Unique places to stay in the UK….

Shaldon Beach Hut No.1 - one of my favourite unique places to stay in the UK

Unique places to stay in the UK

I love exploring my home country and seeking out unique and unusual accommodation is top of my list when I’m researching a trip. Although small the UK has some awesome places to stay. I’m a huge fan of camping and glamping but I also love staying in a classy hotel.  So I thought I would list down my favourite places to stay in the UK and explain what makes them unique. Read on for some inspiration on a staycation with a difference…


The Big Green Bus, East Sussex

This awesome bus needs no introduction on what makes it unique.  Matt and I stayed on the bus for my 30th birthday with friends, we had the best time!  Parked up in the Sussex countryside the Big Green Bus has been converted into a cosy retreat.  It sleeps six, with two double beds and bunk beds upstairs, has a fully-fitted kitchen, bathroom, lounge area and an outdoor heated shower (there’s also a shower inside.) The lounge has a log burner and there are all sorts of original bus fittings. Upstairs the front area is decked out with original seats and a collection of books; it was the perfect place to chill out with a glass of prosecco or two.  Outside there is a campfire and a wood fired hot tub for hire. This has to be one of the most unique places to stay in the UK!  Read more on my glamping trip on the bus here: All aboard the Big Green Bus: glamping in East Sussex.



Shaldon Beach Hut No. 1

I loved staying in this dreamy little beach hut.  Nestled on the shoreline of the Teign Estuary in Shaldon with direct access to the beach it is the prefect retreat from the world.  The beach hut is compact as you would expect but it is perfectly formed.  Inside is a galley kitchen, bathroom, lounge with a sofa bed, under floor heating and a lovely mezzanine level with a comfy mattress.  Bi-folding doors open out onto a private terrace overlooking the beach and steps leading onto the sand.  On a sunny day it’s a beautiful spot to sit, read and watch the world go by.  Shaldon is a tiny village in Devon full of west country charm.  There’s plenty to explore and gorgeous beaches too.  I wrote a post all about it: Beach Hut Living…



Hollies Cottage, Cheddar

This cottage in Somerset has to be one of the cosiest places I’ve stayed in on my list of unique places to stay in the UK. Matt, Emily and I had a lovely long weekend in Cheddar, Somerset for New Years Eve in 2016.  This quaint cottage had an open fire in the lounge and a spiral staircase leading up to the bedroom.  Drinking champagne by the fire on New Years Eve while watching fireworks out of the window at midnight was a lovely way to see in the New Year.  The cottage location is fantastic, it was very quiet but just what we wanted.  Along the road from the cottage sits The Cider Barn, full of west country cider and lovely locals.  Cheddar Gorge and caves is a 10 minute drive along the road and the gorgeous beaches of Weston-super-Mare only a 40 minute drive.



White House Cottage, Port Isaac

I have never stayed anywhere like Port Isaac, the picture perfect Cornish village is like no other.  Made famous by the popular TV series Doc Martin, it can get very busy during the summer months.  But during the winter months it’s a quiet and tranquil place to stay.  There is no parking in Port Isaac itself so you have to park on the outskirts and take a short walk down into the village.  We stayed in White House Cottage a few steps away from ‘Doc Martin’s House’ on Roscarrock Hill.  There is no parking with the house so it was a bit of trek to the car park but when you have views as lovely as in Port Isaac it really doesn’t matter.  White House Cottage had beautiful views of the harbour and Port Isaac itself from its elevated position on the hill. Turn left out of the house and follow the narrow road up onto the South West Coast Path, beautiful views and stunning walks are literally on the doorstep.  Port Isaac itself has some gorgeous shops, cosy pubs and cafes to buy an obligatory Cornish pasty or cream tea.  Tiny alleyways and quaint fishing houses all add to the charm of this stunning Cornish retreat.  For more on what to do in and around Port Isaac click here: Port Isaac, the ultimate Cornish Retreat…



Hotel du Vin, Poole

Boutique hotels with unique rooms are what a stay at Hotel du Vin are all about.  Matt and I stayed in the Poole hotel for his birthday, it was a gorgeous mini-break.  Our room was so stylish and featured a roll top bath in the centre of the room.  I loved the attention to detail and the way the room was in keeping with the building which dates back to 1776.  On the quayside in Poole Harbour it’s in a fantastic location for exploring this lovely area of the south coast.  Hop on a ferry to Brownsea Island or visit the upmarket area of Sandbanks. Hotel du Vin often have some great deals, we reserved a room which included dinner and breakfast.  The evening meal was so delicious and a sommelier to help pair our wine with our meal was a very nice touch.  A weekend in Poole, Dorset has all the details of our dreamy weekend escape.



A campervan

If you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll know I love a road trip, especially if it’s in a campervan.  Matt and I used to own a Mazda Bongo campervan and had some awesome adventures.  We went to Scotland, Wales, Dorset and spent a lot of time in Devon and Cornwall camping in some beautiful places.  We also camped closer to home on the beach on Hayling Island once and drank rum and coke until the early hours!  I loved having a campervan, having the freedom to go where you want, park up in a beach car park and have a cuppa while doing a surf check and having a few beers in the evening by a fire pit…there’s nothing better!  One of my all time favourites to camp at is Incledon Farm.  Being a working farm you often find a chicken or farm cat strolling by your van or tent.  Incledon Farm is in a tiny place called Georgham, just along the road from Croyde in Devon.  It’s a short drive to all the nearby surfing spots and a lovely spot for camping. As far as unique places to stay in the UK goes a campervan is at the top of my list. It is perfect for a staycation with a difference, choose where and when you stop and explore the open road.  If you are planning a road trip in the south west  The Cornwall Camper Company have some awesome vintage VW campers available to hire.



