I went right off the idea of hanging out in treehouses when I was about 12, thinking - quite foolishly as it now turns out - that treehouses (the building of them and then the subsequent act of making a den in them) were for Scouts, men in the grip of a midlife crisis, and koalas. Well, I’ve had a complete turnaround. I cannot think of anything I want to do more right now than spend every weekend of this year in a different treehouse in the UK. I want to live in the trees, wake up to birdsong and go to sleep with stars overhead and the woodland rustling. Because the treehouses on offer now in this wonderful new dawn of glamping that is hitting the UK, are no ordinary treehouses. They are dwellings so divine, so wonderfully crafted, so beautifully made and so luxurious, it's like elves have been hard at work under the leadership of Kelly Hoppen. Cedar clad walls, outdoor copper baths, floor to ceiling windows, floating woodburners, stargazing decks in the treetops and indoor slides transporting you to hidden dens. All of this exists, in the UK, up a tree. So beautiful are these treehouses, that even diehard stalwarts of luxury hotels and snazzy holiday homes are now becoming converts to camping and glamping. It is the holiday no one dreamed was possible. You are living indoors but outdoors, surrounded by nature and wildlife and ancient woodlands or in the foothills of a National Park; your foundations are roots and your walls are branches. It's like a dream sequence. Except you wake up and you really are there....
The emphasis is on the word "hideout" here, a secret place away from the world, where no one can find you. As sole inhabitants of the two acres of private ancient woodland, with wildflower meadows for picnics and an outdoor copper bath, Hudnalls Hideout is a hugely romantic adults-only sanctuary, combining extraordinary beauty and outdoor living. This secluded treehouse, high up in the trees in the beautiful Wye Valley - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - blends seamlessly into the woods; the only sounds to distract you here are the rustling of the trees and gentle bird song. The Scandi-inspired interior is stylish and unfussy, with a suspended fireplace in the lounge, surrounded by a sofa and throws and has underfloor heating to keep you cosy all year round. The loft bedroom, up handmade stairs, has a large bed looking out through a huge viewing window across the treetops and beyond, ideal for nighttime star gazing. This place is truly a thing of beauty. If you do want to explore, Hudnalls Hideout is next to Offa's Dyke Path - one of Britain's National Trails - and has plenty of excellent walks. You are also within walking distance of the picturesque village of St Briavel's which has a traditional village pub and a small shop, and is home to the 12th Century St Briavels Castle.
This magical, two-storey turreted castle of a treehouse is situated on the medieval Baxby Manor estate, nestled in between the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors. Set away from the main house and campsite, along a raised boardwalk and through the ancient woodlands, you will feel like you are stepping into a fairytale when you arrive here. This luxurious treehouse retreat is a great place for the family; it has three treetop bedrooms, a modern kitchen, luxury bathroom and cosy lounge with a woodburner. A secret den - accessed by a slide of course - is complete with beanbags, TV, games console and even a popcorn machine, perfect for movie nights or curling up with a book. The outside terrace has a bubbling hot tub, a pizza oven and commands stunning views across the Yorkshire countryside. With York on your doorstep and the beautiful Dales and Yorkshire moors providing excellent walking, you could spend your days exploring away from your roost. But there is so much to see and do right by your treehouse; walk through the winding woodland tracks and explore the woodland glens; there is a Bat Monitoring Station with binoculars and a Beast, Birds and Bugs log to jot down any wildlife you spot on your adventures. Swallows and Amazons have got nothing on this place.
Built high up in the branches of an old Ash tree, Tree Howf is a beautifully designed treehouse with far-reaching views across the Ochil Hills, north of the Firth Valley in Perthshire. You are staying on top of a hill and high up in the tree here, so you will enjoy glorious panoramic views from the wide viewing platform. Set on a family run farm, the owners built the treehouse themselves, with great care and attention using sustainable methods, and it is authentic and handcrafted and a true work of art. A shower, composting toilet and cooking facilities mean you are totally self-sufficient, but the amenities have been very thoughtfully integrated and in no way take away from the rustic charm of the place. Inside the treehouse, there is a huge handmade double bed with a stargazing window above, a woodburner and a kitchen area. Outside your front door is a stunning treetop veranda with a table and chairs for outdoor dining and relaxing at night. The firepit and BBQ are accessed by a staircase down to a private grassy area with fantastic views across the countryside. With two acres of grounds and gardens to explore around you, there is no need to leave your private countryside setting, but if you do want to explore, you are ideally located for some of Scotland's most beautiful countryside and attractions.
Sitting above a pond and surrounded by ancient woodland in East Sussex, Hoots treehouse is a hideaway in the truest sense of the word; a tranquil secluded bolthole to get away from it all and relax. Clad in cedarwood and thoughtfully designed, the rustic charm of Hoots treehouse belies the fantastically luxurious lodgings within. On arrival, try and resist the urge of immediately settling down with tea and delicious homemade cake, and set about exploring your home for the night. You'll find a beautiful kingsized bed with crisp linen, soft rugs and furnishings, a kitchen with all the mod cons, a stylish bathroom, log burner, a TV and DVD, and an attic room with space for 2 children (over 6's only), accessed by a ladder and hatch, creating a proper den. The arched windows and circular design bring a touch of magic to the treehouse. You can choose to cook for yourself and enjoy an al-fresco evening out on your private deck in the trees or head out to one of the local East Sussex villages for a pub meal. Hoots is a great base for exploring the surrounding Sussex countryside - if you feel the urge to leave your nest that is. Right on the doorstep is Wadhurst deer park, with numerous walks and trails full of flora and fauna, or a bit further afield explore the sights of Pashley Manor, Scotney Castle, Bodium Castle and the nearby spa town of Tunbridge Wells. It's a heavenly place: luxurious, unique and picture-perfect.
