10 U.K. Airbnb Rentals To Book Now

Thursday's the new Friday, staying in is the new going out, and staycations are the new adventure holiday. That’s what we've heard, anyway. What we DO know, however, is staying in the U.K. for vacation is more eco-conscious, you won’t have to deal with airline delays or jet lag, and — best of all — it’s far more affordable, thanks in part to rental sites like Airbnb. And, just because you're not en route to milk the llamas of Lake Titicaca or off to make nice with orangutans in Borneo, there's no reason why your trip shouldn't be every bit as exciting as if you were travelling abroad.
We've pulled together 10 of the most unexpected, unique, and original U.K. Airbnb rentals, from a rustic loft in Battersea to a real-life Scottish castle fit for royalty. So, pack your bags, forget your passport, and plan your much-need vacation already.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Romany Caravan, Bush Meadows

A Romany caravan is a sight for sore eyes. Quaint, beautifully painted, and delightfully bijou, it contains everything you’d need for a cosy weekend stay (yep, even a TV). There’s a day cabin overlooking a meadow, a bathroom stocked with towels and toiletries, and an abundance of bucolic vistas to enjoy to your heart’s content. What more could you want?

Romany Caravan, Bush Meadows. From £68 per night.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Dairsie Castle, Fife, Scotland

Like a bit of history woven into your holiday retreat? Look no further than Dairsie Castle (an actual CASTLE, no less), which was built in the 12th century and has since played host to secret Scottish parliaments, military sieges, and served as a safe haven for a few royal refugees. Like any castle worth its salt, it comes complete with a dungeon, a family bedroo (which has three four-poster beds), various tower rooms, and a great hall. We say hire it for an event (it can accommodate up to 60 people), don your kilt, and play king of the glen for a spell.

Dairsie Castle, Fife, Scotland. From £600 per night.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Luxury Boathouse, London

Explore the high seas (or just have a cuppa on deck and a little gawp at the Thames) in this two-bed luxury boathouse situated between Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges. Floor-to-ceiling windows let in a cheering amount of light, while the swimming pool on the pier is perfect for BBQs, relaxing, and — in typically British style — getting disproportionately overexcited about 19-degree weather.

Luxury Boathouse, London. From £149 per night.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Camel Quarry House, Cornwall

Slick and impeccably designed, Camel Quarry House could have been lifted straight from the pages of ELLE Decor. Crafted from slate, wood, concrete, and glass, its modernist beauty fits in perfectly with Cornwall's raw terrain. You can revel in the natural beauty of your surroundings by taking advantage of the cedar hot tub, having a BBQ on the terrace, or just by eating your cornflakes at the long wooden kitchen table, trying not to let them fall out of your mouth as the view renders you agog. Rick Stein’s famous fish restaurant is just down the road in Padstow, too.

Camel Quarry House, Cornwall. From £1100 per night.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Shoreditch/Hoxton Loft, London

If you're going to stay in hipsterville, you may as well do it properly. This open-plan space is as good as it gets, eclectically decked-out with found objects, midcentury Scandi furniture, and mismatched, er, everything. The result is completely original — no cookie-cutter chain hotel slippers to be found here. Enjoy New York-style loft living spitting-distance from some of London's most exciting venues. Score.

Shoreditch/Hoxton Loft, London. From £135 per night.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
The Old School, Drymen, Scotland

This self-catering cottage, set in the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, was converted from an old primary school and is minutes from Scotland’s oldest pub. If that’s not reason enough to make you want to pack your bags immediately, the interior is modern yet homey, each of the four bedrooms boast en suite baths, and there are exposed beams aplenty. Oh, and a hot tub. Something of a trend, no?

The Old School, Drymen, Scotland. From £200 per night.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Helen's Tower, Bangor, Ireland

A weekend break somewhere so mystical, beautiful, and steeped in history that it inspired a poem by Tennyson? That sounds right up our street. Enter Helen’s Tower, the romantic 19th-century, three-story stone tower nestled deep in the woods of the Clandeboye Estate in Ireland. Initially built as a game-keeper’s tower, it provides panoramic views right to the Scottish shores. And, you can pretend you’re in Game of Thrones during your entire stay. Shame they can’t guarantee Jon Snow as well as the mod-cons inside.

Helen's Tower, Bangor, Ireland. From £113 per night.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Loft Space, Battersea Rise, London

Well, knock us over with a feather, this rather rustic-looking bolt-hole isn’t in Patagonia or Kenya or even some far-flung, esoteric corner of East London. It’s actually in well-to-do Battersea. The old Victorian warehouse was converted into an artist’s home, and the space pays homage to all things spiritual, homespun, and, er, wooden. Trees grow indoors, bamboo-pod swings hang from the ceiling, and teak carvings lend an Aztec vibe. There’s also a wet room, Moroccan-style roof deck, and a movie library next to the fireplace. It's a melting-pot of interiors that will make you completely forget that, actually, you’re still in SW11, and if you wanted to pop out to Nando’s, you totally could.

Loft Space, Battersea Rise, London. From £135 per night.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Tree Sparrow House, Cornwall

Harbouring any Swiss Family Robinson fantasies? This one’s for you, then. The so-cute-you-couldn’t-make-it-up Tree Sparrow House is indeed perched two metres up an ash tree, affording you views of Falmouth Bay and the orchards of Tregaminion. Make dinner in the kitchen, snuggle down in the double bed on the mezzanine, and even turn the heating on when it’s a bit nippy. We can't think of anything much cosier.

Tree Sparrow House, Cornwall. From £100 per night.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Bloomsburys Glamping Yurt, Ashford

Forget what you've heard — glamping has moved even further away from hippy and closer toward luxe. Bloomsburys' Ashford-based campsite offers canvas-covered wonders outfitted with beds, heating, and electricity. There's also a wood-fired hot tub, charming communal dining area, gorgeous bath facilities with heated limestone flooring and beauty therapists on call. And, we can be pretty sure that they won't be trying to rub you down with heather and patchouli oil.

Bloomsburys Glamping Yurt, Ashford. From £195 per night.