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Over the last year or so, lockdown and the coronavirus has forced us to look inwards to find unique, interesting escapes in our own backyard. We have scoured the UK to find quirky accommodation and unique places to stay all over England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so that you can still get off the beaten track with Not In The Guidebooks.

With that in mind, here’s a brief introduction to a selection of our unusual places to stay that we have sourced in 2021, from castles to cottages, safari tents to secluded houses.

The General’s Hideout Retreat

quirky place to stay in the uk

Nestled in quiet woodland in the depths of Herefordshire, this unique military-themed retreat equipped with a safari tent, tipi and bomb shelter bathroom makes for the perfect place for a fun getaway, far from civilisation.

Spend your days exploring the forest and relaxing in your own wood-fired hot tub, and as evening draws in light up the log burner for those cosy, quiet nights where the only sound is that of the surrounding wildlife.

The comfortable and clean shower block has a transparent roof, creating a magical outdoor experience as you look up to see only a canopy of trees. Luxurious, quirky, and wonderfully furnished, this retreat is a genuinely unique and unusual place to stay in the UK.

Quirky Artist’s Cottage in Shropshire

a medieval cavern in a cottage in shropshire

From the outside, this is a run-of-the-mill house in the lovely little market town of Bridgenorth. But once you are through the doors, what greets you in one of the most quirky places to stay in the UK will take your breath away.

Once owned by the artist Anthony Dracup, the interior is a maze of eclectic rooms, bizarre passageways and intriguing artworks, from an Alice In Wonderland-themed reception to a medieval cavern, carved out of the hillside at the back of the house.

It’s not often you get to stay in a house that is a piece of art in itself, which you’ll realise it absolutely is once you’ve discovered the art room with a 360 degree mural of Bridgenorth and the soundproof hobbits lair bedroom. Outside of the house, you can explore the picturesque countryside and sample delicious local produce at one of the many great cafés, pubs and restaurants.

4 Day Quirky House Activity Retreat in Cornwall

panoramic views from the window in cornwall

When it comes to views from your decking, it doesn’t get much more spectacular than the north Cornwall coast. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you stay in this beautiful house, close to the dramatic sea cliffs, hidden, misty beaches and idyllic villages of Cornwall.

By day, head out with your host, David Myers, on your choice of an ebiking, hiking, or trail running adventure, as he shows you the most beautiful hidden trails known only to the locals, and brings the landscape to life with tales of smugglers, shipwrecks and other folklore gems.

Spend the rest of your time drinking in the sunset from your decking, the bi-fold doors thrown open to flood the house with sea air and natural light, or down at one of the wonderful little local pubs, getting to know the local’s way of life and relaxing after a reinvigorating day out in nature.

Popular Quirky UK Accommodation

Buittle Castle – The Munches Room

Scotland

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The General’s Hideout Retreat

England, Herefordshire

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Valley View in Somerset

England, Somerset

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Quirky Artist’s Cottage in Shropshire

England, Shropshire

View Experience

The Munches Room – Buittle Castle

castle accommodation in scotland

It doesn’t get much more unusual than a stay in a genuine Scottish castle. Well, this might not still look entirely like a castle out of a fairy tale, but the imposing granite building definitely still retains some of the castle characteristics from its turbulent past.

A Great Hall for dining in, formal gardens and crumbling ruins on the grounds remind you of a history that stretches back over 800 years, and the room itself is hugely luxurious with a king-sized bed, a private en-suite and access to the courtyard.

It makes for a genuinely unusual stay in the UK, and provides the perfect base to explore the beautiful coastal location of Dumfries and Galloway, an area steeped in as much historical intrigue as it is natural beauty, all adventures being fuelled by a breakfast made with locally sourced and homemade produce.

The Valley View in Somerset

farmyard cottage in somerset

This wonderful converted farm building, nestled in the rolling hills and lush fields of Somerset, offers the ideal quirky stay for anyone looking for a place to really get away from it all. The building is located on a sustainable farm with its own nature reserve, perfect for those who have a love of the outdoors.

Converted to the highest standard inside, the building retains its rural character thanks to the stone exterior and the working farm it is located on, allowing you the ideal spot to relax in total comfort and watch the world pass by, or head out on hikes in the quiet woodlands and valleys in the area.

With the local pub just a short walk down the road and incredibly warm and hospitable hosts, this is one of those stays that leaves you feeling totally at ease, relaxed, and rejuvenated for your return home.


Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we offer a wide variety of unusual places to stay and unique accommodations, varying from homestays in Vietnam and luxury eco-retreats in Iceland, to magical treehouses in Wales and stunning cottages in Cornwall.

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