Beach Retreat, Milford on Sea

Owned by my parents the Beach Retreat started life as a garage, my Mum and Dad have turned it into a stunning one bedroom apartment.  Light, airy and full of seaside charm they have done a wonderful job and created a perfect little place for two to relax by the sea.  It has its own private entrance and parking and comes with a lovely little welcome pack of coffee,tea, milk, scones and jam.  Located a short walk from the seafront in Milford on Sea and a 10 minute walk to the village centre it’s a fantastic place for a break on the outskirts of the New Forest.



The Snug, Lymington

The Snug can be found in the old market town of Lymington on the edge of the New Forest. It is a cosy, boutique townhouse which has been lovingly restored and really lives up to its name. Full of character from the Belfast sink in the kitchen to the fireplace in the lounge, it’s a luxurious little bolthole for up to four people. The bathroom is an Instagrammers dream with a roll top bath and metro tiles, it has been finished to perfection.  All the small details have been thought of too, the gorgeous New Forest Aromatics products all produced locally add the finishing touch to the bathroom and the welcome pack full of local goodies is such a treat! A stones throw from the High Street, the cobbles and the quay the location couldn’t be better.



Have you stayed anywhere unusual in the UK? If so, let me know in the comments below. I’m always looking for somewhere unique to stay….

Beach Hut Living…

Shaldon Beach Hut No.1 - one of my favourite unique places to stay in the UK
This year I’m really trying to make the most of what the UK has to offer. As well as continuing to explore the rest of the world I’m enjoying visiting new places in my own country.  (My last trip was a lovely long weekend in Cornwall.)  A trip to the tiny seaside town of Shaldon in Devon a few weekends ago was my next UK break, and a very special one at that as it was a surprise trip for my husbands 30th birthday!
Matt's birthday clues!Six months ago I booked ‘Beach Hut number 1’ after watching a programme on Channel 4 called George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.  The series focused on the use of small buildings and spaces including boats, buses and everything in between and followed the progress of turning them into unusual dwellings and holiday homes.  The beach huts in Shaldon featured on the programme and stood out for me, as I’m a big fan of all things to do with the sea.  I instantly fell in love with it and thought it would be a fantastic place to take Matt to celebrate turning 30.  The hardest part was keeping it a secret for so long!  I gave Matt three envelopes containing clues about where we were going.  He guessed on clue three; so I think I did a pretty good job!  We excitedly set off on a sunny Saturday morning and arrived three hours later.  Pulling up outside Beach Hut One, sun shining and seagulls soaring high in the sky I knew we were in for a great weekend.  As we opened the door we were greeted with a glow of white washed walls and nautical décor.  A modern twist to a traditional beach hut this one came with everything including the kitchen sink!  A galley kitchen, light and airy living space, a mezzanine level with a cosy bedroom complete with comfy futon mattress and a compact bathroom under the stairs.  Bi-folding doors which opened up along the full width of the building onto our own private terrace and under floor heating (I love little touches like these!) completed this small but perfectly formed beach dwelling.  The beach hut also had a TV and wi-fi, but I tried to leave the wi-fi alone as I wanted to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.  This tiny space is so cleverly thought out and elegantly designed, it’s amazing that so much can fit into such a small area.  Overlooking the Teign estuary, Teignmouth and the beach this was definitely the ultimate glamping weekend and we were very excited!  With the champagne chilling ready for a birthday cheers we headed out to explore the village.  Shaldon is full of West Country charm; it has a few pubs, a bakery, The Yummy Shop, (love this name!) a coffee shop full of local treats, a few great shabby chic style gift shops and some good-looking restaurants.  We had dinner at The Ness a lovely hotel and gastro pub with fantastic views overlooking the estuary and Teignmouth.  I had steak and ale pie washed down with a large glass of red and finished off with a salted caramel sundae, it was just what I wanted!
The following day we explored the area in more detail, taking the passenger ferry from the beach at Shaldon over to Teignmouth.  The journey takes about 5 minutes and cost £1.50 each way!  We had some lunch and a stroll along the promenade and then headed back over to Sheldon.  Don’t miss Ness Cove; this lovely beach is accessed by a smugglers tunnel, very cool!  Also follow the South West Coast Path up to Ness Point; there is a nice view through the trees at the top of the hill looking towards Teignmouth and the rest of the coastline. I loved taking photos and capturing the essence of the lovely English seaside in the sunshine.  After this we retired back to our beach hut and chilled out on the terrace.  Reading and drinking wine, while watching the changing tide and boats bobbing on the water were the main items on the agenda!  We were only there for two nights but it felt like a lot longer, it was such a great place to unwind.  Living in England knowing how changeable the weather can be we were very lucky that the sun shone all weekend too.  I loved nothing more than opening up the doors onto the terrace first thing in the morning and seeing the golden sunlight shimmering on the water.  It felt like I was letting the beach right into the hut and so relaxing to read my book in bed listening to the waves lapping at the shore while admiring the lovely view.  Time seemed to slow down, making me appreciate the simple things in life.  I love beach hut living!