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Image of Spitbank Fort
22 Jun

Unusual Places to Stay in the UK

Fancy a UK staycation with a bit of a difference? Check out this list of unusual places to stay in the UK – Britain’s quirkiest hotels and places to stay…

Spitbank Fort, Portsmouth
A circular Victorian fort in the middle of the sea, Spitbank Fort can only be reached by a 15 minute boat ride from Portsmouth harbour. The interior is a living museum, with naval memorabilia and old letters scattered around the cosy vintage bar, while contemporary and luxury touches abound. There’s even a hot tub on the roof of the fort – perfect for a night under the stars.

Oxford Malmaison Hotel
Channel your inner Shawshank with a stay at the Oxford Malmaison Hotel, a converted prison within a medieval castle. Situated in the Castle Quarter of the city, this sophisticated hotel blends modern interior design with a real piece of British history. The corridors retain a seriously Alcatraz feel, but the 19th century cells have been combined and turned into elegant and plush bedrooms.

Appleton Water Tower, Norfolk
The Appleton Water Tower was constructed in the late 19th century to provide a clean and reliable water supply for the royal Sandringham Estate. Recently renovated by a group of ambitious hoteliers the tower is now one of the UK’s quirkiest places to stay – and the views are exceptional!

The Pineapple, Dunmore
Winning the award for weirdest-looking property on this list is The Pineapple, an 18th century summer house built in the Scottish countryside outside of Dunmore. Built by the 4th Earl of Dumore as a gift for his new wife, the small but stately home is topped by an enormous stone pineapple!

Clytha Castle, Monmouthshire
There are plenty of castles you can stay in around the UK, but Clytha Castle in Wales is easily one of the most attractive. It’s a beautiful Gothic retreat, complete with circular turrets, sweeping grounds and high arched windows. Better still, Clytha Castle can be rented as a whole, so you can enjoy your very own private castle.

Cley Windmill, Holt
One of England’s most photographed buildings, Cley Windmill is an iconic site on the Norfolk coast. It’s also an adorably cosy little B&B which has been welcoming guests since 1921. Unlike many mill stays, you can actually stay inside the converted windmill tower, where there are three rooms.

Crazy Bear, Buckinghamshire
From the outside it’s a bog-standard hotel on a perfectly ordinary street in Beaconsfield. Inside, Crazy Bear is one of the country’s most eccentric and lavishly decorated hotels. Think fur-lined ceilings, a gold-leaf painted staircase and a velvet-clad bedroom reminiscent of a vampire’s coffin. It’s all fabulously flamboyant and utterly odd –  the kind of place you could imagine Dr. Frank-N-Furter taking a holiday.

The Ruin, Grewelthorpe
Last but not least, we have The Ruin; a bizarre little 18th century pavilion built to resemble Robert Adam’s watercolour Design for a Roman Ruin. The Ruin was built as a tiny banqueting house within the Aislabies’ famous Hackfall Gardens and was used to surprise and impress guests, which it still does to this day, having been lovingly restored into a beautiful holiday home with stunning views.