Planning on booking a holiday, but you haven’t yet found the perfect property to ‘wow’ you? If you’re looking for a holiday cottage with a little more character and personality, then look no further. From converted castles to railway carriages and buses, these are some of the most unique places to stay in the UK. Without further ado, here’s our handpicked choice of quirky cottages to stay in, complete with toasty hot tubs.
1. Hereford Lodge
This hand-crafted shepherd’s hut in Hereford is the perfect setting for a romantic retreat. Soak your cares away in the private wood-fired hot tub, looking out onto the lush green fields beyond. You won’t find a television or any other mod-cons inside the hut, giving you the chance to completely switch off and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside. However, you will find a toasty wood burner, cosy double bed and plenty of books to read.
If you do one thing: Canoe along the River Wye, where you’ll enjoy gorgeous views of the surrounding moorlands and lush valleys. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife along the way – kingfishers, otters and herons are all regularly spotted along its banks.
Where to eat: Tomatitos Tapas Bar uses locally-sourced produce to create their variety of tasty tapas dishes. Try authentic Spanish flavours and plates, including chorizo, patatas bravas and tortillas.
Where to drink: The Old Black Lion is a traditional country pub in the nearby town of Hay-on-Wye. Here, you can enjoy a good selection of local cask ales, or if you’d prefer, a refreshing glass of vino from their carefully selected wine list.
Location: Isle of Wight
Olive is a cosy, circular hut surrounded by lush countryside in the Isle of Wight. If you’ve been looking to escape the bustle of everyday life, its location will certainly help you to unwind. In the morning, sit out and enjoy the peace and quiet while you sip on a warming coffee. Once the sun starts to set, hop in the bubbling hot tub and watch the stars begin to illuminate the night sky – absolute bliss!
If you do one thing: For picture-postcard views of the Isle of Wight, make sure to take a trip on The Needles Chair Lifts. Sit back and enjoy views of the stunning multi-coloured Alum Bay cliffs and beaches of the island.
Where to eat: Head over to No64 for home-cooked meals, freshly brewed coffee and tasty cakes. Their menu changes with the seasons, allowing them to use fresh, locally-sourced produce throughout the year.
Where to drink: The Woodman’s Arms is a traditional village pub, located just outside of Wootton. It offers a good choice of ales and ciders, as well as meals and light snacks if you start to feel peckish.
3. Railway Carriage Two
If you’re looking to gather up your family and friends for a unique break, Railway Carriage Two certainly fits the bill. This unique converted railway carriage is located in the peaceful Suffolk countryside, offering a relaxing retreat for up to six guests. On the grounds, you’ll find luxuries including a sauna, hot tub and even a heated swimming pool.
If you do one thing: Nature lovers will want to make a visit to the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to a variety of rescued owls and birds of prey and regularly hosts activity days where you can have a go at falconry.
Where to eat: The award-winning Four Horseshoes is a pretty, thatched pub in the nearby market town of Eye. It offers a range of classic home-cooked dishes, including steak and ale pie and beer-battered fish and chips.
Where to drink: The Greyhound Inn is a 14th-century inn, located in the small village of Pettistree. It proudly serves a good selection of local ales, as well as an impressive collection of spirits – especially malt whiskies.
4. The Red Bus
Location: Forest of Dean
The Red Bus offers a very unique holiday experience! This 1982 metro bus has now made its last stop in the stunning setting of the Forest of Dean. Quirky, yet practical, this bus has all the amenities you could possibly need for a peaceful break. Its outdoor wood-fired hot tub is great for watching the stars above in the evening. The bus is also dog-friendly, which means your pooch can come along and enjoy the holiday with you!
If you do one thing: Visit the Clearwell Caves, a unique underground museum set in the historic passageways of a natural cavern. It’s been the setting of various television programmes and films, including Doctor Who, Merlin and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Where to eat: Pop into the Heartsease Tea Rooms for a selection of freshly-baked treats. This quaint little cafe is great for enjoying an indulgent cream tea after a day of exploring the countryside.
Where to drink: For a choice of locally brewed ales, head into The Red Lion. This traditional village pub offers a welcoming and cosy space to relax in.
