If you’re grumpy like me, then the thought of a mini-break in the UK conjures up images of bland budget hotels and the same tired old city destinations. Thankfully however, there are a whole host of intriguing alternatives dotted around the country, in the form of historical buildings and landmarks, renovated as fascinating, quirky hotels and guesthouses. So why not try something different and check out one of these unique British hotels?
The small Channel Island of Alderney is the setting for this 19th century coastal fortress, originally built as a deterrent to French naval forces. Joined to the land by a causeway which floods over during high tide, this fine and imposing structure provides the perfect base to explore this beautiful little island.
The Old Church of Urquhart
Set in stunning Scottish countryside near the small city of Elgin, this church, built in 1843, has been converted into a charming bed and breakfast. A superb spot for exploring the northern reaches of Scotland, The Old Church is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Staying in Scotland, Corsewall Lighthouse is perched proudly on the western tip of Stranraer, overlooking the Irish Sea. The lighthouse is an A-listed building, and houses a 4-star hotel. It’s well off the beaten track, and the real feeling of seclusion makes this unique hotel a special place to visit.
Gothic Temple at Stowe
Stowe landscaped gardens are said to be amongst the greatest in the world, and the Gothic Temple inside its grounds is fittingly striking as well. The Temple was built in 1741, and stands imposingly on a hill overlooking a lake. The rooms are all circular in shape, the inside providing as much of an architectural spectacle as the ornate walls of the exterior.
The Pineapple at Dunmore
Known as one of the most “bizarre buildings in Scotland”, The Pineapple at Dunmore is a folly situated in Dunmore Park, Falkirk. Its pineapple-shaped centrepiece is significant, as the building was originally used to grow pineapples, amongst other things. Still, it’s a striking structure and a stay at the luxury accommodations is a talking point all of its own.
As coastal destinations go, this has to be amongst the most unusual. Martello towers were constructed along Britain’s coastline during the Napoleonic War, and this one sits on top of the beach near Aldeburgh in Suffolk. The tower was designed to house four heavy guns, but has since been renovated into cosy living quarters protected from the harsh coastal elements.
Beckford’s Tower was the folly of William Beckford, an evidently eccentric novelist and art collector who built the tower on a whim in 1827. Standing 37 metres high, this intriguing structure near Bath provides outstanding views of the surrounding countryside and makes for a most unusual holiday home and base for exploring Bath and the south-west of England.