Try Something New in 2024! Unusual Retreats with Added Memory-Making Experiences

2 May 2024

When you plan a holiday, booking an unusual place to stay is all but guaranteed to inspire happy memories.

But some of our incredible hosts have gone that extra bit further: also offering exciting, enticing, and exclusive experiences that mean your holiday could achieve iconic status!

What do we mean, exactly? Well, for starters you could embark on a chilling ghost tour at England’s “most haunted castle” (where you can also rest your head, if you’re feeling brave enough!)

Or how about an insanely romantic woodland picnic on an ancient Scottish estate? Simply follow the map provided, red ribbons guiding your way, and you’ll be met by a warming firepit and a mouth-watering, locally-sourced feast to devour against the rich rural backdrop.

If you’re more of a water baby, you could try canyoning, canoeing, or paddleboarding along some of Britain’s most beautiful waterways. Forest-bathing is an ideal pastime for nature-lovers, and if you adore animals then cow-cuddling and sheep-herding are practical must-tries!

Suitable for couples, families, and solo travellers alike, we’ve collected some of the best, most unique add-on experiences (each can be booked via the individual property website to complement your stay – please check the host websites for prices/more info) for a showstopping break you won’t forget.

Author: Nina Jervis
Main image: Goat walking at Secret Meadows, Suffolk

By the Wye

Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire, England
Plan your soothing escape to an off-grid, family-run glamping site in the rural heart of Hay-on-Wye, where everyone is welcome.
Bedrooms: 1-2 per tent
£185 / night
Family Bushcraft Courses: If you plan only one family activity on your BY THE WYE HOLIDAY, make it a Woody Wilding adventure. Our Woodland Ranger knows the woods like the back of his hands. His enthusiasm is hard to resist and you can’t fail to be swept along as you learn about the animals, trees and plants. From £15 per child.

Fforest Farm

Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Simplicity, adventure, and beautiful outdoor living - that's what you'll find at fforest farm.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
£237 (2nts, bell tent)
Canoe Trips: At fforest farm we offer canoe trips along the Teifi River Gorge and the launch point is just a 20 minute walk through the woodland. Suitable for all ages from 3 years plus, and even dogs can come along. Canoeing in the gorge is a stunning adventure in the silent and untouched teifi gorge. The river is very slow, flat water for most of the journey and there are a set of gentle rapids which you can run at the end of the trip. Expect to see native wildlife including kingfishers, rare dragonflies and if you’re really lucky an otter! £45 adult, £32 child, family from £100.

Secret Meadows

Hasketon, Suffolk, England
Unwind amongst wondrous wildlife and amazing accommodation luxuriously inspired by the Great Outdoors, with unspoilt Suffolk countryside as far as your eye can see.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: 8
£332 / 2 nts
Goat Walking: Secret Meadows offers a popular Goat Walking Experience at its nature reserve in Suffolk. The activity includes walking with your goats through idyllic meadows and woodland and spending quality time afterwards with these intelligent, fun and sociable animals.

Brucefield Estate Schenbothies

Forestmill, Clackmannanshire, Scotland
Sumptuous woodland hideaways, privately nestled on a magical Clackmannanshire estate that's teeming with rich heritage and diverse, protected wildlife.
Bedrooms: 1 per bothy
Sleeps: 2 per bothy
£145 / night
Woodland picnic trail with firepit: We provide you with a map, and the rest is up to you but at your destination (if you can locate it!) you’ll find a picnic blanket, a firepit and to guide you along on the way red ribbons with your very own personalised hanging birch discs.

The Hudnalls Hideout

Nr St Briavels, Gloucestershire, England
An ultra-luxurious, design-led and TV-featured treehouse-for-two, deliciously secluded amongst private woodland in the beautiful Wye Valley.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
£400 /night
Forest Bathing (shinrin-yoku) and Foraging and a wonderful free add-ons – a giant wildlife TV – lie in bed and watch the birds feed from your mezzanine bedroom window! Plus we provide a free telescope for star gazing evenings just for two.

Bethnal & Bec

Cottered, Hertfordshire, England
Sustainable, adults-only Hertfordshire hideaways with al fresco baths, where city style and indulgent sensory treats meet pure countryside tranquillity.
Bedrooms: 1 per unit
Sleeps: 2 per unit
£180 / night
Cow cuddling: Highland cow experiences including hand feeding, brushing, petting and getting photos with them, or afternoon tea with the cows.

