The UK is blessed with some of the best built environment in the world – and some of the quirkiest! In this post, we glory in some of the most unusual and decidedly unique accommodation available to rent, although selecting only 10 such holiday homes proved very, very difficult!
So read on to discover some of our favourite quirky holiday cottages here in fair old Blighty.
Shaldon Beach Hut 1
Shaldon, Devon – sleeps 2 to 4
This has to be one of the coolest beach huts in the UK! Beautifully fitted out, this little Tardis of a beach hut sits right on the beach and makes the perfect base for a seaside holiday in Devon. Small but perfectly formed, the hut provides a double bed on a mezzanine platform above the bright living space. This little gem of a holiday home also boasts a marble-tiled bathroom and fully fitted kitchen, and with a double sofa bed in the living area, can sleep up to 4 people. For the ultimate in sea views, stroll out of the bi-fold patio doors onto your own private terrace with its gate opening directly on to the beach.
The Temple of Diana
Weston Park, Weston-under-Lizard, nr Shifnal, Shropshire – sleeps 6 https://www.ruralretreats.co.uk/england/shropshire-holiday-cottages/temple-of-diana_sh027
This 18th century architectural masterpiece has been stunningly restored to offer sumptuous holiday accommodation for up to 6 people. Situated on the Weston Park Estate, it boasts a glorious orangery with outstanding views over parkland designed by Capability Brown. Named after the Roman goddess of hunting, there are panels depicting the life of Diana in the circular former tea room, now the sitting room. Here in the past the lady of the house would have entertained her friends to afternoon tea. Downstairs the former dairy has been converted into a fully fitted kitchen, small snug and luxury bathroom. The three elegant bedrooms are accessed by a circular staircase and set over three floors.
The Temple of Diana encompasses history, charm and elegance, and makes for a truly unique break away.
Sanger’s Showman’s Wagon
5.3 miles NW of Looe, Cornwall – Sleeps 2
And now for something completely different – step back in time into the wonderful world that is this painstakingly restored original showman’s wagon. The original fairground wagons were known as ‘palaces on wheels’ and when you enter this opulent and ornately decorated wagon, you will understand why! Beautifully handpainted with touches of gilt and gold, the interior will take your breath away. Edwardian mahogany furniture and a real fireplace add to the cosy ambiance of the sitting area and the pretty bedroom beyond. But this is glamping at its best: there is a small cloakroom next to the wagon and a full kitchen/diner and fully fitted shower room in the cabin across the way.
The sheer opulence and indulgence of the wagon and its peaceful setting in a pretty meadow make this the perfect romantic getaway for two.
The Water Tower
Truro, Cornwall – Sleeps 2
At first glance this looks like the most perfect Rapunzel tower but was in fact, used as a reservoir in the 1860s! The tower consists of four floors with just one circular room on each floor, starting with the bathroom on the ground floor, moving up to a double bedroom, then a living room before finally reaching the top floor kitchen/diner – with bat cam! Yes, you can eavesdrop on these little creatures via a picture relay from a camera in a nearby bat colony. Take care on the long staircase though, it’s quite narrow and steep.
This romantic tower is perfectly situated on the Trelissick estate, which even boasts a small beach to explore.
Hales, Norfolk – sleeps 14
If you are looking for somewhere simply oozing with history, this magnificent Tudor manor will not disappoint! Built in 1478, the beamed ceilings, inglenook fireplaces and flagstone floors blend harmoniously with all the 21st century comforts you would expect in a prestigious holiday home. Luxuriously fitted and beautifully furnished, this manor certainly has the wow factor. Couple that with its glorious setting in grounds and parkland, including a small moat, and you have the perfect escape to the country.
Gaerwen, Anglesey , North Wales – Sleeps 6
This unique holiday home on Anglesey is a wonderful Grade Two listed former windmill dating back to 1780. Step inside and you will find it has been renovated and decorated to a high standard whilst keeping all the quirkiness and character of the original building. The expert use of bright colours and contemporary touches give the windmill a sense of light and fun. The windmill tapers towards the top, so the rooms get smaller as you climb the three flights of winding stairs, but the higher you go, the better the view! And when you reach the living room right at the top, the 360 degree views will take your breath away.
Stogursey, Bridgwater, Somerset – sleeps 4
It is hard to imagine a more tranquil setting than that enjoyed by this romantic gatehouse, still guarding the 13th century bridge over an ancient moat. History buffs will delight in discovering the ruins of the original medieval castle on this beautiful little island, which is yours to explore at will.
Dating mostly from the 17th century, this thatched holiday cottage boasts a huge fireplace in the cosy living room. Steep circular stairs lead up to a twin room, double room and bathroom. This is the perfect location to switch off from the 21st century – particularly as, like all Landmark Trust properties, there are no televisions to disturb the peace!
Duke of Portland’s Boathouse
Lake Ullswater, Lake District, Cumbria – sleeps 2
This wonderful building did indeed once belong to the Duke of Portland, a leading politician and Prime Minister in the 18th century. Sumptuously decorated and furnished, this idyllic waterside retreat boasts underfloor heating as well as a wood burning stove in the living area. Fling open the double doors from the romantic bedroom with its indulgent slipper bath and step out on to the balcony with its table for two, the perfect place for sipping a glass of something cold and sparkling as you watch the sun set over the water.
Beach Bay Cottage
Carnish, Uig, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides – sleeps 4
This unique building is based on an ancient prehistoric design but that’s nothing Neolithic about the luxurious 21st century facilities! Constructed from natural stone with a turf roof, this cottage enjoys an unrivalled situation overlooking the white sands of Uig Bay in the Outer Hebrides, surely one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland. If you can tear yourself away from the incredible views, there’s a two person sauna in the cottage to relax in.
Newquay, Cornwall – sleeps 6
Cross your own private suspension bridge to enter this perfect island getaway! Surrounded by sand at low tide and sea at high tide, this unique holiday home sits proudly atop its own island in the bay at Newquay. Steps lead down from the house to the sandy beach, perfect for picnics. Or if you prefer, the gardens on the island offer lots of secluded spots from which to relax and enjoy the views over the Atlantic Ocean. Decorated and furnished in New England style, the open–plan living area boasts not one but two wood-burners for a cosy feel on cooler nights. In the summer, why not dine al fresco: grab yourself a drink from the bar and then settle down under the pergola with its twinkling fairy lights, and enjoy a barbecue under the stars.