Designed by owner Daphne Bourne-Arton, the huts are a mix of modern and vintage/antique and are named after wildflowers found in the meadow that surrounds the huts – Clover, Poppy, Daisy and Bluebell.
The huts include oak cladding from trees felled on the estate and were built by the in-house team of estate builders. Riverdale said that the huts are luxuriously appointed with outdoor baths on each private terrace overlooking the river. The new huts were funded with an investment by Lloyds Bank.
Riverdale, which is situated near West Tanfield, said its guests have access to a series of popular walking routes and can stay in custom-built lodges or safari tents overlooking the River Ure.
The team is now planning its next phase of expansion and is set to launch a development of private tree houses in the next two years.
The site is recognised as one of the most dog-friendly destinations in the UK, ranking second out of 16,500 self-catering accommodations in the Dog Friendly 2020 Awards.
Ms Bourne-Arton, co-owner of the Riverdale estate, said: “When Covid-19 struck last year, we knew we had to move quickly and get ready for the inevitable wave of pent-up holiday demand.
“12 months on, and we have expanded from four to 12 lodgings, and are now welcoming guests to enjoy a totally new experience at Riverdale through our shepherd's huts.
“The support of Lloyds Bank has been invaluable – the team were by our side every step of the way, guiding us through the challenges brought by the pandemic and helping us to bounce back stronger.”
Ian Smellie, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “We’ve worked with the team at Riverdale since they first opened back in 2017 and we’ve loved watching the retreat go from strength to strength.
“As well as maintaining their status as a haven for lovers of the great outdoors, they’ve successfully broadened their appeal and truly have something for everyone on-site. We’re excited to see what’s next for the team at Riverdale.”
Lloyds Bank has supported the four-strong team at Riverdale, led by husband and wife Richard and Daphne Bourne-Arton, with a series of finance packages, including a £50,000 Bounce Back Loan in 2020, and two additional bank loans totalling £125,000.