Get us in your inbox

Geodome in the South Lakes
Photograph: Airbnb

The best Airbnbs in the UK

Dreaming of a UK adventure? Here's your one-stop shop for discovering the best Airbnbs in the country to book right now

Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott
,
Lucy Lovell
,
Rosie Hewitson
&
Rhys Thomas
Advertising

Dust off that suitcase: holidays are on the cards again! Those hankering for a post-lockdown escape (and who isn't!) were given the green light to stay in self-catered accommodation within the UK, including Airbnbs and campsites, from April 12 2021.

So, while travelling abroad remains logistically difficult, domestic holidays in the UK are well on their way to being just like the before times. If anything, it's a great year to realise just what choice is on this very island. From gorgeous, soul-restoring countryside to lush forests and secluded sandy beaches, there are endless opportunities to explore and relax right here.

Of course, more people than ever are planning holidays in the UK this year. The most popular locations are already filling up throughout the summer. So, if you want to go on holiday this summer, it’s worth making plans sooner rather than later. Luckily, to save you precious time, we’ve rounded up some of the best Airbnbs across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Airbnb can be your key to discovering everything the UK has to offer. Not only does it offer a wealth of quirky alternatives to a more traditional hotel (sleeping in a treehouse, anyone?!) but you’ll often get tips from hosts on great and lesser-known things to do in the area. It's usually a whole lot cheaper too. 

We’ve found some real stunners for you here. From an otherworldly Scottish castle and a seafront retreat on the unspoilt beaches of Northern Ireland, to an elegant flat in Bath and a romantic riverside cabin in Cornwall. So without further ado, here’s our round-up of the very best Airbnbs in the UK.

Note: Please check the latest travel guidance before booking your trip

This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best UK Airbnbs

This treehouse might appeal to the inner child, but rest assured the interiors are made for grown-ups. Perched among the trees, the circular cedarwood den is warmed by a wood-burning stove and features solar-powered lighting, fluffy bathrobes and a widescreen TV plus DVD player and bluetooth speakers. You could embark on one of the many walks through ancient woodlands, or just hole up in the trees like a boujie Tarzan. There's also a lovely decking space to get some morning forest air from. Getaways don't get much more idyllic than this. Especially a stone's throw from the M25. 

Bath is famed for its elegant honey-coloured buildings, steamy Roman baths and rich historical surroundings. This quaint flat is the perfect base to explore the city from. Based in one of the city’s iconic Georgian townhouses, the envy-inducing pad also has a rooftop terrace offers glorious views over the city. Owned by an interior designer (of course), it’s decked out with handsome antique furniture, a deep roll-top bath and pretty chandeliers throughout. This is luxury.  

Advertising

Imagine a place called riverside Cabain? This place trumps it. Settled next to a stream in the heart of the Cornish countryside, this rustic handmade cabin is the stuff of fairy tales. It’s cosy but perfectly formed. Up top there’s a snug double bed and on the ground level there are custom-built bunks, a charming living space, a kitchenette, and (naturally) a wood-burning stove. Cook up a storm on the outdoor firepit or take the 20-minute drive to Falmouth, an artsy coastal town, for oodles of indie bars and restaurants. When you're indoors, marvel at the beautiful wooden A-frames. It certainly isn't home, but there's no place like it. 

You can't beat a good BBQ, but in the UK? Let’s just say, the weather is a little unpredictable. Luckily, the Lake District is so beautiful that you'll find yourself having a hard time complaining about a bit of drizzle. Plus we’ve found this awesome BBQ shack where you can flame-grill sausages in the comfort of your Scandi-style cabin. The central fire pit comes with charcoal and firelighters, so all you need to bring is the food. And then? Work off that feast with a long, lakeside bike ride; there's a warren of cycle paths which start at your doorstep.

Advertising

An actual castle. That's right. Also, as far as Airbnb reviews go – how about a thumbs-up from actual royalty? Back in the sixteenth century Mary, Queen of Scots loved staying in this regal residence with her husband – and the hospitality has only improved since then. Dating back to around 1190, Neidpath Castle is full of original features which mean you'll be vacating in actual history. Other features include a private chamber boasting an original open-log fire, antique four-poster bed and roomy rolltop bath – a combo that guarantees a right royal night’s sleep. Literally. 

Live out your ‘Bridgerton’ fantasies by romping around the East Wing of this red brick Regency style private estate in the Norfolk countryside. It's called Wolterton Hall, and was built by Horatio Walpole, brother of the first British Prime Minister, Sir Robert. You’ll still find plenty of historical touches here too, from original artwork and crystal chandeliers, to period furniture and marble bathrooms. Wake up in a four-poster bed to views across the rolling parkland and humongous lake. There's room for 14 people and in-houe catering can be arranged on request. Lavish! Herringbone corset optional. What's more, you're a small drive away from some brilliant beaches. 

