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Ellie Walker-Arnott

Ellie Walker-Arnott

Ellie Walker-Arnott is Digital Travel Editor at Time Out, where she’s worked since 2016. She also edits the Time Out London magazine’s Travel and UK Escapes sections.

Ellie writes about amazing and unusual places to explore in cities around the world. She also loves day trips and the chance to swap city life for Italian islands, Scottish hiking trails or rustic treehouses in Cornwall. Ellie was born in London and, after a stint in the countryside, returned to the city a decade ago. She loves being able to champion her home city. Her first book, a London guide book called ‘Nostalgic London’, was published in June 2020. 

Reach her at ellie.walker-arnott@timeout.com or connect with her on social at Twitter: @Ellie_Wa and Insta: @elliejwa

Articles (214)

18 of the best campsites in the UK

18 of the best campsites in the UK

Camping is one of life’s finest thrills. The great outdoors, with no pesky neighbours and only nature for company? Well, there are few things better. And the British countryside is as good as anywhere for a tip-top camping getaway. With all its lush wilderness, marvellous landscapes and, of course, a tremendous selection of rural pubs, the UK is the ideal camping destination. Throughout the country you’ll come across everything from terrific scenic hikes and fairytale forests to dramatic coastlines and majestic peaks. There’s something for every kind of camper, from the blustery ruggedness of the Scottish Highlands to the rolling meadows of the Chilterns. And while, sure, you can ‘wild camp’ in many places, often it’s best (and most legal) to pitch your tent in a proper campsite (or indeed go glamping). Which is where we come in. From Devon and Cornwall to the Isle of Mull and Gower Peninsula, below we’ve rounded-up the country’s finest places to sleep under the stars. Here are the 18 best places to go camping in the UK. RECOMMENDED:🏊 The best outdoor swimming pools in the UK🦦 Where to spot rare wildlife in the UK🪂 The best extreme outdoor activity breaks in the UK🚴 The most beautiful bike trails in the UK🏖️ The most stunning hidden beaches in the UK

The 11 best road trips in the UK

The 11 best road trips in the UK

There are few things quite so boundless and full of possibility as the open road. Whether you’re blazing down the scorching, hazy tarmac of Route 66 or speeding through spectacular vistas on Australia’s Great Ocean Road, road trips offer the chance to travel with a sense of proper, epic freedom. And while Oz and the US might be the first to spring to mind when you think of the world’s best road trips, plenty of them can be found right here in the UK. This small country has everything from jaw-dropping national parks and picture-perfect seaside towns to towering cities – and its mighty road network makes it ideal for a multi-day driving adventure. Across the four nations of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, expect a wild array of landscapes and scenes. You’ll find vast beaches, emerald lochs, clattering waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. So prep that playlist of drivetime bangers and ready yourself for the open road – here are the 11 best road trips in the UK according to us. RECOMMENDED:💕 The best romantic weekend getaways in the UK☕ Tiny, cosy cottages you can book in the UK🌳 11 incredible treehouses you can book in the UK🪂 The best extreme outdoor activity breaks in the UK🏞️ The most beautiful national parks in the UK

Gorgeous campsites near London

Gorgeous campsites near London

Desperately in need of some green space therapy? Hardened Londoners sometimes need to remind themselves what the great outdoors looks like, too (and no, St. James’ Park doesn’t count). What could be better, then, than taking your own tent out into an open green space in the countryside? You can find amazing campsites and glamping spots in glorious greenery not too far from the city. Here’s our pick of the best rural camping spots within a few hours of London, whether you want to go really off-grid, pitch your own two-man, or kip inside a luxe bell tent. RECOMMENDED: The best weekend breaks from London

The 9 best places to see cherry blossom in the UK

The 9 best places to see cherry blossom in the UK

With our grey winters that feel like they drag on for ever, it’s easy to forget just how enchanting the UK can be. Luckily, spring always comes back around to remind us, courtesy of trees and plants and shrubs that begin to bloom once again. Among the most exciting things about the season is the eruption of pink as cherry blossoms unveil their lovely flowers and their petals line the ground like confetti. If you head out for a dose of vitamin D, the pastel shades lining our streets and parks are guaranteed to bring you joy (and brighten your Instagram feed).  The trees bloom between March and May, but April is your best bet if you want to catch them at their fullest and most vibrant. From castle fruit orchards to parks bursting with blush tones, here are the best places in Scotland, England and Wales to walk among cherry blossoms.  RECOMMENDED:🍂 The best places to see wildflowers in the UK🌸 Where to see wisteria in the UK💙 The UK’s top spots for bluebells✨ The underrated wonders of the UK📸 The most Instagrammed villages in the UK

