There are many ways in which to house a tortoise and it manly depends on the size and age.
Tortoises under the age of 3 should be housed in a large vivarium. This should be at least 3 foot long and should be well ventilated. The juvenile tortoise should have access to a basking lamp (see leaflet on basking) which is a reflector bulb suspended over the tortoise to generate a temperature of 90 F or 32-34 C. in the past owners have been advise to use a UV strip light too. But due to recent reports of tortoises with eye problems, UV lighting is not recommended until further investigations are carried out.

The basking lamp should be positioned at one end and a box with shredded paper at the other. Do not use straw. If the vivarium sides are see through then block them out. Otherwise the tortoise will spend most of its day trying to get through.
If your tortoise is an adult, then an outdoor area is required. Firstly you will need a secure, well fenced in garden, remember tortoises are excellent climbers and diggers.

If you have a garden shed, greenhouse, outhouse or garage you are halfway there. Corner off an area inside, to ensure that the tortoise does not disappear under the other items stored there. You will require an electricity supply to this indoor area, to install a basking lamp. The same principle applies, a reflector bulb suspended from above to generate a temperature of 90o F or 32-34o C. If you simply cut a hole in the housing quarters to allow the tortoise to come and go from the garden area. Leave the basking lamp on for a minimum of 8 hours per day and a maximum of 12 hours. Your tortoise will soon learn to come and go from the indoor area. By positioning the lamp at one end and a box of shredded paper at the other, the tortoise will sleep under the paper and then wake up and bask under the lamp until he decides he is warm enough to go out into the garden.

See our Feeding Manual for a list of poisonous and edible plants for your garden.
Unfortunately there are still tortoises living in this country, who are left in the home to roam around and other that are put in the garden all summer to fend for themselves. Owner must remember that the temperature in this country does not reach 90 F on a daily basis, and these temperatures are required for a cold-blooded tortoise to bask under.
The floor should be lined with newspaper, which is cheap and easy to replace.