Travel

Trips with a twist – four alternative English staycations to book this summer

Treehouses, narrowboats, magical shepherd’s huts and a busload of llamas (bear with us)… the Stella team has come together to find some of the weird and wonderful places where you can stay this summer…

Oakey Koakey Treehouse

Downash Wood, East Sussex

Best for: Bringing out your inner Tarzan

An hour south of London by train, this small collection of treehouses are found in a private woodland that spans 33 acres. Ours, accessible via a walkway through the trees, was immaculately presented, with a Scandi-style open-plan layout and underfloor heating. (It’s family friendly with a bunk room for kids.) The highlight, however, was the setting, with oast houses, vineyards and Bewl Water Reservoir within a few hundred metres. Wake to the sound of birdsong and spend the weekend drinking wine overlooking the meadows, home to badgers and deer. Utter relaxation. 

Stella loves: The BBQ and firepit, conveniently (but safely) located next to the treehouse – and stocked with marshmallows for toasting. 

Out and about: Despite feeling remote, there’s a raft of food and drink options in the area around Downash Wood. The Bell, a 20-minute walk away, is one of several excellent pubs in the nearby village of Ticehurst. If you’re feeling more adventurous, head to the reservoir (a 10-minute walk away) which is the place to go for cycling, running trails, open water swimming and fishing. There’s even an aqua park (bewlwater.co.uk). 

Treehouse from £210 a night (sleeps 2 adults and 2 children); canopyandstars.co.uk


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