7 fabulously remote UK holiday homes
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.
Following the news that lockdown No. 3 is coming to an end and from 12 April at the earliest, staying in holiday homes is allowed, it could be the ultimate summer of staycations.
Though some international travel may be permitted from 17 May, some combination of restrictions, quarantine rules and vaccine requirements are likely to be put in place. So for now, why not enjoy all the glory the U.K. has to offer?
And to add some extra peace of mind about social distancing, we’ve found these brilliantly secluded spots to rent. They’re beautiful, some are super luxurious, but all have everything you could possibly need — including lots and lots of fresh air. You can also come and go as you please, be in charge of your own food and see as little or as much of another person as you wish. Plus, you may get to explore a corner of the U.K. that might not have been on your radar.
There are loads to choose from, but here are some of our favourites.
1. Fritton Lake, Norfolk
Fritton Lake is a private holiday club near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, so you’ll have the lake and grounds all to yourself (with some other guests). You can choose from luxury farm cottages or woodland cabin retreats with wood-burning stoves and private hot tubs. For those seeking total isolation, there is also a food delivery service offering locally sourced produce directly to your door. The freshwater lake offers a range of social distance-friendly activities including wild swimming, paddle boarding, sailing and even water skiing. You can bring your own pony (if you have one) for an extra fee and there is also triathlon training. Prices start from £1,435 for a two-bedroom cabin for a week in June.
How to get there: Fritton Lake is a three-hour drive from London or the nearest station is Norwich. The nearest international airport is Stansted (STN).
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2. Clavell Tower, Dorset
This four-story circular tower stands high on a cliff overlooking one of the most striking bays on the Dorset coast — Kimmeridge Bay — and is extremely remote. But think of those views! The tower, built in 1830, enables you to witness the changing light each day. You leave your car below, then it’s a 10-minute walk to your private eyrie. The bedroom on the first floor has a door onto a balcony that encircles the whole building. The property is delightful inside — don’t let the austere exterior fool you — and includes a full kitchen, sitting room and stove. Prices are from about £510 for four nights for two people and can be booked through the Landmark Trust.
How to get there: The tower is about a three-hour drive from London and the nearest train station is Wareham. The nearest airport is Bournemouth (BOH).
3. Low Parkamoor Cottage, the Lake District
Described as the “Cottage in the Clouds”, this 16th-century dwelling sits 200 metres above the east shore of Lake Coniston in the Lake District. It’s a gorgeous retreat from modern living or city life and you can enjoy utter silence — if that’s what you’re after. The three-bedroom cottage is true eco-living with no mains services — it’s served by a traditional composting toilet and two wood-burning stoves (seasoned wood is provided) and cooking is on a gas hob. Your water is drawn straight from a well. The nearest shop is five miles away, so definitely remember to bring provisions. But the views and privacy are worth it, and it’s like stepping back in time. A four-night stay is £420, and can be booked through Dodgson Wood travel.
How to get there: It’s a five-hour drive from London and the nearest station is Windemere. The nearest airport is Manchester (MAN).
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4. Belle Grove Barns, Suffolk
Hidden deep in the East Anglian countryside, this cluster of magical dwellings is like “being down the rabbit hole”, according to the website. Belle Grove Barn’s lodgings range from cosy one-bedroom hidey-holes to the Upper Barn that sleeps six. Each of the properties, which are all separated by gardens, water and lots of greenery, are all decked out with treasures from the owner’s travels but come with the very latest mod cons including digital showers, high-end coffee machines and beautiful plate and glass wear. There’s no need to leave your little enclave if you don’t want to. Wandering around the grounds, you’ll find loads of unexpected treats such as Beetlejuice-style art installations and hidden nooks and crannies. Prices start at about £610 for a week for two people.
How to get there: Belle Grove Barns is about a three-hour drive from London and the nearest station is Halesworth. The nearest airport is Stansted.
5. Llancayo Windmill, Monmouthshire, Wales
Ever wanted to stay in an actual windmill while not seeing another soul? Well, you can in Usk in Monmouthshire. Located in a wheat field, this impressive structure dates back to 1813 and can sleep 12 people over five floors. Despite its age, there are loads of luxury touches throughout, including underfloor heating and leather sofas. Llancayo Windmill is also the perfect base for exploring Monmouthshire, with a whole host of outdoor activities nearby like climbing, pony trekking, cycling, fishing, walking, and even hang gliding — you’re also ideally located for the Brecon Beacons. Prices are from about £2,843 for a seven-night stay and can be booked through Host Unusual.
How to get there: The windmill is about a three-hour drive from London or the nearest station is Newport. The nearest airport is Bristol (BRS).
6. Jill Strawbale House, Fort William, Scotland
This “upside-down” house is made from 500 bales of hay and is privately nestled in the Scottish Highland village of Strontian, near Fort William. The bedrooms are downstairs and the dining and relaxing areas are above, so you can really take advantage of the terrific views of Loch Sunart. The house sleeps five and there’s even a hot tub on the lower deck — perfect if it gets a bit chilly. You also have seven acres of surrounding land to explore, so you’ll feel delightfully secluded from the rest of the world. There are lots of mountain walks to be had and hidden coves to explore, too. And since you’re in whisky country, if you do feel like venturing back to civilisation, stop off at the Ardnamurchan Distillery where you can sample some of the finest around — remember to check if it is open when you visit. Prices are from £723 for a week and can be booked through Host Unusual.
How to get there: Driving there from London takes about nine hours so perhaps a better option is to get the train to Glasgow or Inverness then hire a car from there. The nearest airport is Glasgow (GLA).
7. The Burrow at Dolassey, Powys
Intriguingly described as a “handsome hobbitry”, this remote two-bedroom bolthole near the village of Knighton in Powys, Wales, looks like it’s been plucked straight out of The Shire — but with a delectably modern twist. No smelly hobbit feel here. The main bedroom has a copper freestanding bath, there’s a woodburning stove, airy kitchen, squishy sofas and you guessed it — an outdoor hot tub. We can’t get enough of them. The Burrow is lovely and remote, the only company you’ll have is the stars, a babbling brook and a friendly sheep or two. The second bedroom can sleep three so it’s great for families and is located at the end of a farm track — so a car is definitely recommended. The buzzy market town of Ludlow is about a 30-minute drive away if you want a quick civilisation top up and there are some smart local eateries nearby, too. So let’s do it –“I’m going on an adventure!” (nerdy LOTR reference). Prices are from £150 a night for a minimum two-night stay — book at The Wanderlist.
How to get there: The property is in Powys, Mid Wales, and is about a 3.5-hour drive from London. The nearest train station is Knighton and the nearest airport is Birmingham (BHX)
Make sure to check out each property’s website for availability and opening dates. Most of these properties are within about three hours drive from London or a relatively short train ride away. And once you get there, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re secluded, private and your own boss — with breathtaking scenery to boot.
Featured photo courtesy of Belle Grove Barns.
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