Monthly Archives: October 2014

Quirky places to stay – Wagons & Caravans

The word ‘quirky’ can mean many things, and if you’re looking for quirky places to stay there is no shortage of options. Gothic castles, beachside huts, luxurious yurts and tucked-away treehouses are just some of the types of property on offer. But undoubtedly one of the most unique and romantic categories is that of wagons and caravans. Forget everything you think you know about caravans, these carriages and coaches come in all shapes, sizes and styles, from retro American airstreams and traditional Romany vardos to VW campers, shepherd’s huts and everything in between.

Here are some of our favourite wagons and caravans.

The converted horse lorry

On a quiet farm in Oxfordshire sits The Horse Lorry at Glamping Thorpe, a lovingly renovated hideaway with a log burner and a king size bed. With cosy interiors, wonderful views over open countryside, a peaceful setting and occasional visits from sheep and their baby lambs, this is an unusual little bolthole in which to relax and unwind.

Horse Lorry in Oxfordshire

Horse Lorry in Oxfordshire

The gypsy wagon

How much more romantic does it get than an original gypsy wagon, within the orchards and fields of the dramatic Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall.  Not much is the answer, and this is what you’ll find at Tregaminion in West Wales. Warm, cosy and comfortable, these two charming gypsy caravans have been refurbished by gypsy folk and now provide the perfect base for an old-fashioned holiday in a stunning part of the world. 

Gypsy wagon in Cornwall

Gypsy wagon in Cornwall

The shepherd’s hut

Tucked away in idyllic rural Somerset, with just ducks and deer for company, is The Shepherd’s Hut Retreat, two luxuriously reconditioned huts with serious space and style credentials. Solid oak floors and shabby chic furnishings combine with double glazing, fridges and hot showers to create a truly special experience – rustic and yet somehow decadent. Go for walks, read in the hammock or just cuddle up under the stars.

Somerset Shepherd Hut Retreat

Somerset Shepherd Hut Retreat

The Spanish Airstream

If you want to leave the UK and head for warmer climes, then this is the place to go for a romantic retreat.  Modelled on an original 1930s classic, this airstream is an oasis of calm and luxury in the midst of a ruggedly beautiful Andalucian mountain range. Whether you’re here for a romantic getaway or a solitary retreat, this is a unique, memorable and therapeutic glamping experience.

Airstream in Andalucia

Airstream in Andalucia

The family-fun campsite

If you’re less about the romance and isolation and more about the fun, frolics and adventure, then this is the place for you.  Set in the beautiful Dorset countryside, near to the New Forest and the sandy beaches of Bournemouth and Poole are a bevy of beautiful silver ladies. Betsy, Peggy, Dee Dee, Annie and Gloria have left their homes on the other side of the Atlantic to bring a slice of vintage Americana to those who want to go glamping in Dorset.

Airstream caravans in Dorset

Airstream caravans in Dorset

Holiday in Slovenia – alpine lakes to snow dusted mountains….

Mountain Retreat in Slovenia

Mountain Retreat in Slovenia

When you’re running through a list in your head of places to visit, a holiday in Slovenia probably doesn’t even feature. But it should! This tiny little country (the population is just 2 million), has a lot more to offer than its size would suggest. Boasting everything from Alpine lakes and snow-dusted mountains to beautiful beaches and lush forests, a holiday in Slovenia really should be on your radar. There are probably a lot of people who don’t even know where it is? The country is bordered by Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary and this is what makes it so special – it combines the Alps with the Mediterranean. So, it doesn’t really matter what sort of holiday you’re looking for, because it’s all here!

Alpine Chalet in Slovenia

Alpine Chalet in Slovenia

Certainly in terms of natural beauty, a holiday in Slovenia is unbeatable.  It is known as an incredibly green country because so much of it is covered in verdant forest, and this makes it the perfect destination for a variety of outdoor pursuits from hiking and cycling to climbing and horse riding. There are also some truly picture-perfect lakes where you can bathe and go boating while you’re on holiday in Slovenia. Lake Bohinj is one of the most idyllic, Lake Bled is 14,000 years old and has an island in the middle with a church on it, and Lake Velenje is the deepest, going down to an almost terrifying depth of 54 metres. The banks of these lakes provide sensational views and abundant picnic spots. The rivers and waterfalls are no less impressive – you could raft down the Soca River or follow the streams to the incredible Karstic caves, of which there are more than 8,000 in total. If you’re looking for natural phenomena, a holiday in Slovenia is the way to experience them.

