Staycation Inspiration: 10 of the Quirkiest Rural Retreats in the UK

One of my favourite pastimes is window shopping future holidays. With the UK currently in national lockdown, I am not planning on booking a getaway any time soon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t fantasise about where I want to go when lockdown is finally over! And currently my main obsession is staycations.

Holidaying in the UK may seem a little uninspiring if you are used to jetting off to sunnier climes and discovering new countries, however the local travel scene has a lot to offer. A rural retreat surrounded by the beautiful British countryside could be exactly what you need to recharge after months spent indoors.

One of the best ways to make a holiday on home soil feel more exciting is to find somewhere unique to stay. I am a sucker for quirky accommodation. The more weird and wonderful, the better! By this point, you could probably convince me to stay in a dustbin down a back alley if you referred to it as ‘rustic’ and stuck a few fairy lights on the lid. (I’m only half joking…)

So, I present to you the ultimate in staycation inspiration. 10 places where you can reconnect with nature without compromising your basic hygiene or use of any essential limbs after a cramped night of camping. Enjoy!

The Bubble Den – Antrim, Northern Ireland

Remember when the word ‘bubble’ meant something other than restrictions on who you can and cannot hug? Good times. The Bubble Den is a unique dome structure in Northern Ireland that promises guests a memorable night beneath the stars. Roast s’mores on the fire pit and stay cosy all night in a heated king size bed. Day or night, rain or shine, you are guaranteed incredible views during your stay.

The Enchanted Faraway Tree – Kent, England

Inspired by my favourite book as a child, this whimsical treehouse in Canterbury is ‘cottagecore’ at its finest. Thoughtful details, like patchwork chairs, hand-carved window seat and quaint toad stools outside, will have you feeling nostalgic for childhood adventures and fairy tales. An open-air hot tub adds a finishing touch of luxury to this rustic hideaway.

The Chapel at Walcott Hall – Herefordshire, England

When it comes to places to stay, it doesn’t get much quirkier than a converted chapel. Nestled in the woodlands of the Shropshire Hills, this is another property with serious fairy tale vibes and heaps of character. The open-plan layout includes living, kitchen and dining facilities, along with reclaimed wooden walls and flooring. Two bedrooms are accessed by a winding spiral staircase and connected by a wooden bridge.

The Look Out – Northamptonshire, England

This shepherd’s hut is all about location, location, location! The Look Out is located in the Cotswolds, surrounded by lush green pastures and of course lots of woolly sheep, making it a good choice for walking enthusiasts and nature lovers. Once you’ve soaked up the views, nearby walking paths lead to picturesque villages and comforting pub grub.

Converted 1945 Boat – London, England

Found in the town of Sutton, this is a hut with history! The property was once a 1945 boat, but now serves as a tranquil retreat for glampers, offering modern interior and stunning views. The 1945 boat runs entirely on renewable energy, making it an ideal eco-friendly choice for your next staycation.

Gulliver, The Quirky Camper – Kent, England

If you’re a fan of the retro and vintage, you need to book Gulliver The Quirky Camper. This cleverly renovated camper-van is full of personality and equipped with cooking and bathroom facilities for a comfortable stay. Take a night time dip in the wood-fired hot tub and enjoy a film on the wall-mounted, outdoor TV or your favourite tunes through the Bluetooth speaker.

Caledonian Cabin – Highlands, Scotland

I have travelled throughout Europe and yet the Scottish Highlands remain the most beautiful of all the places I have been to. Escape the city with an authentic log cabin experience in this wooden lodge, located in Invergarry. Don’t forget to make use of the cabin’s various canoes and paddle boards with a hunt on the loch for Nessie!

Walkwood Wagon – East Sussex, England

This converted gypsy wagon is hidden away among the bluebell woodlands of Sussex. The idyllic, off-grid location gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors without the distractions of technology. Relax after a long day of exploring nature with some campfire cooking and the wagon’s outdoor Swedish bath.

The Old Oak – Essex, England

I saved my favourite accommodation until last. If you love trees like I do, staying in a house that has an oak tree growing through and around it sounds like a dream come true. With the tree trunk and boughs literally a part of the furniture, the Old Oak comes with impressive views that can be witnessed while relaxing in bed, soaking in the bath and even swaying in the breeze in a hammock on the balcony.

Where do you plan to travel first once restrictions ease? Will it be in the UK or somewhere further afield? Let me know in the comments. If you are contemplating a staycation for your next holiday, caravans are another great choice of accommodation to consider, especially for anyone on a budget. Check out my blog on caravan stays if you need more persuading!

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