Camp Katur

Bedale, North Yorkshire, England
A vast, multi-award-winning, pet-and-family-friendly North Yorkshire retreat with unique and eclectic eco-havens, al fresco activities galore, and its very own Pub!
Bedrooms: Varies
Bushcraft Experiences (as seen on Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes!), plus a special Wilderness Cookery Exploration - As well as enjoying the home comforts of an overnight stay in Cosmo and Bellatrix, two of our luxury Geodomes, Robson Green and Tessa-Peake Jones also took part in one of our Wilderness Cookery Workshops, where they learnt to bake bread and even ponass fish over an open fire. If you fancy trying your hand at cooking in the wild and even ponassing fish, book your stay at Camp Katur for Thursday 4th July and enjoy a Wilderness Cookery Day 'Robson Green Special edition'.

Eilean Sionnach

Isleornsay, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Rest your weary heads in a dreamy lighthouse cottage, blissfully cast away on a soul-soothing private island off the rugged Isle of Skye.
Bedrooms: 4
Sleeps: 8
£550 / night
Wild Waters Retreat: 7 - 10 June 2024, offering freediving, spearfishing, snorkelling, mountaineering and survival skills, pack rafting and coasteering, wild feasts, foraging, tracking and fishing with three private guides, accommodation, equipment and cuisine!

Craigduckie Shepherd's Huts

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Get up close and personal with life on a friendly farm, in a handcrafted hut beautifully set amongst rolling Scottish countryside.
Bedrooms: Open plan
Sleeps: 2 (+2) per hut
£120 / night
Farm Tours: FREE for guests staying, and suitable for all ages! Meet and learn about the animals, and stop off at the tractor shed to have a seat in the big green tractor and then a jump in the straw bales!


Tintagel, Cornwall, England
For a true escape to pure wilderness, come to Kudhva - an incredible wild camping experience in stunning Tintagel, Cornwall.
Bedrooms: Studio
Sleeps: 2 per unit
£110 /night
Wild swimming waterfall: Hidden deep amongst the landscape of the 43 acre site at Kudhva is their secret waterfall, which runs into a beautiful, secluded reservoir that even has its own climbing wall. Guests are welcome to visit and swim (at their own risk)


Nr Marshfield, Gloucestershire, England
An off-grid, eco-friendly village inspired and powered by nature, with eclectic accommodation hidden in woodland near Bath.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: 2-4 per unit
£79 / night
Sheepherding: Move our woollen friends around a course of obstacles to accumulate points within the time limit. £19pp for groups of 8+ppl for around 90 mins

Chillingham Castle

Chillingham, Northumberland, England
Meet the resident ghosts of Britain's ‘most haunted historic castle', surrounded by Northumberland countryside just 20 minutes from the coast.
Bedrooms: 8 apartments
Sleeps: 2-7 per unit (24 total)
£126 / night
Ghost tours: Boost your chances of a creepy encounter with a night-guided ghost tour of the castle and grounds, or arrange to meet the herd of rare, once-sacred cattle – otherwise known as the Wild Beasts of Chillingham!

Hunza Ecolodge

Bodolyaber, Baranya, Hungary
Get back to nature amongst the lush hills of Southern Hungary, where community, comfort, wine and good food reign supreme.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: 4-5 per unit
£46 / night
Workshops and wine-tasting: A range of interesting programs about ecological/permaculture gardening, Mediterranean and Eastern vegetarian cooking, and medicinal herbal products. Workshops customized to your interests can be arranged for a minimum of 10 people.

Breathing Space

Hickling Broad, Norfolk, England
Reconnect your mind, body and soul in a soothing sanctuary nestled in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, complete with cosy self-catering accommodation, creative workshops, and a range of holistic therapies.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: 2 or 3 guests per unit
£110 / night (Shepherd's Hut)
Crystal healing: You will be taken through a peaceful visualisation to connect to your inner self. Crystals are then placed on or around your body for deep relaxation, to release stress and pain, and to promote energy balance within your energy field (aura) and main energy points (chakras) of your body.


Swipe left
to find out more

New to Host Unusual: Nostalgic Retreats, Luxury Airstream Glamping, and Caribbean Island Bliss!

Now that spring has finally sprung (well hello, sunshine!) it’s time to think about the important things in life… like...

Top 10 Host Unusual Retreats As Seen on TV during 2024!

Staying somewhere you’ve seen on TV can add an extra frisson of joy to a well-deserved holiday. Why? Well for...

Host Unusual Stays with Links to the Loveliest Local Produce!

What makes an unusual stay even better? For us, it’s sampling some of the area’s finest local produce – hands...

Meet the Owners: The Windmill Suffolk

Meet Natalie and Steve, owners of The Windmill Suffok - a glorious towering bolthole as seen on George Clarke's 'Amazing...

Try Something New in 2024! Unusual Retreats with Added Memory-Making Experiences

When you plan a holiday, booking an unusual place to stay is all but guaranteed to inspire happy memories. But...