Luxury glamping on the shores of Lake Bled

Luxury glamping on the shores of Lake Bled

It would be easy to write pages and pages about the wonderful landscape of this little republic. There are dozens of natural parks to visit, the snow-capped mountains are criss-crossed with walking trails, and the wildlife is extraordinarily varied, from deer and brown bears to the rarer sights of wolves and wildcats. But a holiday in Slovenia offers so much more. Why not start in the capital town of Ljubljana? Take the funicular up to the castle, visit the National Gallery, or just enjoy strolling around the picturesque streets and sitting in the buzzing cafes. Another town worth a visit while on holiday in Slovenia is Ptuj, which has a wealth of medieval history including a castle, monasteries and churches. On the whole, if you’re interested in history and architecture, a holiday in Slovenia is heaven! Sempeter, a Roman-era necropolis is a must-visit and Predjama Castle is one of the most impressive fortresses you are ever likely to see.

Cottage in a vineyard in Slovenia

Cottage in a vineyard in Slovenia

From the mountains of Triglav National Park and the therapeutic thermal springs to the Skocjan Caves (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and the palace in Koper, a holiday in Slovenia is full of diverse surprises. You never know quite what you might discover next but whatever it is, it will take your breath away.

Chalet in the Kamnik Alps

Chalet in the Kamnik Alps

Have a look at our One Off Places in Slovenia to be able to experience all of the above!

Treehouses on the shores of Lake Bled, click here.

Luxury glamping on the shores of Lake Bled, click here.

Alpine chalet on the edge of the Kalmik Alps, click here.

Luxury mountain retreat in the Soca Valley, click here.

Alpine chalet in the Soca Valley, click here.

Chalet in the Julian Alps, click here.

Vineyard cottage in Goricko National Park, click here.

To see all our One Off Places, click here.

Beautiful Slovenia

Beautiful Slovenia

 

Unique places to stay in England

One of the best things about the holiday accommodation of today is that there is so much of it on our doorstep, and there are hundreds of fun, fabulous and unique places to stay in England. You certainly don’t need to travel halfway across the world to find breathtaking scenery, stunning coastline, historic buildings, inspiring culture, diverse wildlife and mouth-watering home grown cuisine, in fact many would argue that you’ll find more of that here than you will anyway else!

Cornish Cabin

Cornish Cabin

When you’re looking for unique places to stay in England it can be hard to know where to start, as the regions are so varied. You might decide to start in the south west, near the beaches of Cornwall, and Devon and the rugged landscapes of Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin. If you’re searching for a romantic hideaway and proximity to the sea is top of your list of priorities then look no further than Shamrock Cabin, a gorgeous little retreat where you can fling open the French doors and walk out onto a deck with nothing but ocean views in front of it. The neighbouring counties of Dorset and Somerset are also rich in lovely holiday properties, from yurt camps to manor houses.

Domes in Gloucestershire

Domes in Gloucestershire

Heading towards the east coast, the counties of Sussex, Hampshire and Kent are always popular with holidaymakers and it’s easy to see why. The ‘garden of England’ is picturesque throughout and definitely lives up to its stage name, Hampshire is home to the wonderful New Forest, and Sussex is perfectly located – rural and yet easy to reach from the capital. Head further into the heart of England and you will find the famous Cotswolds region, home to thatched chocolate box cottages and stylishly converted farmhouses, and the beautiful county of Gloucestershire, which for many represents the bucolic idyll at its best. And if you’re looking for truly unique places to stay in England then where better than The Dome Garden, a collection of spacious geodesic domes in the Forest of Dean.

Shacks in Yorkshire

Shacks in Yorkshire

As you move north, the countryside changes but it is no less stunning. Yorkshire is a region of immense character, and if you want to experience the area’s natural beauty at its very best then you should stay at the Woodland Shacks, a cluster of handcrafted timber-frame huts which are an unbeatable combination of the rustic and the luxurious. If you carry on right to the very north, until you’re almost at the Scottish border, you will reach Northumberland, with its castles and hills, and Cumbria, home of the famous Lake District. And you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere more exquisitely furnished and superbly located than Silverholme, an elegant house right on the shore of Lake Windermere.

Manor House in Cumbria

Manor House in Cumbria

Whether lakeside or seaside, hilltop or treetop, urban or rural, cosy or expansive, there are hundreds of unique places to stay in England so the question is not ‘whether’ it’s just ‘when’ and ‘where’. What will you choose?