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Old Smock Windmill
Photograph: Airbnb

This ancient windmill near London is available to rent for a summer escape

Planning your first post-lockdown break? How about a windmill half an hour from the beach?

By
Ellie Walker-Arnott
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Starting to think about where you’ll go when it’s safe to holiday in the UK again? Here’s some fuel for your daydreams. 

This historic windmill in Kent is available to book on Airbnb

Old Smock Windmill
Photograph: Airbnb

Sleeping two, this four-storey windmill is easy to spot, with a bright white tower that stands out in the Kent landscape. 

The old building has 18-inch brick walls, ancient beams and original machinery – an ‘upright shaft giant spur wheel and sack hoist’ – from its time as a working mill. 

Old Smock Windmill
Photograph: Airbnb

Visitors will absolutely not be roughing it, though. There’s a plush bathroom with an enormous bath and a kingsize bed, plus a balcony for lounging around on on sunny days and a log burner for when it’s nippy.

Old Smock Windmill
Photograph: Airbnb

If you’ve had enough of hanging around inside (and we don’t blame ya), the windmill is in the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty, excellent for glorious countryside hikes, and is a half-an-hour drive from historic Rye (great for pubs, once those are back open) and the beach at Camber Sands. 

Old Smock Windmill
Photograph: Airbnb

Currently overnight stays are banned in the UK (unless you’re staying with a friend or family as part of a support bubble), but the hospitality industry is hopeful that hotels, self-catering cottages, campsites and cabins will be able to open from July 4, in line with the government’s Our Plan to Rebuild document.

Windmill airbnb
Photograph: Airbnb

When the time comes, a couple of nights in a rural windmill will be the perfect antidote to months of London lockdown.

Old Smock Windmill is available from £175 a night (two night minimum). Find out more or book here

Are holidays in the UK allowed? Here’s what we know so far

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