Cabin class: The best getaways


These small-but-perfectly-formed romantic British rentals are tailor-made for seclusion, luxury, spectacular scenery, total detox – or all the above.

The Hardy perennial

BEST FOR An eco-friendly getaway

Don’t let the compact interior of Architect’s Hut fool you. Inside, this Dorset cabin has been designed to make the most of its 18 sq m footprint, with a custom-built wardrobe, bookcase and expansive window seat bathed in natural light, as well as integrated storage and heating. It also boasts eco-credentials, with a waterless toilet, low-carbon insulation and a mattress made of recycled denim. The restaurant-grade pizza oven (ingredients provided by a local pizzeria) helps elevate the experience, as does proximity to novelist Thomas Hardy’s house.; from £115 (sleeps two)

The tideaway

BEST FOR Lovers of the land and sea

Bowcombe Boathouse in Devon feels more like an artist’s clifftop studio than a traditional holiday rental. Occupying a former boat store on the edge of a peaceful inlet, the cabin is furnished with one-of-a-kind antiques and salvage-yard finds set against wood-panelled walls, creating the ultimate waterside retreat. The Kingsbridge Estuary can be seen from every corner of the property, while a set of metal steps permits direct access to the water below, allowing for easy-going paddles and wild swimming at high tide.; from £245 a night (sleeps two)

The wild one

BEST FOR Splendid isolation and bird-watching

You’ve probably visited the odd nature reserve. Perhaps you’ve stayed in a cabin. But have you ever stayed in a cabin on a nature reserve? Elmley, on Kent’s Isle of Sheppey, is the only one in the UK that permits overnight stays at its wilderness boltholes. In the Saltbox, pictured, a floor-to-ceiling window encourages total immersion in the 3,300-acre surroundings day and night, with doors that fold back for views directly on to the reserve. With more than 40 bird species breeding at Elmley, staying here feels like being on an avian safari.; from £210 a night (sleeps four)

The breathtaking bothy

BEST FOR A truly private island escape

Like a marooned spacecraft wedged between craters, Blue Hare, on the Isle of Harris, is as unique as the Scottish landscape that surrounds it, with its angular structure and grey cladding blending into the craggy scenery. Behind the cabin’s hard-edged shell, interiors are warm and comfy, with wood panels, soft colours and a sense of stylish practicality. Floor-to-ceiling windows help maximise the beauty of the remote Outer Hebridean setting, especially if you stay in late September or October and are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.; from £130 a night (sleeps two, plus one dog)

The hidden gem

BEST FOR A slice of the great outdoors with home comforts

Standing on a leafy knoll in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in East Sussex, Redwood is a minimalist hideaway on stilts that wouldn’t look out of place in the Hollywood Hills. There’s plenty of star quality inside, too, from the James Bond-style floating fireplace and full-height panoramic windows to the designer furniture. The location, near Hastings, may not have California’s concentration of film stars, but it’s secluded, in a dense forest, which means you can experience the surroundings without so much as lifting your head off the pillow.; from £295 a night (sleeps two)

This is an edited extract from British Cabins & Hideaways by Holly Farrier, published by Hoxton Mini Press, £22.95. To order a copy for £19.51 until 11 February, go to or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £25.

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