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Unusual Staycations

When our thoughts turn to holidays, traditionally it means jetting off overseas to exotic locations and a warm climate. The arrival of Covid shifted the landscape and, once again this year, more of us will be looking at 'staycations'.

A 'staycation' is no longer seen as the poor relation of an overseas trip. Options for this once humble holiday have grown enormously and there are now many unusual and rewarding experiences out there. This really is the year to stay at home and embrace an adventure on your own doorstep.

Spend time on a houseboat

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For those who like the great outdoors and big city culture, you can combine the two. Take London for example - why not stay centrally for a few days, visit all the sights then switch it up and spend time on a houseboat in a picturesque location like Little Venice or St Katharine's Dock by Tower Bridge. It's a unique way to enjoy the capital.

Spend a night at London Zoo

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Between February and September, it's also possible to spend a night at London Zoo! The London Zoo Lodges are situated in the Land of The Lions exhibit, meaning your morning alarm call may well be the roar of the zoo's Asiatic lions. Imagine the look on your child's face when they tell their friends.

Or you can leave the city after a few days to unwind in a gentler environment elsewhere and so enjoy the best of both worlds.

Stay in a rustic fairytale house

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All over the country, there are unusual and memorable 'staycations' waiting to be explored. Fans of fantasy, for example, can stay in tiny, rustic fairytale houses called Hobbit Houses. These retreats are lovingly handcrafted in rolling countryside or farmland, like those in Shropshire or Sussex, close to areas of outstanding natural beauty.

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To the north in Cumbria, you can stay at the Duke Of Portland boat house, situated on the shore of Lake Ullswater. This waterside retreat, with stunning views, was once owned by a Prime Minister in the eighteenth century.

Luxurious Apartment in a Grade II*' Listed Estate

Accessible Apartment in a Newly Converted Victorian Stables

Stylish Apartment with Magnificent Views of Cumbrian Countryside

Alternatively you can head to Perthshire in Scotland and stay in an eco-friendly tree house on the banks of the River Teith. Five treehouses are set in a private woodland setting, bordering the Trossachs National Park. It's the ultimate in escapism yet only an hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh.

In Maldon, Essex, you can enjoy lakeside living by staying on a floating pod. Located within the 130 acres of a rural farm, each pod comes with its own rowing boat.

Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Or how about converted transport as a holiday home? In Lincolnshire, you can base yourself in a converted Lynx helicopter on the site of RAF Wainfleet near Skegness. In Shropshire, Coalport Station offers self-catering holidays in two Great Western Railway carriages in the Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is even a 1970s school bus available to book in Devon.

Why not stay in a castle?

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If history is your passion, then why not stay in a castle? Cawood Castle in North Yorkshire was once a stronghold of the Archbishop of York. All that remains now is the gatehouse where guests can enjoy mediaeval rooms and panoramic views of the Yorkshire countryside.

Elsewhere Kingswear Castle in Devon, built in 1502 to protect Dartmouth Harbour, is a good option. Located on the water's edge, there are wonderful views of the town and its rocky coast.

In Norfolk, Alysham Windmill, once a working flour mill, has been converted into a scenic holiday home that can sleep up to six people.

Cottage on a clifftop

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Possibly the most unusual (and remote) 'staycation' can be found on the island of South Walls in Orkney, Scotland. Here you can stay in a cottage located on a clifftop next to a lighthouse. Amenities include a firepit and a sauna, and it's a perfect retreat after a few days exploring Inverness or Aberdeen.

Blissful Coastal Home near Aberdeen city centre

Scenic Aberdeen home with sea views

Stunning Family Home in Cults, Aberdeen

Most of us equate holidays abroad with adventure and that's all part of the appeal of flying away for a vacation. But there are a whole host of awfully big adventures much closer to home. So make 2022 the year to seriously switch up your vacation ideas and enjoy a truly memorable'staycation'.

Wherever you may choose to holiday this year, stay safe and have a good one!