12 quirky holiday cottages in the UK

Quirky holiday cottages get quirkier by the year. Once upon a time it was sufficient to have transformed a former watermill into a home made it available for holiday lets. Not any more.

The UK holiday cottage marketplace has changed for good and with it the myriad quirky cottage options too. Let us take you on a tour of what you might find from the unusually ordinary to the distinctly memorable. 

Quirky holiday cottages in the UK

Stay in a railway carriage

If you commute by train every day we understand this is unlikely to top your list of unusual cottages to stay in next summer. But for train fans and purveyors of quirky conversions, it might just pique your interest.

You can stay in railway carriages that once inside you’d never know you were anywhere other than bricks and mortar. So well insulated and decorated it’s like a home away from home. Others retain more nods to their origins, like the original sleep cabins, single beds or bunks and overhead luggage racks. There are even a few rested at retired train station platform for an utterly authentic experience.

Stay in a treehouse

We remember when a treehouse first became available as a holiday rental and the buzz was phenomenal. You can imagine how much the press loved this idea and guests flooded in too.

Nowadays, anyone with the savvy to generate some income from their land can (and does) do this too. You’ll find treehouse accommodation dotted around the country – some easier to get up to than others!

Stay in a castle

We have quite a few castles to stay in, in Scotland, should this take your fancy. While some of them are older than old, others have been in the same family for generations and others are modern creations built to look aged.

From fortress and strongholds to palatial palaces with contemporary interiors, there’s a castle for everyone’s desire. Whichever you choose there’ll be a plethora of activities and sporting pursuits to partake in during your stay.

Stay in a cabin

That’s not as dull as it sounds! The cabin category is broad and definitely doesn’t include lodges on our watch. We’re talking more about pods and log piles in stunning surrounds, with sound sustainability vibes and a sense of wild about them.

Yes, some have made their name on TV shows about small places but they’re ultimately modest retreats packing a memorable punch.

Downright unusual places to stay

Over the years we’ve seen former loo blocks converted into accommodation, war defences styled into homes and farm buildings and industrial kit transformed into habitable homages to their former selves.

The challenge today is to find what suits you, because the choice of quirky holiday cottages in the UK is endless.

Food for staycation thought, we think. Obviously, if you like a cosy cottage or log cabin we’ve got plenty of those to go around.


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Windmill for quirky holiday cottages article. 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?