Going on holiday always involves a degree of escapism – leaving the realities of everyday life behind you for a while to seek out new places and new experiences, or just to take a much-needed break, far-removed from daily stresses. But why not take the escapism up a gear, and remove yourself even further from the norms of daily life by staying somewhere truly unique? With so many unusual accommodation options in the U.K., you don’t have to travel far to find something extraordinary. Unforgettable memories will be made from the moment you wake up – whether that’s in a windmill, treehouse, or a converted railway carriage!
Hengoed treehouse in Mid Wales, near Machynlleth,
Start your morning sipping a cup of coffee and admiring the views of Cader Idris mountain and the rolling hills of Powys provided to you by this lofty treehouse hideout. High up in the treetops in an ancient, undisturbed wooded valley, less than 20 miles from Ynys Las beach, Hengoed is both a tranquil and a playful place to stay. Complete with hammocks, rope bridges and spiral staircases, this location is sure to please kids and big kids alike! Not only is the treehouse removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is also completely off the grid, heated by a wood-burning stove and cosily lit with lanterns and candles. Hengoed was designed by owner Mark to make as little impact as possible on the stunning natural surroundings, and comes complete with a spring water shower and large windows next to each bed to allow for stargazing well into the night.
Not only is the treehouse removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is also completely off the grid, heated by a wood-burning stove and cosily lit with lanterns and candles.
The Chapel, Shropshire
This converted tabernacle lies deep in the forests, hidden in the expansive grounds of Walcott Hall, and has been featured on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces on Channel 4. After a 500 yard trek through the woodlands (although there are rumours that the estate caretaker will ferry you there in his Land Rover if you ask nicely), The Chapel awaits complete with a functioning organ and stained glass windows, as well as an Aga and marble bath. Wake up to the sounds of the forest, take a walk in the grounds, row on the lake, and explore the nearby Shropshire hills before coming back to a slow-cooked feast on the Aga – or just head to one of the highly-rated local pubs if the Aga’s too much effort!
Train carriage in Cornwall, St Germans
The Travelling Post Office was once a carriage on the Great Western Railway, going into service in 1889, and has been featured on the BBC’s ‘Great British Railway Journeys’. Now, this Victorian coach has been renovated and sits nestled beside the village station in picturesque St Germans, not far from Whitsand Bay and the fishing towns of Looe and Saltash. Guests have access to 10 acres of private woodland, and are greeted by a bunch of fresh garden flowers and a welcome pack complete with Cornish goodies! Gold winners for sustainable tourism from Visit England in 2016.
Boston Flour Mill, Lincolnshire
Boston Flour Mill is situated on a scenic canal and continues to be a fully-functioning mill, promising guests a unique stay in the cosy apartment for two on the first floor. Authentic beamed ceiling and wooden floors add to the sense of history of this early 19th century windmill; reinforced by the occasional soft rumblings in the apartment when milling takes place. The mill stands as a welcoming landmark to find your way home after a day of rambling around the Lincolnshire Wolds or making the most of the nearby markets, and the complimentary grocery basket provided by owners James and Richard is filled with mill-made treats such as freshly baked bread and porridge.
The complimentary grocery basket provided by owners James and Richard is filled with mill-made treats such as freshly baked bread and porridge.
Belle Tout lighthouse B&B, East Sussex
Belle Tout lighthouse was reopened in 2010 after considerable renovation – including the lighthouse being picked up and moved back over 50 feet to prevent it from falling into the sea! You can now stay in your choice of one of six guest rooms, including the original bunk room where the lighthouse keepers used to sleep, which still features the original ladder to the double loft bed. A sitting room at the top of the tower boasts a log fire and 360 degree views of the beach and surrounding landscape, and the owners are more than happy to tell you all about the lighthouse’s rich history.