Advertising

It's you. You're on holiday. You wake up to the sound of lapping water and swing open the french doors at the foot of the bed, letting in a gentle gust of salty sea air. Then, you retire to your queen-sized bed again, indefinitely. Someone brings you a cup of tea. Bliss. When you decide the morning is over, you can gaze at the breathtaking views of the Mourne Mountains and Strangford Lough. From there, you have an honesty bar stocked with prosecco and a stash of good books, there’s no need to leave this tiny waterside retreat – ever. Well, other than to take a dip in the big blue, perhaps. 

Tell me what you want, what you really really want: A night in the original Spice Bus from the 1997 film 'Spice World'? You got it. No seriously! Not only has that Union Jack-covered bus undergone a seriously luxe makeover inside, but it's also situated permanently on the gorgeous Isle of Wight. The two-storey interior now sleeps three people (the other two spice girls can go in a tent or something) and it includes loads of cute touches that will thrill any fan. These include an old-school CD player for listening to Spice on repeat, a dressing room area for '90s makeovers and mid-day outfit changes, disco balls, and Union Jack chairs. The bus is overlooking the marina too, so while there won't be Meatloaf, there will be wonderful views. 

Advertising

If an entire Scottish castle is a tad out of your budget but you like that vibe, we’ve got you. This sixteenth-century stone dovecote (originally used to house pigeons and doves) has all the charming historical vibes, but on a teeny-tiny scale (not as tiny as pigeons and doves though, it sleeps four). The conversion is perfectly cosy yet full of natural light, with hand-made cedarwood furniture, a spacious rain shower and a double bed surrounded by ancient coves that once hosted them pigeons. Through the french doors lies a secluded stone patio, gorgeous rose gardens and, just beyond, some of central Edinburgh’s coolest districts.

You know the one? Well, now that you do, you won't forget it. This meticulously restored Grade II-listed windmill makes a quirky-quaint getaway spot a breeze. Inside the one-bed tower it’s a charming hotch-potch of old wooden floors, huge original cogs and chunky beams, and modern-cottage decorated rooms. Head up through a trap door to the upper floors to see the mill machinery preserved as it would have been 200 years ago, and for stunning views over the rooftops of Woodbridge and the River Deben. Spiral staircase, of course. 

Advertising

Looking for a rural hideaway? This rustic, wooden shepherd’s hut is so remote, guests have to trek across muddy fields to reach it. When you do so though, you'll be greeted by a copper roll-top bath, cosy wood-burning stove, fire-pit and bubbling outdoor hot tub. That'll soothe them feet. On the edge of Howardian Hills (an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), it’s also perfectly situated for exploring the sublime North Yorkshire countryside, the East coast’s stunning beaches, and quaint villages around the North York Moors National Park. Not to mention the ancient city of York. Assuming you'll even want to venture beyond the cosy hut. 

What do you do with a stunning spot of land on a Scottish lakeside? Pop an airship on it, of course. It's sustainably made, don't worry. This incongruous pod doesn’t exactly blend into the landscape, but it does fit into the ‘so ugly it’s cute’ category. And, while in there, your view of the outside is exceptional. The architect-designed home features a stylish modular living space, compact kitchen and super-soft queen-sized bed. At either end of the airship, glass-panelled noses offer heart-melting views of mountains and lochs, reaching as far as the Isle of Mull. A load of natural light pours through the big glass ends and (aero)nautical circle windows throughout the accommodation. 

Advertising

If being by water is your idea of nirvana, then a weekend in this idyllic floating cottage will bring you close to enlightenment. Thanks to patio doors which open straight out onto decking and the open water, it’s easy to take a dip before warming up post-swim by the log burner. Add to this beautiful interiors and views of meadows upon meadows, and you have one of the most relaxing spots in the UK. This tranquil retreat is just a 15-minute drive from Pembrokeshire’s endless pristine beaches and beautiful seaside towns including Tenby, for more waterside shenanigans and some of the best fish and chips you'll ever eat. 

Pretty, pastoral and pleasingly austere, this cottage is as wholesome as a hug from your gran (or mamgu, if you're Welsh). The Grade II-listed thatched beauty is one of the best surviving examples in Wales, dating back to around 1750. Its limewash and oak beams have been untouched since the eighteenth century, and guests are welcome to cut fresh roses and herbs from the garden to perfume their new home. The bathroom has been updated with a fancy double-ended bath and the kitchenette is stocked with tea and coffee, but the rest of the house is 100 per cent back-to-basics. A tiny TV, a roaring fire, and peace and quiet. Just like it used to be (the TV aside). 