The best massages in London

The best massages in London

Life in London can be tense. We gird ourselves with overcrowded commutes, contorting into unlikely gaps on the tube. We hunch over laptops all day long, sit through stressful meetings and stay at our desks late into the evening, often topping it off by slumping over our phones to scroll through pictures of our mates on holiday. Even if we find time in our days for an hour or two of proper fun, mindful quiet or the endorphin hit of a sweaty exercise class, we still have tired feet, tight muscles and shoulders in need of soothing. Enter the spas and studios in London dedicated to massaging the city back to health. Permit yourself a break, put your slippered feet up and let these amazing treatments work their magic.   Looking for more treatments? Check out the best spas in LondonWant to save money on your massages? Loads of great deals at Time Out Offers

11 of the most breathtaking hikes in the UK

11 of the most breathtaking hikes in the UK

From beaches and seaside towns to national parks, the UK is a land of many, many charms. And that, obviously, goes for its walks, too. This nation is a trove of natural beauty and most of it is best explored on foot. In fact, rather a lot of the UK’s must-visit sights can only be explored on two legs. Britain’s walking trails have inspired generations of writers and artists – and how could they not? From the rugged beauty of the Yorkshire Dales to the mighty mountains of Snowdonia, this country’s landscapes are spectacularly diverse and impressive. Our list of the best hikes in the UK features walks that are a little more challenging than your typical stroll around the park. Each trail is designed so that you can either pick a short stretch or, if you fancy a bigger challenge, attempt them in their entirety. If you embark on the latter, some might take days – giving you the perfect excuse to pitch up at one of the UK’s finest campsites or take a stab at wild camping. So grab your boots, pack a sandwich or two and warm up those calf muscles! Here are the UK’s best hiking routes. RECOMMENDED:🪂 The best extreme outdoor activity breaks in the UK🚌 How to rent a campervan in the UK🏕 The best UK campsites🏡 5 tiny but perfectly formed UK hideaways🛋️ Great Airbnbs for large group getaways

10 places in the UK that look like they’re abroad

10 places in the UK that look like they’re abroad

We know, we know: a lot of the UK is just grey concrete, Greggs and overpriced coffee shops. But there are some surprising spots across the British Isles that will make you feel like you’re being transported to an overseas paradise. We’re not kidding. Lush waterfalls, sun-soaked rivieras and white-sand beaches? We’ve got ’em. Colourful streets, crystal-clear waters and dramatic architecture? We have all of that, too.  Don’t go thinking it’s all ‘Downton Abbey’-esque stately homes and neat stone cottages – the UK can be surprising, too. So whether you’re after a subtropical trip or are in more of a Scandi mood, look no further than these UK places that will make you feel like you’re abroad. And the best part? You can leave your passport at home.  RECOMMENDED:🐚 The most beautiful hidden beaches in the UK🌊 The UK’s top seaside towns🪂 The best extreme outdoor activity breaks in the UK🚴 The most beautiful bike trails in the UK🏊 The UK’s best Airbnbs with pools

The best day trips from London

The best day trips from London

If you're fed up with city life, it's tempting to daydream about a leisurely fortnight somewhere deliciously hot and exotic. But your great escape doesn't have to be quite so involved, or spendy. You can microdose that holiday vibe by taking a day trip to one of the joy-inducing destinations just a few hours away from London: historic cities, cute villages, sandy beaches, we've got 'em all. Planning a quick getaway? Here’s some fuel for your own day(trip)dreams. These are 17 of our favourite day-tripping spots, complete with cute pubs and ace restaurants – all close enough to London to get there and back in one glorious day. Or keep things even simpler with a trip to this city's best beer gardens, green spaces or rooftop bars.  RECOMMENDED: 101 incredible things to do in London insteadRECOMMENDED: the best Airbnbs near LondonRECOMMENDED: Quirky Airbnbs in the UK This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best weekend trips from London

The best weekend trips from London

In the heat of summer, sometimes you need a break from the urban jungle that's a little more substantial than a quick dip in the Hampstead ponds or lazing in one of our many parks. We don't know about you, but a relaxing trip with no cancelled flights or Brexit-related passport queue confusion sounds pretty tempting to us. And while the weather might be a bit hit and miss you can't beat the UK's restaurants, museums, shops, stunning scenery and hotels. When you want to get out of London without any faff, look no further than these gorgeous getaways – from cosy rural retreats to proper city breaks. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here. RECOMMENDED: 17 dreamy day trips close to London. The best walks near London. Bring the whole family to these kid-friendly destinations.

