Many of us will or are going to spend our annual holidays abroad in the guaranteed sunshine. But you could be missing so much of our own British charm. Our Discover Britain series will bring to you the unique and wonderful discoveries around the UK, and aim to show you that our isles have so much to offer.
In our first article, we have selected the weird and wonderful hotels across the UK that can make your holiday or short break that little bit different. From the luxurious and glamourous to the wacky and once-in-a-lifetime establishments, there is something for everyone.
Crazy Bear Hotel, Beaconsfield
Crazy Bear Beaconsfield offers its visitors the finest quality and comfort, in a unique and luxurious surroundings.
The hotel is a converted 15th century coach house set in Buckinghamshire and has a choice of twenty five unique bedrooms all decorated in a gaudy and gothic style. Comfort is of the optimum importance with fluffy towels, robes and pillows as a standard.
The hotel has two restaurants, a Thai and English and a bar on site. There is also a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and Thai massaging service available to hotel guests exclusively and a terrace to enjoy the last of the British sunshine.
The Crazy Bear Group was founded in 1993 and aims to stand out against the everyday, plain hotels. It now operates bars, restaurants, and a farm and farm shop. Crazy Bear Beaconsfield has also won the Condé Nast’s Hot List for The Best New Hotels in the World accolade.
Cley Windmill, Holt
Cley Windmill is just that – a windmill! Nestled in the Norfolk countryside, Cley Windmill is a truly unique experience. They offer both bed and breakfast or self-catering services and have a selection of modern bedrooms.
The Stone Room and the Wheel Room offer views from the highest point in the windmill. Recently refurbished, these are the newest rooms in the house and are full of character. The original Dovecote has also been restored into a small cottage with its own front door.
The Mill itself was built during the 19th century and spans over five storeys. It has been fully refurbished and even has on-site dining, cooking traditional English food.
The House in the Sea, Newquay
The House in the Sea is a perfect venue to get away from all the stresses of day to day life. Located right on the beach in Newquay, on its own private island, it can only be reached via a bridge.
Despite its secluded location, the house has everything you could need in a cosy and neutral setting. The cottage comes complete with WiFi, a wide screen TV, a billiards table and a fully stocked bar.
There is also plenty to do in the surrounding area – Padstow and Truro are just a short car journey away and there are lots of restaurants and cafes to please everyone.
The Old Railway Station, Petworth
Ever wanted to spend the night on the railway? Well now you can with the Old Railway Station!
The hotel, as the name suggests, was once the Petworth Railway Station and holds many of its original features to this day. The old station waiting room has been transformed into a luxury guest lounge, with comfortable Chesterfield sofas, dining tables and soft lighting.
The hotel offers guests the chance to stay in fully restored Edwardian Pullman railway carriages. Each carriage has an en-suite bathroom, a flat screen TV and WiFi.
The old platform is now used as a terrace for guest to enjoy breakfast in the sunshine. During the winter month’s breakfast is served in the booking hall, kept warm and cosy by a log fire.
Cleveley Mere treehouse, Lancashire
Staying at the Cleveley Mere treehouse is an unforgettable experience. The unique treehouse is set in peaceful woods and is accessed by a rope bridge. It has a deck for sunbathing and even its own pier and private harbour.
The treehouse itself has been designed to the highest standard, with modern décor and sleek technology. It is perfect for a large group or family as the treehouse is stocked with games consoles, a modern TV and a huge kitchen and diner.
Included in the package is use of boats, bicycles, pedalos and canoes; a fire pit; and a crazy golf course. The house featured on the television programme, Grand Designs so you know that this will be the height of sleek and sophistication.