Advertising

Haven’t set foot inside a church since your primary school harvest festival? You'll be praying you never have to leave this one. A short drive from the market village of Billericay, this church conversion is grade II-listed, with stunning original stained glass, wooden beams and carved marble slabs set into the floor. Though full of period features, this property has huge open plan living areas, and is bright, airy and modern. The high ceilings and white-washed walls are timeless, after all. It can sleep up to eight so is perfect for a group getaway. Take us to church! 

Combine the fun of camping with the comfort of a hotel by checking into this six-metre wide geodesic dome on the edge of the South Lakes of Cumbria's Lake District. Situated in a secluded garden with its own log-burning stove, plush furnishings and a private deck area from which to enjoy the rolling hills and breathtaking views. When you're done frolicking around the dome, you can stock up on mint cake in nearby Kendal, or cruise on Lake Windermere, both are just a short drive away. We reckon old William Wordsworth would have gone mad for this place. 

Advertising

You’ve probably been to a fair few sleepovers in your lifetime, but we bet none of them will top this. In a semi-converted barn within the picturesque 60-acre grounds of a 17th-century manor, in Nottinghamshire, you’ll be sharing a bedroom with Basil, the adorable miniature horse. No, you won’t be bunkering down on a bed of hay. Basil’s stable is attached to the bedroom but separated by a low wall, so you benefit from excellent carrot-feeding opportunities without having to worry that you’ll wake up in the night with a lamb (there's lambs too) trying to spoon you. The ‘humans only’ side of the barn also features a cosy indoor fireplace and kitchen area. Basil’s guests (you, not the lambs) also benefit from access to an outdoor log fire with a BBQ grill and tiki hut seating, as well as a tour of the nearby paddocks to meet Basil’s extensive group of farmyard friends. Basil is the best hose you'll ever have, guaranteed. You're a half hour drive to Nottingham city center, too. 

Houseboat holidays always sound like a great idea in theory, but in practice it often means paying double what you would for a decent hotel, to then spend a week having cold-water showers and banging your head every time you try to stand up straight. This place is a little different. With this charming getaway situated amid a small village of floating homes on a nature reserve by the Sussex coast, you'll have a wonderful one bedroom retreat wonderfully designed to provide an amazing (and warm) experience. Lovingly crafted with painstaking attention to detail, from the light-maximising curved roof and elegant deck space right down to the swanky polished brass fittings, this floating haven has a truly luxurious feel. Rafts just got a new benchmark. 

Advertising

This little surf-themed house is a minimalist haven, cleverly crafted from a former shipping container and artfully decked out with reclaimed wood and vintage surf boards and other accessories. It’s surrounded by the lushious Antrim farmlands and is a great base from which to explore the Causeway Coast. It's also a mere fifteen minutes by car from the Giant’s Causeway itself, as well as the village of Bushmill and its famous whiskey distillery. If the Irish weather is a little too chilly for a dip in the actual sea, you can always relax with a glass of single malt in your own private hot tub, just outside the shack. Cowabunga!

Channel your inner Samwise Gamgee (or maybe Tinky-Winky?) on a stay in this underground earth house built into a secluded hillside on Loch Tay. Holidays don't get much more idyllic. Even the journey there – you access the underground retreat via a wooden bridge, across a babbling stream. The charming hideout has plenty of characterful features of its own too, such as a wonderful duck pond, circular windows and curved doors. Also, in one of the few welcome departures from the authentic hobbit lifestyle, it also benefits from a private river pool and hot tub with beautiful views. One Airbnb to rule them all? It's certainly up there. Or down, there... 

Advertising

This is a relaxing seaside getaway, and we're not just saying relaxing to be all cliche like a body wash would. This pastel-coloured apartment has been designed with wellness in mind. The apartment has its own meditation area with soft cushions, yoga mats, relaxation masks, and aromatherapy oils. It also benefits from beach views, airy bedrooms, seaside breezes, and thoughtful decor. The beautiful kitchen has all the equipment necessary for preparing long, lazy meals, and includes great coffee and cocktail-making facilities. Located right on the seaside part of the town center, the apartment for exploiting the Margate’s many independent shops and art galleries too, including the famed Turner Contemporary art gallery, a mere five minutes walk away.

More amazing places to stay?

Advertising
Recommended

    More on Airbnb

      You may also like
        Advertising