7 Niche Holiday Homes In The UK That You Have To Visit!

Going on holiday is exciting and fun, but why not liven up your getaway with a unique sleeping experience?

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Going on holiday goes hand in hand with excitement. It’s the chance to getaway, relax and enjoy the area around you. Sometimes though it’s nice to visit a place that is unique and unlike anything you’re used to. It’s an adventure.

Across the UK there are tonnes of unique holiday homes and places to stay. Ones that you may want to consider when booking your next vacation. The best part is there are some great affordable adventures that you, your friends and your family can enjoy. See the list below and starting planning today!

Coppins Farm

Image courtesy of Coppins Farm via Unique Holiday Cottages

Imagine if it were acceptable to fall asleep on the train with no fear you’d miss your stop. Well, Coppins Farm may have the answer. The only difference is the carriage is stationary. Coppins farm has carefully converted a Victorian railway carriage into a holiday home that sleeps up to four people.

The farm is no longer working but the picturesque surroundings remain fully intact with the preservation of wildlife and wildflowers. Given it’s a farm, animals are more than welcome, including any pet horses that you want to leave roaming in the meadows.

Alongside the scenic area, you have the opportunity to:

  • Go Horse Riding
  • Drive A Tractor
  • Fly A Plane
  • Go Deer Watching
  • Go Boating or Fishing
  • Go Searching For Badgers &
  • You Can Borrow Bat Detectors For An Evening Of Bat Spotting.

The 1885 East Region First Class Victorian Railway Carriage has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen living area and a covered veranda. During peak season (August) the carriage can be rented out for £400 a week. The property can be rented for a minimum of two days which costs between £165 to £240 depending on which month you visit.

Located on the edge of Stour Valley in Alphamstore, Suffolk, the railway holiday home isn’t too far away from the ancient market town Sudbury and the large village of Bures. Whilst secluded the farm isn’t far from local amenities with buses and trains available for transport.

For more information visit the Coppins Farm website.

Tom’s Eco-Lodge

Image Courtesy of Tom’s Eco Lodge

Dedicated to Eco-travelling, Tom’s Eco Farm has created safari tents, pods, cabins and cottages for a unique getaway. Tapnell Farm resides in the Isle of Wight and is only a short journey from Port Yarmouth.

With sea views, sandy beaches and space to roam you can either make the experience adventurous or relaxing. Depending on your holidaying style, of course. Solely staying within the farm can easily be achieved as it’s fully kitted out with a restaurant, gift shop, hot tub and gallery. For entertainment for the kids, the farm has a play barn, farm tours and adventure activities. Plus adults and children alike can pick their eggs from the chicken coop for their breakfast.

Tom’s Eco-Lodge not only helps the planet but it also caters for a variety of holidaymakers. The Modulogs is a brand new addition, after opening earlier this year. They are open all year long and offer an unusual glamping experience. The extraordinary accommodation comes with all the essentials including:

  • Compact Kitchen (Microwave/Grill, Two Ring Electric Hob, Fridge, Sink, Kettle & Toaster)
  • BBQ & Pizza Oven
  • Patio
  • Dining Tables
  • Log Burners &
  • Parking

The Modulogs can house up to six people with two bedrooms and two comfy sofas that fold out into beds plus there is a separate bathroom. Despite the outdoor feeling, the Modulogs come with electricity and WiFi which can be readily accessed throughout your stay.

Due to the exclusive and unique nature of the Modulogs, it is a more expensive than the property above. A seven-day stay would cost over £1,400 in peak season. Although pricier than other getaways the property can host more guests which in turn could reduce costs.

With a multitude of activities and villages/towns not situated too far away, Tom’s Eco-Lodge certainly has the niche factor.

Shaldon Beach Hut 1

Image Courtesy of Shaldon Beach Hut 1 via Unique Holiday Cottages

Shaldon Beach Hut 1 is a relatively new conception. The owners have chosen to transform seaside beach huts into a cosy holiday home on the sea front. Located in South Devon, Shaldon Beach Hut 1 is a rare property that can home up to four guests.

Although beach huts are typically small confinements, this property is designed with utmost comfort. Having both an upstairs and downstairs enables the property to feel bigger, especially with the open plan setting. As an added bonus, the hut also comes with a secluded terrace all kitted out with stylish beach side furniture. There is also one parking space available for guests, a great deal given the close proximity to the sea and town.

