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Heritage-Rich Holiday Homes Around the World

Host Writer
Published 16/09/2022 Heritage-Rich Holiday Homes Around the World


If you're looking for a magical stay that is truly one-of-a-kind, choose a holiday home that's steeped in heritage.

Why? The word "heritage" denotes decades - sometimes centuries - of proud, carefully-preserved tradition that is unique to an individual setting. The walls of heritage buildings sing with captivating tales, gently transporting you back in time on a journey that promises to linger long in your memory.

Along with your loved ones, you'll be surrounded by characterful elements and quirky features that add depth and charm to a holiday, from beamed ceilings and intricate original artwork, to roaring open fires that warm your evenings to snuggly perfection.

Immersed in such a soothing atmosphere, you could discover that stepping away from the stresses and strains of everyday life suddenly becomes much easier!

Scattered across the globe, each one of these heritage-rich retreats boasts its own incredible story, with a enthralling blend of proud historic qualities and sleek, well-chosen mod-cons for those extra touches of comfort and convenience.  

Many have been carefully and lovingly restored by their owners themselves. Others boast scenery that is truly spectacular - both inside and out. All are distinctive and mesmerising in the most wonderful ways.

So why not browse our hand-picked list, and choose your favourite over a welcome cuppa?

Author: Nina Jervis
Main image: Manowce | Poland

Aylsham Windmill

Aylsham Windmill

A luxury holiday home for six in a former working flourmill, built in 1826 and modernised to welcome guests to enjoy Norfolk's many attractions.  A former working flour mill built in 1826, Aylsham Windmill is now a luxury holiday home for six, close to the Norfolk Broads, Norwich and the wild North Sea coast. It makes for an interesting place to stay: a step back in time with a hefty…

The Knoll Tower

The Knoll Tower

Historic former hunting lodge in Shropshire's Weston Park - a romantic retreat for two.   For a romantic retreat they'll never forget, whisk them away to the Knoll Tower!  With gorgeous architecture, a private location, and a fairy-tale turret, this historic hideaway is nestled in Shropshire's Weston Park - and is waiting just for you. The Knoll Tower was built around 1865…

Champing™ Aldwincle

Champing™ Aldwincle

Snuggle down inside the original Champing™ church - All Saints in Aldwincle, a beautiful ancient space in Northamptonshire. First there was camping, then there was glamping, and now, there's ChampingTM. Church camping is revolutionising the traditional camping break, giving you exclusive use of some of the UK's greatest listed buildings for the most unforgettable sleepover of your…

Helen's Tower

Helen's Tower

It's not every day you can stay at an enchanting home immortalised in the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson, yet Helen's Tower in stunning County Down offers exactly that. "Helen's Tower, here I stand, Dominant over sea and land." Standing deep in the woods of the Clandeboye Estate, Helen's Tower was built in 1848 by Frederick Lord Dufferin in honour of his mother, Helen Selina…

The Black Castle

The Black Castle

Travel back through time with an ‘over-knight' stay for two in a majestically authentic 16th century Gaelic castle.   It may be a long way to Tipperary, but travelling back to the 16th century is a far shorter journey than you may think!   Secluded within the breathtaking natural landscape of the shimmering Lough Derg, amongst the invigorating backdrop of North Tipperary, you…

The Summer House

The Summer House

An historically romantic, view-filled Shropshire country retreat for two, attached to a unique octagonal tower. Bathed in historic opulence, The Summer House has plenty of stories to tell! Built in 1607 by Sir Francis Newport, the building was originally used as his grand banqueting house, with guests treated to endless views of rolling Shropshire countryside. Dramatically, the main…

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Enjoy a piece of authentic American history in a fun and beautiful Chattanooga terminal station hotel. The only Historic Hotels of America resort to exist in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Choo Choo Terminal Station is filled with authentic delights from a bygone age of rail. Choose your ideal compartment from a Victorian Train Car, a Hotel Suite or a Standard Room - each one is…

Ermita del Carmen

Ermita del Carmen

Ermita del Carmen is a stunning 15th century chapel conversion, set within the soul-soothing natural heart of Andalucia. Turn back time amongst superlative surroundings, with a stay in a divine chapel conversion located within the Andalucian natural park of la Subbética, an unspoilt paradise of Mediterranean woodland, mountain ranges and sweet-scented olive gardens. Ermita del Carmen…

