Quirky hideaways for weekends in the British countryside

Wonderfully quirky hideaways for weekends in the countryVisit England



Fancy a weekend in the country? Looking for a mini break you'll remember for years to come?

Hotels and cottages are solast year. If you want to really escape, book yourself something completely different.

See also: Britain's most unusual places to stay

See also: 19 unusual ideas for afternoon tea around Britain


From a gypsy caravan to a converted chapel, the UK is teeming with quirky places to stay if you know where to look. Whether you want a romantic place for two or some family-friendly fun, there's something as individual as you are here...

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Quirky hideaways for weekends in the country
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Quirky hideaways for weekends in the British countryside

There's organic fare and holistic therapies galore at this alternative country campsite, and geeks will love it too: it's right next to the Centre for Alternative Technology. Four tipis and a yurt are set within 40 acres of a large organic farm deep in the Dyfi Forest. Prices range from £195 - £369 per tipi for two nights (sleeps two). Visit responsibletravel.com

On the doorstep of three major trails – The South Downs Way, Wayfarer’s Walk and Monarch’s Way, are these beautifully decorated "wriggly tin" Shepherd’s huts that are completely off-grid. Step back into a simpler way of life, but with added, charming touches like soft linens and enamel and copper kitchenware. Prices start at £84 per night. Visit wrigglytinhuts.co.uk.

Decamp to Dorset for a few days and the kids will love you. Toasting marshmallows on a fire pit, visit the local sights - which include Corfe Castle - and a cosy night in your caravan. From £195 for two nights in two-berth caravan. Visit happydaysrv.co.uk

A circular cob and cordwood roundhouse set in a traditional Cornish orchard, this odd little place is bursting with comfort inside. Think sheepksin rugs, recycled glass bottles in the walls and a roof made for stargazing. The Hobbit House has a living turf roof for insulation - so you really do feel like you're living with nature. Roundhouse for 5 from £136 per night. Visit canopyandstars.co.uk.

Nestled in the trees of Walcot Arboretum and only accessed by a small track, this funny little converted chapel offers an airy open-plan interior with natural wood decor. Explore the beautiful arboretum, chase farm animals or play the organ. Cabin for 4 from £112 per night. Visit canopyandstars.co.uk.

These hand-crafted belle tents in Ireland's North Leitrim are beautifully furnished with king size beds, luxurious linens and wood burning stoves. There are also two restored county cottages on the 5 acre woodland site, and plenty of hammocks and safe hiding places to keep children entertained. From €220 for two adults and two children for a two night stay. Open all year round. Visit glampingireland.ie. 

The Ecopod Boutique Retreat is a luxury bubble in the middle of a forest, with terrific views of the surrounding countryside of the west coast of Scotland. Kitted out with all mod cons including a hot tub on the deck, this is one for luxury lovers and guests are greeted with a hamper of local produce. From £150 per night. Visit goglamping.net.

A road worker's living wagon from the 1900s, this has been extensively renovated and re-located in a pretty nut orchard - and it's all just an hour away from London. The traditional green and yellow livery is still intact, and Ransoms also has a separate kitchen hut, a compost loo, a fire pit and best of all the pub is only a stones throw away. Wagon for two from £85 per night. Visit canopyandstars.co.uk.

Cedar Falls is perfect for anyone who wants to hide from the world. Tucked within an ancient woodland setting is a lovely Swedish-designed cabin with a big comfy loft room (perfect for kids). Outside, there are miles of ancient woodland as well as a micro-brewery to explore. Cabin for two from £80 per night. Visit canopyandstars.co.uk.

The Coppice Woodland, near Cambridge, offers a converted old VW camper van and bell tent to make a family-friendly camp on an organic smallholding. There's a timber hut which houses the compost loo and kitchen, there's a hot tub that looks like a wok, and a two-hole golf course as well as lots of games spaces scattered around. Camp for 4 from £65 per night. Visit canopyandstars.co.uk.

Nestled in the Severn Valley, the "retired" Coalport Station offers accommodation in two beautifully converted railway carriages. Located within the Ironbridge Gorge (which is a UNESCO World Heritage site), you'll be a world away from modern life. This little gem perfect for wildlife lovers: look out for owls, buzzards, deer and badgers can all be found, and your smack bang next to the riverbank, which is teeming with life too. From £60 per night per carriage. Visit www.coalportstation.com

There’s a fairy tale quality to this holiday property in Suffolk. Once a water tower that was used by the nearby holiday houses, now it has been converted into a five-bedroom house, with a mixture of twin and double bedrooms. Right at the top is a galleried games room with pool and table tennis tables. And yes, just as you’d imagine, the views from the top of the House in the Clouds are superb. From £525 per night. Visit houseintheclouds.co.uk

In a sleepy meadow in Devon, three lovingly restored gypsy caravans together comprise the Vintage Vardos. Perfect for a large group or a couple of families who want to holiday together, these quirky retreats provide a memorable way to experience life on the farm. Camp for 10 from £230 per night. Visit canopyandstars.co.uk.

Overlooking one of the prettiest stretches of coastline in Kimmeridge, Dorset, Clavell tower has enchanted visitors since its construction in 1830, including writers like Hardy and PD James. The four-storey tower has a circular balcony and sublime views. Four nights from £428, sleeps two. Visit thelandmarktrust.org for details.

This renovated Victorian water tower sits on the edge of the Royal estate in Sandringham and you can try to catch a glimpse of some Royalty from the look-out that's nestled in the tree-tops at the tip of the tower. The two-bed Appleton tower starts from £472 for four nights. Visit landmarktrust.org.uk.

Play at being a commander of your very own sea fort at Spitbank off the coast of Portsmouth. Spitbank Fort's four-day luxury package includes an opportunity to explore the Isle of Wight and learn about the history of the British Navy. Tot of rum followed by chilled champagne and canapés in the Victory Bar and a RIB speedboat ride around the forts anyone? From £399 per person per night, including food, wine, and entertainment. Prices start at £280 per person. Visit amazingvenues.co.uk.

Step back in time at PitStop near Bishop's Stortford, a period hotel decked out like a fifties diner complete with themed bedrooms and a Morgan sports car for rent. Guests can stay in the Edwardian, Art Deco, sports car or Indian Raj style rooms, from £85 per night. Visit the-pitstop.net.

At Dent Station, on the Settle-Carlisle line, your holiday starts as soon as the train pulls onto the platform. The highest mainline station in England is home to a delightful grade II listed renovated property, which can sleep six guests. The waiting room has been transformed into a lounge and what was the ladies waiting room is now a huge kitchen. Prices for a seven-night stay start at £550. Visit dentstation.co.uk.

Steel shipping containers make surprisingly comfortable hotel rooms, as guests staying at Cove Park, a 50-acre site overlooking Loch Long on the Rosneath peninsula have discovered. Visit covepark.org.

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