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Why do ordinary? That’s the question asked by Oliver’s Travels, the award-winning travel specialist which has scoured the globe to find more than 5,000 luxury villas and chateaux ideal for group holidays. They let us in on the UK’s most swoon-worthy staycation destinations.
The UK staycation is having something of a renaissance. Cast aside your nightmarish preconceptions of broken sticks of rock, soggy tents and a break down on the M6. Whether you’re after a family trip to the seaside, a weekend immersed in nature or an adrenaline-fuelled celebration with friends, the country has a destination for you – and we’ve found the places to stay when you get there. Our round-up of the UK’s most Instagrammable homes and villas are sure to get thumbs double tapping.
From Scottish castles to Scandi-style treehouses, these are the UK’s best staycations
Set on a hilltop on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, this quirky holiday home has an enviable location and even more enviable views – take in vistas across the Devonshire countryside. With an amazingly equipped kitchen (complete with an AGA), drawing room with a fireplace and an impressive six acres of formal gardens and paddocks, it’s truly a lovely retreat. Kids will love it too, as it has a tree swing in the woodlands, garden ponds, Wi-Fi and a pool house.
Most Instagrammable features: Populate your feed with pictures that capture the fusion of Shanghai-inspired and classical English interiors, or the East-Asian pool house.
Thought you had to jump on a plane for a beach getaway? Think again. From this spot in Kent you can make the most of the UK’s stunning coastline. If the weather is being typically British, the retreat has an indoor sunroom – it was one of the first rooms in the country to have installed innovative health-giving sun simulators.
Most Instagrammable features: The themed rooms. Head to the St Tropez-style living area which has its own beach (yes, you read that correctly), the velvet cinema room or the tropical garden. Individual bedroom themes take their cue from time travel, surfing and Venetian palaces.
While this handsome baronial house dates back to 1835, the space has since benefited from an interior overhaul by artist-owner Stuart McAlpine Miller and his wife, Nikki. Adorned with contemporary artworks and state-of-the-art-furnishings, this historic gem brings together the best of past and present. Twelve acres of private gardens surround the property – soak up their charm as you wander around, go fishing or enjoy vistas of the Highlands on the horizon.
Most Instagrammable features: Every. Single. Room. Take a snap by the neon-lit bar in the entertainment room or the dining room complete with “The Savoy Series” of artworks. This place is a veritable playground for Instagrammers: perch by the baby grand piano in the morning room or take a dip in a freestanding rose-gold bathtub.
Another holiday home set amongst the forest, this is the kind of place where you could easily be forgiven for thinking that you’ve stepped into a fairy-tale. Designed with its surroundings in mind, Woodland Star looks as if it’s been carved out of trees – adults and children will be equally intrigued.
Most Instagrammable features: This one-of-a-kind property, really (ahem) branches out the design stakes. Don’t miss the “tree” found between the living and dining rooms.
Sleeps 24-26 (well, it is a castle)
This castle offers the perfect fusion of old-school baronial style and modern-day luxury. Refurbishments have been sympathetic to its original character – the mansion retains its historic drawing room, whisky library, Victorian walled garden and a small, private loch fed by the River Don. Time to dust off your best Lord and Lady impression.
Most Instagrammable features: This is a 17th-century castle – there’s little here that isn’t going to make your feed light up. All rooms are all decorated with Scottish flair. Plus, its 18 acres of private woodland and gardens are great for outdoor shots. It’s clear to see why Billy Connolly owned this place for a while.
This secluded hamlet pays homage to its past – linen tapestries honour Prince Rupert who stayed here while he commanded royalist troops during the Civil War, for instance. Take a step back into a bygone era while you wander the halls and rooms of this Elizabethan Gatehouse, its courtyard and private garden.
Most Instagrammable features: The interior is full of character. Point your camera towards its original beams and historical decor.
One of only a handful of Grade II-listed country homes in England, Inglethorpe Hall is a fascinating go-to for destination weddings, celebrations or general large group getaways. Stay here and you’ll enjoy all 30 acres of the estate – including private grounds and three additional cottages – to yourself.
Most Instagrammable features: This postcard-perfect building has been elegantly restored – we love admiring its exterior.
Set on the banks of Loch Lomond, this stylish property was designed to impress with open-plan entertaining spaces decked out with beautiful furnishings. Not only this, Cameron North Lodge can be used as a Vill’Otel, that being a space that gives you all the privacy and independence of a villa but with all the conveniences of a hotel (think: daily breakfast, cleaning, a welcome hamper and fridge-stocking service).
Most Instagrammable features: Don’t miss the glass-fronted extension and eye-catching exterior design as well as state-of-the-art interior decor. Plus the luxury hot tub has views of the stunning Loch Lomond – great for that classic champagne shot.
A refined treehouse with Scandinavian vibes, this chic holiday home is set in woodlands and draws guests with open-plan living, understated luxury, minimalist design and sleek furnishings. Originally designed as a writer’s nook, it’s an ideal retreat for creatives.
Most Instagrammable features: Immersed in nature, this holiday house is seriously ‘grammable for its location alone. Yet the fusion of retro and contemporary furniture really makes it a photo-worthy place to escape.
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