The Prime Minister’s plan to ease the nation out of lockdown means that Brits may be able to holiday within the UK from April 12. While this relaxation of the rules is subject to certain criteria being met – including the smooth rollout of the vaccine and no surge in Covid-related cases – many of us are looking forward to staying away from home and enjoying a UK break.
However, the rules will only apply to self-contained accommodation – if you want to stay in a B&B or hotel then you’ll need to wait until at least May 11 for your getaway. But if you can’t wait that long, here’s our pick of the best self-contained holiday accommodation in the UK that offer something a little unusual to make your well-earned break feel extra-special:
Live like royalty and stay in a castle
Built-in 1536, Lochhouse Tower is nestled in the rolling hills of the Dumfriesshire countryside. While it is just a short stroll from the tourist town of Moffat, the castle boasts scenic views of the Scottish Border region and comes complete with its very own private loch!
The tower sleeps a family of six in three bedrooms, and while it is almost 500 years old, it provides all the modern luxuries you’ll need for a relaxing break. The vaulted kitchen in the basement of the castle is fully equipped, and the impressive lounge on the first floor is home to a 60” TV and open fire for those chilly April nights.
The area is a mecca for anyone with a love of the great outdoors and is located near many historic sites of interest including Robert The Bruce’s caves and Hadrian’s Wall. After a busy day exploring Scotland’s rugged natural landscape, visitors can retire to the castle and relax in their private hot tub.
A week in a watermill
This Grade II listed self-catering watermill dates back to the 13th century and is steeped in history, retaining many of its original features including wooden beams and exposed stonework.
The Watermill is family-friendly and has five bedrooms (four double and one single), making it ideal for the larger family to enjoy. The mill is located in the village of Tickhill, where the remains of a castle can be explored and also home to a variety of shops and restaurants.
Inside the property, there are two sitting rooms, both with Freeview TVs and one with an open fireplace, plus a study and a light, airy sunroom.
There is a decked area with patio furniture outside the property where the water flows below with views over a nearby duck pond, ideal for al fresco dining if the weather is kind.
Couples retreat in a treehouse
For a unique romantic getaway, couples need to look no further than Cadwollens Treehouse, situated in a picturesque Welsh valley in Powys,
The luxury treehouse is designed for two with a king-size bed on a mezzanine floor and large windows that open onto spectacular views of the Elan Valley. The valley offers plenty of walking trails and a magnificent Victorian dam and reservoir system to explore.
The highlights of this amazing treehouse include a luxurious copper bathtub that is big enough for two, plus a hammock and firepit for cosy evenings outdoors toasting marshmallows. There is also a decked area that extends from the treehouse where couples can relax in a large hot tub.
Enjoy a Dutch Barge break
Twee Gebroeders is a luxury, refurbished Dutch Barge that is moored on the River Deben in the town of Woodbridge, Suffolk. It provides an ideal setting for a boating holiday with two cabins, one of which has a TV and PlayStation to keep the little (and big!) children amused, plus a galley with a range cooker.
The barge has a large rear cockpit that seats six, and a side deck that is an ideal place to set up a fishing rod or spot the huge range of wading birds that frequent the riverbank.
For a real holiday adventure, you can enjoy a skippered river trip on your floating home before returning to the quayside to watch sailing yachts and barges drift lazily past your porthole. Lucky visitors may even spot the occasional seal popping up out of the river to say hello!
Just a short stroll along the riverbank there are a variety of independent shops, a model boating lake and even a working windmill to enjoy.
Twee Gebroeders welcomes every guest to her cosy cabins with a bottle of champagne and a box of handmade Suffolk chocolates to get the holiday off to a great start.
An eco-friendly holiday pod
The Sunridge Eco-Pod, close to the Devonshire coast, is a sustainable bolthole for those who want to get back to nature. The pod is compact but provides all the luxuries a couple need – including a well-equipped kitchen, a 3D TV, PlayStation 4 and underfloor heating for those chilly spring mornings.
Located amongst manicured lawns and cedar trees, visitors will be forgiven for thinking they are staying in a secluded location, but the town of Yealmpton is just mere minutes away. Explore the local shops and characterful streets before enjoying a pint of local Scrumpy and a traditional Devonshire cream tea.
Beach-lovers can explore miles of golden sands, secret caves and rugged cliffs before heading back to the pod for a relaxing soak in the hot tub under the starlit sky.
Check the latest Covid-updates before booking your break
We’re optimistic that Brits will be able to enjoy a staycation in the UK from April 12, but it’s always worth checking at the time of booking if your holiday is refundable should the dates of the lockdown restrictions ending change. All the latest details are available on the government’s website.