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25 Escapes That Are Close To London (But Feel Like They’re Worlds Away!)

Host Writer
Published 02/10/2020 25 Escapes That Are Close To London (But Feel Like They’re Worlds Away!)


For obvious reasons, 2020 has been all about the staycation. 

But we know only too well that trying to relax and unwind when you're so close to home can feel like a challenge.

That's why we've rounded up 25 of our favourite escapes that are, a) no further than two hours from Greater London, and b) feel blissfully far away from the city bustle...

...so you can enjoy that much needed downtime, in a dreamlike setting that won't take up too much travel-time.

(We've also thrown one London-based getaway into the mix too, in case you really don't want to leave!)

Author: Nina Jervis
Main image: Bearsted Country Lodge | Kent

Happy Days Retro Vacations

Happy Days Retro Vacations

Experience the nostalgia of authentic vintage Airstreams and caravans, all blissfully set on a peaceful Suffolk campsite.   A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom!  Hold on to your headscarf, kick off your brogues, and get ready for an unforgettable retro getaway at Happy Days Retro Vacations! Described by owners Jenni and Kevin as the ‘ultimate in kitsch camping', Happy…

Elmley Nature Reserve Shepherds Huts

Elmley Nature Reserve Shepherds Huts

Six luxurious shepherd's huts on a National Nature Reserve in Kent, with an abundance of wildlife right on your doorstep. For nature lovers, a visit to Elmley offers something nowhere else can: the chance to stay in an amazing National Nature Reserve.  As the only reserve in the UK that allows guests to extend their visits to overnight stays, Elmley gives you the chance to wake up to…

Sea Gem Camber

Sea Gem Camber

A magnificent award-winning architect-designed beach house with panaromic sea views and private boardwalk to the sands. Live a life of luxury at the glorious Sea Gem - a treasure to be discovered at popular Camber Sands.  This magnificent, architect-designed beach house combines exquisite design with unbeatable views for a heavenly stay to remember. With accommodation…

The Granary Barn

The Granary Barn

If you like your accommodation to come with an added dose of history and character, then look no further than The Granary Barn, a unique barn conversion set in beautiful rural Suffolk. Dating back over 300 years, The Granary Barn is one of a collection of seven luxurious and dog-friendly converted barns at Woodfarm Barns, located just outside the village of Stonham Aspal in the…

The Ellis-Miller House

The Ellis-Miller House

Exceptional style lives and breathes in this award-winning, architect-designed Cambridgeshire holiday home for two, looking out over the romantically rural Fens. Featured in The Times as one of its ‘50 Best Winter Breaks in the UK', the Ellis-Miller house offers you the rare chance to stay in the self-designed home of a renowned, multiple RIBA award-winning…

Bournemouth Beach Lodges

Bournemouth Beach Lodges

Bournemouth Beach Lodges provide the perfect setting for a refreshing coastal break, just a pebble skim away from seven miles of stunningly sandy beach. It's time to bring some much-needed sunshine into your life, with a fun-filled break spent with a group of your favourite people, right by the sea in a beautiful Bournemouth Beach Lodge. British seaside holidays don't come…

Browning Bros Teybrook Orchard

Browning Bros Teybrook Orchard

Take your pick of unforgettable glamping in the heavenly Teybrook Orchard, tucked away in rural North Essex. This gorgeous glamping spot, nestled between an apple orchard and sprawling woodland on the owners' family farm, is home to a variety of very special dwellings - perfect for anyone from a single glamper to a whole family. Every dwelling in Teybrook Orchard has been specially…

The Windmill Suffolk

The Windmill Suffolk

You'll be swept away to the height of luxury at The Windmill Suffolk - a glorious towering bolthole as seen on George Clarke's 'Amazing Spaces' and overlooking idyllic countryside, just two miles north of historic Lavenham. From a romantic break for two, to a memorable retreat for four, The Windmill Suffolk promises utter indulgence, sublime scenery and the chance to unwind in this…

Cedar Tree

Cedar Tree

Enjoy all the delights of nature from a cosily romantic shepherd's hut, overlooking the refreshing North Wessex Downs. Stylishly self-contained and set on a working dairy farm, Cedar Tree is the ideal romantic retreat for couples who want to get back to nature in plenty of comfort. A cosy shepherd's hut set within stunning gardens, and with private access to a paved and furnished…

Ling's Meadow

Ling's Meadow

Take an alpaca walk on an exceptionally friendly, family-run farm surrounded by meadow grass and wildflowers. Low-impact and lovely, Ling's Meadow is a small, relaxed and extremely welcoming farm camping site on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, close to historic Bury St. Edmunds. The farm has been in the owners' family since the 1930s, and additional residents these days include chickens, a…

The Boathouse London

The Boathouse London

A design-led boutique hotel barge, indulgently moored on the scenic waters of the capital's first floating park. Launched - literally - in partnership with the famed interior design brand MADE.COM, you can expect some serious attention to style from Boathouse London. Moored on West London's Floating Pocket Park, Boathouse London is a 60ft wide beam barge, transformed into a one-bedroom…

Cedar Hollow Treehouse

Cedar Hollow Treehouse

Relive your favourite childhood fairytales, in an enchanting Oxfordshire treehouse with Narnia right on the doorstep. Sleeping up to six people in luxurious comfort, Cedar Hollow is a magnificent treehouse retreat that's lovingly infused with fairytale wonder. Perfectly located within almost 300 acres of unspoilt Oxfordshire woodland, the writer CS Lewis's house and garden is your…