Okel Tor Mine

Okel Tor Mine

Beauty, peace and calm combine in two romantic Cornish riverside retreats: the former Smithy and Captain's Office of a Victorian tin mine. Okel Tor Mine consists of two very special cottage retreats, both perfectly positioned within an Ancient Monument and a World Heritage Site. Dreamily set amongst sixteen glorious acres of wildlife-steeped woodland, the Grade II listed Count House and…

Palmers Folly

Palmers Folly

An exclusive and luxurious Grade II-listed couples' retreat, set on North Norfolk's elegant 25,000-acre Holkham Estate. You'll feel like the lord and lady of the manor just as soon as you arrive at Palmers Folly, a sumptuous retreat for two set on the famed Holkham Estate. Surrounded by grazing deer, rolling greenery and soothing woodland, it's no surprise that the 25,000-acre estate is…

Sprat & Winkle

Sprat & Winkle

A seriously elegant train carriage, beautifully secluded on its very own platform in Hampshire's scenic Test Valley. Equipped with sumptuous furnishings, contemporary fixtures, and light fittings direct from the Orient Express, Sprat and Winkle is a train carriage that's first class all the way. As if that wasn't enough, you'll find the charming carriage exquisitely positioned on the platform at…

Cruinn Leum Round House

Cruinn Leum Round House

A light-flooded creative retreat with untamed rural views, blissfully secluded in a remote, semi-wild Scottish Highlands village. Originally intended to be an artist's retreat with a built-in recording studio, Cruinn Leum is a stunning eco-retreat for two, beautifully located on the Applecross peninsula in the North West Highlands. Elevated above the pier at Toscaig, you can enjoy spectacular…

Kilmartin Castle

Kilmartin Castle

An authentic, exquisitely restored Scottish castle that dates all the way back to the 16th century, set within acres of unspoilt Argyll wilderness. How would you like to travel magically back in time, without forsaking any contemporary creature comforts in the process? That's exactly what a stay at Kilmartin Castle offers. Standing proudly amongst an ancient Argyll glen on Scotland's windswept…

Manowce

Manowce

An elegant and historic palace, exquisitely decorated and surrounded by sweeping woodland, for the ultimate in luxurious group and individual stays. You could say that Manowce, a supremely photogenic palace located in Poland that dates back to the early 1900s, occupies the perfect remote location. Not only is the ornate building set on the shore of an idyllic bay next to the Baltic Sea, it's…

Archirondel Tower

Archirondel Tower

A captivating and historic coastal retreat, rich in heritage and boasting a roof terrace that showcases Jersey's National Park to perfection. Built on a rocky outcrop in St Catherine's Bay, all the way back in 1792, Archirondel Tower casts a romantic, windswept figure amongst the secluded beaches that surround it. Infused with stories from centuries past, the four-storey tower was originally…

Twr Mynach

Twr Mynach

Choose from two design-led bedrooms with a private terrace, in a lovingly restored tower perfectly set between Snowdonia and Cardigan Bay. Dating all the way back to 1880, Twr Mynach (‘Monk Tower' in English) occupies a perfect location for scenic adventures.  Standing proudly in Barmouth, where the mountains meet the sea between Snowdonia and Cardigan Bay, the tower also overlooks the…

Chillingham Castle

Chillingham Castle

Meet the resident ghosts of Britain's ‘most haunted historic castle', surrounded by Northumberland countryside just 20 minutes from the coast. Haunted castles don't come more spine-shiveringly authentic than Chillingham, a 13th century, Grade 1 Star-listed fortress in rural Northumberland. Here you'll discover a captivating juxtaposition of beautiful gardens, sparkling fountains, impossibly…

Fletland Mill

Fletland Mill

A historic, lovingly converted riverside retreat on the edge of the Fens, filled with welcoming warmth and surrounded by wildlife-steeped countryside. Dating back to the 1750s, Fletland Mill occupies a dream setting for a peaceful break in the countryside; nestled near the sleepy village of Baston, on the edge of the Lincolnshire Fens. Carefully converted to provide spacious and luxurious…

