Aspirational Architecture: Time To Escape to the UK

The United Kingdom has a well-secured spot in the travel canon; outside iconic destinations like Big Ben and the London Eye, massive crowds spill over velvet-roped queues and onto cobblestone streets. Tourist numbers are on track to top 35 million by the end of 2023 — a staggering figure, nearly matching Canada’s population. If you’re among the Trans-Atlantic travellers, though, there’s no need to add long lines to your itinerary: lesser-known locales swap the crowds of London for sweeping forest scenes. These UK vacation homes for rent are gleefully private and certifiably luxurious, sitting on folklore-inspiring landscapes carved by jagged cliffs and moss-covered rocks. Our hand-picked vacation spots range from wooden cabins off the Welsh coast to the northern edge of Scotland, where modern structures watch the crisp countryside winds. The best part about these homes? They’re yours to rent.

Creag Na H-Iolaire (Scotland, UK)

Cinematic serenity. That’s the SparkNotes description of this architectural masterpiece, a vacation home nestled deep in the north of Scotland. An ineffable, sublime landscape affords the structure’s deliciously minimalist aesthetic. Huge picture windows capture the dramatic mountains as they rise above Loch Shieldaig, lining the living room with an immersive, transparent lookout.

Creag Na H-Iolaire

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Creag Na H-Iolaire

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Creag Na H-Iolaire

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Creag Na H-Iolaire

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Creag Na H-Iolaire

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Creag Na H-Iolaire

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With a view like this, there’s hardly any need to stay indoors. Still, that didn’t stop Dualchas Architects — the designers behind this wild rental — from going all out on the interior. The kitchen is inviting, with modern white fixtures and wooden stools accented by a grey-green wall. Warm up on sheepskin-lined seats of the dining room and stay up late (because this is northern Scotland, after all) to see the sunset cast dark shadows over tranquil waters.

Looking Glass Lodge (England, UK)

Aptly named “Looking Glass Lodge,” this East Sussex vacation home for rent sports a sprawling forest view. The wooden exterior juts out to frame massive glass windows on either side of the living room. Modern light fixtures and a minimalist stove droop over the lightwood floors, contrasting the woodsy scene with indoor warmth.

An award-winning architecture firm, Michael Kendrick Architects, crafted this stay as a full immersion into the woodsy surroundings of East Sussex. Although it’s just an hour outside of London, the area is decidedly quaint, with rolling meadows and beautiful houses dotting the landscape. Window walls make up two sides of the cabin’s living room, offering an intimate communion with the neighbouring forest. The interior functions like a cocoon for guests: cozy beige floors and accent walls compliment the earthy furniture palette.

Harlosh Black H (Scotland, UK)

Harlosh Black H makes a home out on the Scottish Isle of Sky, a hop, skip, and ferry ride from the Inverness Airport. The trek is a rewarding journey, though: lush green valleys and dancing waters paint the scene like a page from a storybook. A textured dark exterior stands strong against the mythic surroundings, with a sleek interior that welcomes natural light by day, and burns with an orange glow at night.

Hergest Lee Cabin & Lean-To (Wales, UK)

Hergest Lee Cabin & Lean-To Cabin in Wales, UK for rent. exterior is triangle shaped and wooden, with trees in back

Rising up from the ground, this wooded cabin rests under low-hanging tree branches, comfortably framed by a clean, rejuvenating landscape. Don’t be fooled by its rural setting — the Welsh countryside is home to a bustling ecosystem of pubs and eateries, alongside (of course) plenty of outdoors recreation in the form of scenic canoe trips and winding hikes.

Hergest Lee Cabin & Lean-To

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Hergest Lee Cabin & Lean-To

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Hergest Lee Cabin & Lean-To

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Hergest Lee Cabin & Lean-To

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Hergest Lee Cabin & Lean-To

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Inside, the Hergest Lee Cabin & Lean-To is a masterclass in “transitional” design — a style that incorporates classic, traditional elements alongside the sleek look of modern decor. See the wood panels curl from the wall to ceiling over a bathtub nestled underneath a picture window. Warm lights glow like gemstones over iron-coloured staircase. As a vacation home for rent, it offers the perks of a rustic and royal experience with modern convenience. Plus, the spot is an accessible option for family trips — it can host up to five guests at a time.

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