The 33 best beaches in the UK

The 33 best beaches in the UK

Nothing beats a bit of sea air, right? The first feeling of sand beneath your toes, the slightly salty smell and the endless line of blue stretching from eye to eye. A trip to the seaside is even better if you don’t need to travel half-way across the world to do it – and even though the weather might be slightly temperamental here, the UK is home to dozens of beautiful beaches waiting for you to explore.  From hidden coves to big, sandy crowd-pleasers, this island has it all. Sure, there’s the nostalgic, family-friendly Woolacombe Sands and the rainbow-coloured beach huts on Summerleaze, but did you know about porpoise-spotting from the pristine sands of Scarista Beach? Or the unbeatable picnic spot overlooking Lulworth Cove? There are even crystal-clear waters that look nothing like the UK – you just need to know where to look.  If you’re itching for a trip away, this is our pick of the best beaches in the UK to check out this year. And once you’re done with all of the splashing and sandcastle-making? Don’t forget to refuel on some delicious local seafood and fish and chips before heading home. RECOMMENDED:🐚 The most beautiful hidden beaches in the UK🏊 The best wild swimming spots in the UK📸 The UK’s most Instagrammed villages🪂 The best extreme outdoor activity breaks in the UK🚴 The most beautiful bike trails in the UK

The 25 best Airbnbs in the UK

The 25 best Airbnbs in the UK

Dust off your suitcase, set up your out-of-office, and find those swimming trunks shoved in the back of the wardrobe (or your scarf and woolly hat ), there is nothing better than a well-deserved break right on home soil. Yeah, you could fly to some tropical paradise or European city, but the UK has some incredible hidden gems worthy of a staycation. We're all about celebrating the bits that make the UK great: diverse climates, lush environments, gorgeous coastlines, and good ol' pub grub. With a wealth of countryside, forests and secluded sandy beaches, there are endless opportunities to explore the country. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best Airbnbs in the UK for you to look at. Anyone making a cuppa?💕 The best romantic weekend getaways in the UK🪵 Amazing cabins and cottages in the UK🧘 The best wellbeing breaks and yoga retreats in the UK This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The 10 best places for family breaks in the UK

The 10 best places for family breaks in the UK

Travelling with kids is, as you’d expect, nowhere near as simple as travelling without ‘em. Not only have you got other whole human beings to be responsible for, but you’ve got to keep them entertained. But ‘family-friendly’ doesn’t have to mean ‘soulless holiday park’ or ‘drab all-inclusive’. Family holidays can still lead you to some of the UK’s coolest, quirkiest and most fascinating destinations. And the UK is very much the all-rounder when it comes to family-friendly breaks. It’s the kind of place that brings out the kid in anyone, from its nostalgic seaside towns and expansive national parks to its rich, complex history. And these are the pick of the bunch: the absolute best places for a family holiday in the UK right now. RECOMMENDED:🏊 The most stunning outdoor swimming pools in the UK🚗 The best road trips in the UK🏖️ The most stunning hidden beaches in the UK🪵 Cabins and cottages to book now for autumn🌳 Amazing treehouses in the UK you can actually stay in

Listings and reviews (64)

Four Seasons Spa

Four Seasons Spa

When asked how you’d like the curtains at the Four Seasons Hotel spa, definitely, definitely say ‘open’. Each room here offers killer views out over Hyde Park to accompany its spa treatments. Therapy rooms come complete with sauna and pool, while the the wide range of treatments includes massages, facials, wraps, scrubs and nail treatments. Afterwards, head to a dimly lit relaxation pod, where you can have a steaming cup of tea and some nibbles, while you stick on a pair of headphones and let the calming effects of your treatment really sink in. For more R&R, here is our full list of the best spas in London.

Virtual pasta-making with Nonna Nerina

Virtual pasta-making with Nonna Nerina

One 84-year-old Italian grandmother has had the perfect reaction to her country going into lockdown. Nonna Nerina usually runs pasta-making workshops in the countryside around an hour north of Rome in Italy, but thanks to the current isolation measures, she had to cancel all her classes. Now, with her granddaughter Chiara, Nerina has taken her classes online. You can book onto a live two-hour, virtual pasta masterclass where you’ll be taken through Nerina’s family recipes using simple ingredients and equipment from a shopping list you’ll be sent a week before class. Dishes on the menu include classic lasagne and ravioli with butter sage sauce. Buon appetito!

re:lax

re:lax

A facial with Katie White at one of re:lax’s petite shipping-container studios (there are two and a third which acts as a chilled waiting room) isn’t really about your face. You’ll leave with soothed, sated and glowing skin, but you’ll also head off with a new perspective on your health, and a list of supplements, balms and tonics that could help you feel even better.  Once you have a cup of homemade herbal tea in hand, Katie kicks off by asking questions about your general wellbeing. It’ll begin as a conversation about your skincare routine and end up with you spilling all your secrets. I find myself opening up about my stress levels, a big project I'm working on, my strange new sleep pattern, the fact that truffle oil makes me feel really sick. But what might be considered a totally irrelevant overshare feeds into the bespoke and holistic facial Katie then gives you.  Mine begins with a double cleanse and steam, an AHA tonic and a lush rose hip mask, during which Katie magically kneads the tension away with an intense head, neck and shoulder massage. A vitamin c serum and a LED light therapy session follow, during which I relax even more, thanks to a little foot reflexology. A dreamy facial massage rounds off the hour, and I head out into the evening, a list of personalised recommendations in my phone notes, feeling sleepy, replenished and reset.  I later returned for one of Katie's new cosmetic accupuncture facials. You might file this kind of treatment under 'extreme' or

Frame Angel Central

Frame Angel Central

Frame is brightening up Angel shopping centre with their trademark colourful decor and perky group fitness classes. The latest studio to join the gang is actually underground, just off Upper Street, (feel like you’re heading for the car park? You’re going the right way) but the lack of natural light does nothing to dampen the vibe. You’ll find a bright reception area, technicolour lockers and functional changing rooms, plus three studios – a reformer pilates studio, a light space for classes like barre and yoga and a darker room for strength, cardio and PT sessions, all run by infectiously energetic trainers. 