Whilst it’s the perfect property for summer, Beach Hut 1 is also the perfect winter getaway for a romantic staycation. With underfloor heating and intimate setting, the beach hut can easily be an unusual winter break.

During peak season a seven-day stay can cost over £900. It’s a fair price given a unique style, features and close proximity to the sea.

This 5-star luxury property has gained much attraction since its conversion. Just last September the property was listed in the top 12 Beach Hut properties in the world, by MailOnline Travel. It’s also been featured on BBC 1, Country File and George Clarke’s Amazing Places, as well as multiple national newspapers.

To book your beach side getaway visit Shaldon Beach Hut online.

The Towers

Image Courtesy of The Towers via Unique Holiday Cottages

Ever wanted to live like a king for a week? Here’s your chance. The Tower in Reynoldston, Swansea is a castle retreat, that lies at the front gates of Penrice Castle.

In the 1790s Penrice Castle built a Gothic folly to create the appearance of a ruined castle. This has since been turned into a holiday rental home that has a lot of attraction for newlyweds and couples.

With access to the historic park and gardens, the tower is a very appealing place to stay. It’s ideal for boating, golf, water sports, horse riding, fishing and walking.

Yet staying inside is equally comfortable as the castle comes with a kitchen, sitting room, washer, dryer and bathroom. The master bedroom is a circular shape that is suitable for two. All of which is complimented with the multiple Gothic windows that look out onto the vast greenery of the castle gardens.

The exceptional structure and grandeur of the castle make the property highly desirable. Unsurprisingly, staying at the property isn’t cheap and bookings are hard to come by.

Then again how many people can say they’ve slept in a castle and lived like a King or Queen?

Visit The Towers website to book your stay, your highness!

The Dipping Shed

Image Courtesy of The Dipping Shed via Unique Holiday Cottages

If you enjoy secluded holidays with your own privacy The Dipping Shed is the perfect holiday home for you. This characterful retreat in Shropshire can only be accessed by climbing a steep hill and then a set of stairs.

The rural estate is well and truly hidden away for those who want to relax away from civilisation. Despite being out of the way guests can still have fun as they search for several hidden treasures located around the property.

Not to mention the scenic features that scour across the area, providing beautiful views of the West Lake and Long Myrd.

Inside the property has an open plan layout with the kitchen, living room, double bedroom and bathroom. There is an upstairs double bedroom but it can only be accessed by a sturdy ladder. Despite the secluded nature, the holiday home comes with electricity that is powered by a generator and there is also a wood burning stove and Rayburn, each powered by gas.

Although the property is hidden away entertainment isn’t far off. Within a few minutes drive or ten-minute walk, there is a Main Hall and Ballroom. Which you can enjoy a fun atmosphere and good food.

The Dipping Shed provides an entirely new meaning to the typical English staycation. Nestled around trees the holiday home provides a romantic atmosphere for holidaymakers to enjoy. The property is open all year round with prices differentiating between certain seasons. In the Christmas months, a weekly stay would cost £750 whilst peak summer season costs £650.

Depending on your holiday preferences, the hidden property may cater to you more than a lively beach side resort. If you wish for a secluded staycation then head over to The Dipping Shed website.

Wanderlust Gypsy Caravan

Image Courtesy of Wanderlust Gypsy Caravan

Here’s a staycation property that isn’t like any other. Not only can holidaymakers stay in a traditional gypsy caravan they can also ride throughout Cumbria and the Lake District. With horses and beautiful lake and countryside views readily available, the gypsy caravan is far from typical.

The brains behind this unique getaway are Barny and partner Katus who have spent decades restoring Gypsy caravans. The business has been so successful that they took on a new member who spends his time creating new paths for guests to enjoy.

Each caravan has been kitted out with a gas cooker, all the essential kitchen necessities, a cottage tent and soft seating. Bathrooms are located at the various campsites that the caravan will reside in each night.

Although simple in design the caravan can still hold up to two guests. During peak season (August) a four day stay costs around £800. Given the property is a horse draw portable holiday home that roams through the Lake District, it’s certainly a worthwhile experience.

For more information head over to the Wanderlust Gypsy Caravan website.

