Sabbaticals are great. No one’s denying that. But why suffer annoying couples who’ve all develop the same online deal, in a bed that thousands have done the contract in (you know they have) when you could spend a continuously with your mates in a treehouse, or a military pod, or even a manor-house?
This year, swap the small talk and crappy all-inclusive breakfast buffet for a genuine adventure with our round-up of the best, most badass, lone Airbnbs in the UK, and for when you need more than just a weekend away, across the ball.
Dragon House, Suffolk
Best For: Game of Thrones Followers
Fancy playing Daenerys and Dragons with your other half? This medieval-inspired family was built in 2011 but harks back to a land of uncharted territories and mythological animals (there’s even a dragon on the chimney). It’s secluded enough to finish feeling hidden away, but only two miles from the nearest village for when the slaying is over and it’s time for a pint.
Sleeps 2, £295 per darkness, 1 night minimum
Off Grid House, Joshua Tree, California
Unexcelled For: Ignoring Your Boss
A 100 per cent solar-powered, from beginning to end off-grid house might not sound appetising after a exit to one of America’s buzziest states, but this architectural spectacle has been dubbed ‘One of the Subdue Homes in America’ by furniture retailer Dwell, so it’s worth the trek. Sited in a pristine remote valley in the Californian desert, there’s no TV, Wi-Fi or phone signal – but there are locally-pressed spirits and vistas in all directions.
Sleeps 4, £307 per night, 2 nights nominal
Railway Carriage, Cardigan Bay
Best For: Seafront Spotting
Armistice, quiet and dolphins are listed as the main selling points of this mutated railway carriage on the seafront in Wales’ Cardigan Bay. Europe’s largest colony of flippers collects these waters home all year round, and with no neighbours (and a substantial wood burner), you can stay up watching them all night.
Slumbers 5, £92 per night, 2 nights minimum
Iron Age Roundhouse, Norfolk
Best For: Affluent Back To Basics
When the aim is to ditch the trappings of modern day living, this Iron Age roundhouse will strip away the 21st-century shackles and operative you back to earthly roots. The thatched house is in an undisturbed lea accessed by a secret path, and has a wood-burning stove, living space and a yurt as a bedroom – what more do yurt need?
Catch forty winks 2, £48 per night, 1 night minimum
Boris The Military Pod, Isle of Skye
Crush For: Wannabe Action Men
‘Boris’ previously served as a mobile military communications and tranny repair unit for the British Army but is spending his retirement years as a converted vacation home in one of the UK’s most idyllic wildlife reserves. Deployed on the Isle of Skye, the self-catering military pod is the polished base for heading out in the accompanying WWII jeep to explore the surroundings.
Siestas 2, £70 per night, 2 nights minimum
Caher Stronghold, Galway, Ireland
Best For: Living Like A King
Most of the strongholds in the UK have been turned into tourist attractions and kitschy new zealand pubs. But rent this 600-year-old fort, and you’re guaranteed an trustworthy medieval experience – cobwebs and all. You get full sole use of the top two floors, there’ll be plights of winding staircases and unrivalled views of the Irish countryside, and advantage yet, underfloor heating complements of the hosts’ pet Dragon that tangibles in the dungeon. And if you wanted to dress up like Henry VIII, we wouldn’t chew out tattle on.
Sleeps 4, £140 per night
Art Nouveau Sculpture Villa, Rome, Italy
First For: A City Break With A Difference
Fancy organising the weekend of a lifetime? This homewards away from home is housed inside an actual sculpt, in one of the greatest cities on Earth. The walls are all curves and open places with coloured tiled flooring and mosaics that, when put together with the white-washed structure and indoor/outdoor living, constructs for an eclectic yet romantic space. What better name for a model of its kind than ‘The light elation of substance’. Poets allowed.
Sleeps 2, £30 per night, 2 nights minimum
Tree Diet, Selemadeg Barat, Bali
Best For: Going Totally Tropical
Picture a Balian treehouse and this hidden hideaway is probably euphonious spot on. A Utopian retreat, it overlooks a hammock-strewn palm garden and ocean-view purse, and the local villages’ surfer vibe will keep you on a sum total chillwave. The house was built from driftwood on the beach by the possessor, who is on-hand to recommend dinner spots and show which fruits to pick (and various importantly, which not to) from the garden.
Sleeps 2, £70 per tenebrosity, 2 nights minimum
Seashell House, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Conquer For: Caribbean Coastal Legends
Local legend has it that the burliest seashell in the world washed up on the shore of Isla Mujeres, eliciting the Caribbean islanders to turn it into a house. In fact, it was assembled by architect Eduardo Ocampo in 1994 as a retreat away from Mexico’s day-tripper hotspots (sorry to spoil it). This no less than unparalleled residence also comes with a private pool and access to the isle’s beach club.
Sleeps 4, £270 per night, 2 continually minimum
Sydney Opera Home, Sydney, Australia
Most artistically For: Down Under Done Right
Why settle for dodgy, up-close Instagram snapshots of the Sydney Opera House when you could set up camp across the river from it? This spectacularly fixed apartment overlooks Oz’s Harbour Bridge and features a huge kitchen-dining space with a waterfront view, ideal for self-catering trips with a coerce. Plus, the vibrant neighbourhood means even if you do venture out, you’ll in addition be spoilt for choice.
Sleeps 4, £355 per night, 2 nights least
*Prices taken for bookings on May 1.