LIM Studio

LIM Studio

Founded by Pilates teacher Isobel Palmer, LIM Studio is a light and calming space in Highbury (you can even pause for a herbal tea if you need to destress before you hit the mat), but classes here pack a powerful punch. Book onto Lim Signature for a challenging yet upbeat mix of barre and Pilates that’ll leave you with wobbly legs. The mat Pilates classes are great here, too – expect a focus on technique from instructors who really know their stuff – while there’s a range of yoga classes on the timetable if you never want to do ‘the hundred’ again. Chances are you will, though – Isobel’s cheery and positive demeanour is totally infectious. 

‘Christmas Carol – A Fairy Tale’ review

‘Christmas Carol – A Fairy Tale’ review

4 out of 5 stars

From the Muppets to the RSC, everyone has done ‘A Christmas Carol’, the tale about a miserly old man who becomes charitable and warm-hearted following nighttime visitations from a trio of spirits at Christmas. But Wilton’s – possibly the most atmospheric theatre in the city and the perfect setting for any festive theatre imo – might have managed to find an original take.  It’s Scrooge versus the patriarchy in Piers Torday’s clever, gender-flipped adaptation of Charles Dickens’s famous festive tale, directed by Stephanie Street. Ebenezer is dead and Fan (Sally Dexter), his younger sister and Jacob Marley’s widow, is the one shrouded in black, barking ‘bah, humbug’ at anyone who’ll listen. The main difference, though, is that, as a woman in Victorian England, she has a lot more to be miserly about than Ebenezer ever did.  Sure, she’s closed-off and mean-spirited. But she’s also been restricted, controlled and belittled by all the men in her life. She finally has the autonomy to live her life the way she chooses now that her husband is dead. Then, the man who legally reigned over her in life returns one Christmas Eve, intent on teaching her another lesson from beyond the grave.  The evening starts with an audience singalong fitting for the setting – Wilton’s was a nineteenth-century music hall, after all – but, although the intention is to spread love and goodwill, the vibe of this ‘Christmas Carol’ is never purely jolly again.  There are lols. The story is told by Meagre, Charl

The Aeronauts

The Aeronauts

4 out of 5 stars

It’s hard to work out where facts end and the fantasy begins in this charming ballooning adventure set against a sweet version of Victorian London. The historic expedition the movie is all about – an attempt to break the world flight altitude record – did happen, just not quite like this. But you’ll want to suspend all disbelief, hold tight to the wicker basket and go along for the ride. Eddie Redmayne is James Glaisher, a meteorologist, who, in 1862, really did travel closer to the stars than anyone had done before. He’s reserved but wonkishly enthusiastic about science, and regularly mocked by his Royal Society colleagues for believing that weather can be predicted. Redmayne’s ‘The Theory of Everything’ co-star Felicity Jones plays his pilot Amelia Wren, a daredevil balloonist with glitter in her bra and a tiny dog. Wren is an engaging amalgamation of genuine balloonists such as Sophie Blanchard and Margaret Graham. The pair’s ascent is tracked in very close to real-time, the minutes ticking by as the balloon rises and rises. There are beautiful moments as the pair pass above the clouds to find a sea of fluttering butterflies and a circular rainbow. But the tension ramps up as the air thins while the temperature drops, and the frequent moments of peril are breathtaking in a very literal sense. Flashbacks reveal the struggle to get the basket off the ground at all and the widowed Wren’s desperately sad backstory, before incredible feats are required to bring the pair, and th

Sea Containers London

Sea Containers London

5 out of 5 stars

Sea Containers London occupies one of the best spots in London. It has views of the city and St Paul’s with its iconic dome to the north, London landmarks like Southbank Centre, National Theatre, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe within strolling distance, and the Thames flowing beside its riverfront terrace. Tourists should take note – it’s as conveniently located for a cultural outing as London hotels get – but it’s also got a lot going for it if you’re a local.  There’s Lyaness for starters. Formerly Dandelyan, which was voted the world’s best bar, this light-filled boozing spot is a stunning place to drink stunning cocktails. Up on the roof you’ll find 12th Knot, a buzzy rooftop bar that makes the most of its position with ceiling-to-floor windows. In the basement there’s Agua London spa, a heavenly space (literally – it’s all bright lights and white interiors) for unwinding with restorative treatments, as well as a 56-seat Curzon cinema which screens new releases in a plush, intimate environment during the weekends. The restaurant, too, which on sunny days spills out on to the South Bank, is a draw. Throughout the hotel you’ll notice playful touches that hint at the building’s nautical history (it used to be a shipping company’s offices). The main foyer is dominated by bronze-clad and curvy walls that give the impression you’re standing beneath the hull of a huge boat, windows and mirrors evoke portholes and the hotel’s rooms feel like plush ship cabins. If you’ve alwa

