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The last couple of years has taught us a lot about the world of travel. Not least, the fact that we’ve taken for granted just how many unusual staycation accommodations we are blessed with in the UK.

From log cabins to cosy pods, quirky cottages to converted stables, the lack of international travel showed us that if you’re looking for unique places to stay in the UK, you are spoiled for choice. We’ve tested a number of these quirky accommodations, whether it was a walking holiday based in a tiny house in Cornwall, or a relaxing retreat in the treetops in a treehouse near Snowdonia.

We’ve narrowed down some of our top unusual staycation accommodations in the UK, to inspire you to get off the beaten track and find your own personal paradise – the perfect way to just take a break from routine and escape for a short while.

Unique Places to Stay in England

sunset in the lake district

Finding unusual places to stay in England can be hugely rewarding. For all you know, one of the most beautiful, unusual staycation accommodations you’ve ever visited could be just a couple of hours drive away, nestled in the a sun-dappled woodland seemingly far from civilisation.

Or there could be a quirky cottage accommodation in the next town along, a house that looks entirely normal from the outside that is in fact a maze of unique rooms, halls and corridors that make for a truly memorable stay.

Off-Grid Safari Tent in Herefordshire

entrance to safari tent byford glamping

When it comes to getting off-grid in England and finding a truly unusual staycation accommodation in the UK, it doesn’t come much more secluded than this safari camp on the banks of the beautiful River Wye in Herefordshire.

Accessible via a small footbridge, staying in the safari tent is almost like staying on your own private island for a short time, helping you feel genuinely off the beaten track. Wander to your private picnic area by the banks of the river, or on any of the countless woodland walks in the immediate area, or take a canoe along the quiet River Wye.

The tent itself is truly luxurious, and completely off-grid. It’s kept cosy thanks to a large wood-burning stove, and solar and gas is used to keep the stove and lights burning.  A solid wooden floor and comfortable bedrooms make this unique place to stay a comfortable glamping experience, and it’s a great chance to enjoy a digital detox completely disconnected from the outside world.

At night, light up the fire pit and sit under the stars, this unique, secluded accommodation helping you feel as though you could be anywhere in the world.

Unique House and Walking Retreat in Cornwall

outdoor decking area in cornwall

This unique place to stay in Cornwall offers tremendous sea views through its beautiful bi-fold doors, a decking to relax on during those long summer evenings, and a quirky interior to make the house a wonderfully unusual place to stay in the UK.

Located on a farm in north Cornwall, its setting means that the house is the perfect base from which to explore the spectacular coastal trails that wind their way from coastal cliff to hidden cove, drinking in 360 views that stretch to the horizon.

The house is also close to a small rural village, meaning that it takes just a short walk to pop down to the cosy local pub, where you can get to know the locals and experience a bit of authentic rural life in Cornwall.

Your host, David Myers, is truly passionate about sharing the very best of this beautiful area he calls home, and will lead you on guided hikes, e-bike tours or trail runs to little hidden local gems whilst regaling the fascinating stories and myths of the area. It’s this personal touch that just makes this quirky house an even more unique place to stay in the UK.

Quirky Artist’s Cottage in Shropshire

medieval room in quirky house

Sat inconspicuously in the heart of the market town of Bridgenorth, you would never know that this cottage was one of the most unique places to stay in the entire UK, unless you went through the front door.

Once owned by the artist Anthony Dracup, the entire interior is essentially a walk in exhibition. Meticulously designed and developed over a 20 year period, this is your chance to live in an eclectic mix of art and engineering, for a truly unique, unusual and memorable staycation.

Each room has been designed with an artist’s flair – from the Alice In Wonderland themed reception to the Boiler Room bathroom, the 360 degree art room to the cavernous, medieval dining room, there is so much attention to detail and care that has been poured into every aspect of the house.

This truly unusual staycation accommodation must be one of the most unique in the UK, and it provides a great base for exploring the lovely market town of Bridgnorth, home to great pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as Britain’s oldest funicular!