5. Florence Springs Hobbit House
Calling all Tolkien fans – the Florence Springs Hobbit House is a quaint and quirky place to stay. Sleeping up to four guests, it’s a fun accommodation for couples and small families to enjoy. It has an outdoor hot tub in its peaceful garden area, where you can relax after a busy day of exploring the stunning coast of Pembrokeshire.
If you do one thing: Explore the nearby seaside town of Tenby, with its sea views, Blue Flag beaches, and picturesque harbour. While away the day on soft sands or lace up your boots and take a stroll along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Where to eat: Bramleys Tea Rooms serves up delicious lunches and cakes, in a cosy log cabin setting. After a stroll along the coast, refuel with a warming hot chocolate or the freshly made soup of the day.
Where to drink: The Buccaneer Inn is a pub located in Tenby’s vibrant town centre. At night, it’s a popular place with both visitors and locals to socialise and grab a drink.
6. Woodside Bay Treehouse
Location: Isle of Wight
If you had always dreamed of having a treehouse in your garden as a child, then a weekend in the Woodside Bay Treehouse is highly recommended. This luxury treehouse is deceivingly spacious, offering all the amenities you can think of, as well as a huge television and sumptuous monsoon shower. After a busy day of exploring the Isle of Wight, hop into the soothing hot tub on the decking.
If you do one thing: Visit the popular Amazon World Zoo to see over 200 species of animals from around the world. With a big focus on conservation, the zoo safeguards many animals at risk of habitat loss, including ocelots and sloths.
Where to eat: For a hearty pub lunch, head to The White Hart Inn at the town of Ryde. If you’ll be staying over the weekend make sure to try their Sunday roast, with its choice of four different types of meat all sourced from local farms.
Where to drink: The Ryde Castle Hotel is set in a historic Victorian manor house and is home to a cosy pub. The beer garden at the front of the impressive building is particularly great for enjoying the sunshine with a refreshing pint.
7. Knock Old Castle
Located in Scotland, Knock Old Castle is the ideal accommodation for lovers of luxury and extravagance. Dating back to the 14th-century, the castle has been lovingly restored and converted into a fairytale holiday home. Sleeping up to eight guests, it’s great for special occasions with family and friends. It comes fully-equipped with a private hot tub, as well as a sauna hidden in one of the towers!
If you do one thing: Visit the bright and colourful Kelburn Castle, near the village of Fairlie. Originally built back in the 13th-century, the castle now stands out for the vibrant graffiti that covers its walls – not something you see every day!
Where to eat: Visit The Bean and Leaf in the nearby town of Largs for a relaxed dining atmosphere, and a nice selection of freshly cooked meals served throughout the day.
Where to drink: For a drink with a view, pop into the Scotts at Largs. Located on the harbour, you can sit out on the waterfront terrace and watch the boats sail by.
8. Bots Place
Bots Place is a unique collection of safari tents and huts, located in the peaceful Norfolk countryside. It’s a memorable place ideal for groups of friends or families who are looking for something a little more unusual than your typical holiday cottage. Its wood-fired hot tub is ideal for uninterrupted views of the night sky.
If you do one thing: Visit the Norwich Castle Museum to discover a huge display of archaeological and natural history specimens from the region. The castle is also home to an impressive art gallery.
Where to eat: Trattoria Rustica serves up authentic Italian classics in a cosy and welcoming atmosphere. Here, you can tuck into a huge selection of delicious meat, fish, pasta and pizza dishes.
Where to drink: Frank’s Bar is a stylish cafe-bar in the centre of Norwich. After a day of exploring the town, head into here and enjoy a freshly-brewed coffee or even treat yourself to a tasty cocktail.
9. Fern Leaf Roundhouse
Fern Leaf Roundhouse is ideal for those who like the idea of glamping but don’t quite want to leave their home comforts behind for the week. Located in Cornwall, this cosy, rounded retreat features a porthole in the roof, which you can see the stars from on clear nights. Cosy up in front of the log burning stove or soak your stresses away in the outdoor hot tub.
If you do one thing: Visit the seaside resort of Bude, where you can take a relaxing stroll along its soft sandy shores. In the summer months, pack your swimwear and take a dip in the sea at Summerleaze Beach.
