Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right The best Airbnbs in the UK
Scottish airship airbnb
Photograph: Airbnb

The best Airbnbs in the UK

Having an adventure in the UK? Here are the best Airbnbs in the country to book right now

By Ellie Walker-Arnott and Lucy Lovell
Advertising

Thanks to 2020’s travel restrictions, more people than ever are planning to take holidays in the UK – and really it’s no hardship. Britain has some cracking destinations to explore: secluded sandy beaches to rival the shores of any tropical paradise, vibrant cities with lashings of culture and epic countryside to recharge the batteries.

Airbnb is one of the best ways to explore these vast and varied islands. It’s affordable, quirky, and more often than not you’ll get local tips on top places to visit. The one downside? Trawling through hundreds upon hundreds of Airbnb listings. Who the heck has time for that?

We do, that’s who – and we’ve found some real stunners. From an otherworldly airship on the west coast of Scotland to a seafront retreat on the unspoilt beaches of Northern Ireland, an achingly cool flat in London to a romantic riverside cabin in Cornwall, here’s our round-up of the very best Airbnbs in the UK.

RECOMMENDED: Can we go on holiday in the UK? Here’s what we know so far.

The best UK Airbnbs

Cabin airbnb Cornwall
Cabin airbnb Cornwall
Photograph: Airbnb

The riverside cabin in Cornwall 

Settled next to a stream in the heart of the Cornish countryside, this rustic handmade cabin is the stuff of fairy tales. It’s small 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 – of course – 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.

Airbnb in Lake District
Airbnb in Lake District
Photograph: Airbnb

The BBQ cabin in the Lake District

We love a good BBQ, but the weather in the UK can be, let’s just say, unpredictable. Luckily, the Lake District is so damn beautiful that we’ll forgive a few showers. 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. Work off that feast on a long, lakeside bike ride; a warren of cycle paths all start from the doorstep.

Advertising
Treehouse airbnb sussex
Treehouse airbnb sussex
Photograph: Airbnb

The luxe treehouse in East Sussex

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.

Old Smock Windmill
Old Smock Windmill
Photograph: Airbnb

The rural windmill in Kent 

Whimsy and romance are served up in abundance at this carefully restored windmill. Inside the one-bed tower it’s a charming hotch-potch of old wooden floors, huge original cogs and chunky beams. If you can pull yourself away from the double-ended roll-top bath and the snug king-sized bed, then a short stroll will be rewarded with proper Kent pubs. Pint next to an open fire, anyone?    

Advertising
Airbnb in Bath
Airbnb in Bath
Photograph: Airbnb

The perfect city break flat in Bath

Bath is famed for its elegant honey-coloured buildings, steamy Roman baths and its rich historical surroundings, and this little flat is the perfect base to explore. The envy-inducing pad is based in one of the city’s iconic Georgian townhouses, and its 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.

East Sussex airbnb
East Sussex airbnb
Photograph: Airbnb

The stylish seaside home in East Sussex

This refined gaff is for anyone who loves architecture, design and big pebbly beaches. The Alpha is based on a secluded road on Rye Harbour, allowing lucky residents to swing open the Crittall-style doors to stunning sea views. Spot rabbits, badgers, foxes and birds from the modern-meets-rustic home, which boasts wood burning fires to snuggle up next to after lazy days strolling along the beach. 

Advertising
London tower airbnb
London tower airbnb
Photograph: Airbnb

The glass-walled water tower in London

Staying in a glass-walled tank that’s ten storeys high is a pretty special way to take in the London skyline. This is central London’s only water tower, and its clever refurb means the top floors get 360-degree views of the capital. Owners say that The Cube, which is between Kennington and Elephant and Castle, has the largest sliding doors in the UK, and they open up to allow guests to drink in that stunning vista alfresco. Guests will feel like they’re on top of the world – or at least one of its greatest cities.

Airbnb airship scotland
Airbnb airship scotland
Photograph: Airbnb

The airship on Scotland’s west coast 

What do you do with a stunning spot of land on a Scottish lakeside? Pop an airship on it, of course. This incongruous little thing doesn’t exactly fit into the landscape, but it does fit into the ‘so ugly it’s cute’ category. 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.

Advertising
Scottish castle airbnb
Scottish castle airbnb
Photograph: Airbnb

The castle on the Scottish Borders

Is there a better Airbnb review than the 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 bewitching original features and fascinating history, while the private chamber boasts an original open log fire, antique four-poster bed and roomy rolltop bath – a combo that guarantees a right royal night’s sleep.

Scottish dovecote airbnb
Scottish dovecote airbnb
Photograph: Airbnb

The ancient priory in Edinburgh

If an entire castle is a tad out of your budget, we’ve got you. This sixteenth-century stone dovecote has all the charming historical vibes, but on a teeny-tiny scale. The thoughtful conversion is perfectly cosy, with hand-made cedarwood furniture, a spacious rain shower and a double bed surrounded by ancient coves that once hosted pigeons. Through the french doors lies a secluded stone patio, gorgeous rose gardens and, just beyond, some of Edinburgh’s coolest districts.

Advertising
Wales waterside airbnb
Wales waterside airbnb
Photograph: Airbnb

The waterside retreat in Pembrokeshire

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. What’s more, this tranquil retreat is just a 15-minute drive from Pembrokeshire’s pristine beaches for more waterside shenanigans.

Wales cottage airbnb
Wales cottage airbnb
Photograph: Airbnb

The romantic cottage in Powys

Pretty, pastoral and pleasingly austere, this cottage is as wholesome as a hug from your gran. 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.

Advertising
Northern Ireland cottage airbnb
Northern Ireland cottage airbnb
Photograph: Airbnb

The lakefront shack in Northern Ireland

Imagine this: you wake up to the sound of lapping water, swing open the french doors at the foot of the bed to let in a gust of salty sea air, and retire to your queen-sized bed indefinitely. With breathtaking views of the Mourne Mountains and across Strangford Lough, an honesty bar stocked with prosecco and a stash of good books, there’s no need to leave this tiny waterside retreat – other than to take a dip in the big blue.

More amazing places to stay?

Advertising
Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising