Make a quick escape to these quirky and bizarre getaways with our round-up of unusual holiday rentals for New Year’s Eve.
Four nights from £715
There’s only one way to ensure you don’t have unwanted visitors gatecrashing your New Year’s Eve party – maroon yourself on an island in the middle of the Channel Islands in a gigantic fort. Designed to mount ten massive guns and house 50 men, it reminds us of Fort Boyard. If we stayed here we would make Game of Thrones fancy dress compulsory. At this time of year it’s particularly atmospheric, with huge waves crashing at your door, best enjoyed from the floor to ceiling glass windows.
During the festive period, £258 for two nights.
Roll up, roll up for the chance to stay in a 1920s showman wagon originally used by a circus ringmaster. You’ll have to get on with you’re holiday companion like a house on fire as Nink’s is pretty dinky. Ideal for couples looking to escape the humdrum and cosy down with their partner for a quiet New Year’s in front of the log burner. Take a pile of books, plenty of firewood and sturdy boots to enjoy the surrounding countryside.
£170 per night
The Garden of England is famous for its traditional windmills, and this one’s particularly special and would make a very romantic break away for two this New Year’s Eve. The interior walls are criss-crossed by original wooden beams and a giant cog hangs above the bed. It’s been kitted out beautifully, with fur rugs, pedestal bathtub and stripped oak floors. Spend New Years under a blanket on the decking balanced halfway up the building searching the sky for fireworks.
Four nights from £565
Make sure you book in for a massage after the holiday, it’s highly likely you’ll crick your neck from staring at the gilded dome all weekend long. This folly was built in 1741 as part of the gardens of Stowe, with soaring gothic windows looking out onto breathtaking vistas of the Buckinghamshire countryside. Canine friends are welcome too, so you can make the most of strolling across the grounds.
Five nights for £5,859
Who wouldn’t want to spend New Year’s Eve in a castle? Go shooting on New Year’s Day and cook your spoils in the large country kitchen. If you’re feeling brave (or need to cut through a hangover) take a dip in the outdoor solar heated swimming pool or you could just enjoy generally wafting around like the Lord of the Manor and book in the caterers to take care of the rest. The staff can also arrange river boat trips, horse-riding on the moors and golf on nearby, internationally renowned courses.
Four nights from £233
Think Scotland, think tropical fruit… No? Well, maybe after a stay at The Pineapple House you’ll think differently. Those crazy Georgians, why on earth would someone build a house mounted by a giant pineapple? You’d have to ask Lord Dunmore who commissioned the summerhouse. He was the Governor of Virginia in the 1770s, where he no doubt developed a taste for the fruit, which were considered to be a symbol of hospitality. Completely bonkers but one to write home about.
£150 per night
Bet you didn’t know there’s an amazing apartment in the clock tower at St Pancras station, did you? Thank you, Airbnb, for bringing this one to our attention. The mini apartment sits in the original Sir George Gilbert Scott gothic revival railway building, featuring a soaring ten-metre high ceiling, it would make an amazing base to explore London from – plus, you’ll have a cracking view of the fireworks. They’re pretty relaxed about you throwing parties here, so long as you get prior permission. Thoughtfully, they leave spare oyster cards in the room, too.
£700 per night
A 12th-century Augustinian priory might not seem like a likely venue for a rocking party, but the tuned and chicly battered piano begs to differ. This statuesque church has been given a modern makeover and looks like something straight from an interiors shoot, with lots of nooks and crannies for hiding in and big rooms for relaxing in. You can cater for yourself on the Aga, call in help or check out the local seafood restaurants.
Four nights from £481
If you’re a Grand Designs fan, this one’s for you. This restored Victorian water tower will give you a taste of the high life, with views for miles across the Sandringham Estate and exceptional stargazing from the terrace atop the tower. Ideally located for beach walks on the Norfolk coastline and roaming the Royal estate in Hunter Wellies, you’ll have to be dragged back down kicking and screaming when time’s up.
£295 per night
This house is mounted by a resplendent iron dragon. What more do you need to know? You won’t be here on your own, there’s two rooms plus the hosts, who will treat you to a glass of wine, guided tour and breakfast in the morning. It’s a magical place for explorers, kitted out with the owner’s souvenirs from across the world and an ancient tree trunk in the centre of the staircase. The summerhouse, with midnight blue starred ceiling, is just the place to enjoy a pre-dinner tipple.
For the festive period, Hedsor House is transforming itself into the ‘Gatsby Mansion’. Transporting groups back to the glitz and glamour of the Roaring Twenties, the fully immersive experience will include themed food and drink and entertainment, from valiant cabaret entertainment to vintage photo booths and theatrical experiences. The Gatsby Mansion Packages will enable guests to step back in time, experiencing the razzle-dazzle of the Great Gatsby in their own exclusive country house. The Fizzy Flapper is a unique package includes live cabaret entertainment, after a sparkling drinks reception followed by a three course seated dinner then DJ and dance floor, plus exclusive use of Hedsor House and its 11 luxury guest bedrooms: £20,000 + VAT.