Get back to nature: Accommodation off the beaten track

From thatched cottages with toasty open fires to cosy eco-lodges complete with wooden sauna and epic views, Britain is home to plenty of places to enjoy time off the beaten track. Covering the mindful to the utterly luxurious, here is a taste of the cottages, barns, eco lodges and unique glamping options in Britain, ready to inspire a dream-worthy rural getaway.

South-west England

Devon

Balebarn Lodge, Wheatland Farm's Devon Eco Lodges

You can look forward to letting your stresses melt away at Longlands luxury glamping site, open since July 2020. Mixing luxury with simple living, Longlands offers a secluded slice of glamping heaven in their inviting safari lodges, designed with a rustic chic décor. This rural haven is complete with log burners and a hot tub with a sea view if you’re yearning for unspoilt relaxation. Once fully recharged, you can jump into nearby activities such as surfing, hiking or horse riding.

Staying in Devon, you can plan time to switch-off at Wheatland Farm’s eco lodges, which hold a Silver Award for Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism in Devon for 2019 and the Bronze award for the whole south-west region in 2019/2020. With only five lodges spread across 21 acres of glorious meadows, you can reconnect with nature by day and relax in your private eco lodge with hot tub by night.

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Wheatland Farm and eco-lodges

Dorset

Crafty Camping, wooden structure, Dorset.

Moving east along the south coast of England, Dorset offers another sweet spot if you’re longing to explore Britain’s countryside. Each with their own distinct areas, Guy Mallinson’s Crafty Camping and the Woodman’s Treehouse offers stunning luxury glamping options surrounded by unspoilt natural beauty – a tempting location to soak up the fresh air. Indulge your quirky side as you plan a stay in the Woodman’s Treehouse, which has featured in architecture television shows such as George Clarke's Amazing Spaces and Grand Design's House of the Year. Let everyday worries melt away underneath the open-air tree shower, in the private sauna and hot tub, or when exploring the 10-acres of private woodland. The treehouse’s unique design even incorporates a ‘floor window’, allowing you to watch the mesmerising stream below. This site also offers a range of stunning adult-only glamping options, all of which have been reopened with new safety restrictions in place.

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Crafty Camping

South-east England

Kent

If you want to taste the charm of Britain’s pastoral southeast, you can plan a stay at Gravel Pit Farm in Kent, a county known as the ‘Garden of England’. It combines open green spaces, campfires, and a top-notch spot for star gazing with luxuriously soft king-sized beds, wood-burning stoves and en-suite bathrooms. Their safari tents mix the meditative effect of nature with stress-busting luxury, and holds the We’re Good To Go standard and supporting mark.

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Gravel Pit Farm

Worcestershire

With a thatched roof atop a delicate stone exterior, Field Cottage & Annexe in Worcestershire offers the chance for a traditional British stay in the countryside. Nestled in the slope of Bredon Hill in the Vale of Evesham, this quaint cottage is ideally placed for day-long hikes or cycle rides through lush countryside followed by restful evenings curled up next to the wood-burning stove. This property’s location, under an hour’s drive from Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon, will also enamour you if you’re a fan of English literature.

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Elmley Castle

Isle of Wight

If you’re dreaming of a quiet, coastal getaway you should plan to cross the two miles from the south coast of England to the Isle of Wight, where a stylish eco-friendly break awaits. Featuring strong Scandinavian designs, Tiny Homes Holidays offer an ‘off-grid’ break with the recently reopened bijoux homes set in a wildflower meadow, a stone’s throw from Pankhurst Forest. Here a mindful, slower-paced atmosphere prevails – you can even arrive by ferry for a truly stress-free retreat.

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Tiny Homes Holidays

Sussex

Planning a stay at Blackberry Wood, an imagination-expanding quirky glamping site in the heart of Sussex, will satisfy those longing for a uniquely quirky rural break. Dream of drifting off to sleep inside a refurbished London bus, fire engine, ‘curvy cabin’ or one of their two fairy tale-worthy ‘Higgledy’ treehouses. To top off this fun-filled glamping experience, you can look forward to tucking into delicious pizza and Thai food available on site.

