Top 10 unusual places to stay in UK - great escapes! April 24 2017
Spring is the perfect time to start planning your great escape in the UK, exploring the best the county has to offer. And if you want to shift down a gear with some off-track adventures, there are some amazing and unusual places to stay for a really wild time, far from the madding crowd.
Tucked away domes, cosy shacks, granary lofts and traditional crog lofts are all part of the enticing mix of accommodation across fforest's three sites in west Wales. Little more than a stone's throw from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, fforest's ethos is all about 'the life-enhancing feeling of living outdoors with the simplest of things all wrapped up in the luxury of a magical setting'.
Choose to stay on the fforest farm, reaching over 200 acres of rural beauty; in granary lofts in the bustling heart of Cardigan on the banks of the River Teifi; or Manorafon coastal camp. Activities abound: choose kayaking, walking, coasteering, bushcraft...
Stradding the Norfolk/Suffolk border is a small working farm, Lings Meadow, with a 4-acre camping site, part of its environmental project. The farm aims to 'tread lightly on the land', and the result is a place where its natural inhabitants are encouraged to flourish. At dusk expect to see the resident barn owl swooping over the meadow, while deer, hares, woodpeckers, kestrels and buzzards are all regular visitors.
Accommodation ranges from a simple tent pitch, to glamping options such as a gypsy caravan, shepherd's hut and bell tents. Kids are spoilt for choice, with alpaca walks, bug hunting and den building all on the menu.
The Landmark Trust’s Purton Green, tucked away in west Suffolk, is surrounded by fields on all sides, for a real rural escape back 750 years. As cars are parked around 400 yards away, travel bags are loaded into a wheelbarrow, loaned to transport them. The walk is worth it as a medieval house awaits your arrival, complete with a hall dating back to 1250.
It's a suitably cosy nook, with aged timber beams, that's the perfect place to lose all track of time. As one visitor put it, 'Not quite isolated enough - a tractor went by on Tuesday.'
Rise and shine
Quirky, eclectic and red-blooded rustic: this is what cabins are meant to look like. A favourite on Canopy & Stars, The Rising Sun is a Herefordshire dwelling that pulls the plug on any mod cons for some back-to-nature breaks, complete with gas-powered shower and compost loos.
The veranda is the perfect spot to watch the world going by (slowly), overlooking a sweeping valley towards the Welsh border.
The Mountain Bothies Association in Scotland is run by a band of dedicated volunteers who maintain and repair around 100 of these humble, ancient buildings. With the permission and support of the owners, these shelters are left unlocked and available for all to use.
Located in some of the most wild, lonely and stunning scenery in the British Isles, bothies are peaceful boltholes that have been enjoyed for generations.
Seaglass is a stylish, eco-friendly beach hut, perched atop Tregonhawke Cliff in south-east Cornwall with stunning sea views over Whitsand Bay. We say: and relax…!
Facilities include a hot outdoor shower, wood burner and kingsize bed with linen sheets. In summer, try dolphin spotting from the deck, or clamber down the cliff path for a beach walk.
Without a Care Bear
The delightfully named Little bear brings some real luxury to its modern rustic design, making it a big favourite with couples looking for a romantic escape. Surrounded by acres of bluebell-swathed woodlands, this open-plan wood-built cabin boasts such luxuries as its own wood-fired eco hot tub and fire pit.
Situated in the heart of the Weald Downlands in West Sussex, it’s perfect for two wanting some peace, quiet with no more exertion than a wander through the wildflower meadow.
Take a break with Rare Escapes on horseback exploring the Scottish highlands and wild horses won’t be able to drag you home. Organised by outdoor adventurers, Rare Escapes, this two-day trip takes riders through heathland and woodland before setting up camp and cooking outdoors.
A veggie B&B break with a difference, The Control Tower is located on the former RAF North Creake Airfield in Norfolk. High fliers can wind down in this modernist structure that has been fully refurbished, retaining its art deco interiors with fixtures and fittings. Prepare to take off for a few days relaxation
Let there be Light
Light floods in through huge windows overlooking the shores of Loch Beag in the Scottish highlands at The Net Store. Activities range from wildlife watching without moving from your chair, throwing another log on the woodburner; to a stoll through stunning countryside before sunset drinks on the patio. The interior is a celebration of clean-cut minimalism married to the natural textures of the designer furniture and fittings, creating a highly a restful atmosphere.
If you know of any other great escapes that we've missed from our list, we'd love to hear about them in the comments below!