10 unusual hotels to spend the night in the UK
Chris Broome – Chartered Financial Planner
If you want to get away in the UK, you don’t have to opt for a typical bed and breakfast. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, there are plenty of quirky and unusual hotels and holiday lets available to book for a weekend break or summer holiday.
(The Mermaid Inn, Kent)
Here are just 10 of the astonishing places you could spend the night, from a castle to a prison.
1. Llanthony Priory Hotel, Abergavenny
Llanthony Priory Hotel is a great place to visit if you want to escape and relax. The priory was one of the earliest houses in Augustinian canons to be founded in Britain. Today, the ruins are still atmospheric and from their position far up the Vale of Ewyas spectacular views are guaranteed.
2. Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester
As the name suggests, this hotel is in the old Stock Exchange building in Manchester. Spending the night at the Stock Exchange Hotel is like stepping back in time. Built between 1904 and 1906, the hotel retains its original grandeur, which you’ll experience from the moment you walk in and are greeted by marble pillars. You’ll be able to admire the Edwardian Baroque architecture throughout your stay.
3. AirShip, Scottish Highlands
The AirShip is a quirky place to stay with beautiful views across the Scottish Highlands. The insulated aluminium pod with huge windows allows you to fully appreciate the surrounding area. Inside, the AirShip offers a cosy place to spend the night, with décor that has hints of science-fiction.
4. Amberley Castle, Sussex
Do you want to spend the night feeling like royalty? Then a stay in a castle could be perfect for you. Amberley Castle has a history that goes back centuries involving royalty, wars, and more, and a trip here is perfect for delving into British history. Today, the castle retains many stunning original features, as well as beautiful gardens. You can even find suits of armour in the hallways.
5. Malmaison, Oxford
Do you want to spend the night in a prison? While it might not be the first thing that springs to mind, Malmaison in Oxford definitely offers a unique experience. Many of the features in the building have been retained from when it was a prison, including the walkway and cell doors. Luckily, the rooms are more spacious than a cell and have been given a contemporary renovation.
6. Trickers Mill, Suffolk
This Airbnb offers a unique place to stay. Trickers Mill is a five-storey Grade II-listed windmill with its own private courtyard. The building offers many architectural features inside, from original beams, curved walls, and spiral staircases, and you can even find some of the windmill’s machinery on the higher levels. The area itself is quiet and located in Woodbridge, a vibrant town on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and close to the Suffolk Coast.
7. Spice Bus, Isle of Wight
This staycation will take you right back to the 1990s – it’s the original Spice Bus from the 1997 film Spice World. On the inside, there are lots of little touches for fans of the Spice Girls to appreciate. Situated overlooking Island Harbour Marina, the local area is stunning when you step off the bus too.
8. Fingal, Edinburgh
Fingal gives you a chance to experience staying on a yacht while still being able to step off and enjoy everything Edinburgh has to offer. Fingal was commissioned in 1963 and was used to ferry lighthouse keepers, supplies, and maintenance staff to lighthouses. After a £5 million conversion, it’s now a unique, luxury hotel.
9. The Mermaid Inn, Kent
Situated close to the coast, the Mermaid Inn has connections to smugglers and is known for being one of the most haunted hotels in the UK. The cellars below the inn date back to 1156, while the current building is from 1420. With a cosy atmosphere, expect to find secret priest holes, sloping floors, and hidden passages during your stay here.
10. The Warren, Scottish Highlands
If you’re a fan of the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, this holiday let is perfect for you. The Warren is an underground cave house that will conjure up images of the Shire as you approach it. Set into the hillside with a grass roof, this property has plenty of character. Inside, you’ll find modern, comfortable living spaces to relax and enjoy the view of the Scottish Highlands, with Loch Tay right on your doorstep.