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Blackberry Wood

Northern England

Yorkshire

A haven of serenity, North Yorkshire’s Humble Bee Farm offers a tempting selection of family-friendly glamping, including cosy self-catering cottages, bell tents, nomadic yurts and deluxe Wigwam cabins with wood-fire hot tubs. If you want to take your little ones on an outdoor adventure that will live long in their memory, you can plan to collect eggs on the farm, explore nature trails then settle in for the evening beside a crackling campfire. New for 2020, Humble Bee Farm is now home to brand new premium Wigwam Lodges that comfortably accommodate a group of six and come complete with hot tubs and private patios. The accommodation also holds the We’re Good To Go standard and supporting mark.

Staying in glorious Yorkshire, the recently reopened Camp Katur covers every kind of glamping, from futuristic geodomes and unidomes to cosy cabins, safari tents, bell tents and teepees, all nestled in a 250-acre woodland estate. You can look forward to de-stressing in your outdoor hot tub and sauna, whilst those hoping to visit in the autumn can discover their Yoga, Paddleboarding and Forest Bathing weekends. Camp Katur also offers range of deals, from 15% discount to a free eco spa session for midweek stays.

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Humble Bee Farm

Cumbria

Cabin at The Quiet Site, Cumbria.

With its Hobbit holes, bell tents, camping pods and glamping cabins, The Quiet Site in Cumbria offers a fantastic selection of tempting glamping options in the heart of the Lake District National Park. This eco-friendly oasis is ideal if you’re longing for a spot of nature-fuelled rejuvenation, as the site is located in idyllic Ullswater, with numerous near-by hikes for outdoor adventures. The multi-award winning campsite reopened in July 2020 and holds the We’re Good To Go standard and supporting mark.

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The Quiet Site

Scotland

The Highlands

Eagle Brae, luxury self-catering log cabins, eco lodges powered by renewable energy. Small buildings in an open space, around a lake.

From its tranquil lochs to the serenity of the Highlands, Scotland is an ideal break if you’re pining for that therapeutic ‘middle of nowhere’ feeling.

If you long to be tucked away in a remote log cabin, you can dream of staying at Eagle Brae, the ‘rugged-luxe log village resort’ on an isolated Highland hillside, now open under new safety regulations. Experience five-star luxury whilst surrounded by 8,000 acres of unspoilt Scottish scenery. When not exploring the area, you can enjoy cosy evenings inside the cedar wood log cabin and savour breakfasts on the balcony with a view.

Fancy getting away from the crowds in a minimalist sanctuary surrounded by breathtaking landscapes? Leachachan Barn offers both in abundance. Renovated to perfection and reopen since July 2020, the stunning interior is matched by the dramatic scenery of lochs and mountains that encase it. Located alongside the shores of Loch Duich in the western Highlands, it was once used as a byre for working horses. Dream of letting everyday worries disappear in this stunningly modern retreat, losing yourself as you gaze out onto the Scottish scenery whilst cosying up beside the log burner.

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Eagle Brae

Wales

Snowdonia

Hidden deep in 1,300 acres of meadow and woodland at the southern end of Snowdonia, Eco Retreats offers a dream getaway if you’re yearning to be soothed by the stillness of nature. Spread over 50 acres, the site reopened in July 2020 and features just three tipis and two yurts, allowing you to enjoy the morning mist, outdoor wood-fire bath and accompanying birdsong in tranquil bliss.

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Eco Retreats

Cardigan Bay

Dreaming of a rustic retreat in the charming Welsh countryside? Look no further than the Dairy Shed, set to welcome guests from August 2020. A delightfully converted milking barn for two just outside of the Georgian harbour town of Aberaeron on Cardigan Bay, the Dairy Shed offers a private, rustic space complete with original stone walls, log burner, outside decking and miles of uninterrupted views.

Said to be the home of ‘campfires and cwtches’ (the Welsh word for cuddles), Under the Oak glamping is ideal if you’re yearning for some quality time with loved ones, enveloped by the comforting peacefulness of nature.  Offering a luxe glamping experience, their safari tents come with veranda and alfresco dining areas, fire pits and a private wooden hot tub.

Brand new for 2020 is a the Cynefin renovated railway wagon for two, tucked away in its own quiet part of the farm, sporting many touches such as snug wood burning stove, en-suite, and outdoor bath topped off with stunning views across the valleys below. This site also holds the We’re Good To Go safety mark, and has been re-welcoming guests since 11 July 2020.

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The Dairy Shed
14 Sep 2020(last updated)