Getting back to nature.


Beginning at Turner and Hoskins Architects a little over a year ago one of the first projects I had the opportunity to get involved in was the Alfriston Woodland Cabins. The project involved building two self catering cabins in an area of woodlands in the Southdown National Park. My involvement in the project began after a lot of development of ideas between the client, our architect Tim, and planners, but I had the privilege of drawing the plans, elevations and a site section ready for planning. Having an art background, I particularly enjoyed creating the site section; playing with different qualities of line within our software to achieve both an accurate and visually appealing representation of the area of woodland and proposed cabins.

Planning was approved and through the power of social media I kept a keen eye on how the project progressed. I enjoyed seeing how my drawings were realised and I was keen to experience it for myself, but for more than a site visit, I wanted to try actually using the space. After several months spent in lockdown with two young children and a major sleep regression from our youngest, my husband and I needed a well earned break so we contacted Darran and Mandy from Alfriston Woodland Cabins to book in for a night.

Even though I had never visited the site before, the approach to the Cabins was immediately familiar from time spent looking on google maps and at plans during the drawing stages of design. As we parked up, approached and entered the cabin itself, I was surprised by the scale, they were much more spacious in reality than I had anticipated and had been incredibly well crafted, careful attention had been paid to the finer detail of fitting them out so they didn’t feel cramped. The Cabins were cosy and secluded and the views through the large gable windows of the surrounding autumnal woodland were beautiful.

Alfriston is a beautiful village, and during our short stay we were able to walk up Beachy Head, visit a quaint little tea room, walk along the South Downs Way, eat out at a cosy pub and take in the breath-taking views from High and Over (including a display from a Spitfire). From walking along the South Downs Way in the light and the dark it was evident that all the effort that had been put into concealing the Cabins in the landscape and the impact of their light upon the night sky had paid off as although we knew where they were, they could not be seen at all.

Staying in a building that I had the privilege of being involved in designing was a huge privilege, one which I hope I will be able to repeat.



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