Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

17th January 2017

Here are our top eight places for families to play during their holidays

Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

17th January 2017

Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

17th January 2017


The Coppice Woodland is a rural apartment spread over four “rooms” dotted in the trees and bushes, nr. Cambridge. The VW camper van is, if you choose, the main bedroom and has a kids bed at what used to be the driver’s end. There’s an oak-framed cob hut that houses the compost loo and the covered kitchen area; the dining room is cut into an alcove of trees, with handcrafted outdoor furniture. The bell tent acts as either your lounge or guest bedroom. The latest addition is a cedar shingle canopy that curves up from the forest floor to create a sheltered area that houses seating and a hammock, so you can sleep in the woods for real!


The Loveland Pod in Devon encapsulates the owner’s ethos of modernity, environmental awareness and luxurious simplicity. With a sumptious king size bed, dining table, two comfortable sofa beds, a beautiful wood burning fire, kitchenette, shower and eco loo on the doorstep plus wifi access as and when you need it, you can retreat from the hectic pace of life but still enjoy the comforts of modern living in a truly unique environment. The Pod sleeps up to 6 people.


A sparkling example of modern style, Blue Hue is a well located canal boat on the outskirts of Edinburgh offering a remarkably comfy experience - all the furniture is custom-built and everything is cleverly designed to feel light, airy and spacious. The tailor-made, raised double bed means you can just lie back and watch the canal life pass by your window. A single pull-out sofa bed, and a small couch give a bit more sleeping space. Don’t forget to watch out for the family of ducks that regularly waddle past! This is a calm spot to retreat to after a day wandering around the exciting city streets. Or just walk along the canals and watch the boats and wildlife.


The Straw House in Cornwall is a super cosy hideaway. The wood floor is covered in rugs and sheepskins and there’s a woodburner to keep you warm in the evenings plus plenty of quirky features. Peek outside and there’s the vegetable garden - brimming with fruit, veg and flowers. Plan-it Earth creates an environment where the outdoors can bring joy into people’s lives: gazing up at the stars, listening to birdsong, building a campfire or foraging for herbal remedies… a place where you’ll really get back to what’s important.


Gwdy Hw (pron. Goody Hoo) is nestled deep in the heart of the Welsh Mountains. In a wooded secret valley, this is a chic treehouse designed and built by its imaginative owners. After a short hike up through the woods (bring boots, and pack light!) you’ll spy a dramatic spiral staircase, at the top of which is the main living space: a futuristic curved pod, with a double and bunk beds sleeping four altogether. Completely off-grid and built on low-impact floating joints that keep the trees from harm, it’s the sort of place you can just lose yourself in - simple and beautiful.


You won’t find any pews in this Isle of Wight holiday house. They’ve been replaced with a comfy living area and a vintage kitchen, and one of the aisles has been kitted out with a seriously retro games area, with table football and reclaimed red velvet cinema seats. There’s a mezzanine with two large bedrooms floating in the roof space (the other two bedrooms are in the Sunday school annexe just off to the side). On sunny days, you can sit out on the decked courtyard, and there’s a wilderness garden out the back where you can have a barbecue or sit in the little summerhouse.


Go across an arched stone bridge over the river, past an 18th century water mill and you’ll find Copper Beech Glade, a trio of colourful Gypsy wagons, each with their own individual story in the grounds of Markington Hall, North Yorkshire. There’s a modern kitchen for when you’re not using the fire pit, and a compost loo and shower in the glade too. Just next to the Copper Beech Glade is a lawn with everything you need for badminton, boules, football or a good old-fashioned game of croquet. The beck running nearby is great for paddling and building dens.


The Pilot Panther is a classic 1950 showman’s wagon and it has now has settled in a fine location overlooking Loch Voil, Perthshire. Off the main living and sleeping area, which also has the oven and grill, is the double bunk room. The loos and shower are a minute’s walk away at the hotel. The great walking around the long loch will help you work up an appetite worthy of Monachlye Mhor, an award-winning pilgrimage for Scottish foodies. They have their own fishery, bakery and tea rooms too, all of which can provide you with take away ingredients or eat-in goodies.

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