With no delays, queues or quarantines at the top of a tree, it may be time to rethink your staycation destination.

Treehouses – albeit in warmer climes than ours – have long been popular venues for a restful night or two.

The Queen – then Princess Elizabeth – and Prince Philip were staying at Treetops Hotel in Kenya at the time of the death of her father on February 5 and 6, 1952.

Then, Treetops was a charming, two-room treehouse built into a huge fig tree and designed to offer comfort and a close view of the local wildlife. It was later burned down and now a three-star hotel sits on the old site – but its glamorous legacy has given rise to many UK-based imitations.

We all know that a staycation may be a more reliable plan this summer than a foray abroad. So, if the cottages and shepherds huts you booked up last summer aren’t going to cut it, climb your way to bed at a splendid treehouse instead.

Here, we’ve identified six of the very finest for couples and for families.

Knepp Treehouses, West Sussex

There are two treehouses at the Knepp estate in West Sussex, whose owners are constantly thinking of ways to make the most of the nature that surrounds it. Four metres above ground, each one provides stunning views of the estate’s world-famous rewilding project. They both have comfortable beds, lighting provided by battery-powered hurricane lamps and candle lanterns and a fire pit at ground level. At Peregrine, the newer of the two, there is even a delightful open-air, wood-fired bath on a separate platform reached by a wooden walkway. Book it here.

The Treehouses At Lanrick, Perthshire

This website is beautiful enough to feed the soul, so just imagine what a stay in one of its five luxury treehouses would be like. In private woodland on the banks of the River Teith, the stunning self-catering retreats are worlds apart from the bustle of normal life. Inside, the bedrooms are so well styled (the owner has 15 years of experience in London’s design and build industry) that you might not know you were at the top of a tree. But the outdoor baths on the high-up, leafy terraces sure give the game away. Book it here.

Harvest Moon Treehouses, Edinburgh

Full disclosure: these beachside treehouses aren’t actually in the trees. Standing just two metres above the ground, they make for an excellent family holiday (and a major upgrade from ordinary camping) all the same. Beautifully wrought out of wood and designed with small families in mind, each one has two double bedrooms, a cool octagonal living area, electricity and stunning views out to the sea and the famous Bass Rock from the front and woodland from the back. Your kids will thank you for booking forthwith. Book it here.

Treehouses At The Fish Hotel

The team at The Fish Hotel in the Cotswolds put it well when they say: ‘You don’t have to be a kid to appreciate the sheer awesomeness of treehouses. (Our) spectacular arboreal retreats will embody all the pleasures you remember as a kid (namely the fact they’re houses up trees), plus a handful of more grown up perks.’ Each of their three treehouses includes underfloor heating, a Nespresso machine, a separate, charming bunkroom for kids, two outdoor baths – and an intercom button from which you can order room service. Laidback luxury never sounded so good. Book it here.

Treehouses At Living Room, Powys

The Lonely Planet described a break here as “one of the top 52 weekends in the world”. The Sunday Times called it: “A Tarzan meets Richard Rogers pad, off the pages of Wallpaper* Magazine.” A reviewer for The Guardian said: “We felt like we were inhabiting a unique artistic creation.” What inspires this is sky-high praise? Six state-of-the-art wooden structures that blend into the landscape while offering extreme luxury and comfort. In addition to the mind-blowingly beautiful design, we love the sound of the heated spring-water showers. (A rather clever little ruse that living-room offers is their Treehouse Vouchers – who wouldn’t love to receive the give the gift of a treetop holiday whose dates you can book at your own convenience?) Book it here.

Brendon Hill Treehouses, Worcestershire

With their spectacular views over the Malvern Hills, each of these treehouses has a little kitchen, a woodburning stove and a private hot tub. Each one sleeps up to four; pets are not welcome. The idea here is to relax and recharge. You will find no wifi but are greeted instead by a lovely hamper that includes bread, marmalade, bacon, butter, granola, milk, crisps and Prosecco. Book it here.

By Becky Ladenburg
June 2021


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Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.