Updated: Jun 12
Recently I realised I have a condition, it's not severe, and I wouldn't even mention it if It hadn't made itself known over the last three months. It is planning events; many of these events fall to the wayside and are never heard of again. That doesn't stop me researching blueprints for pubs, outdoor spaces for garden parties and beautiful areas to go on holidays. My boyfriend finds it tiring, but he has realised that as they never really come to fruition, it is better to nod along and pretend you are entirely on board. This is, however, how we ended up booking a Ferris wheel for our wedding (whenever that might be). So I put quite a bit of energy into finding some beautiful places to stay on Airbnb, for our holiday. One which may never take place. Instead of that time going to waste, I thought I would share my research with you. Whether you need an escape to the country, change of scenery or just to daydream with a plan for an afternoon here are my suggestions for doing so.
Few things to note,
These are all through Airbnb
Pretty much all have 2-night minimum & a service charge.
I am not 100% where we stand with regards to travel at the moment so best check before you book.
If you know of a wonderful Airbnb do let me know. It felt as if I had looked at thousands of house so inevitably missed some real winners.
The Bentwood rocking chair caught my eye, but the rest of the place charmed me. Carefully curated pieces in an open plan sitting room with a wood burner oven, I can already imagine the scenes of happiness. It looks as if there are some weeks free in July, from £342 per night.
Well, what's not to like; kitchen garden, swimming pool and with a description like this 'if you don't love dogs this is not for you' what more could you ask for. It doesn't hurt that the interiors are stylish while also being comfortable. Looks to have a couple of weeks free at the end of July, from £300 per night.
Oh to see the sea, when the world feels unsettled I find the sea such a comfort. Looking out of one's window and being met with a grand horizon, well you can't put a price on that. So whatever the price of this should be a steal. Also, the interiors are superb; no one will feel like they've been left with the dud room. They seem to have a few weeks in July and August available, from £175 per night.
Want to experience a House & Garden feature IRL, well you got it. This exquisite rental offers so much beauty, one of their reviews reads 'The most unique, considered and thoughtfully designed places that I have had the fortune to stay at'. Job done - looks to have weeks in July & August, from £360 per night.
People are nice, making their houses all lovely for us to come and stay in. The Engine House can boast one hell of a beautiful kitchen, clean and serene, just looking at it one can imagine the holiday breakfast (which for our family usually finishes around ten minutes before lunch). Seems to have weeks in July & August, from £300 per night.
Just what I like to see, some cosey grandeur. Reminiscent of the houses that we used to go on holiday in. Always a fantastic array of board games, books and wallpaper you'll never find again. This is Tat 1-0-1, and I adore it. Looks to have good availability in July & August, from £690 per night.
Now we are bunking up, 13 people! I am not sure I know that many people who would want to go on holiday with me. My family is only six, and I'm not sure they're ecstatic at the prospect. But if you are lucky enough to have that many friends or spawn, looks to have lots of dates in July & August, from £636 per night.
I can't tell you how many times I have looked at this house, daydreaming of summers lunches and kitchen suppers. Especially kitchen suppers, I adore this kitchen. But I would happily take the whole house, it's just my kind of place and suspect most people would agree. There look to be dates in July & September, from £550 per night.
If you have ever braved the train to Glastonbury you will have had the pleasure of going through Castle Cary station; you may not have ventured into the town itself. It is one of the perfect English towns, chocolate box in beauty, filled with fantastic shops and in normal times they have a great Farmers Market on Tuesday. All that and an expertly decorated house with a pizza oven, get yourself to Castle Cary ASAP. Lots of dates in July, August & September, £280 per night.
So this one is adorable (apologies, I know many hate this word, but I use it a lot). Although this place has charm in abundance, I haven't chosen if for its interiors. This is Location, Location, Location - look at the English Channel stretched out in front of you - a stone's throw. Looks to be booked out until September, but those could open up with restrictions easing - I'd drop them a line to see, from £200 per night.
Well, this is the five star of rentals, pool & a gym - I am always surprised these places exist in England. Clearly, they do, and we've been allowed to experience it. Apart from the 'facilities' (awful word), it also has been beautifully decorated, with light, comfy bedrooms and excellent sofas for the disco nappers among us—only a couple of dates in July - chop-chop, from £650 per night.
I honestly think you would be hard pushed to find a better place for a holiday. The space you have with this property is unique and one of the winning attributes. The Pumphouse is ideal for nature lovers. Located right in the corner of the new Wissey Valley Living Landscape wetland reserve, 'thrilled to be so close to the wetland and river - visible even from the windows. While pottering around, we saw barn owls, cranes, great white egret, kingfisher, lapwing, marsh harrier and lots more.' A real gem of a place. As with gems they are rare, and there are only a few nights left in July and August, from £450 per night.
Not that I am showing favourites, but I did get pretty excited at the sight of this house. I genuinely get hot under the collar when I first lay eyes on a property. This home did for me; I thought it was so handsome, not overdone - just right. So I feel a sense of sadness as there are only a couple of weeks left in July and I can imagine they will be home to somebodies happy memories, from £170 per night.
I came across this home some time ago, and it now occupies my imagination when I have dreams of leaving London. As with the above, the interiors got that heart beating, no wonder World of Interiors let it grace their pages. There are some dates in July, but I imagine they won't hang around for long, from £65 per night.
If during lockdown you have been pining for your beloved and are soon able to see them. I suggest this is the Airbnb for you. Not only beautifully decorated inside it also an absolute charmer from the outside, blue-white exterior, with a porch looking over a babbling brook (is there any other kind). There are weeks in July & August, £120 per night.
So this is me putting my money where my mouth is. One rainy afternoon a few weeks ago, I decided I had to get out of London. At least have some sort of plan in mind. Those windows just caught my little heartstrings, and I had to book without a moment's hesitation. There are a smattering of dates throughout July, August and September, from £260 per night.
My clever friend Clare found this house for a trip we took a couple of years ago. We were so delighted by her choice; Seaview, beautifully decorated rooms & right next to the high street. We had such a jolly time there so I can highly recommend it. It seems to have dates from late August onwards, from £250 per night.
So this might not be useful, it is booked until the end of September (perhaps email the host) but either way I didn't want to miss it off the list as it is just terrifically chic. It says it's in Penzance, but from the look of the interiors and the garden, one could imagine themselves in Cadaques/ Marrakech/ Mykonos - all that and no flights. From £142 per night.
Old Lands Farm feels like an old friend to me, not that I have ever stayed there (although I would love to), more that I have been following them on Instagram for some time now. They have three exquisitely decorated properties, each with its character and charm. Each looks to have a few dates in July & August, from £150.
Let's go out with a bang. Wolterton Hall - photographs of this stately home have appeared in House & Garden, World Of Interiors & I am sure many other glossies. So perfectly refurbished, everything up to date and looking swell but not losing the unique character of a Stately Home. The yellow of the drawing-room is a match made in heaven. They have dates in July & August, from £1,117 per night.
N.B - I concentrated on Airbnb as there are so many homes on there I thought it would be useful to see a filtered selection. There are obviously many other wonderful holiday rental companies who may have a more refined portfolio. Below are the ones I regularly look at:
Any suggestions let me know - firstname.lastname@example.org