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March 2018 / Travel / by Liz Skone James

The ultimate UK escapes

If out of the ordinary is your thing, you’ll approve of Unique Home Stays, whose passion lies in introducing new experiences and destinations to the most seasoned of travellers. All of their holiday rentals combine exceptional living spaces with breathtaking settings, here they select five of their favourites

Unique Stays Florin, Llanarth

1. Family friendly, Florin, Llanarth

Gather the generations in this gorgeous seven-bedroom stately home, boasting beautifully appointed country house interiors. While the inside is lovely, the jewel in Florin’s crown is undoubtedly the five acres of stunning gardens, which feature ornate fountains, secret pathways and a hidden treehouse. Best of all is the stunning glass-fronted garden house, complete with woodburner, television, pizza oven, stone barbecue, fridge, wine cooler, hanging chair and rustic benches.

Unique Stays Sea Sentry, Shaldon

2. Solo escape, Sea Sentry, Shaldon

This tiny WW2 guardhouse sat empty for decades, a home to nothing but nesting seabirds, until its current owners fell for its charms. Having brought it bang into the 21st century with an armoury of mod cons, their ingenious redesign saw it feature on a recent episode of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. If you’re flying solo, there’s no better place to hunker down for a weekend of peace and tranquility.

Unique Stays Bohème, Stawley

3. Party pad, Bohème, Stawley

This 16th century former cider press blends original character features with exceptional interior design in the most fashionable modern-rustic manner, all wrapped up in 100 acres of pastoral paradise. And with 10 king-size bedrooms, a vast kitchen featuring three ovens and seven hobs, a pool and a cinema room, there are few better spots to gather all of your mates and host the party to end all parties.

Unique Stays Sojourn, Drewsteignton

4. Romantic retreat, Sojourn, Drewsteignton

Nestled in the wilds of rugged Dartmoor, this postcard-perfect English country cottage has been lavishly finished and features its own private spa room. Spend your days rambling the honey-tinged moorland and discovering wild swimming spots, and your evenings sipping Champagne in the garden’s pretty flower house or enjoying a soak in the deep copper bath tub. One thing is guaranteed, you won’t want to leave.

Unique Stays The Riddle, North Bovey

5. Doggy delights, The Riddle, North Bovey

Local antiques, vintage trunks and even a secret floorboard compartment (accessed only by those clever enough to solve the riddle on the original Dartmoor prison lock) make this luxury thatched holiday cottage all very Sherlock Holmes! And it solves the puzzle of pet-friendly holidays, because four-legged friends are welcomed not only with open arms, but also a memory foam dog bed, homemade treats, Barbour dog blanket and a selection of toys!

To book any of these holiday homes, or to discover more unique destinations, see uniquehomestays.com