Unusual places to stay in the UK
If a staycation is your preferred holiday option, then it’s sometimes worth seeking out something a little different. If you’re considered staying at an unusual place to stay in the UK, there are lots of quirky opportunities. Perhaps the thought of staying in an RAF bunker, on a jet, in a helicopter, on a bus, a train – or even in a doghouse appeals.
Here is our round-up of our favourite quirky, unusual places to stay find in the UK. Whilst we’ve not visited these places personally, they each have great reviews and are simply too good or too unusual not to share with you.
Enter a fantasy world and live like a hobbit
Where: Pod Hollow, set in the depths of Suffolk near the the historic town of Bury St Edmunds.
What: Hobbit-inspired pods.
This is as close to a Hobbit House as you will probably get. Built into the side of a grassy knoll with a welcoming, traditional circular door. The living space is open plan and there’s a fully fitted kitchen too. Perfect for groups of 4 people who can sleep in the two king-size bedrooms. There’s also a modern shower room too. Well-behaved four legged pooches are welcome. There are other styled pods also available on site.
Where: The Big Green Bus in the heart of the Sussex countryside
What: Converted double decker bus
You may have seen this accommodation before. It’s been featured a couple of times on Channel 4 – in George Clarkes’ Amazing Spaces and Four in a Bed.
The Big Green Bus is a 1982 West Midlands Metro Bus that after clocking up 689,000 miles, was rescued and converted into an amazing bolthole.
On the bottom deck you’ll find a fully-fitted kitchen, toilet and wet room as well as a lounge and dining area. On cooler days, light the cosy log burner. Up on the top deck, there’s 2 double rooms and bunk beds. Outside, there is a wood fired hot tub, second shower and lots of outdoor space. This is a place you go to relax and unwind. There’s no TV. There’s no internet. Look out for the reused bus fittings too.
In the air but your feet on the ground
Where: RAF Wainfleet, Friskney, near Skegness
What: Converted RAF facilities that include an Army Lynx Helicopter and Jetstream plane.
Sleeps: From 2 to 22
This accommodation is the former training ground for the legendary Dambusters. The accommodation can be booked by individuals or the entire facility can be reserved for groups of up to 22 people.
Wannabe pilots may fancy a stay in the Jetstream plane. Sleeping 5 (at a squeeze), there is a king size, one single and a cosy double. It may be wise to take your thermals and extra blankets: whilst there is underfloor heating, this is a metal plane that doesn’t retain heat that well. The plane is really for sleeping and watching TV. A private kitchen, toilet and shower and located 20m away.
An Army Lynx Helicopter has been converted into unusual, glamping accommodation. The Helipod sleeps 2 and every inch of space has been used to incorporate a double bed, coffee table, TV, DVD, mini fridge and a kettle. A private toilet and kitchen facilities are located separately nearby. In case of bad weather, the helicopter is partly covered by a roof which also has a barbecue, chiminea and 2 person sofa. It’s recommended to take blankets as it can get chilly in the evening.
Hurricane was originally an RAF bunker which has been converted into 2 bed accommodation which also has a private garden with hut tub, picnic bench and barbecue.
Lancaster is the former Wet Room / Laundry Room where the RAF bomb disposal personnel would get washed and dressed. Now a 1 bedroom self-contained bunker.
Spitfire is great for families as it has 2 bedrooms (1 double room and 1 room with bunks).
Originally an RAF bombing range control tower, The Tower is set over 5 storeys, sleeping 6 in 3 bedrooms. The beautiful observation room that has been converted into a living room with 360 degree view.
Switch Africa for Abersoch!
Where: Traditional safari tents, Nightsky Glamping, Abersoch, North Wales
Who needs the African plains when you can stay in a traditional safari tent in Wales?! These spacious tents in fact have three separate bedrooms so sleep up to 6. The open plan living area has a wood burning stove and there’s a fully equipped kitchen too. On the outside deck, relax in the hot tub or enjoy a barbecue (not necessarily at the same time!). The tents are situated in their own area alongside fields that are home to a herd of Alpacas!
