Britain’s most desired Airbnb property is not what you’d expect

Posted by
Moya Crockett

If you’ve been fantasising about getting away from it all, you’re not alone. New research has revealed that Brits are the biggest dreamers in Europe when it comes to travel, creating more wish lists on Airbnb than any other country.

The ‘wish list’ feature on Airbnb lets travellers save their favourite accommodation, so that they can come back and book it – or drool over it – another time. People from the UK have made almost 2.5m wish lists, which is a lot of time spent daydreaming.

Perhaps surprisingly, the most lusted-after properties aren’t necessarily the most glamorous – or the most exotic. Instead, most Brits are longing to stay somewhere rustic, rural and quirky: top of the list is a Cornish treehouse, while a windmill in Kent and a shepherd’s hut in the Lake District also make it into the top ten. Huts and boats are more popular with UK guests than the global average, and seven of the top ten most ‘wished for’ properties are in Britain,

But we do have some far-flung travel ambitions. Other properties making it into the most wished-for list include a wacky Mexican seaside cottage designed to look like a seashell, and a glamorous glass tree house in Tuscany.

See the rest of the top ten in our gallery. Daydream inspiration guaranteed.

  • 1. Tree Sparrow House, Cornwall

    This teeny-tiny treehouse is set in an ash tree in a field on Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula – aka Poldark country. With a sea-green roof, curving wooden walls and mezzanine bed set under twinkling lights, it’s real fairytale stuff. 

    From £100 per night.

  • 2. Jack Sparrow House, Cornwall

    The second most dreamed-about Airbnb rental is also in Cornwall, and it's just as quirky. This little cabin's cartoonishly steep roof and candle-flame door make it look straight out of a Dr Seuss book.

    From £100 per night.

  • 3. St Pancras Clock Tower, London

    Some people want something a bit more glamorous. The UK's third most-wanted destination is this mini-apartment set within the clock tower at St Pancras Station, with gorgeous Gothic windows, lofty ceilings – and, as you’d expect, great transport links. 

    From £150 per night.

  • 4. Old Smock Windmill, Kent

    This four-storey windmill has been gorgeously converted, with a huge rustic kitchen, glamorous bathroom (complete with claw-foot bathtub), and a wooden veranda to enjoy the rolling Kent scenery. Stay in the summer: the golden beaches of Camber Sands are just half an hour's drive away.

    From £170 per night.

  • 5. Tree house, Tuscany

    Further afield, Brits are dreaming about a stay in this beautiful metal-and-glass tree house, tucked away in the countryside near Florence. Guests can stroll among olive trees and enjoy the kitchen garden, tennis court and swimming pool of the nearby artist's residency.

    From £205 per night.

  • 6. Classical Apartment, Edinburgh

    Edinburgh's Royal Mile is just as grand as its name suggests. For those who can't afford the million-pound price tag of an apartment there, an Airbnb stay will do. This elegant flat is right in the thick of things, with decor straight out of a fancy interiors mag.

    From £100 per night.

  • 7. Seashell House, Mexico

    If you've ever dreamed of staying in a Dali painting, this endearingly wacky stone cottage is for you. Set on the island of Isla Mujeres, just off the coast of Cancun, it's an achingly Instagram-worthy setting.

    From £217 per night.

  • 8. Bell Tent, Norfolk

    Set in the gardens of Mannington Hall, a medieval country house (with a moat!) in North Norfolk, these bohemian bell tents are perfect for a romantic weekend getaway.

    From £80 per night.

  • 9. Tree house, Bali

    This Indonesian tree house is the stuff of tropical fantasies, with a thatched roof, bamboo walls, private pool and a veranda looking out over the lush green jungle.

    From £56 per night.

  • 10. Shepherd's Hut, Lake District

    Back to something a little more modest: the tenth most-desired place to stay is this tiny former shepherd's hut in the Lake District. Take a hike through the incredible surrounding scenery before curling up in front of a campfire.

    From £73 per night.