From small beginnings: The Linhay at Butterhills Escapes

We love a ‘before and after’ story at International Glamping Business and this one has the real ‘wow’ factor. The Linhay was little more than three stone walls and certainly no roof, when Nick and Caroline Welch came up with the idea of converting it into a ‘glamping’ dwelling. This is one of those cases where some may argue – is this glamping? But we say a resounding ‘yes’! The atmosphere, the surroundings and the marketing behind Linhay are absolutely on point as we are sure you will agree.

Caroline has worked in the holiday letting business for many years, helping holiday cottage owners get bookings and welcoming their guests so she is now truly excited to finally become a host herself. She manages the Butterhills Escapes marketing, website and day to day running of the Linhay – whipping up freshly baked scones at a moment’s notice – and was also responsible for overseeing the build and for the Linhay’s interior design, décor, furnishing and detailing.

Nick is a Building Services Engineer by trade, he moved into teaching some time ago and his practical skills have been very useful in the construction of their own home and in breathing new life into their beautiful Linhay. The project was born out of a need to prevent further degradation of the Linhay structure and also a need to provide a sustainable income for the family following redundancy. Nick has been responsible for the water supply, plumbing and the solar electrics – the shower room is a great example of his talents. He also sanded and oiled all the timber in the Linhay which was a real labour of love.

Nick’s grandparents bought Butterhills in the 1930s although they never actually lived there but rented it out – his Grandfather used to come up and fish in the stream (actually the River Caen) and his Grandmother loved the valley so much that she declared if it should ever come up for sale they must buy it… and the rest as they say is history.

Nick’s father inherited Butterhills and retired there from the Royal Navy but by this time the house was in a sorry state (there is a theme here!) and in 1988 Nick bought the dilapidated bungalow from him. Nick and Caroline started the demolition and rebuilding of Butterhills in 1989 and created a family home where Nick’s father continued to live. They have raised their two girls there, entertained and accommodated numerous friends and family and kept a variety of livestock and pets including rare-breed pigs and their current flock of chickens, a Labrador and a small fluffy pooch. It’s a warm, friendly home where everyone is welcome.

They have invested a lot in their wonderful home and surrounding land over the years, both in terms of money and time, The Linhay is their legacy and also part of a future-proofing plan for Butterhills so that it can become more sustainable. As well as this, the pair are very grateful and fortunate to live in such a lovely place, feeling that it’s only right and fair to share it with others.

The Linhay is their first project and was the most pressing due to its disrepair however Caroline and Nick already have exciting plans for more projects to come!

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