From Treehouses To Trailers: The World’s Coolest Compact Hideaways

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Five great places to stay – and how to book them

The secluded Scottish airship

A 30-minute walk south of Drimnin, a remote coastal village in the Scottish Highlands, Airship 002 is an insulated aluminium pod by the water. It has amazing views across to the Isle of Mull, and is part of a four-acre estate, with the nearest shop around eight miles away. The huge glass windows at either end let in plenty of light, and you can even fall asleep gazing up at the stars. There is a galley inside, a bedroom with a queen-sized bed, a fireplace and a living room, or you can relax outside on the balcony, admiring the mountains in the distance. This is a great spot for walks, with deer, foxes and eagles a regular sight, or catch the ferry to the Isle of Mull from Drimnin. Perfect for one or two people, with a minimum two-night stay, Airship 002 can be found on Airbnb here.

The retro flying saucer in Wales

Apple Camping is a glamping site in Redberth, near Tenby in the south of Wales. It has a range of accommodation, including three Mongolian-style yurts and an aeroplane that once belonged to Etihad, but the most talked-about currently is this – a saucer-shaped UFO, which can sleep up to four people. Inspired by 1950s sci-fi movies, the décor inside is suitably retro, with a dining area, fridge, TV and games console. The main entrance works by remote control, and there is even an escape hatch in case of emergency. Apple Camping itself offers a communal shower block, laundry and kitchen facilities, while nearby attractions include Freshwater West Beach, which was used as a filming location for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood.

The Hatta trailers by the water

You don’t have to jump in a plane and fly to some faraway land to sleep in an unusual space – in the UAE, you can stay in luxury in a kitted-out Airstream trailer on the banks of the Hatta dams. Part of the Sedr Trailers Resort that opened in the Hatta Mountains towards the end of 2018, there are 13 trailers on the site, each able to sleep up to two adults and two children under the age of eight. All are equipped with a modern bathroom, kitchenette, Wi-Fi, a TV, comfy bedding, and a terrace with couches and chairs to lounge in. With onsite food trucks for nights when cooking doesn’t appeal, entertainment includes kayaking on the dam, mountain biking, freefall jumping or axe-throwing. Yes, really.

The eco-friendly treehouses near Paris

Why didn’t the treehouses of our childhood look like this? Cabanes des Grands Chênes just north of Paris is a sprawling complex of treehouses perched between six and 13 metres above the ground, built into hundred-year-old oak trees. The eco-friendly cabins have all been designed to blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings, with 20 treehouses boasting their own bathroom, and 14 with an outdoor hot tub on the terrace. Walks in the surrounding forest, golf and visits to the nearby Château de Pierrefonds are among the activities. With breakfast included in the price – which, amusingly, is hoisted up to the cabin on a rope – a stay here is sure to appeal to your inner seven-year old.

The glass-walled cabins in Sweden

Around two hours north of Gothenburg in Sweden is Lake Animmen, which is home to a private island, Henriksholm. Located here are five glass-walled structures, known as the 72 Hour Cabins – four are at the water’s edge, while the other is a short walk inland. The idea is pretty simple, in that you book yourself in for a three-day stay (hence the 72-hour moniker) with the ‘close to nature’ experience of waking up to see the trees and the water promising to reduce stress levels. The island’s owners, Staffan and Maria Bedger, will pick you up on the opposite shore and transport you via boat at the start of your stay, with meals to be collected from an old manor house on the island. Go for walks, explore the woodland, or row to a neighbouring island for a picnic.

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