Tired of luxury hotels, budget chain inns, and dated bed and breakfasts? It’s time to shun the standard holiday accommodation and try something a little different
Whether you fancy chilling in a tree house, gazing at the stars, or living in a fairytale cottage, Airbnb has an amazing selection of quirky accommodation for you. From wagons and windmills to railway carriages and boats. Bonus – they’re all extremely affordable!
Here’s our top 10 pick of Airbnb’s best quirky properties:
We’ve stayed in hotels and motels, but never a Boatel! This unique holiday home, winner of Shed of the Year 2013, was built using recycled materials and sits on a Welsh mountainside, with views across lush green hills and the Snowdonian mountains. Those looking for luxury may want to avoid this one, but upcycling-appreciators and environmentalists will love a cosy stay here complete with wood burner, compost loo, and solar-powered shower. £45/night.
Sleep under the stars and wake up to the sound of birdsong in this glass-roofed cabin. Set in a quiet Devonshire valley and surrounded by rolling countryside with no street lamps in sight, the sky lights up on clear nights revealing a canopy of twinkling stars. Lay back and spot shooting stars and constellations while enjoying the peace and quiet of the rural setting. £30/night
All aboard! Perched on a disused railway line, this train carriage has been converted to combine old and new. Original heavy wooden doors separate the carriage compartments, but the bedrooms and living area have been built with modern touches, and the end result is a cosy and stylish glamping set up. This is the perfect spot for getting off the grid and enjoying quality time with friends and family. £91/night
Step inside the teardrop-shaped door of this fairytale cabin and you’ll be transported into a world of princesses, trolls, fairies, and wizards. With chocolate box windows and furniture made from tree branches, this is a real-life gingerbread house. The bed is adorned with a draped fabric canopy and fairy lights, so you can sleep like a Queen. All in all it’s a cosy and idyllic spot for a peaceful getaway. £100/night
This traditional Romany gypsy wagon will take you back to childhood memories of the fairground. Bright and colourful, this green wagon sits beautifully among hedgerows and greenery, with sweeping views across the Cornish countryside. Inside the wagon is a bright cacophony of patterned furniture, ceiling, and upholstery. Pop some logs in the wood burner and enjoy the feeling of freedom that comes with living in a portable home. £75/night
Restored in keeping with its original character, this converted windmill has real wow-factor. Enormous wooden beams span each of the four floors, and the original upright shaft, giant spur wheel, and sack hoist have all been kept in place. With an enormous modern bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom, and a wrap-around balcony with outdoor seating and beautiful views, this is the perfect place for a luxurious, romantic retreat. £175/night
Sat on the edge of a pond, this little fairy house at the bottom of the garden is the definition of picturesque. Bright and airy thanks to its roof lights and large windows, this hexagonal cabin is a calming and idyllic spot for winding down and enjoying the fresh country air. The duck egg and grey furnishings reflect the surroundings beautifully, and the lily pads, reeds and lavender in the garden make this spot a real haven. £72/night
Perched in an ash tree with sweeping sea and countryside views, this magnificent tree house evokes imagery of an enchanted forest. Built with care and craftsmanship, the cabin blends perfectly with its surroundings, and the interior has been designed in keeping with this look. Ascend the wooden staircase and enter a cosy wooden abode, combining tree trunks with crafty woodwork, fairy lights, and colourful furnishings. £100/night
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Hand-built using local chestnut and recycled palettes, this circular studio has a certain Hobbiton charm to it. Surrounded by trees and fields and overlooking open countryside, this is a cosy yet spacious holiday home perfect for couples looking for a rustic retreat. £80/night
If you’re going away as a big group, push the boat out and opt for this historic regal setting. The 12th Century Dairsie Castle sits on six acres of land in the heart of Scotland and has been restored to its original medieval character, complete with vaulted ceilings, spiral staircases, and original artworks and antiques. It sleeps up to 13 people, and even has a bedroom in the dungeon for the less welcome guests… £550/night
Who could possibly go back to choosing an average hotel room after seeing these?