IT’S going to be the summer of the staycation for millions as lockdown lifts from next weekend.
With uncertainty still surrounding trips abroad, most people will be opting for a holiday at home. But a break in Britain need not be boring. Whether it’s peaceful seclusion or fun for the kids, there are plenty of quirky places to stay.
Here Mike Pickup chooses some of the wackiest places for summer and autumn trip.
Win or loos
IF it’s convenience you’re after, try the Wee Retreat – the clue is in the name.
This Victorian toilet block, right by the beach in Sheringham, Norfolk, has been converted into a modern, stylish, two-storey holiday home.
With incredible views out to sea and luxury fittings throughout, there is even underfloor heating for cooler evenings. See hostunusual.com.
Rail and hearty
YOU’LL be on the right track for peace and quiet if you stay at the Signal Box.
Dating back to 1900, it was originally the main signal box at nearby Wymondham station in Norfolk.
It was moved to its present idyllic location in 2000 and has been converted into a unique holiday home with stunning views from the first floor.
The nearby village of Melton Constable has a renowned butcher’s shop selling award-winning sausages, with over 20 flavours to choose from.
Coastal resorts nearby include Wells-next-the-Sea and Cromer. See coolstays.com.
Float your boat
PREFER a city break? You’d have difficulty beating the views of London’s Tower Bridge and the Shard from the amazing four-bedroom Harpy Houseboat.
Originally an Edwardian Customs & Excise pontoon office built in 1904, it is one of the largest houseboats on the Thames.
As well as boasting memorable views, the luxury accommodation includes Heal’s 1920s oak furniture, Egyptian linen and fibre-optic wi-fi, Sky Q TV and a Sonos sound system.
The Harpy has mains water, electricity and gas as well as landline telephones in each room connected to the security entryphone at the gate. See hostunusual.co.uk.
Sky's the limit
IF towers are your thing, then look no further than The Skyscraper in Woolverstone, Suffolk.
While not on a New York scale, the seven-storey structure is ideal for extended families. It can hold up to 18 guests and features an 80ft-high roof garden with great views.
The unique accommodation also offers a hot tub, games room and a theatre-style cinema.
Guests can also enjoy bike rides, wildlife spotting and afternoon strolls along the nearby River Orwell. See thebigdomain.com.
Shine a light
TRAVEL west and you’ll eventually come to the Lizard Lighthouse on the southern-most tip of mainland Britain.
The first lighthouse was built in 1619 but the two white towers that it is known for today were built more than 100 years later.
It subsequently became electrified, then fully automated in 1998.
The adjacent cottages offer guests fresh air by the bucketload and stunning sea views. The village of Lizard, with shops and a pub, is a short walk away. See cornwallhideaways.co.uk.
YOU’D have to be bonkers not to like Conkers.
Situated on a private conservation estate in mid-Wales and accommodating two people, these off-grid copper-coloured spheres are the latest in sustainable living.
The Red Kite Conkers, in Newbridge-on-Wye, Powys come with their very own private woodland and rolling hills to explore and each has its own terrace area, fire pit, toilet, shower and outdoor kitchen with stunning views.
A clever heating system means that they are a year-round destination. See coolstays.com.
Light my fire
NEED to keep the kids entertained? The Red Rescue Retreat Fire Truck, in the Lake District National Park, has an array of quirky features, including fire engine beds and a fireman’s pole.
Kids can dress up as firemen and play with the old hose. Outside there is decking and seating.
Unusual nearby attractions include Puzzling Place, a unique exhibition based on optical illusion, and the Derwent Pencil Museum, home to the world’s largest pencil. See holidaycottages.co.uk.
YOU can’t say farer than a double-decker bus for a unique place to stay.
Daisy Decker is situated in the Vale of York and makes a truly unique place to stay for up to three adults and two children.
The bus comes complete with a gas hob, electric oven, microwave, fridge/freezer and TV. Outside there is an enclosed garden and picnic area.
The nearby coastal town of Withernsea, East Yorks, has a lighthouse museum. See sykescottages.co.uk.
FANCY joining the jetset without having to leave the ground?
Then the Jetstar is the place for you.
The converted executive jet would have whisked nine passengers around the globe in cosseted luxury.
Today this 1970s-built aircraft offers basic accommodation for two adults and up to two children.
While the on-board facilities are limited and there is an outside kitchen area, there is a nearby shower block and other facilities on the campsite in Pembrokeshire.
Give it a whirlybird
EVEN if you’re not flying this year you can still get into the spirit of things by booking a stay in a Westland helicopter.
The cockpit comes complete with two seats, champagne holder and sound system.
The Galahad Helicopter on the Windmill Campersite in the Isle of Wight, has a mini-bedroom for one adult or two kids and another double bedroom attached.
The accommodation includes steel units, gas hob, triple sink, oven and fridge.
For more info, see windmillcampersite.com.
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