Goods Office

Goods Office

Despite its low-key location – a triangle-shaped corner spot in a residential stretch between Stroud Green and Crouch End – Goods Office always seems to be busy. The all-day eatery is buzzing right from the early morning – when local freelancers turn up to take advantage of their croissant, wi-fi and unlimited coffee for a tenner offer – to the evening, when I can only assume it’s full of commuters who’ve stepped off the W3 bus right into happy hour.  Sitting outside under a string of festoon lights on a warm summer’s evening, you can certainly see the appeal. The drinks were cool, Wimbledon was playing (ever so quietly) inside and, recognising familiar faces, tables were turning around to greet one another.  There’s a brunch menu served until 5pm, but the evening is all about small plates. Both the ‘ugly fish goujons’ and the jalapeño and cheese croquettes were well-seasoned and moreish. The mac and cheese was, as we’d hoped, both heavy and soothing, while a plate of fried chicken satisfied our need for something hot and indulgent. Other dishes needed tweaking: our halloumi was swimming in way too much honey, while a green salad was similarly drowning in oil and salt. We finished off with a Pimms-inspired cheesecake, which, like the rest of the meal, was solid, if not sensational. On the whole, Goods Office serves the kind of comfort food you’d be pleased to eat at a dinner party. Which is pretty fitting as, if you’re local, you’re likely to end up chatting to your neighbou

Still London

Still London

Kingsland Road isn’t somewhere you’d necessarily describe as peaceful. It’s busy and buzzing with Londoners from all walks of life at all times of the day. But there’s true tranquillity to be found in this hippy, holistic nail salon. At the front of the space, you can shop for crystals, jade rollers, organic bath salts and other wellness products. In the middle, it’s set up like a standard nail salon, but all products are vegan, non-toxic and cruelty-free – and all the nail art options are delicate and stylish. The back room, though, is where Still London really gets interesting. Once your nails are looking fresh, you can head into the petite space for a tarot reading session with healer Wolf Sister, or holistic facials and massages with Daisy, the in-house therapist. We tried The High Vibe facial (£85), which was 90 nourishing minutes of crystal healing and reiki, plus much of what you’d expect from a standard facial: gentle exfoliation, massage, soothing natural serums and masks. It’s the facial for when your skin and your soul are in need of some quiet care. You won’t get extractions or potent products applied to your face here, but whether or not you believe in chakras and auras, an hour and a half in Daisy’s company will leave you and your skin feeling balanced, cleansed and reset. 

Masaj

Masaj

A shipping container might not sound like a nice place to strip down for a massage from a stranger, but it turns out it’s actually pretty delightful at Masaj. Set across three shipping containers at the Gossamer City Project, with a bright, greenery-draped courtyard at its heart, the aim here is to champion the power of touch as an antidote to city stresses. Ideal, then. Their tagline is ‘come as you are’. For me that meant late and slightly sweaty after rushing out of a meeting and across London to the appointment. Happily, my frazzled arrival at the space, simply decked out with calming tones and fresh interiors, was met with soothing words and a line-up of delicious, and 100 percent natural, oils to sniff. Each massage is tailored to the needs of each individual body, so after a chat about my aches, pains, preferences and the weird places I hold tension, we moved to the petite but cleverly designed massage studio, and my therapist began. The only downside was having to leave the cocoon of the container and head back into the real world ‘as I was’: sleepy, dishevelled and covered in that delicious-smelling oil.

Agua Spa

Agua Spa

Deep in the basement of Sea Containers London hotel on the South Bank you’ll find the heaven-like Agua Spa. The bright, white interiors, with sweeping curves and warm golden lighting, are the complete opposite of a grey and dreary London day – just popping down there in the lift feels like a mini escape.  Guests can be primed and polished with grooming treatments in the Glamour Room, or, if deep relaxation is on the cards, you’ll be ushered into a plush private room for a treatment from wellness brands such as Made for Life, Soveral, Natura Bisse, Dr Jackson’s and De Mamiel. We opted for the Soveral Signature Facial and found ourselves glowing after an envigorating and firm face massage with a series of delicious aromatherapy-based products.  To maintain those chilled-out post-treatment vibes, guests are invited to sip herbal teas, enjoy a hot water bottle or snuggle with a duvet in the spa lounge. Beds, which are surrounded by light curtains for privacy, face an eye-catching copper teardrop installation created by designer Tom Dixon. You can even order nutritious salad bowls, juices and multivitamin sorbet sundaes while you prepare to face the outside world once again. 