Quarry Hill Church

Quarry Hill Church

An award-winning conversion that blends cherished heritage and design-led luxury, for a captivating stay in a timeless Irish village. The proud winner of ‘Best Rescue of an Historic Building' in the prestigious Heritage Angel Awards 2019, Quarry Hill Church is far from being a standard holiday conversion. Affectionately known as the "old church" by friendly locals, the 19th century building is…

Ilkley Pump House

Ilkley Pump House

Experience a unique and stylish conversion of a much-loved local landmark, with a handmade kitchen and an al fresco hot tub for incredible West Yorkshire views.Almost unrecognisable from its faithful former life of supplying water to local residents, Ilkley Pump House is a breath-taking, decidedly 21st century retreat for two.Infused with creative style, showstopping elements include solid oak…

Fort Leicester

Fort Leicester

A historic military stronghold that's rich in comfort and historic drama, expertly transformed into a dog-friendly, distraction-free retreat elevated above Jersey's atmospheric coastline. Dating all the way back to the late 16th century, Jersey's imposing Fort Leicester was named after the Earl of Leicester, a stalwart favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. Built into the rock face above Bouley Bay's…

Smithy Lodge

Smithy Lodge

A charming Grade II-listed former gatehouse, ornately designed and beautifully positioned within the grounds of Manchester's vast, historic Heaton Park.Conveniently set on the outskirts of Manchester city centre, Heaton Park is listed on the English Heritage Register, and is one of Europe's largest municipal parks.A distinctive, eight-sided building that dates back to 1806, the Grade II-listed…

Taj Lake Palace

Taj Lake Palace

A majestic marble retreat with lavish décor, fine dining, and an indulgent spa, nestled on a shimmering lake close to the bustling city of Udaipur.A grand, dreamlike retreat crafted from marble and set on the shimmering Lake Pichola, Taj Lake Palace dates all the way back to 1746.These days you can savour outstanding views of Udaipur's City Palace, Jag Mandir, and the Machla Magra hills, whilst…

Ca'Damare

Ca'Damare

An exclusive, architect-restored villa with a private Mediterranean garden, mesmerisingly secluded within the natural park of Cinque Terre for incredible views of the Gulf of Poets and the soaring Apuan Alps. Perfect for a romantic escape, Ca' Damare is an beautiful stone villa set within the natural park of the UNESCO World Heritage Cinque Terre; a string of historic seaside villages on Italy's…

Le Colombier

Le Colombier

A charming 16th century dovecote, beautifully restored and perfectly secluded amongst peaceful farm gardens by Normandy's idyllic Alabaster Coast.Secluded in lush Normandy farm gardens, Le Colombier is a 16th century dovecote, elegantly restored as a luxurious gîte for up to six guests in need of a unique, fresh-air-filled escape.A perfect bolthole for families who love the sea, the breath-taking…

ARC Padstow

ARC Padstow

A former 18th century listed manor house, grandly restored by master architects for budding lords and ladies, nestled in the heart of a tranquil Cornish village just outside Padstow. Expertly restored by a renowned architectural practice, ARC Padstow is a former 18th century listed manor house that sleeps up to 26 guests in lordly comfort. Nestled in the sleepy Cornish village of St. Issey,…

Dracup's Railway Cottage

Dracup's Railway Cottage

Step into a unique fantasy-world retreat, lovingly created by a visionary artist and filled with quirky surprises, secluded in the scenic Shropshire town of Bridgnorth. A visionary artist and inventor, Antony Dracup lived in the historic Shropshire town of Bridgnorth - known as "the cradle of the Industrial Revolution" - for over 20 years. During this time, he transformed his beloved home from a…

Rowden Mill Station Building and Parcel Office

Rowden Mill Station Building and Parcel Office

Nostalgic, first-class couples and family accommodation at a restored 19th century railway station, set amongst timeless North Herefordshire countryside. Originally built in the 1890s, Rowden Mill Station is beautifully positioned on a tranquil North Herefordshire country lane, with both the Malvern Hills and the Wye River valley in easy reach. Here, you can take a soothing step back in time,…

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

Host Unusual Limited
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