From quirky yurts in seaside spots to treehouses in stunning woodland, these unique places to stay in the UK are perfect for your family holiday this summer.
Off the beaten track and packed with character, these properties offer experiences for families looking for something new and exciting. Try something a little different this year at one of these seven spots:
Roarsome Adventures, Dino Bus, Cornwall
For a stylish, self-catering option that is truly a one-off, head to Roarsome Adventures. The team behind the Dinoski and Roarsome kid’s clothing brands have turned their hand to holidays, converting three American school buses into epic adventure cabins that will take up residence in a private field in Polzeath this summer. Each bus sleeps up to five and is decked out to feel like a cross between a cosy ski chalet and a campervan. The newest bus – The Red One – is mid-sized (nine metres long), and features a panoramic stargazing roof over a double bed, three single bunks, plus an eating area and kitchenette. They’re also located less than a mile from the sandy shores of Polzeath Beach and come with with all the facilities you need: bathrooms and hot showers, sunset barbecues, cocktails and live music.
Treehouses at Wildhive Callow Hall, Derbyshire
The Wildhive Callow Hall ethos is one of celebrating nature. Located within 35 acres of stunning Peak District countryside, these beautifully-designed tree houses with enchanting views are perfect for families wanting to escape to a woodland setting. The Roost and The Den are a great base for an adventure with youngsters; each offers two-bedrooms (comfortably sleeping up to five), have an open plan living-kitchen area and a large wraparound deck, complete with copper bath. The hotel regularly organises fun activities for children, including forest camping, woodland games, den building and campfire cooking, as well as the opportunity to explore the local area (with bikes from the hotel). Once back at the estate you’ll find a top-notch family-friendly restaurant as well as a spa.
Eilean Sionnach Lighthouse Cottage, Scotland
On a private island in the northern reaches of the Scottish highlands, discover this picture-perfect lighthouse. Just off the coast of Skye, kids will love the adventure of reaching this rugged Hebridean beauty spot; it’s accessed by boat from the mainland. On arrival you’ll find a luxuriously appointed four-bedroom property with its own beach. Fish, hike, birdwatch and of course play games in front of the roaring fire (note that there is Wifi, but no TV). Nearby restaurants include Eilean Iarmain Hotel and the five-star Kinloch Lodge. This a place to really get away from it all and will suit adventure-loving families with older children.
Wilderness Lodge, The Samling, Windermere
For a stay in the great outdoors without compromising on style, head to The Samling hotel to experience their new Wilderness Adventure. These spacious tents offer a chance to sleep under canvas with all the luxuries of the Lake District’s finest five-star hotel at your fingertips. Wake to panoramic views of the stunning Cumbrian countryside followed by a breakfast served by your own personal butler. Take the kids on a hike through the woods or head to the hotel’s private jetty to go sailing on Lake Windermere. Then head back to ‘camp’ where you will be served an al-fresco dinner under the stars. Cosy and designed to a very high spec, these tents are perfect for people who “don’t do camping” but would love to try it for a few (extremely comfortable) nights.
Stargazers Yurt, Ventnor, Isle of Wight
The Stargazers’ Retreat is one of a kind. With exposed wooden beams and bright, quirky furnishings this is a getaway to write home about. On the southern tip of the Isle of Wight, with views across Reeth Bay and beyond, this traditional yurt makes an ideal family holiday any time of the year, thanks to its cosy central heating and wood burning stove. With a compact kitchen and living area it’s ideal for a family of four: little ones will love climbing the ladder to the mezzanine floor to discover their own hideaway to sleep in. Make sure to do some stargazing through the traditional Toono window, too. The Isle of Wight is packed with great activities for youngsters – check out the Robin Hill Country Park and Osborne House – and this fun little yurt is a super-cool base from which to explore.
Houseboat, Falmouth, Cornwall
For a stay on water but without the hassle of seasickness, check out this perfectly-designed barge, happily and permanently docked on the banks of the River Kennall in Cornwall. Kids will love the novelty of staying on a boat and, with two cute and comfy cabins, living room, kitchen and shower room, it easily sleeps a family of four. The barge sits on a quay dating back to 1720 and is packed with original and interesting features: think porthole windows and decking transferred from older ships. Roast marshmallows on the fire-pit, explore the local countryside, or visit the shops and restaurants in Falmouth– only a 15 minute drive away.
17th Century Castle, Clevedon, Somerset
Want a holiday with wow factor? Hire a castle and let your little ones pretend they are royalty for a few days. Ideal for bigger groups, this 17th century castle in North Somerset sleeps up to 16 and retains many of its grand original features. But don’t be fooled by the historic appearance – this place is very much a 21st century pad with all the mod-cons you would expect on a luxury holiday. The castle itself has plenty to keep children of all ages entertained: the living room (in turret six) has been transformed into a playroom complete with large TV for rainy days; play petanque in the courtyard; or jump into the indoor swimming pool on the ground floor. Golf fans may want to book into the excellent Clevedon Golf Club (the castle sits proudly next to it).