When Tim Berners-Lee couldn’t find somewhere interesting to stay for his holidays, he kindly invented the internet. Or something like that. Whatever his reasons, we salute him for making it easy to escape identikit hotels and dodgy guesthouses.
You may know that at Sofa Workshop we like to beat the British drum. And it’s no different when it comes to our jollies. Because not only is Blighty bursting with gorgeous locations, you don’t even need to show your passport photo. (Seriously, we doubt even Kate Moss has a good one.)
Let’s get going!
Carole King is one of our favourite bloggers and an all round queen of interiors. We bow down to her efforts transforming the 2-bed Brimstone Cottage into a comfy country retreat.
By a lake, not far from the beach or the city of Norwich, it’s an idyllic rural escape. The kind of place you want to take a stack of board games and all the books you’ve not got round to reading yet. (Though we’d be happy just nosy-ing around to steal some of her style tips.)
This is a few miles from the historic Holy Island of Lindisfarne, and a million miles from your typical B&B. Farm outbuildings have been converted into stylishly simple self-contained units. They’re all about attention to detail here, from naming the rooms after local wildlife to the fresh milk and homemade cakes you’ll find in your room every day. Yum.
The decor’s a lesson in light and space (no wonder walkers, birdwatchers and artists flock here). And we love the ‘just enough’ subtle nods to the coastal location, with the fresh hues, local paintings and occasional seasidey ornament.
If you’re going to do the city, this 5-bed Marylebone property is the place to do it in style. Classic, meet contemporary. Coved ceilings, floor to ceiling sitting room windows, exquisite splashes of colour, modern art… oh, and a yoga room and cinema!
Of course, a trip to Bond Street is without question. And we’d suggest a game of ‘let’s pretend’ in Hatton Garden too. But whether you’re shopping, sightseeing or simply people-watching, this has got to be the perfect city pad to come back to. Impeccable.
Remote location. Check. Breath-taking scenery. Check. Tartan. Check, check, check. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.) But seriously, if you thought tartan was twee, this is a masterclass in making it work. You’ll find it on carpets, curtains, bedcovers and even walls here; unashamedly bold but never over the top.
Big, square, contemporarily sparse 4-poster beds mirror the shape of the checks. In most rooms, a striking tartan element provides a focal point, complimented by colour blocks in similar tones. Remember to bring a fine single malt and a (tartan?) notepad for all the poetry this place will bring out in you. And beware, you might just find yourself affecting a slight Highland accent.
At the other end of the grandeur scale is this place. So down to earth you’re practically sleeping on it. An award-winner, nevertheless – it won Shed of the Year in 2013. Really! And if you want somewhere truly unforgettable (and you’re up for sharing with the odd spider) adventure awaits.
We’ve fallen head over heels for its quirkiness, amplified by some inspired little trinkets and ingenious space saving ideas. Space is rather limited so you’ll want to leave that matching designer luggage set at home. We’d recommend a rucksack, packed with thick socks, waterproof matches and an emergency flare, just to be on the safe side.
Happy UK holidays! Are you staying in the UK this summer? Share your holiday pictures with us on Twitter!