Popular Staycation Accommodations

Quirky Artist’s Cottage in Shropshire

England, Shropshire

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Maddle Brook Safari Tent Retreat

England, Herefordshire

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Swallow House Retreat

Wales

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The Cow Shed Eco Retreat in Pembrokeshire

Wales, Pembrokeshire

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Unique Places to Stay in Wales

clouds and sunset in llangollen

Whether taking off for the rugged mountains and lakes of Snowdonia, the dramatic coast of Pembrokeshire, or the stark beauty of the Brecon Beacons, Wales is certainly not short on dramatic landscapes in which to find unique places to stay for an unusual staycation.

Accommodation tucked away in bluebell covered woodlands, rural farmland and idyllic private grounds is just waiting across the border in Wales, all of which can provide you with the perfect base to explore the beautiful scenery Wales has to offer, or as a cosy retreat where you can relax and switch off from the outside world.

Swallow House Retreat in South Wales

cottage in wales

This beautiful cottage sits on its own private estate in South Wales, the ideal gateway to mountains and waterfalls of Brecon Beacons National Park, the beautiful beaches of the Gower Peninsula, and even the buzzing city of Cardiff – for those who want to inject a little urban exploration to their holiday.

Isolated and set in a real off the beaten track location, the cottage is located on a 15th century farm supposedly owned by one of the knights of the round table, making it one of the more unusual staycations accommodations you’ll find in the UK.

Fully renovated and the recipient of several eco-rewards, your home for your staycation also has a minimal impact on the surrounding environment and the planet in general, whilst remaining a cosy and comfortable home for you holiday.

With a log burner to keep the cottage warm, it makes either a great getaway for excursions in the summer, or a cosy hideaway during the cold winter months.

Treehouse Retreat in Snowdonia

luxury treehouse in trees in Wales

Cradled by branches in a North Wales woodland, this treehouse retreat is a truly unique, beautifully designed place to stay that gets you far from civilisation and immersed in nature. Live the outdoor lifestyle, at one with nature as you read a book, swinging from a hammock in the forest canopy, and watch the wildlife pass by on the forest floor.

With hot tubs and a wonderful outdoor shower heated by your own wood-burning stove, the treehouses make an incredible escape in both the winter and the summer. Soak in your hot tub beneath the tree canopy, or light up the log-burner and bask in the cosy space of your treehouse.

Spend your days relaxing in the woods, or head to the rugged mountains and lakes of Snowdonia for any number of incredible hikes. In the summer, there are also the empty, windswept beaches on the Welsh coast to explore, but of course it’s incredibly tempting to remain in your private woodland haven.

A short walk through the woods takes you to a cute pub, tearoom and village shop, so that you are within easy reach of anything you might need during your stay.

The Cow Shed Eco Retreat in Pembrokeshire

balcony in a double room pembrokshire wales

We can pretty much guarantee that this is the most luxurious cow shed you’ll ever have stayed in. Lovingly restored to an eco-barn that sleeps up to 6 in complete comfort, you can enjoy your separate kitchen, dining and living room all set in lush farmland, far from the rush of normal life.

The barn has been designed to run almost entirely on energy generated with renewable sources. In fact, 85% of the power required to heat the barn, cook your food with and warm your water comes from a solar power and geothermal pumps.

The outdoor areas at the retreat are almost the highlight, with a gorgeous balcony offering views over the surrounding countryside (perfect for that early morning coffee), and a patio complete with a BBQ for those long summer evenings.

You’re within easy reach of the incredible Pembrokeshire coast, where you could head into Solva and check out the galleries and restaurants of this ancient haunt of pirates and wreckers, or visit Wales’s ancient spiritual centre at St. David’s and drink in the incredible cathedral and the charismatic surf shops.


Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we offer a wide range of unique accommodation and unusual places to stay for your next staycation in the UK, all designed to get you off the beaten track and give you some respite from the rush and routine of everyday life. Because when you discover a truly unique place to stay, it helps you create memories that last a lifetime.

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