In rural Essex, the 200 acre Coleman's Farm is something of a local gem, having been run by the same family for 4 generations, each continuing the excellent conservation work across their land; along farm trails and across the arable-farmed fields. Impossibly, this gorgeous retreat is only an hour from London and the owners know a fair bit about how to offer proper rest and recuperation to those in need of a place to unwind. There is a choice of secluded hideaways on Colemans Farm, all offering something a bit different (check out The Trap with the see-through roof), but the one we love is The Old Oak, a luxury treehouse built within in the boughs of a 500-year-old oak tree, with glorious views across the farmland and countryside. When I say "within the boughs" I'm not kidding; the vast tree is fully part of your indoor and outdoor furnishings. It is absolutely stunning. The branches weave in through the bathroom and out again, around the kitchen and back through the bedroom walls; it's a veritable masterpiece, adorned with twinkling fairy lights. It brings the idea of tree-hugging to a whole new level. And this tree is hugging back. Relax in a hammock on the veranda, soak in the huge double bath or spot wildlife in the nearby fields. A stay here is romantic, relaxing, rejuvenating and is as close to living in nature as you can get.
In the surrounding fields of the beautiful Fox and Hounds hotel in North Devon, positioned high in the trees and overlooking a pretty trout pond, sits the extraordinary Treetops; a luxury treehouse fashioned entirely around a large oak tree. It is a treehouse in the truest sense of the word, very high up in the tree and set out different levels, with nooks and crannies to explore and dens to make; kids will love the hidden bunk room and cubby hole for reading and chilling out. For the adults, a luxurious master bedroom with views directly out over the branches and a huge copper bath to relax in and soak all the stresses away. There's a kitchen with all the mod cons and a BBQ too, but if you feel like a treat, head up to the excellent restaurant and bar at the hotel for a slap-up meal; the food is delicious and it means less time stacking the dishwasher (yes there is one, hurrah) and more time relaxing under the night sky on your treetop balcony. The treehouse is within the hotel's six acres of gardens which stretch down to the banks of the River Taw and is buzzing with wildlife; owls and woodpeckers can be seen (and heard) in the woods and otters and salmon in the water. There are many miles of walks through Devons unspoiled countryside, around the Tarka Trail, the Two Moors Way, and the Southwest coast Park. An absolute delight.
Up at Wild Northumbrian, they have been hosting glampers in style for years, in a range of handcrafted bespoke Yurts, specifically adapted to suit the climate of the North, beautifully designed and jam-packed with luxury furnishings to make your stay supremely comfortable. More recently, they've gone one better and added a new addition, a treehouse yurt called Houlet, nestled high into the trees with its very own stargazing platform, perfect for those dark Northumberland nights. Inside there is a double bed, futons for extra campers, a table, kitchen equipment and a woodburning stove. Down on ground level, there is a hammock, a fire pit and a seating area for lazy afternoons and evening campfires. The lovely family - and supreme guardians of the land - who own and run the yurts in this beautiful part of the Northumberland National Park, had the vision to create a special place and work with the landscape without causing any impact on the wildlife and local community, creating a place where people can come to retreat, unplug, unwind and spend time in nature. And what a beautiful place it is. The surrounding National Park is home to breathtaking scenery and with Hadrian's Wall, the Cheviot Hills and the Scottish borders close by, there are endless adventures to be had. A rustic, magical treetop sanctuary.
On the borders of the Trossachs National Park, the Treehouses at Lanrick offer eco-friendly and very luxurious glamping on the banks of the River Teith in Perthshire. It is the ideal location for anyone who wants to get back to nature, live in beautiful woodland, with gorgeous river walks nearby and cycling, fishing and all sorts of outdoor adventuring available. The five unique treehouses are all named after local birds: Pipit, Flycatcher, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Willow Warbler and each of them are individually designed with hand-crafted furniture and luxury fabrics. The treehouses have been thoughtfully built and the conservation of the woodland has been very carefully considered; the treehouses - whenever possible - have been made out of timber grown on the property. All of them sleep four people very comfortably and luxuriously indeed, and two of the treehouses are connected by a rope bridge, ideal if you come in a larger group. For adventurous folk, the Treehouses are only four miles from The Loch Lomand and Trossachs National Park, which offers hiking, mountain climbing, canoeing, wild swimming and boat trips across the loch. If you return too tired to cook in the evening, never fear, the local farm shop sells delicious meals which can be ordered and delivered to your treehouse. All you need to do is relax and unwind in the outdoor copper bath and listen to the trees swaying around you.
On the edge of a wild grouse moor in North Wales, close to Horse Shoe Pass and the village of Llandegla in Denbighshire, lies a rustic retreat like no other; an escape from busy life and a place to heal the soul. If it needs healing. You might just want to stay in an incredible treehouse. Copse Camp - one of a choice of hideaways here - is a unique and beautifully built treehouse, wallpapered in old Beano comics, warmed by a wood burner and fully off-grid. Your bed for the night is in the loft room of the treehouse, with two extra camp beds available to set up in the lounge below if you need them. Walk across the rope bridge to whip up breakfast in the kitchen, or head down to ground level if you want to cook on the dutch oven over the firepit. Also at the foot of the treehouse, there are two traditional gypsy caravans; one providing another double bed, the other a dining room with style. The area surrounding Copse Camp is a paradise for cyclists and walkers, with countless trails and tracks across some of the finest scenery in Wales. When you return to camp after all that strenuous exercise, relax in your own private, wood-fired hot tub, perfect for watching the sun setting or an evening of stargazing.
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