We’ve always loved a quirky stay! Even before we began our nomadic pet sitting lifestyle in 2018, we were on the lookout for the best unusual places to holiday or spend a long weekend. We’re always adding new places to our long list of unique accommodations, and in this post we’re taking you through just some of our favourites quirky places we’ve stayed during our travels over the years! We hope these inspire you to book a quirky stay for yourself!

School bus

Nestled in the heart of the Lake District, the bus at Hinterlandes is definitely one of the most unique accommodations we’ve stayed at! The main living space is constructed from a converted American school bus, and the bedroom is a retro VW camper that has been welded to the roof! The windows gave us panoramic mountain views to wake up to and there was nobody around but our neighbouring flock of sheep. We loved brewing a cuppa on the wood-burning stove and taking it to the seating area outside, for a picture-perfect view of the mountains while we read one of the many travel- and nature-themed books provided. Most nights we’d stay in the wood-fired hot tub until total darkness fell, then we’d retreat to our comfy bed via the drop-down ladder, which made it feel like we were having a fun sleepover! We felt even more childlike as we played in the cab of the school bus, which has been preserved with all its buttons and levers – including the one that opens the school bus door!


We spent a while on the lookout for an Airstream stay to experience living in one of these retro motorhomes. As Airstreams are synonymous with the 50s, 60s and 70s, we struggled to find one that hadn’t been decorated in an overstimulating style of those decades – we found many had been designed to look like a garish 50s diner… We finally lucked out when we found one on Airbnb in Somerset, that has subtle and cohesive green and purple decor, with small nods to Airstream culture peppered throughout the space. At one of the curved ends is the cosy bed, while the other has been converted into a dining space with comfy sofas. There’s a full bathroom on board, with the kitchen running parallel on the other side of the wall. Countless Airstream books lined the shelves for us to peruse and learn more about Airstream history, and even the key has a mini Airstream on the keychain! The finishing touches, like a US mailbox and homemade bunting lining an alfresco dining area, made this stay all the more special.

Shepherd’s hut

We have stayed in countless shepherd’s huts over the years, and we believe they are the perfect introduction to quirky stays! Each one is different, but our favourite was one near Dorchester that we booked for a last minute trip just before Christmas in 2021. Shepherd’s huts are small but cosy, and this one had thoughtful details that made the space feel homely. Being nestled amongst mature trees, we loved the nods to nature throughout the hut, including the tree-patterned wallpaper and various wildlife-themed paintings and pillows. The full double bed with memory foam mattress made for a comfy night’s sleep, despite the small space, and the kitchen has been cleverly designed to fit a fridge, hob burner, and toaster oven. We were also surprised to find a full bathroom at one end of the shepherd’s hut, complete with piping hot shower, sink and toilet. There’s something really magical about cosying up in a shepherd’s hut in Winter, and we loved making use of the wood-burning stove that heated the hut beautifully on colder days.


Something a little different, as we brought our own accommodation to this stay! Spread over 20 acres, Cornish Tipi Holidays near Port Isaac offers a variety of accommodation options. There’s a large field for campervans and motorhomes, and a glamping field with large tipis that give the site its name. As we stayed here in 2020, before we had our campervan, we stayed in our tent on one of the private camping pitches. There’s a natural lake on site that is available for all guests to enjoy, and Cornish Tipis provide rowboats, canoes and kayaks to use on the water. The private camping pitches have a block of lovely HOT showers which were the perfect way to round off a swim in the lake! Our pitch, Sky 5, had a fire pit where we cooked our meals, and the site is cleverly laid out for privacy so we could relax at our pitch without being disturbed. The only sounds we heard were crackling campfires, hooting owls and rustling leaves! Snuggling up in our tent at night felt safe and cosy, and the low light pollution in the area made for fantastic stargazing at night.


While on the hunt for a place to stay near Brighton, we stumbled upon this absolute gem affectionally named ‘The Raft’. Situated in a community of 40 houseboats, this hand-built mini-house sits upon a floating platform. When the tide is high, The Raft gently bobs with the sway of the water. During our stay, the tide remained low so we didn’t experience any movement, but had all the perks of living on the water. Floor to ceiling windows in the lounge area provided views over the estuary which is part of an RSPB nature reserve, and we were lucky enough to spot a resident Kingfisher during our stay! The houseboat has a full kitchen, with hob and oven, and the double bed has been built into a snug, curved part of the boat, with dimmable lights providing a cosy orange glow at night time. There’s also a full bathroom on board, and underfloor heating throughout The Raft – all details have been meticulously planned for optimal comfort. A perfect quirky getaway for those who love to be by the sea, but perhaps don’t love the motion of the water!


Way back in 2017, the year before we began travelling full time, we celebrated our 6 year anniversary at Orchard Pods in Kent. These secluded wooden pods are tucked away among the blossoming trees on a working cherry farm, and while there are 4 pods available to book, we felt completely secluded and never saw another person during our stay! The pod is made up of a kitchen / living area at the front, and a full bathroom and bedroom at the back, with underfloor heating throughout! We loved the added touch of a complimentary punnet of cherries from the farm, perfect to devour while sitting at the table on the covered porch outside! In the evenings we made campfires in the fire pit and listened to the sounds of nature all around us, while in the day we strolled through the orchards and admired the cherries, pears and apples growing all around us, and spotted the resident deer and guinea fowl wandering up and down the rows!


