Light up dancefloors and plenty of booze: step inside the UK’s best sheds

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Sarah Biddlecombe

There's no denying it: the humble garden shed has been enjoying a bit of a revival of late.

No longer just the preserve of spiders and those looking for a space to store old furniture, the concept of a shed has been well and truly overhauled. Now, when we're not lusting after a she-shed or our own gin-distillery-slash-bar-shed, we're booking ourselves a staycation in a cabin.

So there's no better timing to announce the shortlist of this year's Cuprinol Shed of the Year competition, which has seen a record-breaking 2,825 entries whittled down to just 32 sheds fighting for the £1,000 prize (there will also be a giant crown bestowed on the winning entry, natch).

With four shortlisted sheds in each of eight categories (including eco, unexpected, unique, historical, budget, pub and entertainment, cabin and summerhouse, workshop and studio) there is plenty of shed-spiration for anyone who fancies becoming a 'sheddie' (shed owner) and creating their own unique garden getaway.

Click below to see our top pick of the shortlisted entries, from a restored nuclear bunker to a party cabin housing a light-up dancefloor, and vote for your favourite shed here.

  • The Talliston Cabin - cabin and summerhouse finalist

    This cosy cabin was designed to give the feel of living in the middle of the Canadian forest, with a wood burning stove and irresistibly soft, battered chairs.

  • Shed of Dreams - cabin and summerhouse finalist

    The optimistically named Shed of Dreams was built in five days using individually cut hardwood shingles. It also boasts its very own working stove.

  • The Chapel - unexpected finalist

    This 150 year old chapel, which used to house religious retreats, has been refurbished into the spookiest shed we've ever seen.

  • The Raisebury - unexpected finalist

    The perfect place to stash any valuables, this shed has four hydraulic legs that can lift it off the ground in case of any flooding. 

  • Art Studio - budget finalist

    Used alternately as a work space, relaxing retreat or entertainment hot spot by its owners, the design of the Art Studio allows for plenty of natural light.

  • Ilona's Summerhouse - budget finalist

    Handcrafted by a first time shed builder, this colourful summerhouse was made using recycled materials including old doors and reclaimed paving slabs.

  • Old Garden Shed - budget finalist

    Crammed full of seventies memorabilia, the appropriately named Old Garden Shed sits amongst a gorgeous garden in Hastings.

  • Cowpe Smithy - workshop & studio finalist

    Cowpe Smithy was designed to resemble the corrugated iron and timber workshops that were popular after World War One.

  • Dylan Thomas - historic finalist

    Originally used by Welsh writer Dylan Thomas to pen some of his famed works, this shed has stunning views across the estuary in Laugharne.

  • Dun 25 - historic finalists

    Dun 25 is a restored, three-man nuclear bunker. Buried 20 feet underground, it is the perfect retreat for escaping technology (and all signs of life).

  • Tranquility Saloon: pub and entertainment finalist

    If you're ever lucky enough to pay a visit to the Wild West Tranquility Saloon, you'll find it packed full of country-western dressed adults from the local re-renactment group sipping a scotch on the rocks and playing card games.

  • The Hooting Owl - pub and entertainment finalist

    The Hooting Owl is a tribute to shed dedication, having being built with materials shipped all the way from the Tatra Mountains in Poland, where the design was originally inspired.

  • Party Shed - pub and entertainment finalist

    Think of the Party Shed like a mini nightclub in a garden. Offering disco lights, smoke machines and lasers, visitors can be found dancing on the light up dance floor as DJs spin the decks into the small hours.

  • Love Shack - eco finalist

    Our favourite thing about the adorably named Love Shack is the rugged, living roof.

  • West Wing - eco finalist

    Made from a whopping 90% recycled materials, the West Wing houses a play area, a loft space and even a hidden bookcase.

  • Rotating Shed - unique finalist

    What could be better than a shed that rotates 360 degrees to follow the sunlight all day?!

  • Maggie Ewing - unique finalist

    A renovated ex-boat wheelhouse, Maggie Ewing used to be called Boy Peter. Now, she stands right at the edge of the North Sea with a glorious view of the waves.

  • The Village - unique finalists

    Not content with owning just one shed, Rufus and Molly from London decided to build an entire shed village - and they're still adding to it. The village currently houses a mini theatre, a pub and a railway station and there's a chapel on the way.


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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