Case Study : Lypiatt Hill

Perched high on a Gloucestershire field, within the picturesque Cotswolds, is the Lypiatt Hill Fuselage. Here it sits, enjoying sunset views and overlooking the hills and vales stretching out for miles, towards the Severn Estuary and Welsh mountains beyond.

We were interested to hear how the Fuselage has been getting on so we had a catch up with Kate and Piers Dent, owners of one of the first sites to have a Fuselage, and how it has been for them over the last year or so.

Why did you choose the Fuselage over other accommodation structures out there?

 There were a number of practical, financial, business-led considerations that led my husband and I to the decision to buy a Fuselage (more later). The fact is however, that as soon as we set eyes on it, we were hooked! Then we walked inside and that sealed the deal.

 The Fuselage is unique and ticks both the form and function boxes. The design and attention to detail are faultless, while the eco-cred is also important to us and, increasingly so, to guests which makes the Fuselage outstanding.

Navigating the space and its various elements is easy. The symbiosis between inside space and outside environment has clearly been thought through in the design process – it works perfectly. The underfloor heating plus woodburner allow us to host groups all year round; It’s super cosy, even in the coldest months.

 We looked at a number of structures during the research process. We found nothing else out there, within our budget, that we felt would provide the same: ability to withstand the elements (our site is at the top of a hill), providing year-round warmth; design ‘Wow’ factor; respect for and acknowledgement of the natural environment; and shelf-life.

Lastly, again, the Fuselage design – there was nothing else that looked as good or worked so well.

What is your favourite aspect of the Fuselage?

 The way that the table and seating, with their beautiful wool covers, so cleverly and easily transform into a double bed. I also love the way the window frames the view out across the hills and, for the lucky ones, a gorgeous sunset.

How did you find the install process?

Very straightforward. Jason and the team completed the build / install within a few days. 

 What do you see as your main benefit of owning a Fuselage?

We chose the Fuselage to be the centre-point for our small glamping business. It’s the only structure we have currently. Guests book for two main reasons: the unique design of the Fuselage and the location. It has served us well, having withstood the harshest of elements, admirably, and things rarely go wrong. The Fuselage has allowed us to stand out in an ever-growing crowd.

How is your occupancy rate and when is the most popular time of year to book?

 Occupancy rate is good, better than we expected when (and since) we started welcoming guests, in July 2019. The most popular times of year to book are: all summer months; all school holidays and half-terms; Easter; and bank holidays. Our quietest months so far have been December, January and February. Although most weekends in those months did end up being booked last year. Since 4 July 2020, we have been booked all weekends and pretty much every weekday, too. 


What is the most popular reaction from guests when they first visit the Fuselage?

 That it’s stunning as they approach, it is larger inside than expected and the design is great. 

The view out of the window is pretty good, too!


 You have such wonderful reviews on your website, what’s the trick with providing your guests with a perfect stay? 

 I like to greet guests in person; make them feel welcome. We used to greet then give a tour of the site, pre-COVID. Now I greet from a distance, and arrange to say goodbye, at which point I ask for any feedback. I think making guests feel that they are completely private and yet can call on us at any time, should they need anything, helps towards a memorable break. Also, making sure they have everything they need, including useful information, but also extra touches like fresh flowers, home-made jam and a bottle of something waiting when they arrive. Since COVID, we’ve needed to take out games, toys and books which is a shame, though necessary. We’ve put up little posters, with pictures and the names of bugs and small mammals (that might be spotted in the field below). Framed local poetry next..

On the whole, how has your first couple of years owning a Fuselage been, even during the madness of 2020?


Our Fuselage arrived in 2018. We were a bit slower than we’d planned getting it to the point where we could rent it out – that happened in 2019. We got to know our way around it that first year though, and very much enjoyed it as a family. 

 Being an owner during our first year as a business has been mixed, unsurprisingly. Occupancy and feedback were hugely positive prior to lockdown. During lockdown, when all our bookings were cancelled (though mostly postponed, which was a positive), we spent time thinking about ways to help the site evolve and improve e.g. hammocks, play area, re-wilding / more wild flowers.

One day we’d like add a Tree Tent. We also thought about how we might increase occupancy during the winter months. After lockdown, the bookings came flooding in. Some guests came from tiny flats in the city with others looking to replace their foreign holiday.

 The best bit is always hearing those words ‘We had the best time. Thank you’.