For train enthusiasts
Where: 1880’s railway carriage, High Barn Heritage, Colchester, Essex
One for train buffs. An 1880’s Great Eastern Railways 12-door second class coach has been lovingly and cleverly converted. The interior space has been transformed to make the living and dining areas and also a kitchen. An adjoining Freight Box houses a bathroom and the main double bedroom. The living room has a sofa bed, allowing up to 4 people to stay. There is air conditioning and heating too. No children under 5. Absolutely no smoking on site.
Let’s go Retro!
Where: 1950’s caravan, Warwick Knight Caravan, Gloucestershire
This retro caravan has been restored by combining quality, luxury, style – and wow! There’s space for a family of 4 (bunk beds for the kids). Cook indoors thanks to the fully-fitted kitchen or go alfresco using the firepit which doubles up as a barbecue. A private wood-fired shower is 25m away. The loo is compostable and is adjacent to the caravan. Sit up on the roof garden and admire the orchard views.
See the light
Where: Sula Lightship, historic light vessel at Gloucester Docks
The UK’s only stay-aboard historic light vessel! Decommissioned in 1985 and now located in Gloucester Docks. There’s a stylish lounge and compact kitchen. On the lower deck you;ll find 2 luxurious cabins and a spacious bathroom. Outdoor space comes courtesy of the bow and sun decks.
High Up Above
What: Heaven’s Above Luxury Tree Pod, Henley-in-Arden
Set 11 feet up in the trees, this is the place if you fancy a stay with a different perspective. But, don’t worry: you don’t have to be a ninja tree climber, there are just 20 steps that you need to climb to get up to the pod. This self-catering accommodation has it’s own ensuite facilities and has little luxury touches like underfloor heating and fluffy bathrobes. The best place to enjoy the countryside views is probably from the private hot tub located out on the deck.
Historic Peak District ‘Plague’ Village
Where: Luxury Shepherd’s Hut, Eyam, Derbyshire
This cosy Shepherd’s Hut sleeps 2 people – either 2 adults or 1 adult and 1 child (aged 12 and over). Nestled in the corner of a large garden, the hut enjoys stunning views of the beautiful Peak District village of Eyam, famous for its heroic Plague story.
Breakfast is delivered to the door and includes a hot flask, cereals, yogurts, seasonal fruit etc. As you would expect, the hut is cosy so doesn’t include all facilities and the luxurious shower and utility room is 30 metres up the garden. Here you will also find a kettle, crockery, cutlery and use of a fridge.
Romantic Welsh Folly
Where: Folly, The Tower at Glanusk Park, Crickhowell, Powys
Originally built as a folly on the Glanusk Estate, this iconic Grade II tower has been carefully renovated by local Welsh craftspeople. Take 38 winding stone steps to this stunning, romantic bolthole that is a beautifully renovated space. Luxury bedroom, bathroom and sitting room. The uninterrupted views of the river and mountain range make this a relaxing getaway ideal for anniversaries, birthdays or proposals.
Relive Romany Life
Where: Retired Traveller’s Wagon, Walcot Hall Gypsy Caravan, Lydbury North, Shropshire
Hidden in an Arboretum amongst ancient trees the beautifully decorated caravan is only accessible by foot. The Romany home sleeps 2 in a double bed. There is a small living space and additional seating outside alongside a campfire. There’s a short walk to the long drop toilet and it’s five minutes to the shower facilities. This accommodation is only suitable for the more agile and adventurous. Sturdy footwear and a torch are a must!
Relax on the canal
Where: Adele Marie Narrowboat, 58 foot narrowboat at Nantwich, Cheshire
This fantastic narrowboat accommodates up to 6 people – so great for family trips or a weekend with friends. The well-equipped galley has plenty of space for food storage and has an array of utensils for self-catering. There’s one double room and 2 singles (which can be converted to another double) and a pull-down sofa bed. You’ll need to provide your own bedding. Well behaved pets are allowed on board.
Get in the Doghouse
What: The Doghouse, a converted kennel building in Llandegla, Denbighshire
Yes, you really will be in the doghouse! This is a converted kennel building of a 19th century shooting lodge. It’s the perfect retreat to refresh the soul.
The double bedroom has views of the hillside. Kitchen is equipped with a gas hob and there are other creature comforts such as a microwave oven, toaster etc. The veranda with wicker chairs is the perfect spot to watch the sunset.
Image credits: All images taken from accommodation’s own sites.