Five unusual UK holidays

Looking for something different that doesn’t involve travelling abroad? Chris Carter has some ideas

Bond Island Windmill

007’s hideaway on the Norfolk Broads

Bond Island Windmill, a 300-year-old converted windmill in Norfolk that was once owned by James Bond actor Roger Moore, is newly available to rent for holidays, says Roshina Jowaheer for Esquire magazine. It offers panoramic views over the Norfolk Broads, fishing off the private mooring, and outdoor dining spaces, plus a bar. Inside, historic features are combined with modern comforts, and the furnishings reflect both the local area and film theme, with “splashes of 007 here and there”. All in all, “if you’re looking for a place to celebrate an occasion, this one has everything you need for a memorable get-together”.

From £1,525 for three nights,

A wildlife safari in Somerset

The Hide Roundhouse

(Image credit: The Hide Roundhouse)

With South Africa out of bounds for now, those looking for a stay on the wild side should head to Somerset instead, says Isabella Mackay in the Evening Standard. The Hide Roundhouse “mimics a luxury safari lodge… set on an organic farm surrounded by wildlife”. There’s a firepit for the evenings and a private outdoor bath-house that’s perfect for al fresco bathing. “Inside, there’s an open plan living space with double bed, fully equipped kitchen and luxury en-suite bathroom with clawfoot bath and large rain-head shower.”

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From £127,

Getaway from it all on a double-decker bus

Daisy Decker glamping bus

(Image credit: Daisy Decker glamping bus)

The Daisy Decker Bus, parked in the Hollym Holiday Park, near Withernsea in East Yorkshire, is “fun and different – especially if you have children”, says Jessica Lindsay in Metro. It has been fully converted into a two-bedroom holiday home, “surrounded by its own private garden and beautiful views of the countryside”. Even so, it still retains several of its original bus features, despite having been kitted out with all the modern amenities you could need. The ground floor is open plan with a fully equipped kitchen and cosy living area with a gas fire. Two bedrooms are at the top of the winding stairs, while outside, a “stylish wooden deck” wraps around the front of the bus. After months spent in our homes, “a unique getaway on a bus might be the right change of scenery”.

From £579 for two nights,

Get up close and personal with tigers and giraffes in Kent

Guests at Port Lympne Safari Park in Kent “will often wake up to a tiger rubbing its face against their window or a giraffe resting its nose on their balcony”, says Marianna Hunt in Spectator Life. But amenities aren’t the only consideration when choosing whether to sleep in a glamping tent, wigwam, shepherd’s hut or, coming soon, Giraffe Hall. You also need to “choose your favourite animal to decide which enclosure to sleep alongside”. Rest assured, “the tents and the tigers are kept far apart”. Guests also have access to the 600-acre park, which you can explore with a golf buggy. The giraffe lodge glamping package for two costs from £445 per night and includes welcome drinks, an African-inspired dinner cooked over an open fire pit and a full English breakfast. “All meals are enjoyed with views of the giraffes, zebras and rhinos taking their own refreshment at the watering hole.” And it’s all for a good cause. As Port Lympne is a charity, the proceeds help to fund conservation projects abroad.


Bilbo’s Scottish retreat

Hobbit Hideaway in Moray, Scotland

(Image credit: Hobbit Hideaway in Moray, Scotland)

“If you’ve ever wanted to experience life as a hobbit, this is your chance,” says Hannah Hopkins in The Sun. The purpose-built Hobbit Hideaway in Moray, Scotland, is an eco-home made from straw bales, round-wood, stone, earth and clay. “With its spiral roof and ramshackle interiors, it has bags of charm and things to entertain, including free unlimited Wi-Fi, a JVC bluetooth speaker, and a large selection of books and games.” Burnishing its socially responsible credentials, the hideaway provides guests with Fairtrade beverages, and reusable cups, bottles and bags. They can even “help themselves to the herbs, fruit and vegetables from the garden, where they can also dine al fresco using the barbecue and cosy up at the firepit”.

From £29 per person per night,

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.