10 of Britain’s best off-grid cabins, lodges and cottages

Turn off, zone out and settle into the peace of nature

The Lazy Duck, Cairngorms

A six-acre hideaway surrounded by the glorious expanse of the Cairngorms National Park, the Lazy Duck features three gorgeous wooden eco-cabins. Choose from the Duck’s Nest, a luxury lakeside hide that offers great wildlife-spotting and photography opportunities; the entirely off-grid Woodman’s Hut, buried deep in centuries-old pine forest; or the Homestead Eco cabin, which has a stargazing window above the bed. Mountain biking, pony-trekking, archery and 4x4 driving are all on offer nearby, and Aviemore is just a 20-minute drive away.
• Three-night weekend breaks from £354,

The Old Coach House, Cornwall

‘Instead of wifi, blustery cliff-top walks’: the Old Coach House, Cornwall.
‘Instead of wifi, blustery cliff-top walks’: the Old Coach House Photograph: Rob Frost/PR

A fantastic choice for a friends or family get-together, the Old Coach House sits above the Cornish coast and boasts impeccable eco-credentials. Hot water comes from solar tubes, firewood from local trees, lighting is fuelled by solar panels; instead of wifi there are games and books, as well as blustery cliff-top walks. The house is a lovely, rambling longhouse with three bedrooms and an additional studio flat (only let with the rest of the house) sleeping 1-2. The pretty seaside village of Looe is four miles away, the nearest beach is a mile’s walk.
Four-night breaks from £1,081, windsworth.org.uk

Mrs Higgs Lodge, Herefordshire

‘Stepping back in time’: Mrs Higgs Lodge, Herefordshire.
‘Stepping back in time’: Mrs Higgs Lodge. Photograph: Kate Morel

Built as a hunting lodge in 1835 and home to the said Mrs Higgs until around 60 years ago, the forest had almost entirely reclaimed this lodge until a recent renovation. The restoration has kept many original features – exposed brick walls, wood-panelled ceilings and simple but comfortable furnishings – all of which create a feeling of stepping back in time. The cottage sleeps four and is totally off-grid: log burners heat the lounge and two bedrooms, and wifi is non-existent. Set within a 3,000-acre estate, your nearest neighbours are owls, badgers and deer, although Hereford is just six miles away.
• From £235 a night, qualityunearthed.co.uk

Kudhva, Tintagel, Cornwall

‘A collection of extraordinary cabins’: Kudhva, Tintagel, Cornwall.
‘A collection of extraordinary cabins’: Kudhva Photograph: PR

A stone’s throw from the mile-long sandy beach at Trebarwith Strand, Kudhva is an eco-oasis – a collection of extraordinary cabins and tree tents dotted through peaceful woodland. The Kudhvas are the most unusual, standing above ground on wooden legs, with a terrace, built-in sofa and mezzanine bed, with floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests can bring their own food, although breakfast packages are available as is wood for the firepit. Kudhvas sleep two, but the stilt-framed Danish Cabin – with terraces and two sleeping areas – accommodates up to six.
Two nights in a kudhva from £314, kudhva.com

Aller, Dorset

‘Rethink the shepherd’s hut’: Aller, Dorset.
‘Rethink the shepherd’s hut’: Aller Photograph: PR

If staying in a shepherd’s hut has always sounded a bit cramped and basic, these two beautiful huts, tucked away in rural Dorset on a working farm, will make you rethink. Both come with king-size beds with Egyptian cotton sheets and bathrooms with rainforest shower, robes and scented products. Outside, the firepit and dining area are set up to make the most of balmy West Country evenings. There’s even an alfresco bath for stargazing while you soak.
From £175 a night, allerdorset.com

Chaffinch Cottage, Northumberland

‘Home to some of England’s darkest skies’: Chaffinch Cottage, Northumberland.
‘Home to some of England’s darkest skies’: Chaffinch Cottage Photograph: PR

Stargazers will love this remote cottage, 1,400ft above sea level in the Northumberland National Park, home to some of England’s darkest skies. Three miles from the main road, Chaffinch sleep six and is one of four cottages all run sustainably, with solar panels and wind turbines providing electricity. Owners Terri and Matthew live on site and welcome guests with a hamper and bottle of fizz, best drunk in the enclosed garden with a barbecue supper. There are lovely walks through the Coquetdale hills, but it’s in the night sky where the magic really really happens.
• One week from £570,

The Summer House, Hawkshead, Cumbria

‘Glorious views down to Windermere’: The Summer House, Hawkshead, Cumbria.
‘Glorious views down to Windermere’: The Summer House. Photograph: Mike Henton/National Trust

Hidden in the old kitchen garden of Wray Castle and accessible only on foot (parking is 300m away), the biggest joy of the Summer House is the terrace, which has glorious views down to Windermere. The wood-panelled walls give the cottage for four a cosy, cocoon-like feel – perfect after a day’s hiking. Bikes, canoes and rowing boats can be hired from the adjoining campsite, and Ambleside and Hawkshead are 20 minutes’ drive.
• Three nights from £344
, nationaltrust.org.uk

Swinton Bivouac, Yorkshire Dales

‘The lodges are super-comfortable’: Swinton Bivouac, Yorkshire.
‘The lodges are super-comfortable’: Swinton Bivouac Photograph: PR

A collection of six timber lodges and eight luxury yurts, 10 minutes’ walk from the farmhouse, this is an ideal choice for families who want to leave the screens behind and get back to basics. The lodges are super-comfortable, sleep up to seven in mezzanine beds perched above a cosy living area, and have a bathroom with a gas-powered shower. There’s no electricity, but the on-site café/bar offers breakfasts, lunch and dinner, and kids will love the play area, natural trail and organised activities.
From £139 a night, swintonestate.com

The Cabin on the Lake, Cemmaes, Powys

‘A true sense of escape’: The Cabin on the Lake, Powys.
‘A true sense of escape’: The Cabin on the Lake Photograph: PR

In the lush hills of mid-Wales, Gwalia Farm, a smallholding and much-loved camping site, offers a true sense of escape. Situated on the farm’s small, private lake, the cabin is all about the great outdoors; the well-equipped verandah kitchen is slotted under a long, overhanging roof, ideal for alfresco cooking and eating, and the hot tub has gorgeous lake and mountain views. There’s a composting toilet and pump-up shower, with conventional facilities available at the main farmhouse.
Three nights from £465, gwaliafarm.co.uk

Tibbetts, Lundy, Devon

‘Wonderfully remote’: Tibbetts, Lundy, Devon.
‘Wonderfully remote’: Tibbetts. Photograph: Jill Tate

Windswept and full of wildlife, Lundy feels wonderfully remote and a stay at Tibbetts – the island’s most isolated house – adds to the sense of escape. Built on Lundy’s second highest point as a signal and watch station, the views are spectacular – and unbroken. There’s no electricity, the water supply for the bathroom and kitchen is pumped in, and nights are spent in the original four bunks. There are warden-guided walks and snorkelling safaris on offer, but the greatest pleasure is to simply sit outside the cottage and soak up the silence.
• Three nights from £471
, landmarktrust.org.uk


Annabelle Thorpe

The GuardianTramp

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