News (576)

This entire Scottish island (complete with castle) could be yours for £1.75 million

This entire Scottish island (complete with castle) could be yours for £1.75 million

If you’re feeling a little hemmed in by your current place of residence, why not swap your four walls for an entire Scottish island. All you need is £1.75 mill and the entire Isle of Vaila, one of the Shetland islands, could be yours.  Photograph: Savills The current owners, who have lived on the secluded 757 acres for around three decades, have decided to sell up so someone else can enjoy living on the island where they say they’ve hosted ‘innumerable parties’ over the years.  Photograph: Savills As well as all that space to party as much and as loudly as you like, the island comes with a three-bedroom farmhouse, a two-bedroom cottage, an eighteenth-century watchtower and a seventeenth-century listed castle to call home.  Photograph: Savills The seriously idyllic spot also boasts six miles of coastline dotted with bays, caves and natural arches that attracts all kinds of wildlife – including orcas. Photograph: Savills Talking of animals, if you buy Vaila you’re also taking on a flock of around 200 Shetland ewes and becoming the custodian of the skeleton of a 42ft sperm whale which was beached on the island 20 years ago.  Photograph: Savills A move here is a likely to be a big culture shock for the majority of us. We’re talking a really, really remote existence. Like, zero chance of ever getting a Deliveroo. Off the north coast of Scotland, the Shetland islands are the UK’s northernmost point, sitting between the Faroe islands and Norway – and Isle of Vaila is a t

Is this the dreamiest cabin bathroom in the UK?

Is this the dreamiest cabin bathroom in the UK?

There are treehouses with epic balconies or cottages high on hills with sweeping views of the sea – and then there is this.   Cabin X, a secluded hideaway on a 25-acre farm in the East Sussex countryside, has a bathroom with an incredibly pleasing vista. In fact, it might just be the nicest bathroom in the country.  Photograph: Architects Holiday Floor to ceiling windows in the WC reveal lush trees and verdant ferns. The perfect companions while you’re sitting on the loo or enjoying the cabin’s huge walk-in shower.  Photograph: Architects Holiday It’s like having an alfresco bathroom – taking forest bathing to a whole new level – but without having to share your wet room with any overfriendly insects. The ideal situation, if you ask us.  Photograph: Architects Holiday The rest of the rustic cabin is pretty dreamy too. You can also soak up views of the surrounding greenery from your bed, which is east-facing for enjoying the morning light from under your duvet. Or even venture out into it – there’s a firepit BBQ on your doorstep as well as a farm shop and cafe a short walk through the trees.  Photograph: Architects Holiday Cabin X sleeps two adults from £145 a night. Find out more here.  Booking it right now? Check out our guide to the best things to do in Hastings while you’re there. 

You can stay in this mirrored treehouse in the middle of an English wood

You can stay in this mirrored treehouse in the middle of an English wood

Want a hideaway so secret and secluded it’s basically invisible? Check out this brand new treehouse, which has just appeared in a woodland in Devon. The Wonham Larch is a mirrored construction, perched on stilts in the tree canopy that has filled an abandoned quarry on the edge of Exmoor. Its clever exterior reflects its green surroundings, meaning the treehouse simply blends in and takes nothing away from its rural setting.  Photograph: Canopy & Stars The treehouse, which sleeps two and is baby- and dog-friendly, has huge windows, with mega views from the bed and the bathroom, so you can enjoy all that unspoilt greenery while you’re hidden away inside. Photograph: Canopy & Stars There’s also a balcony, complete with outdoor jacuzzi bath, for getting even better acquainted with those leaves.  Inside you’ll find boardgames, a log burner and a kitchen stuffed full of local treats – if you ever tire of watching birds or shooting stars from your alfresco tub.  The Wonham Larch is £145 a night. Find out more here. 

Stay in this English cabin, built on stilts so sheep can walk underneath

Stay in this English cabin, built on stilts so sheep can walk underneath

There are authentic farm stays, and then there is this cabin. The little wooden home has been built on stilts above an ancient drovers’ track, so that the farmers can still herd their sheep underneath. And yes, you can book it for a rustic weekend away. Not only does the elevated position provide some lovely views and leafy treetop vistas out of the windows, but it means your stay doesn’t interfere with the workings of the Herefordshire farm.  Photograph: Canopy & Stars The clever, low-impact creation was the concept of architects Akin Studio, who also note that the stilts create the sense of being in a treehouse, without damaging the surrounding trees themselves. ‘The house reinterprets the experience of living within the tree canopies by building as close as possible to them, without felling or damaging their roots,’ say the architects. Photograph: Canopy & Stars Drovers’ Bough is nestled deep in the peaceful Herefordshire countryside, surrounded by overgrown hedgerows and trees, on a 27-acre farm in the foothills of the Black Mountains. It sleeps two and starts at £275 a night. Once there, all you need to do is switch off, wake to birdsong and spend your evenings stargazing around the fire pit. Apart from the odd passing flock, you’re likely to be entirely undisturbed.  Find out more or book here.  Fancy an actual treehouse? Check out these top treehouses you can stay in. 