The Windmill Blackthorn Hill

The Windmill Blackthorn Hill

The perfect romantic escape, in an historic Oxfordshire building that features 360-degree rural views. Standing proudly in rural Oxfordshire, The Windmill at Blackthorn Hill cuts a grandly historic dash. The characterful Grade II listed building was once known as the East Mill, and dates all the way back to the seventeenth century.   Now newly and superbly renovated, there are…

Shillingridge Glamping

Shillingridge Glamping

Horse-friendly family glamping, filled with luxury and relaxation in the picture-perfect Chiltern Hills. You'll find it incredibly hard to believe that Shillingridge is a mere 35 miles from the bustle of London. A stunning 30-acre smallholding set by the chocolate-box riverside town of Marlow on Thames, this is the ideal place to get lost in the slow lane of life. In fact, you may even feel…

The Merry Harriers Shepherd's Huts

The Merry Harriers Shepherd's Huts

Five luxurious and colourful huts perfectly set by a sparkling pond that overlooks the rolling Surrey Hills. The Merry Harriers is far from your everyday English inn. For starters, its characterful origins date all the way back to the 16th century. Then, consider its amazingly beautiful setting, in the Surrey Hills' Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. And then...there's the herd of lovely…

The Meadow Glamping

The Meadow Glamping

An authentic showman's wagon and quirky bohemian hideaway, restyled for luxurious off-grid comfort in the Hampshire countryside. The Meadow is a glorious two-acre slice of idyllic Hampshire countryside. Peacefully tucked away from the world, the off-grid glamping site is still set close to the bustling centre of Broughton, a traditional chocolate-box English village. An outrageously romantic,…

The Tower Latchingdon

The Tower Latchingdon

An elegantly historic Essex retreat, set in an ancient village and surrounded by the fresh, rolling landscapes of the South Downs. Originally built in 1934, and standing proudly in the ancient Essex village of Latchingdon, The Tower was the recent winner of Maldon's coveted Building Conservation Award. You'll see why just as soon as you arrive. The three-storey Tower cuts an imposing dash,…

The Old Chapel Annexe

The Old Chapel Annexe

A quintessentially English break awaits, in a heavenly holiday home exquisitely set in Suffolk's Constable country. The Old Chapel Annexe is in a divine location on the Essex and Suffolk border, in the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Part of what was once Nayland's United Reformed Church, the romantic accommodation for two has been beautifully renovated, with plenty of reminders…

Twentieth Century B&B

Twentieth Century B&B

A loving and authentic homage to Art Deco, perfectly set just four minutes' walk from the beach at Minnis Bay. An original Art Deco building that dates back to the mid-1930s, you're guaranteed a fun and elegant break at Twentieth Century B&B. Beautifully positioned in Birchington-on-Sea, mere minutes from the beach at Minnis Bay, you'll be very well placed to explore all the delights of…

The Old Railway Station

The Old Railway Station

Travel back in time to the beautifully restored station house and Pullman carriages at Petworth, first class all the way! Surrounded by the soothing natural beauty of the South Downs National Park in West Sussex, the former Petworth Railway Station is an exquisite sight to behold. Originally built in 1892, the striking building has been immaculately and lovingly restored to provide sumptuous…

Glamping Boatshack

Glamping Boatshack

An authentic 1940s vessel, lovingly converted and privately nestled in a soothing forest overlooking the open Fens.Perfectly positioned just half an hour away from bustling Cambridge, Glamping Boatshack offers all the fun and adventure of life on the open waves, with no seasickness to worry about.Positioned in private forest land that overlooks the Fens, you'll marvel at the wide open, natural…

Wagon and the Wigwam

Wagon and the Wigwam

A lovingly crafted space for two, filled with creative touches - and a sunken hot tub - beautifully secluded in an ancient, nature-filled Hampshire village. Elevated 600 feet above sea level, and boasting a history that spans over 3,000 years, the sleepy Hampshire village of Medstead looks and feels like a rural time capsule.  Soothing green countryside is peppered with intriguing historic…

Bearsted Country Lodge

Bearsted Country Lodge

A vintage ski lodge-style retreat with a private al fresco hot tub, soothingly secluded in a picturesque Garden of England village. A supreme romantic retreat, you'll find Bearsted Country Lodge lovingly furnished in vintage style, and gainfully equipped with all the holiday luxuries you could want - including a private garden hot tub! Secluded in the medieval village of Bearsted, Kent - a…

Magpies and Butterflies

Magpies and Butterflies

A cosy and whimsical Dutch barge that's styled as a floating ‘country cottage', peacefully moored in a historic Thames village. Surrounded by sparkling water, peaceful nature, and creativity-stirring views, a stay aboard Magpies and Butterflies is all but guaranteed to refresh your soul. You'll find the vintage classic Dutch barge moored in the historic Thames village of Cookham, in the…

Cabü by the Sea

Cabü by the Sea

A stylish selection of scenic cabins and sociable luxuries, perfectly positioned amongst ten natureful acres of grassland on the Kent coast. Occupying a private, ten-acre grassland estate on the Kent coast - part of the Site of Special Scientific Interest of Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay - Cabü by the Sea is a unique and unforgettable retreat. Once an early 20th century holiday camp for…

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A hand-picked directory featuring the most unusual and exciting holiday accommodation in the UK and worldwide.

Host Unusual Limited
Registered office:
Space 282
282 Leigh Road
Leigh-on-Sea
Essex
SS9 1BW

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