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

With its clifftop paths, azure coasts and moorland-roaming wild ponies, the south-west is home to some of Britain’s best-loved countryside. 

Devon

Balebarn Lodge, Wheatland Farm's Devon Eco Lodges

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 dream of jumping 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 2021 Pledge For Nature Award, 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, Mallinson's Woodland Retreat 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.

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Crafty Camping

South-east England

With lush countryside, charming towns and captivating coastlines, south-east England is rich with memorable beauty spots for your travel list.

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, ideal for a dream getaway.

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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 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

Home to five National Parks, northern England is bursting with rural adventures and peppered with dramatic views, tranquil lakes and picturesque villages.

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. Humble Bee Farm is home to premium Wigwam Lodges that comfortably accommodate a group of six and come complete with hot tubs and private patios. 2021 will also see a new ‘Hive’ shop added to the site, complete with barista coffee machine and pizzeria.

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, after a day of nature-inspired activities, such as den building, bushcraft and wild cooking workshops.

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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 nearby hikes for outdoor adventures.

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The Quiet Site

Scotland

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.

The Highlands

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

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, 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.

For a luxurious off-grid getaway, Alladale Wilderness Reserve’s lodges are set in 23,000 acres of ancient Caledonian pine forest. Choose from the private Victorian manor house, complete with sauna, house chef and snooker room, or remote catered and self-catering lodges, tucked away deep in the reserve. Future guests will also be giving back to the surrounding forest and wildlife as a percentage of the accommodation revenue goes to its partner, The European Nature Trust.

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Eagle Brae

Wales

Whether you are longing for mountains, rolling hills or secluded beaches, the Welsh landscape is laden with dream-worthy natural beauty away from the crowds.

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 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. A delightfully converted milking barn for two located 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. Another tempting addition is The River Perch, a new two-bedroomed converted Victorian tannery, alongside a soothing babbling brook. Dream of long evenings in the private courtyard garden, warming your toes by the log burner and kicking back on the mezzanine, complete with riverside 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.

2020 saw the addition of the Cynefin renovated railway wagon for two, tucked away in its own quiet part of the farm, and sporting many touches such as a snug wood burning stove, en-suite, and outdoor bath topped off with stunning views across the valleys below.

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The Dairy Shed

Restrictions on travel to and around Britain are in place due to Covid-19. You are encouraged to always check individual attraction websites for the latest information, as details are subject to change.

26 Oct 2021(last updated)