The Old Chapel

Image Courtesy of The Old Chapel via Unique Holiday Cottages

As the name suggests this property was once a chapel that has since been renovated to create a large, open spaced holiday home. The former chapel has been modernised to fit up to eight adults and two children in eloquent rooms.

Located on the slopes of Slad Valley in Gloucestershire, the holiday home has spectacular views of rolling hills and ancient woodlands. All of which are on the doorstep of the property.

Despite the secluded setting, you still have the option of days out as the Old Chapel isn’t too far away from Cotswold, Bath or Cirencester.

Whilst the surrounding area is an impressive feat the inside of the holiday home is equally impressive. The owners have taken their time to cater for any type of guest.

There is a spacious kitchen and dining area which leads into the large open plan living area. As for entertainment, the Chapel is kitted out with:

  • Satellite TV
  • DVD Player
  • WiFi
  • Digital Radio
  • Docking Station
  • Children’s Den (TV, Playstation, Wii, DVD Player, Beanbags, Boardgames and Books)
  • Enclosed Trampoline
  • Large Garden & Elevated Terrace.

The Chapel is available all year round and has off-road parking for up to four cars. The property itself has had a remarkable renovation yet prices are reasonable with a weekly stay at high peak season costing £1,600. With spectacular views, close proximity to villages and towns and an extensive range of entertainment, The Old Chapel has been thoughtfully renovated.

Nicely Niche-d!

Holidaying in England has developed across the board with seaside b&b’s being favoured for countryside and city breaks. Which, in turn, has led to unique holiday homes popping up all over the UK.

Whether it’s secluded intimate properties or large plan spectacular designs, holiday homeowners have worked to be different. It’s the different places and properties that make holidays more memorable and enjoyable. Why not give it ago and relax in a cooky place for a few nights. You’d certainly have an interesting holiday story to tell.

Katie Hetherington, travel enthusiast on a quest to find unique and affordable holiday homes in the UK and overseas. I’m always on the lookout for new places to visit and for more holiday home articles, ideas and information follow Schofields on Twitter and Facebook.

Originally Posted On Medium

Can You Brave These Worldly Cuisines?

It’s a long-standing joke that when Brits go on worldly trips they stick to what food they know. But are we missing out or making wise decisions?

It’s a long-standing joke that when Brits go on worldly trips they stick to what food they know. Usually, it’s a meal that comes with chips because we like them.

What is it that makes us so afraid? Is it the colour, texture or is it simply because we don’t want to? Are we restricting ourselves from a mouthwatering meal or are we making a wise decision?

Some cuisines we are missing out on but some we might be avoiding for good reason. Then again it’s also wise to avoid certain British foods. For we have our mighty range of strange combinations and an addiction to tea.

Here are five countries that have brought us the good, the bad and the slightly disgusting cuisines.

France

France is renowned for it’s delightfully rich tasting food. Whilst this may be true, the rich food comes in both delightful and not so delightful, to say the least.

Délicieux (Delicious)

On the whole, the French make incredibly rich, creamy wholesome dishes and food that is heavenly.

Take for instance the beautiful things they’ve done with cheese. They introduced Baked Camembert, the perfect melting cheese for a cheesy fondue (one of their idea’s). Then, of course, for meat lovers, there is Bœuf Bourguignon, otherwise known as tender beef, soaked in a red wine stew. Plus Hachis Parmentier also referred to as the French, Shepherd’s pie, with a beef soaked in red wine and topped with creamy mash potato.

And one of their famous delights, the croissants. AKA, the buttery, soft, flakey pastry that just melts in your mouth. Team that up with jam and you’ve got the perfect breakfast or snack to delight in.

Brut (Gross)

Despite gracing us with such treats as listed above, the French have been somewhat experimental when creating other delicacies.

Many French dishes include peculiar ingredients and the dish escargot is in favour of that statement. Escargot is a dish with the primary meat being a snail, that you have to scoop out of the shell. There’s just something that’s slightly unnerving about eating a snail but each to their own.

While escargot seems bad to believe it or not, there are worst. Thymus gland of a hog is another treasured delicacy, to order at a restaurant just ask for Ris De Veau.

Hog is a favoured animal and another key ingredient in the meal Tete De Veau. Once translated it means ‘head of a calf’. The entire head is served up, alongside all the trimmings. Something just a bit off with that one, wouldn’t you say?

