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Escape the city with these unique and charming UK holiday hideaways


After the balmy weekend we've just had, all we want to do is throw a few clothes into a backpack and escape for horizons new. 

We'll leave our passports at home and instead explore the delights of this fair isle.

There's no doubt that the UK has really upped its game in the past few years when it comes to stylish retreats, from tree-top cabins in the woods to boutique lakeside hotels.

We're spoilt for choice with hidden gem destinations that combine spectacular scenery with unique attention to detail and something a little bit different.

These places sparkle with charisma brought about by a dedicated personal touch, and the surge in online review sites means they are finally getting the recognition they deserve. 

In the spirit of homegrown adventure without the call for air fares, here are ten UK getaways for those craving escapism this spring: 

Puckshipton Ark, Wiltshire

Puckshipton Ark

Ever since we read the Little House series, we've wanted to live in a wagon. 

This one is suitably bucolic, sitting as it does by a river under an apple tree in a quiet corner of the Wiltshire farm. Its design is breathtaking, with curved, gothic-inspired woodwork, a log stove and a built-in double hob for cooking.

There are a few mod cons - there's a gas fridge and a toilet in a nearby trailer - but otherwise, this is very much an old-school camping experience. The shower comes from water heated in a Kelly kettle hoisted into a tree and there's a fire pit for campfire meals and songs.

Wagon for 2 from £95 a night, canopyandstars.co.uk

La Fosse at Cranborne, Dorset

La Fosse at Cranborne

Each room is named after local cheeses in this charismatic Dorset B&B, in a nod to the restaurant's award-winning cheese board. Expect soft goose-down duvets, under floor heating and a generous helping of Cowshed toiletries. 

The restaurant is the real highlight here; the menu is bursting with locally-sourced delights from baked hake with lobster to whole grilled sole fillet. 

There are on-site cooking lessons available and the venue is happily situated between New Forest national park and the beautiful Jurassic Coast. 

From £99 per room a night, la-fosse.com

Gwdy Hw, Wales


Gwdy Hw (pronounced Goody Hoo) is hidden away within a maze of walking trails that run through the Welsh mountains in Powys. 

In a design that is nothing less than state-of-the-art, five cosy treehouses are woven high into the tree canopy. Each den comes with its own wood-burning stove, a spring water shower, a kitchen fit for a tree-top banquet and an en-suite Swedish compost toilet.

There's no electricity in the treehouses, so at night the whole place lights up in an enchanting glow of lanterns, tea lights and lamps.

From £137 a night (sleeps 4), living-room.co

Linthwaite House Hotel, Lake District

Linthwaite House Hotel

An archetypal English country home perched on the edge of Lake Windemere, Linthwaite House Hotel has rave reviews on TripAdvisor; one particularly enthusiast commentator even describes it as "a little piece of heaven".

Rooms come with Molton Brown toiletries and waffle bathrobes. and those at the top of the scale have their own Nespresso coffee machines. Guests can book in-room spa treatments such as an Indian head massage, or a seaweed body wrap. 

The food is superb, and the sweeping views of the lake and Coniston Fells even more so. Book the hot tub room for an added edge of luxe.

From £124 per person a night, linthwaite.com

The Shepherd's Hut, Cornwall

Shepherd's Hut

Stay in your very own hideaway for two.

This gem of a hut is situated in open countryside just moments from Polzeath beach in north Cornwall. It really is a treat within, with a kingsize bed, a two-burner gas stove, a wood-burner and a barbecue all snugly proportioned within fresh white pine-clad walls.

There's a private shower nearby and you can spend the days wandering the Cornish coastline from Trevose Head and Tintagel, before returning for a cup of cocoa in front of the hut's fire pit. 

What's not to love? 

From £344 for a long weekend, boutique-retreats.co.uk

The Pigsty, Robin Hood's Bay

The Pigsty Robin Hood's Bay

Where better to lay your weary head at night than a pigsty?

This former working sty is situated in the small fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay in the North York Moors National Park.

It's pretty posh as one-time pig haunts go; it was built by Squire Barry of Fyling Hall, who was inspired by the classical architecture he had seen during his travels to the Mediterranean in the 1880s.

Regal-looking timber columns abound, along with a rustic wood-burning stove and palatial views over the ling and heather of the North Yorkshire Moors. Whitby, in all its seaside charm, is nearby.

From £245 for four nights, landmarktrust.org.uk

Hell Bay, Isles of Scilly

Hell Bay

Hell Bay really is a very special kind of hotel.

Tucked away on a corner of Bryher, the smallest inhabited island on the Isles of Scilly, it is about as remote and beautiful as you can hope to get. The journey alone involves a small 12-seater plane, followed by 40-minute boat trip from the Scilly capital of St Mary's. 

The hotel is right on the Atlantic Ocean (you can hear the waves from your balcony at night), but a warm Gulf Stream current means the weather is often unseasonably warm; perfect conditions to use the swimming pool, take a boat out or explore the gorgeous, secluded beach of Rushy Bay, a 20-minute walk away.

What's more, the food is sensational; fish is freshly sourced from the daily catch, from pan roasted sea bass to smoked mackerel salad. There's a crab shack right out on the shore for seafood feasts during summer months.

From £150 per room a night, hellbay.co.uk

Acorn Lodge, Scotland

Acorn Lodge

Nothing promises adventure quite like a log cabin in the woods. 

Nestled within the dramatic mountain landscape of Fort William in the Scottish highlands, Acorn Lodge occupies its own elevated site in the forest and is accessed via wooden walkways and a small bridge over the river. 

It's gloriously kitted out, with a hand-carved king-size double bed, underfloor heating and two sets of French doors leading onto a balcony that boasts sweeping valley views.

An on-site sauna complete the effect of a luxurious alpine retreat. 

From £360 a week, sykescottages.co.uk



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