The shortlist for the UK's 'Top Treehouse' has been announced - and the competition is tight.
From canopy-grazing observatories, to homely dens nestled among the lower branches, each treehouse showcases a different design and budget and will make you want to move out of your home to live in the tree immediately.
The competition was launched after research showed that over half of children in the UK would rather have a treehouse than a games console. Families from around the UK were urged to share their weird and wonderful treehouse creations on social media to mark the arrival of four brand new treehouses at Center Parcs in Suffolk.
The winning treehouse will win their family a short break in one of the luxury treehouses at Center Parcs. The panel of judges includes the adventurer and wildlife presenter, Steve Backshall, Center Parcs' ‘Chief Treehouse Builder', Tom Courtney and CEO of Center Parcs, Martin Dalby.
Steve said: ‘I've loved seeing all the entries flood in from around the country. It's amazing to see how creative families have been when building their treehouses - showing you don't need to have huge budgets or gardens to produce something great. It's going to be tough deciding who will take the title as it's such a strong shortlist.'
The finalists are:
The Moran family, Basildon, Essex
Painted in a beautiful light blue, this treehouse only took two weeks for the Moran family to build. It was a team effort, with the children, Izzy and Jake, helping to hammer in the nails. It is used as a play den, sleepover room and wildlife observatory. It even has a trap-door so that you can escape through the floor.
The Brown family, North Newington, Oxfordshire
This masterpiece was the team effort of an F1 engineer, Nick Brown, his wife and his son, William, 9. It features a slide for speedy exits and a cargo net for William to scale the tree like Spiderman.
Designed with William as the focus, it is the site for many toy-gun fights and sleepovers on starry nights.
The Alcorn family, West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire
Boasting a slide, large balcony and 180º view of the garden, this treehouse is enjoyed by all of the family, including 10-month-old Arlo and Granny Pamela. It was created by Ian Alcorn and a team of assistants - his two children and nephews.
The Jones family, Ellesmere, Cheshire
Also enjoyed by all the family, the Jones' treehouse was a project that Charlie, 7, and Holly, 3, worked on with their grandfather, Martin. It took three weeks to build and they spend all hours of the day playing and relaxing inside. Each family member also has their name engraved onto the floor of the house, which is quickly running out of space as the family continues to grow.
The Jennings family, Taverham, Norwich
It all started when Ruby thought she saw a fairy in the garden after reading ‘The Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton with her family at bedtime. Over the next two months, Ruby and her father worked hard to build a treehouse fit for a fairy.
Izod family, Grantham, Lincolnshire
Built by dad, Paul, and his three children, Jasmine, 9, Reuben, 6 and Caitlin, 3, this two-storey extravaganza has a super-slide and is furnished with blankets and pillows for cosy sleepovers.
Hardman family, Thornham Magna, Suffolk
Built by Ryan and his two boys, Charlie, 8 and Teddy, 4, in just four months, this treehouse has a trap-door, only accessible by a climbing net and windows to look out for wildlife or for spying on their parents.
The Hall family, Tiptree, Essex
This treehouse has been in the Hall family for two generations. Charlotte Hall originally built it in 1995 with the help of her grandfather, Brian and cousin Jarod, using only recycled materials. And it has stood the test of time, with its current owner being Charlotte's one-year-old daughter, Elsie.
The Carroll family, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Who said treehouses are just for kids? John and Karen decided to build this work of art after they purchased the book ‘How to Build a Treehouse'. And it's nice enough to live in, with a stained-glass front door, mezzanine floor and artificial grass carpet. It's even encouraged his daughters to spend more time outdoors - prooving the research to be true.
When choosing the shortlist, Tom said: ‘There have been some great creations which not only look great but also say a lot about the families who have worked hard to make them. I've been really impressed with the attention to detail like the roofing materials, decorations, access ideas, windows and other little touches. A lot of love has gone into these, you can tell.'
Entries can be viewed on twitter using the hashtag #UKTopTreehouse and on Center Parcs UK Facebook page. The winner will be announced over the next couple of weeks.
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Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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