French food is a mixture of mouth-watering and stomach-churning dishes. In whole French cuisine isn’t that bad and in the end their experiments with food paid off.

Italy

Photo credit: sunshinecity via Visualhunt / CC BY

Italy is probably one of the most flavourful countries that many enjoy. It’s a country that is behind some of the most fabulous food creations and sadly some of the worst!

Delizioso (Delicious)

As mentioned above, Italy is the homage to some of the most desired food, especially after a night out. Without Italy, we wouldn’t have pizza and without pizza, is life worth living?

Let’s not discount the amazing things they do with pasta? Lasagna the perfect layers of pasta meat/veg and cheese. Then they have the pasta masterpiece of Ravioli, which involves meat/spinach and ricotta being wrapped in pasta all of which is coated in herby, tomato sauce. And let’s not forget spaghetti bolognese, yet another tomato, meat/veg, pasta combination. You just can’t beat it.

Not to mention the gelato otherwise known as Italian ice cream. In comparison Gelato, makes all other ice creams taste like a sham. The smooth, flavoursome gelato melts in your mouth and glides down your throat. Once again, you can’t beat it.

Schifoso (Gross)

Although Italian food is adored and has been adopted into various cultures there are some rather gut-wrenching foods that really shouldn’t exist.

For instance, maggot cheese. Yes, cheese that is squirming with maggots. Maggots which have to be eaten whilst alive or you could get ill. Whereas eating them alive will save you from horrendous stomach cramps…

It’s said that the maggots help with the fermentation of the cheese and provide added flavour. Apparently.

Similar to the French, Italians like snails also but there is just one slight difference. Italians prefer them to be raw. Cooked or uncooked snail, what would you choose?

Although raw snails and bug infested cheese are a thing, on the whole, the Italian’s did well. We wouldn’t cast them away just for a few bug infested meals, not while there is pizza in the world.

Portugal

Photo Credit: Ania Mendrek via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND

Despite being a renowned place to visit given it has produced legendary athletes and actresses alike, their cuisine isn’t very well known. Just like the others though, it has its fair share of tasty and not so tasty dishes.

Delicioso (Delicious)

Portugal has, like many other countries, experimented with its cuisines, some which have been highly successful.

Take for instance Bolo Do Caco, a dish that has a slight twist on garlic bread. Instead of a flat bread or ciabatta design, the Portuguese prefer to bake a large dome-shaped loaf. You can’t complain about that, the more the merrier when it comes to garlic bread, right?

What seems to be a key ingredient in many cuisines is cheese and the Portuguese are certainly in the mix. Oneidas De Sintra is a delicacy in which cheese is surrounded by egg pastry. Buttery pastry that’s rich in flavour. It’s the perfect snack or entrée.

Given the close proximity to the sea, Portugal have access to fresh fish, making fish quite the delicacy. Bolinhos De Bacalhau is a mixture of herbs, spices and fish that have been lightly battered to create a tasty fritter.

Bruto (Gross)

While there are many dishes that have been crafted with a mixture of fresh ingredients, there have been a few food experiments that shouldn’t have been attempted.

One of Portugal’s most famous and popular delicacies is Polvo a Lagareiro otherwise known as, octopus. Typically, a dish that is strangely enough (to us Brits) eaten on Christmas Eve. While it may be a dish that many may try, the squidgy yet chewy texture just seems a little off-putting.

Another dubious creation is the meat and bean stew, Feijoada Tramontana. Whilst that sounds pleasant enough, the meat in the stew is the remaining cuts of a pig. This usually includes knuckles, eyes, ears, snout and any other imaginable and gross leftovers.

Portugal’s interesting food combinations are certainly unique whether you find them tasty is another matter. But on the whole, Portuguese food has a good reputation for comfort food that is rich in flavour.

Spain

Photo via VisualHunt

Spain the country that introduced us to tapas. It’s a meal that effectively lets you choose different dishes when you’re tied between which meal to order. Their fiesta of spices and sauces have made revolutionary culinary advancements. Yet there are still some Spanish dishes which really shouldn’t have been created.

