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Photograph: De Vere House

13 amazing Airbnbs near London you’ll want to book right now

Dreaming of escaping London for a mini break? Here are some amazing Airbnbs within an hour or two of the city

Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott
&
Rhys Thomas
Contributors
Lola Christina Alao
&
Danielle Goldstein
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We're currently seeing the peak of the UK getaway, for obvious reasons, so why not lock in some UK travel while it's the simplest option? Honestly, it's a blessing in disguise that our country is packed with incredible scenery, gorgeous villages and hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. We suggest booking an Airbnb near London, where you'll find something cool, quirky and a little left-field within easy reach.

From seaside shacks to cosy cottages in forests, there's no limit to the incredible places to stay within an hour or two from the capital. They boast a load of amazing beaches, walks and lush stretches of countryside to explore while you’re there. Seriously, you’ll wonder why it took a global crisis to make you discover these sweet spots.

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The best Airbnbs near London

As far as escapes from the Big Smoke go, Cambridge is a bloomin' lovely one. Hop on a train from King's Cross and alight in verdant countryside in less than an hour. Things get even more tranquil if you head just three miles out of town to this gorgeous Grade II-listed cottage (formerly a buttery) situated within 23 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. The decor is chic, modern rustic with all the home comforts. Plus, if you explore the grounds, you'll find a pool (shared), a rope swing and even some sheep. 

Chill the eff out at The Well on Margate’s seafront. It’s got bohemian charm by the bucket (and spade) load, and has been designed to promote wellbeing. We're talking a meditation area with soft cushions, yoga mats, relaxation masks, and aromatherapy oils. Go with the flow. Soak in the tub – handily located just a metre from your bed – or venture outside to watch the waves. The chic retreat is located right on the seaside, and is also close to the famed Turner Contemporary art gallery. 

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A wild swim in your own private lake is a great way to wind down, and if that's what you're after, this Airbnb would be the perfect fit. You can say goodbye to that chaos you get trying to go for a swim in a London pond or lido and simply hope into the lake whenever you want. North of Brighton, Ditchling Cabin is right in the middle of the South Downs National Park. The ownders provide wetsuits so you don't need to worry about bringing those. You'll also have the luxury of a outside hot shower, a fire pit and a roll top bath. 

Recognise this wonky old building? This stunner, right in the middle of LavenhamSuffolk, is one of the most remarkable medieval villages in the UK. If you recognise it a little, that might be because it stood in for Harry Potter’s birthplace in the movies. It was also a five star B&B before its pivot over to the Airbnb world. Book a room in the historic building for an otherworldly break from modern life. Marshmallows for the fire included. You'd be a mug(gle) not to consider this place. 

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This oak cabin for two in Hertfordshire was voted one of the UK's most-wishlisted Airbnbs in 2020 and we're not surprised. It's situated in the middle of a forest, making it the most perfect peaceful setting for a romantic getaway. The back gate allows you to walk straight into the woods to explore 5000 acres of deer filled forest and its other wildlife. And just 20 minute walk away will allow you to refresh yourself in the upmarket and cosy pub, the Alford Arms. We can't think of anything better.

Swap city life for the tiny hamlet of Waterstock. There's a golf course and horse riding center for those luxe countryside activities, and a good pub. However, this perfect Grade II listed thatched country cottage is also near Oxford so you can happily venture into the city if you like. Assuming you even want to leave this fourteenth-century property. 

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Forget Margate, the go-to seaside escape these days is Hastings. Similar to Margs and Brighton, it has that hippyish charm of a town by the water, alongside trendy restaurants, vintage shops and one helluva view. This Victorian townhouse takes advantage of said view, with French doors opening out onto a private terrace with access to Warrior Square Gardens and then the ocean. It sleeps four, is beautifully decorated and – massive bonus – has free on-road parking.

 

Not quite done with that isolation vibe? Head to bleak and beautiful Dungeness for a quiet stay in this modernist paradise of a cabin. It’s all timber and glass, looking out over the area’s trademark wildflower-studded shingle. The price may seem a little eye-watering, but this true spectacle of a house sleeps ten people across eight beds. So it's ideal for a super-sleek and peaceful getaway with some loved ones. 

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Fill your London lungs with fresh sea air at this two bedroom cottage situated on the seashore. Tides Cottage looks out on the shingle and surf, with beach access from the front door. Whitstable and The Old Neptune pub are just a short walk away along the beach, but we wouldn't blame you if you spent your entire stay sipping tea and watching the waves. As calm as it gets. 

The low-key seaside town of Deal is one of our favourite places to visit. The massive pier and bronzy stone beach are one of the South East's best secrets. This seventeenth-century cottage is the ideal spot from which to soak it all up. The decor is stunning, there's no other word for it. Opulent, townhouse chic galore, with a quaint garden. It's also just a few steps away from the stones and sea air, for movie-level tinnies and chips as the sun goes down.

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You won't have stayed anywhere quite like this before. It's a unique shepherd’s hut-style cabin on a decking above a load of chopped up logs, on a farm. The Hut has a neat living space and two tiny bedrooms upstairs (access via ladder!). The spot looks out over lush fields, and the beach is also within easy reach. Here, in your forest green hut, just a small drive away from gorgeous locations such as Rye, Camber Sands and Dungeness. 

Need to seriously switch off? Swap Zoom meetings and virtual hangs with sweeping views of gorgeous greenery and an expansive fishing pond. There's no WI-FI here anyway, so that's that. Embrace it. Open those large bi-fold doors and bring the sunshine in. If you want to venture beyond the beautiful abode, you're in prime Buckinghamshire, so won't be short on things to do. 

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This impeccably designed beachfront house is about as close to the waves as you can get, with its giant glass doors spilling out into the sand dunes. The wood and glass combination is both very stylish and practical, giving you seaside views from the master bedroom, ensuite, and lounge. It's close to Rye, with its lovely cobbled lanes. The east Sussex retreat can accommodate up to eight guests, making it perfect for a multi-family getaway – assuming you don't get into a fight over who gets the room with a view. 

Fancy venturing further afield?

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