There is something about the British that not only encourages eccentricity but positively embraces it. Not content with a standard apartment to spend our holidays, we Brits search for something with what is called a personality, a character, that makes holidays and weekend breaks uniquely different. We've come up with 5 holiday accommodations that are definitely unusual places to stay, and a couple which could be described as bizarre. And do you know something? They are normally fully booked throughout the year.
1. A Gypsy Caravan in Shropshire You don’t want to do subtle, do you? Of course not. If you are going to go away on a romantic break why not strut your stuff in what has been described by the Guardian as one of the most eccentric places to stay on holiday. A fully kitted out original 1950s gypsy caravan showing more chrome than a fleet of chevys and more bling than a rapper’s convention. There are full-on engraved mirrors and leather upholstery, where pink, purple, fluff and flounce are the order of the day.
2. Burgh Island Hotel, Devon This is not so much a coastal hotel as a destination in itself, and an opportunity to enjoy a highly unusual and unique weekend break in an island hotel that's cut off from the mainland at high tide. The Burgh Island Hotel can boast amongst its past guests Agatha Christie and Noel Coward; it's not part of any bland chain but a total one-off hotel that's perfect for an unusual and celebratory weekend break, especially if you are in a romantic mood. None of the rooms have televisions and you are positively ordered to dress in black tie for dinner.
3. A Tree House in Sussex If you and your partner are just big kids at heart and feel like bonding with nature and a bit of tree-hugging, this tree house holiday in Sussex is the ultimate love nest for a romantic few days or weekend break. You access your tree house by a rope bridge, natch, which ought to make the trip back from the local pub interesting.Once inside, it is surprisingly roomy with a king-sized double bed, a hot Monsoon shower, a large flat screen TV, where you can catch up on episodes of Animal Watch, and full state-of-the-art cooking facilities that Tarzan and Jane would have appreciated. Book early – it's popular!
4. A Prison in Oxford You might have stayed in a few hotels or B&Bs that felt like prison, but nothing compares to the authenticity of the Malmaison Oxford – a real-life clink (well, once anyway), that has been converted to a luxury hotel as part of the Malmaison chain, with long stretch cell doubles and queen size beds in the House of Correction. It has 95 super-slick rooms and rock-and-roll suites with super-fast broadband, rolltop baths and heavy drench showers where you can drop the soap with complete piece of mind. You can dine alone or with your fellow inmates, but this is hardly prison food. And if you fancy laying on a themed Shawshank Redemption style party – the Oxford Mal will be perfect for all your usual suspect friends.
5. The Gunton Arms, Norfolk If you like your pubs and hotels traditional with a warm glowing feel – comfy armchairs, a country atmosphere, roaring fire and a menu crammed with Cromer crab and venison – then the Gunton Arms will be right up your street. We are talking big hearty portions of home-cooked locally sourced produce with selections of deep rich wines, and the kind of lighting and ambience that encourages you to fill your face and then collapse on the nearest sofa with the papers. Situated in the one thousand acre deer park which surrounds Gunton Hall, near Cromer in Norfolk, it has 8 rooms, all very comfortably furnished, and is within striking distance of the coast and the Broads. But the location is what sets it apart, slap bang in the middle of a deer park that gives it a reassuring country estate feel. An interesting clientele too: nobby Londoners can rub shoulders with the locals and talk football and fashion while drinking decent beer before moving on to the restaurant's superb wine list. Indecently comfortable.