Britain’s most epic cabanas, from garden ‘temple’ to old school booze

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Britain’s most epic sheds compete to be crowned best in class with Cuprinol’s legendary Caban of the Year competition.

We’ve selected some of the favorites from around the country, which range from a traditional country pub in a man’s garden, to a ‘miraculous and saving’ temple.

After narrowing down 260 entries to 21 in seven categories, Cuprinol opened the floor to the public to vote on the competition’s 16th anniversary.

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Among the creations are boozers, nature getaways, practical yet beautiful workshops, and cutting-edge eco-friendly designs.



Jane Dormer says doing her ‘cocktail craziness’ has kept her going during lockdown

Shed enthusiasts known as “sheddies” submitted their designs in one of the following categories: Budget, Cabin/Summerhouse, Lockdown, Nature’s Haven, Pub/Entertainment, Unexpected/Unique, and Workshop/Studio.

Winners will take home a prize of £1,000, a plaque for their shed and £100 worth of Cuprinol products.

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Winchester creator Andrew Tittensor, from Staffordshire, built his impressive backyard tavern largely from materials scavenged and traded during lockdown for less than £500.

As well as the traditional country pub interior, a huge double-glazed round window and equally large circular door give off major Lord of the Rings hobbit vibes. — aided by the green grass walls.



The Winchester Tavern has a real Hobbit look
The Winchester Tavern has a real Hobbit look

Jane Dormer described her five-sided cabana/folly as “a life-enhancing gem of a building that serves multiple purposes such as a cozy cocktail cafe venue, garden cushion shed, and display space for cabinet of curiosities.

The Unique/Unexpected runner-up said her friends and family thought she was crazy about the outdoor build she’s been able to focus on during the pandemic.

Jane from Greater London added: “All my visitors think I’m completely mad and they all love it. It was my lockdown madness and got me through these tough months. It has heating and lighting and looks magical lit up at night where it can be admired from the surrounding gardens.”

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A rival to Jane’s Folly is the centuries-old Vaccine Temple, which Dr. Edward Jenner used to vaccinate locals against smallpox for free around the turn of the 1800s.



Residents once lined up outside this thatched roof 'temple' for a smallpox vaccine
Residents once lined up outside this thatched roof ‘temple’ for a smallpox vaccine

Jenner has transformed his rustic thatched-roof summer home into the world’s first free vaccination clinic where he greets the public for a shot after church every Sunday in Gloucestershire.

The Jenner Trust said: “TSWT Travel has called the Temple of Vaccinia ‘Britain’s miraculous, life-saving garden shed’. Historic England says it is one of the ten best places to tell the story of history of science and discovery in England. To win Shed of the Year would be the real crowning achievement!”

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Chief judge and contest founder Andrew Wilcox was blown away by the level of entrants this year.

He said: “We’ve seen some never-before-seen designs, which makes it almost impossible to limit yourself to just three from each category.



Andrew's shed is complete with a few downsides
Andrew’s shed is complete with a few downsides

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“A big thing that’s come from successive lockdowns is how much it’s inspired people’s creativity, and it’s great that it’s been channeled into designing their own little escapes.

“The past few years have shown more than ever how our gardens and sheds can play a role in our lives and the different ways they can be used.

“It was great to see shed enthusiasts, old and new, coming up with some truly fantastic ideas, which we hope will inspire the next generation of shed enthusiasts.”

Public voting for this year’s competition is now open and will run until July 15. To find out more about each finalist and to vote, go to: readersheds.co.uk

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