Lost Meadow Tree Tent, Cornwall
For a truly unique break try a stay in the Lost Meadow Tree Tent. Suspended several meters above idyllic forest floor, (and away from creepy crawlies), this ingenious spherical tree tent has beds, a wood burner and sink all within. Rich wildlife surrounds your hanging orb and your only companions are rustling leaves, chattering birds and the whispering wind. www.canopyandstars.co.uk
The Straw Cottage, Radnoshire
For an eco-friendly escape away from modern life and technology, the Straw Cottage is the perfect green respite. Constructed from straw and lime mortar and insulated by sheep’s wool, this bolt hole is clean and homely, lit by candles, lanterns and solar power as well as wind up torches. But there is no need to go completely caveman/woman as the charming cottage is fully furnished, complete with gas cooker and running water. Prices start from £90pn.
Rua Reidh Lighthouse, Ross and Cromarty
A beacon for those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Rua Reidh stands guard on the remote, battered west coast of Scotland. No mobile phone signal, limited internet and TV reception and the nearest shop 30 minutes drive away makes this lighthouse the ultimate get away. The only other guests you are likely to see are the resident whales, dolphins, basking sharks and otters, with a potential visit from the Northern Lights. Prices start from £65pn.
Hobbit House, Cornwall
Quirky and quaint, this Hobbit-like roundhouse is the perfect abode for any who dream of stepping into Tolkien’s world. Made from natural materials and decorated with glass diamonds made from gin bottles, you’ll be minimizing your carbon footprint by staying at this sustainable Hobbit House, as well as feeling like you’re frolicking around the Shire, as the house is set in a luscious West Country orchard and has its own grass roof and stargazing skylight. Prices start from £136pn.
Borthwick Castle, Edinburgh
Residence to Mary Queen of Scots and besieged by Oliver Cromwell, Borthwick Castle still stands as one of the UK’s premier haunted castles to stay at. Enjoy a taste of royalty in one of its lavishly furnished, richly adorned bedchambers. Said to be haunted, the Red Room is notorious for being the stage for the brutal murder of Ann Grant and her unborn child by a sword-wielding henchman. If you can brave the various ghoulish stories of Borthwick you will be well rewarded by the comfort, luxury and rustic charm it offers. Prices start from £350pn.
Castle Ward Camping Pods, County Down
Nestled into the grounds of Castle Ward, these camping pods are the perfect way to ‘glamp’. Totally unfurnished, you are still required to bring all the usual camping (apart from a tent!), but heating and sheep wool are provided as small home comforts. Staying in a camping pod allows you to be immersed in the outdoors and all its delights whilst being protected from the elements – perfect for drawing even the most skeptical out of hotels and into the great outdoors. Prices start from £38pn.
Llancayo Windmill, Monmouthshire
What better place to wind down and blow away the cobwebs than a restored, luxury 19th Century windmill? Looking out over the fields of Beech Hill Farm, Llancayo Windmill is complete with fantail, spinning sails and all the modern comforts you could possibly want. The novelty of staying in a working windmill will make your trip anything but square! Price range begins at £300pn.
Taigh Iain Broch, Harris, Outer Hebrides
Originally built to shelter Iron Age communities and their livestock on the bleak, wind battered Atlantic coast of Scotland, brochs are inherently secluded, secure and cozy. Refurbished with recycled materials such as dry stonewalls and wooden beams from disused piers, brochs are a green alternative to other accommodation. Topped with grass turf so that it blends into the landscape and resembles something from Middle-Earth, this lovely one at Scarista is now fully equipped with modern conveniences. Moreover, it offers panoramic views of one of Scotland’s most awe-inspiring landscapes whilst remaining safely sheltered from the elements. Around £250pn.
Portmeirion Cottages, Gwynedd
Designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, who based Portmeirion on an Italian village, these cottages are distinctly unlike anything else in North Wales. Ornate Mediterranean buildings, strutting peacocks and exotic plants juxtaposed by a view across the estuary of the eerie, celtic Snowdonia Mountains make Portmeirion a surreal but remarkable place. Cottages within the village provide an immersive experience and provide the perfect Mediterranean escape without actually leaving Britain. Prices start from £85pn.
Nink’s Wagon, Shropshire
A true palace on wheels, Nink’s Wagon is a vintage, 1920s Showman’s Wagon. Beautifully preserved and richly adorned with glass and mirrors, you can’t help but be inspired with romantic thoughts of the circus when you bed down. Staying here is an entirely magical experience and epitomizes quirky, alternative accommodation. Prices start from £70pn.