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Unique Historic Retreats for Captivating Holiday Stories

Host Writer
Published 19/02/2021 Unique Historic Retreats for Captivating Holiday Stories


We think there's something irresistibly special about historic retreats. 

When you stay in one, you become part of its story... the atmosphere is heavy with traditions past, and there's a tempting glimpse into how life was once lived.

Yet in most cases, you'll also be surrounded by modern luxuries that allow you to relax and savour everything your unique retreat has to offer.

We've rounded up some of our favourite historic havens, including captivating castles, divinely converted churches - and even a luxurious lightship! - to help you write your own compelling holiday story.

Author: Nina Jervis
Main image: The Gothic Church | Somerset

Lendal Tower

Lendal Tower

Make your visit to historic York even more special with a stay in Lendal Tower - your own 5-star medieval fortification. This riverside tower invites you to step back in time to the 14th century, without leaving modern-day luxuries at the front door. Set beside Lendal Bridge, right on the banks of the River Ouse, Lendal Tower enjoys panoramic views and a fantastic location in…

Onderneming

Onderneming

Experience life on a Dutch Klipper with a stay on Onderneming; a cleverly converted historic sailing barge in unique surroundings in South Suffolk. The Iconic Snape Maltings is your location for this truly authentic and original sailing barge and what a location it is! Moored on the Quay, this picturesque spot is well known for its upscale collection of boutique shops, including homewares,…

Aikwood Tower

Aikwood Tower

Relax and enjoy the finer things in life surrounded by warmth and luxury, in an award-winning, authentic medieval tower set in the bracing Scottish Borders. Originally built in the 1540s and infused with endless stories of centuries past, you can rest assured that a break spent at Aikwood Tower will be characterfully unique. So why not surround yourself with natural style and…

Tainaron Blue

Tainaron Blue

Experience elaborate architectural design in a piece of history at Tainaron blue - a fabulous guesthouse in a converted Tower of Mani set by azure shores on the southernmost tip of mainland Greece. The stone Towers of Mani were originally built as points of defence, thanks to their enviable vantage point overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the southern slope of Taygetos Mountain. Today,…

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…

Trullo Genna

Trullo Genna

Trullo Genna is a uniquely idyllic holiday cottage for families and groups, set within the sweet-scented fruit and olive trees of Italy's Valle D'Itria. You surely couldn't imagine a more idyllic location for a holiday cottage than Puglia. Set in the heel of Italy's ‘boot', not only is the unspoilt coast within blissfully easy reach, but you're surrounded by the fresh pastureland, olive…

Stow-on-the-Wold Spa

Stow-on-the-Wold Spa

Rural grandeur and intrigue awaits, in a deluxe Grade II-listed spa nestled in a row of Cotswold stone cottages. You'll find Stow-on-the-Wold Spa in Lower Swell, a quintessential Cotswold village that's an easy gateway to many beautiful rural towns. Sleeping up to four people in stylish opulence, ‘England's smallest spa' is guaranteed to captivate you from the moment you arrive.…

Vane Tower Penthouse

Vane Tower Penthouse

A sumptuous apartment at the top of an iconic Torquay villa, featuring outstanding coast and country views. There is a certain pedigree to Torquay's iconic Vane Tower. A strikingly elegant, Grade II listed Italianate villa, the building was originally constructed in the 19th century, supposedly for the first American Ambassador to Britain.   Vane Tower was also once visited by…

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…

The Round House

The Round House

A sumptuously quirky, elegantly restored round house in an historic Suffolk village, perfect for a relaxing family holiday. Sleeping up to six guests in idyllic comfort, The Round House is exactly that - a lovingly restored circular home that will welcome you with open arms. Boasting a huge garden and a ground-floor bedroom, this is a setting that's sure to suit just about everybody, making it…

Dovecot Cottage

Dovecot Cottage

A captivatingly historic, 16th century tower-retreat, filled with rustic delights and peacefully nestled in a private garden close to Edinburgh.Featuring a bedroom equipped with illuminated ancient pigeon nesting-boxes, and a garden wall festooned with antiques, Dovecot Cottage is a true one-of-a-kind retreat for four lucky guests.An exquisite conversion of a 16th century dovecot, you'll discover…

The German Bunker

The German Bunker

Immerse yourself in a piece of history, with a stay in a genuine World War Two bunker, secluded in a Brittany village close to the beach.Built exclusively for German officers in 1943, you'll find ‘Bunker L479' in the heart of Saint PABU, a rural village in Brittany that's achingly close to the sandy beaches and wild dunes.Now, you and your loved ones can experience the exciting feeling of…

Eilean Sionnach

Eilean Sionnach

Rest your weary heads in a dreamy lighthouse cottage, blissfully cast away on a soul-soothing private island off the rugged Isle of Skye. There's a distinctly magical ‘time travelling' feel about the journey to Eilean Sionnach (Gaelic for ‘Island of the Fox').   You'll want to savour every windswept second of your short boat ride from the pier at Isle Ornsay, as you watch the lighthouse…

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…

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…

LV14 SULA Lightship

LV14 SULA Lightship

Enjoy a unique and scenic stay aboard a historic British Lightship, beautifully restored and enchantingly moored in the Gloucester Docks. LV14 SULA is a charmingly characterful vessel, with a wealth of fascinating tales to tell and a very unique USP - she is the only Lightship in the UK on which you can stay aboard!Described by the BBC as a "local celebrity of the Gloucester Docks", the…

007 Mill

007 Mill

A unique, historic James Bond-themed windmill, complete with private mooring on the sparkling Norfolk Broads...  for panoramic views to (a) thrill! 007 Mill, nestled on its very own ‘island' in the shimmering Norfolk Broads, is the ideal escape for would-be secret agents in need of a well-deserved break!   Better still, you get to bring the family and the dogs along to enjoy the fun,…

The Gothic Church

The Gothic Church

An awe-inspiring conversion for celestial group stays, divinely nestled in a tranquil Somerset village that's close to the city of Wells. Boasting a spectacular mix of original features with elegant and contemporary style, The Gothic Church is a truly divine setting for that well-deserved group break. Sleeping up to sixteen guests in six bedrooms (small pets are welcome, too), there's plenty of…

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…

The Pink Cottage

The Pink Cottage

An idyllic country retreat, magically secluded amongst 1,000 acres of Capability Brown parkland in the heart of a private Shropshire estate. A haven of fairytale beauty and tranquillity, Shropshire's historic Weston Park estate is famous for its 1,000 immaculate acres of Capability Brown parkland. Set within the vast estate, Temple Wood was specifically designed by Brown, ‘England's Greatest…

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