Where to eat: Life’s a Beach is a bright, coastal retreat serving up fresh fish and seafood dishes throughout the day. Enjoy the local fish of the day dish while soaking up the seaside views!
Where to drink: The Barrel at Bude is a bustling pub in Bude, offering a lively atmosphere and a big range of real ales. It’s also host to numerous live music acts throughout the year.
10. The Retreat, Strawberryfield Park
Escape to the great outdoors in Somerset. Set in 14 acres of rural countryside, The Retreat, Strawberryfield Park is the perfect place to get away from the bustle of everyday life. It’s a cosy yet spacious cottage complete with a toasty hot tub on the patio. Outside of the cottage, you’ll find a pretty orchard and parkland to stroll through on warm, sunny days.
If you do one thing: Visit Cheddar Gorge and head down into Gough’s Cave, an impressive 500,000 year old cavern. Here, you can explore a variety of secret caverns, as well as the ancient elders’ meeting chamber.
Where to eat: For a traditional afternoon tea, make sure to visit the Lion Rock Tea Rooms. Its tasty selection of home-baked treats are best enjoyed on the rooftop garden in the summer months.
Where to drink: Visit The Cider Barn for an excellent choice of refreshing ciders, including those from local breweries. The pub is also host to weekly live music events.
11. Ash Yurt, East Hoathly
Location: East Sussex
Ash Yurt is a bright and spacious yurt, set in the East Sussex countryside. Sleeping five, it’s ideal for families and groups of friends looking for something unique. In the mornings, gather everyone around the outdoor table to enjoy a hearty breakfast in the peaceful surroundings of the farm. When the sun sets, hop into the hot tub to truly unwind.
If you do one thing: Take a journey back in time on the Bluebell Railway, where you can enjoy a peaceful ride on a traditional steam train. It’s a nice way to see the beauty of the Sussex countryside, without having to spend hours trekking on foot!
Where to eat: Located in the nearby town of Uckfield, Thai Terre offers beautifully cooked Thai dishes. Choose from a big menu of Thai flavours, from stir-fried noodles and rice dishes to curries and soups.
Where to drink: The Highlands Inn is a comfortable and cosy pub in the town of Uckfield. Here you’ll find a wide selection of ales, beers, cocktails and wine.
12. Lymington Cottage
With its thatched roof and well-kept garden, Lymington Cottage is a beautiful place with plenty of unique character. Inside, the charm continues, with a traditional inglenook fireplace and solid wooden beams. In the garden, you’ll find a swimming pool, summer house and a bubbling hot tub to enjoy. Located on the edge of the New Forest National Park, you’ll find plenty of gorgeous walking routes right on your doorstep.
If you do one thing: Head into the New Forest National Park to explore its many acres of beautiful heathlands and forest. You’ll find a variety of picturesque walking routes along the way, so make sure to bring along your walking boots and camera.
Where to eat: The Haven Bar & Restaurant is a popular eatery located on Lymington’s marina. With outdoor seating to maximise the sea views, it’s a fantastic place to visit for dinner and watch the sun set over the horizon.
Where to drink: The King’s Head Inn is a traditional inn, found along a cobbled street in Lymington. A variety of guest ales can be found on tap here, including Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and HSB.
13. Ravenstone Manor
Location: Lake District
If you’re planning a special occasion and seeking somewhere memorable and luxurious, Ravenstone Manor near the Lake District might just be what you’re looking for. Sleeping up to 13 guests, this impressive manor is home to four-poster beds, a cinema room and spa area. Its large outdoor hot tub also benefits from Bluetooth, power jets and underwater mood lighting.
If you do one thing: Visit the beautiful Whinfell Forest, where you can enjoy peaceful woodland strolls. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot an elusive red squirrel while on your walk!
Where to eat: Winner of the Cumbria Life Food & Drink Awards, 1863 is a stylish bistro serving up traditional British dishes. The restaurant uses locally-sourced and foraged ingredients to produce its high-quality dishes.
Where to drink: Head over to The Dog & Gun Inn to enjoy a quiet drink. Choose from a selection of local ales and cosy up in front of the roaring open fire.