Cornwall’s magical beach feasts are back – and tickets go on sale this week

Cornwall’s magical beach feasts are back – and tickets go on sale this week

Here’s a reason to plan a trip to Cornwall this summer (as if you needed another). The Hidden Hut’s magical beach feasts are back for the season – and the first batch of tickets go on sale this week. If you haven’t heard of the Hidden Hut, here’s the deal. It’s an open-air café-restaurant tucked away on a secluded stretch of the coastal path between Portscatho and St Mawes. Open year-round, it serves up delicious takeaway lunches (Cornish pasties, cakes, chowders, dhals and enormous salads) to be enjoyed on Porthcurnick Beach, one of the best beaches in Cornwall. But the Hut is almost famous for its summer beach feast nights. As the sun goes down at low tide, one spectacular themed dish is served to hungry diners seated on long communal tables on the sand. Customers bring plates, cutlery and booze (plus layers for the chiller and rainier Cornish evenings) and the Hidden Hut chefs provide the flavours. The dreamy experiences sell out quickly, and for very good reason: they’re a highlight of the British summer. Plus the feasts haven’t run since 2019, so you can expect an even bigger ticket rush as they make their grand return. View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Hidden Hut (@hiddenhut) Feast themes for summer 2022 include Champagne Shells, Allotment Meze and Summer Sardines. Tickets for the May dates, the first feasts of the season, go on sale on Saturday May 14. You can book and find out more here. Planning a trip? Here are 12 more of

Revealed: this is officially the best seaside town in the UK

Revealed: this is officially the best seaside town in the UK

The UK is edged by miles and miles of glorious coastline: rugged cliffs, soft sand dunes, pebble beaches – and a LOT of brilliant seaside towns. So many and yet we only have 52 weekends a year in which to explore them, so it’s a good job someone has taken the time to rank them, from best to worst.  If you hear ‘seaside town’ and immediately think bright and buzzy Brighton or Blackpool, the town that topped this list might surprise you.  Photograph: Shutterstock The quiet seaside town of Bamburgh in Northumberland is officially the best in the UK, according to more than 4,000 people polled by Which?. There’s not much going on – it rated poorly for shopping and has zero nightlife – but little Bamburgh, which sits in the shadow of impressive Bamburgh castle, scored highly for peace and quiet, winning points for its stunning scenery and pristine beach. Sounds lush to us.  Photograph: Shutterstock You can check out the full list here, but other coastal towns which scored highly include Llandudno, Tenby, St Davids and Conwy in Wales, St Andrews in Scotland, Dartmouth in Devon, Aldeburgh in Suffolk, Filey in North Yorkshire and Lyme Regis in Dorset.  That’s a solid list to work your way through this summer. See ya on the sand. 

5 incredible places to stay over the May bank hol weekend

5 incredible places to stay over the May bank hol weekend

This really is the most wonderful time of the year. It seems like only last week that we were revelling in the joy of a long weekend (because it was), and now here we are on the cusp of another.  If the bumper run of bank hols has taken you by surprise and you find yourself plan-less for the early May long weekend, do not panic. As luck (and an Airbnb deep dive) would have it, there are plenty of pretty ace places that still have availability for the upcoming weekend (April 29 to May 2).  Like this vibey 1960s poolhouse in the Cotswolds. Photograph: Airbnb This rural hideaway beside a lake in Devon. Photograph: Airbnb This incredibly-positioned, luxe cabin high above a Cornish beach. Photograph: Unique Homestays This twee, Edwardian cottage surrounded by pine trees. Photograph: Landmark Trust And this bougie Somerset bolthole. Photograph: Airbnb Want to plan ahead for the next bank holiday? Check out our pick of the best Airbnbs in the UK. 

Five incredible places to stay that still have Easter bank hol availability

Five incredible places to stay that still have Easter bank hol availability

Heard the big news? This weekend is not only the first bank holiday of 2022, but it’s also going to bring with it a mini-heatwave.  We’re talking highs of 22C, which would make it the hottest weekend of the year so far. Truly the best of times.  If you’re unprepared, do not panic. There are actually quite a few places to stay in the UK that still have Easter bank hol availability. Like these five properties, made for sunny, warm weekends like these:   The lakeside shepherd’s hut Photograph: Airbnb A fancy villa right on the beach Photograph: Airbnb This place with a pool Photograph: Airbnb A *very* chic boudoir by the seaside Photograph: Airbnb This super-romantic Cotswolds cottage Photograph: Airbnb