Back in March 2020 we arrived at Round the Woods in Norfolk for what should have been a 2 week workaway, where we’d work on site each day in exchange for board and food. Our stay turned into 3 months as the UK entered its first lockdown, and the family generously hosted us in exchange for us continuing to work on their 20 acre glampsite. During our stay, we helped the family to finish their handcrafted roundhouse accommodation, and the following year we returned to stay in the incredible space we had helped complete!

Willow Roundhouse has thoughtful, nature-themed details everywhere you look – even the floor is made up of meticulously placed discs that create a unique tree patten. The roundhouse can sleep up to 7, but as we had it all to ourselves we enjoyed a lovely relaxing stay with ample space! The king-sized bed made for a perfect sleep each night, and we loved stargazing through the dome roof as we lay in bed. Every single piece of this roundhouse is handcrafted – from the sink carved from a hollowed out tree trunk, to the gorgeous window seat made from an Oak tree that fell on site during a storm. The roundhouse has a full kitchen, with an oven and hob, as well as an ensuite toilet and wood-burning stove, for chillier nights. Round the Woods provided us with all the firewood we needed for our stay, plus a welcome hamper full of treats to enjoy by the campfire outside in the meadow! During the day the site is magical to explore, as it’s built on part of a nature reserve, and we love returning time and time again to this tranquil hideaway.


Hinterlandes in the Lake District is just so good at making quirky accommodation that it’s made its way onto this list twice!! As we’re a little obsessed with Scandinavian culture, we were so excited to book this dreamy, Scandi-inspired cabin in the woods. The black cabin is almost camouflaged amongst the trees, looking like something out of a fairytale. We were equally awestruck as we stepped inside – its beautifully minimal style paired with high quality fixtures made it feel humble and luxurious all at once. The main area of the cabin is a kitchen / living space, with a hob for cooking and a cosy round dining table. There’s a snuggly bench seat beside a ginormous window overlooking the rushing river below, and it was here that we spent a lot of our time as we read books and cosied up together. There’s also a wood-fired hot tub on the decking beside the cabin, where we melted into a lovely hot soak, bathed in the glow of the solar-powered fairy lights hanging all around us. Once back inside, we could take a shower in the stunning marble bathroom before retiring to the lounge space for a board game night with the ample selection provided. Falling into the cosy bed, with its memory foam mattress, made for the perfect end to a lazy, Scandi day.


Not all accommodation has to be unusual in itself to be a quirky stay – sometimes it’s the location or situation that makes it exciting! At one Airbnb in Leeds, the owners ran an alpaca farm on site and it was a joy to wake up and see all the fluffy alpacas grazing in their field. The owners even took us for a tour so we could feed the alpacas, and goats, by hand! At another Airbnb near Bristol, the accommodation had been cleverly transformed from an old stable, with nods to the original fixings still in place throughout the new design. The stable-style door in the kitchen looked out over the farm animals – including horses, Blacknose sheep, and llamas! The owners met us upon arrival and encouraged us to spend as much time as we’d like out with the animals. We loved giving the sheep a good pat, and admiring the huge llamas when they came over to feed! There are SO many wonderful farm stays that offer a truly quirky experience, and we love coming across different set-ups across the UK.


We couldn’t write this list without including Quirky Campers, the company that made it possible to test out different campervans before we bought our own! Back in 2020 we rented a high top VW Transporter called Homer, and took him for a week-long trip in the Lake District. This was our first foray into van living, and we loved spending our days roaming from place to place and parking up in picturesque spots to just watch the world go by. It was our time spent in Homer that helped us decide that a high top VW Transporter would be the perfect van for us, and in 2022 we bought our own! We also spent 5 days renting Floyd – a Peugeot Boxer conversion – in 2021, and while the van itself wasn’t for us, we loved the interior design and used pictures of Floyd on our mood boards to inspire the decor when we bought our own van. If you’re looking to start van life yourself, or just want to book a short break to see what all the fuss is about, we highly recommend using Quirky Campers to rent one of their many unique conversions! There are various rigs for hire all across the UK, so wherever you’re based there’s one nearby, ready for you to whisk it away for a quirky stay of your own making!

Where to find a quirky stay:

A few tips on finding unique accommodation:

  • Quirky Campers. As we’ve just mentioned, this company is fantastic for renting a handmade campervan conversion in order to dip your toes into the world of van living. There are HUNDREDS of vans to browse, based all over the UK, whether it’s for a long break or a quick weekend getaway.
  • Canopy and Stars. If you’re looking for a little more luxury, Canopy and Stars has a range of jaw-dropping accommodation across the UK and beyond, some of which have been featured on Grand Designs and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces – so you know you’re in for a real treat!!
  • AirBnb. The website has changed dramatically over the years, but we still believe it’s one of the best sites for finding a quirky stay – especially now you can filter your search by accommodation style, like castles or treehouses, or hit the ‘OMG!’ filter for some out-of-this-world finds!
  • Instagram. We love to follow travel accounts on Instagram, especially brands that promote hidden gems and unusual stays, as well as travel-grammers who review quirky accommodation. Even having a browse on the Explore page can help you find inspiration for your next quirky stay!
  • Google Maps. Whenever we’re heading to a new area, we use Maps to find local businesses and accommodation that are registered on Google. Sometimes you’ll stumble upon an unusual business name that turns out to be a unique quirky bnb or campsite!
  • Search For Sites. If you have a campervan like us, Search For Sites is a fantastic way to find smaller, independently run campsites. This is how we found places like Abbotts View Alpacas, for a stopover with this view of a field containing dozens of alpacas!

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