Boasting more than two million rentable locations across 34,000 cities in 191 countries, it’s no surprise that Airbnb has become the go-to site for sun seekers, city-break tourists and backpackers looking for cheap and unique accommodation around the world.
Launched in 2008 to help tourists break free of boring chain hotels, and to help homeowners make a little cash from their spare rooms, the range of accommodation on offer has since grown rapidly to include everything from medieval castles and Mongolian yurts, to WWII bunkers and converted boats.
And homeowners in the UK haven’t been left behind in the race to provide a new generation of travellers with eye-catching and memorable places to stay.
Here, we look through our pick of the best and unique UK Airbnb locations.
A railway carriage by the sea
If you’re looking for fantastic sea views, a totally unique place to stay, and are a bit of a railway nut, you can’t do much better than booking a stay in this converted 1908 railway carriage.
Perched on the clifftop overlooking Cardigan Bay in Aberporth, Wales, the carriage sleeps five guests, fits a woodburner, a fully equipped kitchen and even has an authentic wood-panelled 1930s dining room.
The carriage even has its own garden and veranda, offering uninterrupted views of Europe’s largest dolphin colony that lives year round in the bay opposite.
A journey back in time
Located just outside Norwich, only about 30 minutes from the Adrian Flux offices, is perhaps the UK’s only yurt and iron-age roundhouse combo.
While the yurt acts as your bedroom during your stay, the traditionally constructed roundhouse is home to a kitchen and your living area.
Don’t let the rustic exterior fool you though, the roundhouse-yurt combo provides all the mod-cons you’d expect from high-class accommodation, including hot and cold water, gas cooking facilities, a solar panel for charging your phone and laptop, and a great 3G signal if you decide you do want to keep in touch with the modern world.
St Pancras clock tower
About as far away as you could get in style to an iron-age roundhouse, this double bed flat on the fourth floor of St Pancras Station’s clock tower provides spectacular views of Central London, all for not much more than you’d pay for a night in a budget London hotel.
Lifted far above the hustle and bustle of London, but still within walking distance of the West End, the British Museum and the British Library, the clock tower is the perfect base from which to explore the capital.
An historic Scottish castle
According to the Airbnb website, the company now lists more than 1,400 castles to rent across the world, and we’re guessing that more than just a few of these can be found in the UK.
Dairsie Castle, 15 minutes outside St Andrews in Scotland, is our pick of the UK’s castles and, sleeping 13 people for £500 a night, is probably one of the most luxurious and ostentatious party spaces you could ever hope to find.
Guests at the castle have six bedrooms to choose from, six acres of grounds to explore, the aptly named “Great Hall” to eat in, and even a gallery packed with artwork and antiques to marvel at.
A house fit for a queen
Once home to Jane Seymour, wife of Henry VIII, and her family, and now owned by her descendents, Bradley House in Wiltshire is perhaps the best location we’ve found for a peaceful English country getaway.
Three en-suite rooms are available, for up to six guests, in the guest wing of the house, which also encompasses a kitchen and dining room. Guests can also make use of the heated swimming pool, tennis court and croquet lawn, and stroll through the enormous grounds and woodland nearby.
If you can drag yourself away from the house, you’ll also be near to many great attractions, including Longleat safari park, Stonehenge and Sherborne Abbey.
‘Boris’ the luxury military pod
It isn’t too often you come across the chance to stay in a converted military vehicle, especially not one with such stunning views as Boris the ‘luxury military pod’ provides.
Set up on the Isle of Skye, and equipped with two single beds, a kitchen/living room, and a modest bathroom, Boris started life as a mobile radio repair workshop, but now offers guests the chance to get as close to nature as possible while still enjoying a few home comforts.
The nearby area of Kylerhea has been designated a site of special scientific interest, and is home to a colony of Pine Martens, Europe’s rarest mammal. What’s more, hosts Lynne and Sam offer guests tours of Skye in their WWII jeep – perfect for getting acquainted with your surroundings while sticking with the military theme.
A Grade II listed windmill
Another find conveniently close to our office, this seven-storey Grade II listed windmill, and winner of a Tripadvisor award, houses seven bedrooms, three bathrooms, a swimming pool and a viewing platform from which you can survey the Norfolk countryside.
The accommodation is split between the Old Mill and the attached house, with the mill holding three bedrooms and the spectacular dining room, with the four other rooms in the house.
There’s plenty to do nearby, aside from visiting us of course, including trips to Oxburgh Hall, Boudicca’s Iceni village, and local breweries, gol courses and adventure playgrounds.
A Kyrgystani yurt, via Orkney
If your idea of a perfect getaway includes abandoning technology, heading for a remote corner of Scotland and preparing your meals over an open fire, then you can’t go far wrong with this Kyrgystani yurt at Wheems Farm in Orkney.
Proudly declaring that there is no electricity in the yurt, and that fire will be your only source of heat and light, the otherwise lavishly decorated accommodation is ideal for anyone looking to live out their outdoors wild-living dreams. There is electricity and an actual kitchen available, if needed, in the farmhouse, but that somewhat ruins the appeal if you ask us.
Just 10 minutes from the beach, offering sea views, bracing ocean winds, and access to all the abundance pulled from the sea and grown locally on the farm, if we were going nomad, this would be the yurt for us.
Glamping in geodesic domes
If you want outdoor living, but aren’t yet ready to go full Bear Grylls, these ‘glamping domes’ near Loch Tay in Scotland provide the perfect middle ground.
Surprisingly spacious inside, fitting a double bed, two floor beds, a stove, beanbags and space for all your gear, the domes are far more modern than their location might suggest – though guests still need to use the communal building to get access to electricity and kitchen facilities.
Each dome also has its own bench and fire pit outside, perfect for warming up on cold evenings and doing a little star gazing with friends away from the bright city lights.
So whether you fancy a pampered weekend in the country’s finest stately homes, or a chance to get closer to nature in a clifftop yurt, there’s an airbnb home out there for you.
If you’re thinking of putting your rooms or house to rent on Airbnb, whether you own a castle or just have a spare room you need filling, Adrian Flux offers home insurance that provides all the cover you need.
Have you stayed at any amazing Airbnb locations that you think should make our list? Are you the owner of one that you want to share with the world?
Let us know in the comments below, or on social media.