The quirkiest places to stay in the UK for your mini moon
An increasing number of couples are planning a shorter getaway, a mini moon, before booking a stay in their dream honeymoon destination, whether it’s a case of low funds or poor timing it’s a great way of enjoying time out together – before heading back to work, after the frivolities of your big day.
However, we are moving away from the typical city break in a hotel to enjoy something a little different in terms of accommodation. We’re embracing the extraordinary and looking up those guides on how to pack a weekend bag before we snuggle down in a cosy bed above the trees or sleep in a cute tepee, rather than a traditional tent with poles, and experience something fun and new.
With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at five of the quirkiest places to rest your head for the night, right here in the UK, and have spoken to some of the owners about their inspiration behind them…
Quirky converted buses, in the Shropshire countryside
We’ve all nodded off while on a long bus journey or a very early morning commute, but what if you could sleep in an actual bed on the top floor of a bright blue, 1981 Leyland Altanteen, double decker bus? Oh and did we mention there’s also a hot tub, perfect for those celebratory champagne drinks the night after your wedding.
Lisa-Jayne Powis and family have set up holiday accommodation company Pigeon Door and renovated not one, but three double decker buses (named Betsy, Billie and Beetie by their children), that are used by ‘glampers’ looking for quirky holiday accommodation. Each bus features bedrooms, a kitchen area and comfy seating, where those staying can entertain and sleep – you can also have takeaway delivered right to the bus door from a local Indian just up the road.
Located on the Powis family’s farmland, each bus enjoys an acre of space and privacy, and are totally dog friendly, while there are also fields located nearby for those with horses – it’s the perfect location for animal lovers.
“We wanted to create holiday accommodation that welcomed everyone,” Lisa-Jane said. “We own Great Danes ourselves and we bought the first bus with the idea that we would use it to travel and holiday in, but in the end we wanted to share it with others. We’re based in such a beautiful part of Shropshire, so it’s very unique and special.”
Lisa-Jayne confirmed that the buses have been welcoming holidaymakers for just over 12 months now and are proving to be very popular. “We bought the first two buses, Billie and Betsie, on eBay and then Beetie came along, when the seller who sold us Billie contacted us to let us know he had another up for sale.
“These buses are being auctioned as they are coming out of circulation, because they don’t have disabled access. At the moment we don’t have any plans to expand the accommodation, there is so much space with each of them, and the three buses are quite special.”
Accommodation fit for a knight in Leeds
Leeds Castle is a location steeped in rich history, once a palace for King Henry VIII and his wife Catherine of Aragon, there’s much to see and explore in its grounds and around its high walls. But did you know you can also ‘glamp’ for the night, during your visit? Perfect for a couple of history buffs in love!
While many might believe glamping is reserved to those fussy folk at festivals, who don’t fancy kipping on the hard ground surrounded by other drunken festival goers, it has become a great way for people to enjoy the outdoors but with a few home comforts thrown in.
The Knights Glamping accommodation at Leeds Castle is a fun way to spend the night; staying in regal tents you can pretend you are a knight and fair maiden of old, returning to a warm bed after a long day of serving the kingdom.
The tents feature luxurious four poster beds, a wood burning stove and cast iron griddle ovens plus an open fire pit to cook up your very own medieval feast! You also enjoy free access to Leeds Castle and its grounds during your stay.
A tropical paradise in Kent
What if we told you, there’s a hotel in Kent, where you can enjoy a pleasant 30°C heat on the beach all year round. Don’t believe us? Then you should plan a trip to Dymchurch to discover the Beach Sun Retreat, a luxurious summer home rental, featuring a sun room that offers all of the benefits of glorious summer sunshine, but without the dangerous UV rays. It’s a great starting point for those planning a full getaway somewhere warm later in the year to celebrate being newly weds!
Karl Emanuelsson and his wife Rohini run this unusual retreat, which is regularly rented out by couples, families and large parties, who fancy a day at the beach without having to jet abroad or brave the cold English coastline. Karl is a distributor for Real Sunlight, a company that installs sun simulation lamps in locations such as spas, leisure facilities and even care homes, where the benefits of the sunshine are needed the most.
“We got the idea for the accommodation from my work,” Karl confirmed “and we were initially going to live in the house ourselves, rent a room out and set up as a small health retreat. But we ran out of money while renovating and instead it became a luxury summer home.”
The pair are continuing to renovate the old beachfront hotel and have plans to transform more of the rooms to accommodate bigger parties and more guests. The sun room however is definitely the highlight of the property, complete with soft sand and deckchairs, it takes up a corner in the downstairs living area, which features an open plan dining and living room with bar and DJ deck. There’s also a Jacuzzi and cinema room to take advantage of.
“It feels exactly like sunbathing,” Karl said. “If you close your eyes you really could convince yourself you are at the beach. But it’s safe, the UV rays have been filtered down to levels that even a baby can withstand.”
For those looking to book some time in this ‘tropical’ paradise Karl revealed the summer holidays are his most popular period for bookings, but the accommodation is a great option if you are having a winter wedding and the grey dreary days are all just too much.
“The sun room benefits from three lamps, which are a metre wide and a foot tall,” Karl said, “It’s very good for people with health problems, it stimulates blood flow, can assist with poor blood pressure and can even help soothe aches and pains.”
A tranquil treehouse in West Lexham
For many of us, the prospect of sleeping in a treehouse for a night is still as exciting as it was when we were 10 years old. High up amongst the trees, being at one with nature, it’s a great place to relax and unwind for a weekend and here in the UK we have plenty of spots to sleep in the treetops. West Lexham is one such location, with treehouse locations that sleep between 2-6 people, so it’s the perfect romantic getaway for the couple that’s recently said ‘I do’.
The location also boasts of the first treehouse used for overnight stays in the UK – lovingly known as the Tinker treehouse – which features lake views and a balcony to sit out on in the evening with a glass of wine and a wood burner to keep cosy. Can you get any more romantic?
So, this year look further than a traditional spa retreat or European city break for your first nights together! Here in the UK you’ll discover incredible, quirky accommodation offering something fresh and new for the adventurous couple.