plus two waterside lodges overlooking Hurworth Burn Reservoir, and a spacious holiday home which sleeps up to 12.

If Nuthatch is a treehouse, it’s a more upmarket version than we’ve seen before. Once we head up the stairs (which are on the side of the building) we find that the interiors are far from rustic, with luxurious decor, high-tech accessories and a hot tub on the balcony overlooking a natural pond.

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We’re welcomed by a basket of goodies including popcorn, coffee and hot chocolate, and the open-plan space finds room for a well-designed kitchen area, a table perfect for two, a vast bed, seating area and a fabulous bathroom with gold fittings and a rain shower. If you needed it, there’s high speed WiFi, a smart TV, underfloor heating and a built-in music system too. A handy tablet contains everything we need to know about the lodge and the area (from how to control the blinds to good local walks).

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The hot tub looks seriously tempting, but it’ll be even more so after some exercise so we pull on our boots and head out for a walk. Making our way back down the farm track we set off on a loop around Hurworth Burn Reservoir. Most of the walk is on well-signed footpaths and cycleways, but be careful on the stretch which follows the main road. Having crossed the edge of the reservoir on a narrow bridge, we find ourselves back at the farm and follow the track back to Nuthatch, and the waiting hot tub.

It’s hidden under a clever insulated cover which proves to be easier than it looks to take off, and the jets and temperature can be set to your liking. There can be few more pleasant ways to spend an evening than watching the sunset from a bubbling hot tub, glass of fizz in hand. (Nuthatch is thoughtfully equipped with smart plastic flutes for this very eventuality, so you don’t have to risk any glass in the hot tub).

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When the sun eventually sets, its final rays turning the fields in front of us golden, we make our way back inside. The kitchen turns out to have everything we need to put together an easy dinner (once we’ve consulted the tablet to find out how to switch the oven on). It’s a warm night, so we leave the doors onto the balcony wide open until it’s time to go to bed.

We’ve got an early start in the morning, but still there’s time to have one last dip in the hot tub. The sunrise casts sharp shadows over the pond in front of us, making the world appear in HD, and the wild birds come and go, chattering and calling to each other in the still air. As we take in the view and the fresh morning breeze, we start to wonder if we might be able to build a treehouse of our own. 

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