Delicioso (Delicious)

As mentioned above, one of Spain’s traditional menu items is tapas. There is a multitude of dishes that can be included in a tapas, many of which are filled with exquisite flavours.

Tapas is usually a choice of three smaller portioned dishes. They can include:

  • Patatas Bravas: Potatoes that are coated in a spicy tomato sauce.
  • Empanadas: Pastry filled with meat not too dissimilar to a British pasty.
  • Albóndigas: Saucy meatballs
  • Chorizo a la Sidra: Slow cooked chorizo sausage.

There are so many it’s hard to list them all but let’s just say, very few are let downs.

Further dishes and treats included Paella. A dish rich with rice and prawns infused with red sauce. Over the past few years, Paella has grown in popularity following the fish health kick.

And of course, let’s not forget the delectable taste of Churros. Sweet, fried batter smothered in sugar and coated in chocolate if desired.

Bruto (Gross)

Spanish food is somewhat a fine and treasured food producer, however, they still have their fair share of disturbing delicacies.

The main one being the blood sausage. For those who don’t know, a blood sausage is made up of the congealed blood of a hog. Which is then is cooked in lard and wrapped in a hogs intestine. Every part of the animal that should have been chucked is combined as one to create the blood sausage.

However, that not as bad as the disturbing dish, head cheese. The name is highly deceiving as this is not a dairy product. Head cheese is another pig infused dish that combines all aspects of its head. It’s often described as a meat jelly or terrine. The dish is that frowned upon that people believe it to be a myth, sadly it is not.

Spain has definitely been daring when it comes to their cuisine, some have worked and some sound like they shouldn’t. However, they are dishes that are highly rated by the Spanish nation. The question is, are you brave enough to try?

England

Photo credit: kadluba via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Brits aren’t just funny about what they eat when they’re abroad there are many English dishes that aren’t highly rated. Just like any country we have dishes that people would consider strange, unnatural and downright disgusting.

Then again we also have food that is part of British lifestyle. It’s the food that brings comfort on those cold, rainy days, so that’s every day really.

Delicious

One of the nation’s favourites is Fish n’ Chips. You’d be hard pushed to not find a chip shop in every corner of England. Naturally, the best chip shops reside at the seaside for that is where the best and fresh fish is.

Another tasty treat/meal that Brits go mad for are pasties. Imagine pastry filled with an assortment of meats, cheese, sausage, potato, you name it we’ve got it. In recent years there’s been some development on the pasty front with a multitude of wonderful flavours gracing pasty shops across the nations. Such as:

  • Sausage & Bean Melt
  • Chicken Tikka
  • Steak Bake
  • The Festive Bake (A Christmas Dinner in Pastry)
  • The Spicy One (Fajitas in Pastry? It’s a Limited Edition Often on Sale Near Halloween Time)

Delightful or not us Brits can’t get enough of them.

Whilst these are firm favourites there are many other home cooked delights such as cottage pie and bangers and mash. Plus the traditional roast dinner, a meal consisting of meat, veg, Yorkshire puddings and crispy roast potatoes.

Finally the dessert aisle. Apple pie, toffee sponge cake, custard and Victoria sponge cake, yum.

Oh, and of course the obsession with tea. Tea, tea, tea, tea. That’s what we’re really famous for and one we’re proud of.

Gross

While we have many delicious dishes there are quite a few unflattering foods.

Take, for instance, black pudding which is often served as part of the English breakfast. A breakfast that is made up of sausages, bacon, hash browns, beans, toast and black pudding. While the other ingredients sound appealing, the black pudding is actually made up of pork blood and ground up pork and beef bits. It’s an acquired taste that many avoid.

Then, of course, there is offal which appears in many British dishes. Offal is a mixture of animal organs that are added to thicken and add flavour to certain English dishes.

Further meals also include haggis which is derived from the sheep’s intestine. Typically this is a Scottish dish but it’s enjoyed by many all over the UK.

With a mixture of blood, organs and intestines, Britain is certainly guilty of having some disturbing culinary traits. Yet it’s balanced out by many culinary desires that are full of comfort and wholesome flavours.

Katie Hetherington, travel enthusiast on a quest to provide fun and informative articles. I’m always on the lookout for new places to visit, food to indulge in and for more holiday home articles, ideas and information follow Schofields on Twitter and Facebook.

Originally Posted On Medium