Are you looking for a different, unusual or unique accommodation? And ideally less than two hours from London? Here are three spots I tried and tested. Whether it is an overnight stay in a castle, tiny house or lighthouse – you won’t be bored in these unusual places on your next staycation.
Stay In At Actual Lighthouse: Belle Tout Lighthouse
Lighthouses once served as beacons of light and safety on the night seas, but technology has made most lighthouses obsolete and many have turned into hospitality accommodations. One of those is Belle Tout Lighthouse in an enchanting location on the cliffs just outside Eastbourne. The lighthouse went out of operation in 1902 and has had several owners. Since 2008, it has been a unique bed and breakfast with 6 guest rooms, a breakfast room and a lounge area with panoramic views upstairs.
Do note that not all the rooms are in the actual tower, one of the two that is, is the original Lighthouse Keeper’s room with a loft bed, en-suite bathroom and the most amazing view.
Breakfast is served at the lighthouse, but for lunch or dinner you’ll have to walk 30 mins to a nearby pub or drive or take a taxi to Eastbourne.
How to get there: Twice an hour there is a direct train from London Victoria to Eastbourne taking around 1 hour and 20 minutes. From there you can walk to Belle Tout, take a bus or car/taxi.
Book A Room In An Castle Near London: Hever Castle Bed & Breakfast
Always wanted to stay in a castle? Sadly Buckingham, Kensington or Windsor Palace are not on your favourite accommodation booking site, but you don’t have to go all the way to Scotland to stay in one. There’s a castle 40 minutes from central London where you can head to for your next staycation.
Hever Castle, with its double moat, is best known for being where Anne Boleyn spent her childhood years. Years and years later, William Waldorf Astor not only restored the castle, but also built an entire Tudor section that now has been turned into a B&B. You can visit the castle during the day, but save the gardens for when the day visitors have left, and you have the entire grounds to yourself (and the other few guests).
Breakfast is served in the great hall of the Tudor building, during visiting hours you can get food at the cafe on the castle grounds or walk to one of the nearby pubs.
How to get there: Trains from London Bridge get you there in 40 minutes. From Hever Station it’s a 20 minute walk to the castle.
Tiny Cabin In The Middle of Nowhere: Unplugged’s Koya
Looking for a place surrounded by woods and meadows and very few other people? Go for one of the Unplugged cabins. At Unplugged you lock away your phone at arrival and enjoy your midweek/weekend offline.
The Koya cabin is suitable for two people (dogs are also welcome at this one) and has a double bed, a kitchenette with a two-burner stove and a little sitting area. You’ll also find a cosy wood stove to keep you warm. There is a (Scandi) toilet, sink and shower. Outside is a picnic table and an outdoor fire bowl/BBQ to sit around as the sun goes down. Here are some things you can do in the area.
You might be able to pick up some eggs on your walks, but you’ll have to bring the rest of your breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are also two pubs serving food within 2 hours walking distance.
How to get there: The Koya Unplugged location is about 1 hour from London + a short taxi ride.