Weird and wacky holiday homes - for as little as £23 per night
Social media has made life so much more depressing during the summer months.
While you look out from your soggy tent, your boring run-of-the-mill holiday home, or even your work desk, you are bombarded with photos of other people having the most incredible time in stunning locations. But it doesn't have to be this way.
We have brought together seven weird and wonderful holiday homes, to stun and impress everyone you ever care to show the photos to (which may well be everyone you know). What's more, some of them start from as little as £23 per person, per night, and only two of them top £50 each per night. For your money you get a truly memorable stay.
Stay in a historic pineapple
The Pineapple, in Dunmore, Central Scotland, is the peak of 18th century eccentricity. The folly was built as a summer house, by the 4th Earl of Dunmore, after his return from Virginia. Apparently traditionally sailors there would announce their return by placing a pineapple on the gatepost, so the Earl decided to do it in more spectacular style and crown the summerhouse with a massive stone pineapple.
It's a well-known landmark, owned by the National Trust for Scotland, and the gardens and main house are open to the public, but you'll get a private stay, and your own private walled garden. It's not lavishly appointed, and it's eccentrically laid out - so you'll need to go outside to get from one side of it to the other - but you'll get endless Instagram opportunities from the exterior.
As for the cost, this is the second cheapest on our list. It sleeps four, and seven nights at the peak of the season will cost you £1,729. However, if you go out of season, you'll get a week for £796 - or less than £30 a night each.
London accommodation with a difference
Affordable accommodation in London is hard to come by, so sleeping space for four people at just £154 per night (that's less than £39 each) isn't a bad deal at all.
For your money you get to stay in Jessie the Narrowboat, which is moored in the heart of Little Venice. There's everything you could possibly need, including a well-equipped kitchen, working toilet and shower, a solid fuel stove, electricity, TV and wi-fi.
The owner will keep your water supply topped up, and will show you round to get you started. She is quite clear that: "Living on board is not quite like a conventional house and needs an understanding and patience with the obvious limitations in space and supply of resources. It may therefore not be for everyone." But that's the main attraction. The boat is available through Airbnb.
Stay in a pigsty
It may be the most glamorous pigsty ever devised, because Squire Barry of Fyling Hall was apparently inspired by the classical architecture he saw on his travels in the 1880s when he built a new home for his pigs - so it looks like it has been flown in from Rome. It's not the biggest place you'll ever stay, but there's room for two in this beautifully restored building overlooking Robin Hood's Bay near Whitby. A stay in peak season will set you back £1,134 for a week - or £581 in November. It means your week in classical splendour will set you back less than £42 each per night.
Jack Sparrow House
There are plenty of cottages in Cornwall for a summer break, but not many fairytale cabins with this level of quirk. The mezzanine is given over to a double bed, garlanded with swags of fabric and fairy lights, but there's still room for a tiny kitchen on the ground floor, so technically you don't need to walk the five minutes to the pub. It's on the Lizard Peninsular, overlooking Falmouth Bay, and is a ten minute walk from the beach.
Unexpectedly, it's one of the least affordable on the list. It's available through Airbnb and starts from £105 per night - or £52.50 per person.
Stay in the Queen's gatehouse
English Heritage has a number of holiday cottages in and around its famous properties. Some of them are really impressive, including Sovereign's Gate in the Isle of Wight. It's the formal entrance to Osborne House - Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's family home. It's not used by visitors to the property any more, but when the Queen and members of the royal family visit, this is the gate they use. You're free to wander the estate grounds at any time - including the beach - or hang out in the beautifully maintained property. You can even bring your dog.
The price is a pleasant surprise too - given the grandeur. It'll cost you £1,685 for four people to stay for a week in the middle of the summer holidays. Alternatively, you can go out of peak season for three nights for £380. That's just £32 per person, per night - the third cheapest on the list.
Stay in a windmill
The Old Smock Mill is a romantic destination for couples in rural Kent. Your accommodation is set over three floors of the mill, and you climb one floor up on an exterior staircase to enter it. The interior is stunningly renovated, complete with many of the old mill workings and exposed beams. It's near to Camber Sands, but given the quality of the property, and the lovely balcony, you might struggle to leave.
When you see the photos you can appreciate why it's the only property to come in at more than £100 per person per night. Seven nights in peak season through Airbnb will cost £1,422 including the service fee.
Stay in a prison
It's another Landmark Trust property, and this one is really unusual. It's the gatehouse of a former House of Correction in Folkingham in Lincolnshire, and the forbidding architecture is a sight to behold. The prison used to be far bigger, and house 70 petty criminals, whereas the property now sleeps four.
It was closed in 1878 and turned into housing. This was declared unfit in 1960s, and most of the prison was demolished. The same fate would have met the gatehouse, but it was rescued by Sir Arthur and Lady Petersen, who gave the gatehouse to the Landmark Trust. They radically transformed it into a beautiful two-bedroom holiday home, complete with open fires in the midst of the Lincolnshire countryside.
It's the cheapest property on our list. Peak season will cost you £1,108 a week, or £641 in November - when it will cost just £23 per person, per night.