You can buy the fairytale tower that Judy Garland once called home

You can buy the fairytale tower that Judy Garland once called home

There’s no place like home, eh? And you could be saying that about one pretty incredible property soon.  The Deer Tower (yes, we’re talking about an actual tower) wouldn’t be out of place in a fairy tale – and it’s just come on the market for the first time in 25 years. Photograph: Knight Frank It’s got some impressive features, as well as one very famous former resident: Judy Garland. The Wizard of Oz star once called the tower, which sits near Chiddingfold right on the West Sussex/Surrey border, home. *insert joke about not being in Kansas any more*  Photograph: Knight Frank For a casual £6.35 million, the three-bedroom Deer Tower’s 120 acres, including formal gardens, an orchard, woodlands and a standalone studio in the grounds, could be yours.  You can survey it all from the tower’s roof terraces and balconies, while inside the eighteenth-century, grade II-listed tower you’ll find a log burner, an AGA, elegant rooms and ornate windows to gaze out of. Photograph: Knight Frank Due to the tower’s rounded walls there are also plenty of cute nooks and unusual spaces to discover, like circular dressing rooms, a petite study and a tiny bar off the drawing room. We can see why Judy liked the place.  Fancy calling this place home? Find out more here.  Got five minutes to spare? Want to tell us what life is like in your city? Take the Time Out Index survey here. 

This lesser-known walk is officially the best in the UK

This lesser-known walk is officially the best in the UK

There are walks and then there are incredibly scenic, cinematic walks that take twice as long as they should because you can’t help but stop to try and capture the scenery on your phone.  This is one such walk, recently voted the best 13-mile-or-less wandering route in the UK in a survey by Which? magazine. Photograph: Shutterstock Fifty-one walks were rated and Malham Cove and Gordale Scar in North Yorkshire came out on top, scoring highly for scenery, wildlife and places of interest. So basically all the things.  The stunning route has even featured on screen, appearing in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so it’s got genuine film credentials too.  Photograph: Shutterstock Other walks that topped the list include both the Botallack Mine Walk and Lizard Peninsula Circuit in Cornwall, the climb to the top of Helvellyn (that’s England’s third highest mountain FYI), Buttermere Circuit in the Lake District, the Grosmont-to-Goathland walk and a stamp around Rhossili Headland in Wales. You can check out the full list here.  For more walking inspiration, read our pick of the nine best hikes in the UK. They’re all breathtaking – in more ways than one.  Got five minutes to spare? Want to tell us what life is like in your city? Take the Time Out Index survey here.

This new UK hotel wants to mend your broken heart

This new UK hotel wants to mend your broken heart

Been dumped? Cheated on? Ghosted? If your heart feels broken, there’s a warm welcome waiting at this new UK hotel.  The Heartbreak Hotel, which opened in north Norfolk at the end of 2021, is a new retreat that specifically aims to heal heartbreak. How? Through a soothing mix of rest, relaxation, endless cups of tea, beach walks, runs and swims, nourishing food, plush surroundings, engaging fireside conversation – and hours of intensive group therapy.  Photograph: The Heartbreak Hotel The hotel, which is run by psychologist Alice Haddon and life coach Ruth Field, offers three-night weekend stays for women who have recently had their hearts broken by their partner.  Photograph: The Heartbreak Hotel ‘We’ve all had our hearts broken. And it hurts like hell,’ they say. ‘We ask ourselves why. What did I do wrong? What does their WhatsApp message really mean?’ And The Heartbreak Hotel is the place to find the answer. What it isn’t, is the place to vent over a drink (or three) and then text your ex. The retreats are alcohol- and technology-free. The aim instead is that women leave Heartbreak Hotel having not only fast-tracked their recovery from heartbreak and trauma, but also armed with knowledge about their attachment styles and what they want from life post-break-up.   Photograph: The Heartbreak Hotel Each stay, they say, is equivalent to six months of weekly therapy, with every guest taking part in around eight hours of therapy each day. No surprises then that this isn’t

You can stay overnight in these famous gardens where an extravagant Bridgerton ball was filmed

You can stay overnight in these famous gardens where an extravagant Bridgerton ball was filmed

If Bridgerton season two has left you feeling less than impressed with your twenty-first-century existence, this unusual and historic stay will perk you right up.  It’s a properly stunning gothic temple, built in 1741, complete with turrets, a gilded dome ceiling, a viewing gallery and quirky circular rooms. Sleeping four, it’s available to rent from less than £175 a night – and this spectacular place has even got a genuine Bridgerton connection.  Photograph: Landmark Trust Landmark Trust’s Gothic Temple is set in the famous gardens of Stowe House in Buckinghamshire, where the ball at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens in Bridgerton’s first season was filmed. You know, the one were Daphne and Simon first make their scandalous pact.  Photograph: Supplied/Netflix The ball scene was shot just in front of the Temple of Venus, another of the buildings found in Stowe’s grand Georgian gardens. It’s just a short walk through the parkland from Gothic Temple.  Photograph: Landmark Trust Rent Gothic Temple for a short stay and you can take in dreamy views of the gardens, which are dotted with lakes, follies and monuments, from the temple’s roof terrace. The grounds are run by the National Trust, but you’ll get access after hours to live out all your regency fantasies.  Photograph: Landmark Trust As well as the spectacular surroundings and genteel vibes, Gothic Temple promises an (almost) realistic taste of eighteenth-century life. We’re talking minimal heating, patchy signal, no interne

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