If anyone knows the perfect spot for a remote getaway, it’s founder and travel writer Liz Simpson
This time of year always seems to run away from us – and whether it’s the looming thought of the festive season or the head-in-hands news headlines of late, there’s nothing we’d rather do right now than hit pause, switch off and stow away to somewhere wonderfully remote for the weekend. And who better to give us some off-grid recommendations than Kip Hideaways co-founder Liz Simpson? Here’s her rundown of the cosy cabins, far-flung retreats and hygge-inspired huts across the UK that are guaranteed to deliver a taste of true, uninterrupted escapism. How soon can you pack?
Elm Treehouses, Devon
Immersed in private woodland in deepest Devon, these super-luxe treehouses are fringed by wildflower meadows and promise absolute peace for a solo escape or romantic getaway. You can wander straight out onto the wilds of Dartmoor for stunning autumnal strolls, and there are various pubs for long lunches a short drive away. But why go anywhere? With huge copper tubs for alfresco wallows, the comfiest of beds for restorative afternoon naps, and an absolute beauty of a sofa area to sit and read in, these treehouses are made to hunker down and reboot before the frenzy of the festive season. Book Elm Treehouses.
Alt Sanna Cabin, West Highlands
The unspoilt Ardnamurchan Peninsula is the most westerly point of Great Britain, a 4-hour drive from Glasgow and a place to be at one with the elements. No news, just gloriously remote wild views. This extraordinary cabin perches on a working croft, 100m from an idyllic white-sand beach – one of the best in the world. Floor-to-ceiling windows gaze out to sea, and you can buy super-fresh langoustines straight from the boats to BBQ under the stars. Very special. Book Alt Sanna Cabin.
Apex Cabins, Yorkshire
Inspired by the lakeside cabins of America, these utterly unique A-frame structures promise sweeping panoramas across a rewilded farm, all the way out to the rugged North Yorkshire Moors. Alfresco tubs are perfectly placed to admire the views – and to relax under glittering night skies, with a glass of something fizzy. There’s gorgeous hiking and biking in the nearby National Park or stroll the golden sands near Whitby, followed by a slap-up lunch at The Fish Cottage. Book Apex cabins.
Connemara Retreat, Clifden
The lush Connemara Greenway is Ireland’s longest off-road trail, offering idyllic hiking and biking opportunities. Join it directly from Connemara Retreat, a staggeringly beautiful organic farm near Clifden, home to two beautiful hideaways. There’s a fairytale geodesic dome for the adventurous, or a serene studio for two; and staying in either means a forest embrace, wild swims for the hardy, and a lakeside sauna for views without the chill factor. Ireland’s magnificent Wild Atlantic Way is just 10 minutes by car, for epic coastal drives. Book the Connemara retreat.
Melrose Cabin, Scottish Borders
Location, location: this brilliantly revamped railway carriage on a private estate near Melrose offers a total escape, yet it’s just an hour from Edinburgh. Think Scandi styling, a wood-fired hot tub, and enormous views over the Scottish Borders from a bay window loveseat and a free-standing tub. Come to do very little except walk, sleep and gaze at those views. Though there are foodie restaurants a short drive away, you’ll really just want to drink wine by the log burner, play board games and relish the peace. Book Melrose Cabin.
Catkin Huts, Dorset
Treat yourself before you treat everyone else this Christmas, with a boutique-luxe stay in peaceful Dorset countryside. The fabulous new XL huts at Catkins are even more special than their little sisters, with exuberant interiors and fully tiled outdoor bathrooms (in addition to gorgeous ensuites, that is). You can book a visit from the best reflexologist we’ve ever tried, and ask for restaurant-style meals to be delivered to your door if you can’t be bothered to cook. There’s even a cosy pub up the road. Book Catkin Huts.
Meet Kip Hideaways
Q: How did the idea for Kip Hideaways come about?
A: Sarah and I have been friends for years, working in the boutique travel sector. We used to love finding special little places for our own holidays, and saw there was a real gap in the market for a site that only featured these: small places with soul.
Q: And how does it work?
A: It’s a membership site, but a very affordable one at £19 per year or £3.99 per month. When you join, you access our unique review of each property, plus direct booking with their owners. That means you’re guaranteed the best rates and you avoid paying any booking fees, which are often hidden on other sites and cost up to 3x our membership fee! You also get discounts with some of our favourite brands and regular member promotions (such as 3 nights for 2). Membership also includes a donation to a UK rewilding charity.
Q: What makes a Kip Hideaways stay so special?
A: All of the places we work with are small independents, and owner-run, so they all have amazing levels of thoughtful detail. They are utterly unique in décor – be that boutique, rustic-luxe, minimalist or trend-led – and most sit in areas of breathtaking natural beauty. In our opinion, they are the most special rentals in the UK.
Q: How do you choose your rentals?
A: We have really strict criteria for choosing properties, as we only want to feature the very best rentals in the UK. People are tired of scrolling through endless listings of varying quality on mammoth sites. The whole point of Kip is to make holiday planning simple and stress-free. We’ve done the legwork so that people can quickly find an incredible property on Kip, then book it without any markups.
Q: Any advice for someone who’s new to remote getaways?
A: Look at the cooking facilities in advance so you know whether you’ll need to be grilling over a firepit or can just pop something in the oven or cook on a hob; this will influence what groceries you bring. Many of our hideaways offer hampers of local produce to cook with, which can be a great way to explore local flavours.