Looking for somewhere different to take a UK holiday next year? Different doesn’t need to be the Caribbean or Lapland. We’ve got varying shades of different across the UK in the form of unusual holiday homes. Our fascinatingly quirky holiday rentals range from the sublime to the ridiculous, literally. So which will you choose?
Quirky holiday cottages in the UK
This Edwardian railway carriage retains its original charm while hitting all the right notes on contemporary comfort. 180 degree sea views over Cardigan Bay from its stunning cliff top location are another reason to stay. With frequent sightings of resident bottlenose dolphins and seals, this is one of the most unusual holiday cottages with coastal views. As romantic retreats go, you’ll be glad this train isn’t going anywhere.
Reputed to be the only 3-sided cottage in England as well as England’s second smallest cottage, this triangular home away from home was built for a £5 bet in 1871. Unsurprisingly heaving with additional quirks, from the triangular shaped rooms to the Mickey & Minnie Mouse toy collection on the landing. The bedroom is amply spacious and the en suite squeezes perfectly into the corner of the building. Quite the tourist attraction in the medieval fishing village of Old Hastings, it’s well placed for good restaurants and the theatre. If your other half has a penchant for fromage, this could be quite the surprise weekend break!
With no passengers in sight these days, relax in the tranquil surroundings of The Signal Box with the light tumbling in through its tall windows and the views of lush greenery, ponds and wildlife reaffirming the privacy of the place. Once the main signal box for Wymondham Station, it was moved and converted in 2000. Now it’s a bolthole just for two. Perfect for stargazing on clear nights and for walks along the neighbouring footpath deeper into the Norfolk countryside. A rural retreat this is. Bring your bikes (they can be securely stored) to explore the quiet country lanes and the award winning butcher in Melton Constable renowned for his 28 different types of sausages!
Make a history lesson last a week at this spectacular crisp white fairytale castle set in a vast 12,000 acre private sporting estate amidst a Highland glen. This L-shaped castle dates back to 13th century with Georgian and Victorian additions. A traditionally furnished castle, there’s an air of grandeur and plushness throughout. Guess the animal – there’s myriad moose and stag heads adorning the walls, opt for snooker or table tennis if you’re feeling competitive and strike the gong to call the gang to dinner. 18 miles from Inverness and its airport, so you don’t even have to drive.
This little holiday cabin retreat has been converted from one of the last existing original stables built for ponies that worked in the Brecon forests. Set between the quiet hamlets of Trecastle and Crai, with stunning views of Pen y Fan and the Brecon Beacons this is a true dark sky haven complete with a Computerised Mead telescope for guests to use. If you’re on the hunt for a holiday home in a dark sky reserve, look no further.
As seen on George Clark’s Amazing Spaces this eco bothy is in a secluded and peaceful spot with stunning views across Loch Ken that was designed by local architect, Sam Booth. Furnished with contemporary pastels and textiles, heat is provided by a log burning stove (logs provided) and for an extra special end to the day take a dip in the log-fuelled hot tub and enjoy the view after a day of watersports on the loch or one of the 7 stanes mountain bike routes in the Galloway Forest Park.
Fairly innocent and unassuming from the outside, you’d be forgiven for walking on by. Yet this is a former Victorian toilet block with the best coastal location. On the seafront, this perfectly perched retreat can’t get any closer to the beach. Unencumbered views, a golden playground for your morning Tai Chi or run on the beach.
Remember when barn conversions were quirky and unusual? Well, while they may be ten-a-penny nowadays, there are some particularly stunning ones. These two interconnecting properties can be home to up to 14 guests with a formal dining area that seats you all. Minus staff, you’ll feel like you’re in a hotel with all the finishing touches of a luxury holiday rental.
This romantic Elizabethan “fairytale” stone tower is the end wing of a Grade II Twr Mihangel on the edge of the medieval village of Llanfihangel Crucorney near the Severn Bridge.
Certainly unique, and once mobile although now static, this former fairground owner’s cabin is perched, with elevated rural views, and discreetly cased in external cladding that also acts as an outdoor living area, provides an additional kitchen space as well as shelter for the hot tub. Retaining the charm of its time internally, there’s a richness to the furnishings befitting the status of the residence’s origins too. Bodiam Station is at the end of the driveway – one of the boarding points for the Kent & Sussex Railway. On site, there is a farmshop called The Hub for delicious breakfasts and a selection of local produce, plus a handy WiFi connection.
Not all quirky holiday cottages are built of bricks and mortar. This charming shepherd’s hut, beautifully decorated and tastefully furnished, is ideal for a romantic break for two. It has a private enclosed garden with views across open countryside and a pretty patio area with gas barbecue, just six miles from the fine beaches of Wells-next-the-Sea.
As cabin holidays go, this one is contemporary and cool. The wall decor makes a nod to the hard slog farming days of yonder and adds to the quirks of the place. Squishy sofas add a comfort factor to the minimalist rural kitchen and old farming tools that adorn the walls, and workbench sideboard. Heaped in rustic charm on the outskirts of pretty Pluckley in rural Kent, Darling Buds of May country, the cabin is surrounded by apple orchards.
St Breward nr Bodmin Moor is a tastefully converted pulpit and organ loft of a 19th century chapel with a sheltered patio area for brief pooch leg stretching and al fresco dining. 30 minutes from Port Isaac and Tintagel on Cornwall’s north coast and a 10 minute walk from St Breward village there’s a plethora of walking options. The Camel Trail is a 2 mile wander via Wenford Bridge and the coastline is a 10 mile venture perfect for a rambling day trip.
Food for staycation thought, we think. These quirky holiday cottages are genuine one-offs, once they’re gone they’re gone. Be quick! Obviously, if you like a cosy cottage or log cabin we’ve got plenty of those to go around.
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