When imagining a break from the daily slog, you really want to be somewhere entirely different. And what is more different than a change in century.

Each of these buildings are steeped in history; each has a story to tell. But not only are these buildings rich in character, they are also perfectly decked out for your holiday.

Welsh Gatehouse Moynes Court, Mathern, Monmouthshire- Sleeps 2

welsh This property is really the epitome of a historical holiday rental. Built in approximately 1270, it has kept almost all of its original features, though of course the interior has been renovated, and to a very high standard. It is a perfect combination of modern comfort and historical authenticity: exposed original stone and fire place, along with fully equipped kitchen and bathroom. Chepstow is only a five minute drive away for shopping and a day trip to the Castle and it is ideally located to explore the rest of south Wales. Don’t forget to have a flick through the supplied history of previous owners, and if the romantic seclusion is a bit much, the pub is less than half a mile away!

The Pineapple Dunmore, Central Scotland – Sleeps 4

pineapple016_Angus Bremner So named because of the 34ft pineapple in the centre of the building, the Pineapple is, to say the least, an unusual property. Built in the mid-18th century, there are no documents to officially explain the original owner, the fourth Earl of Dunmore’s exotic choice. However in 1770 he spent considerable time as the Governor of Virginia where pineapples were plentiful. They were said to symbolise hospitality and became quite popular in architectural decoration, though one would assume that Lord Dunmore’s devotion to the fruit was particularly impressive. Guests have access to a private garden, with steps leading into the pineapple itself, and a little way away from the house, as was the style, is the walled garden, open to visitors, which is beautifully maintained by the National Trust. There are a number of castles and landmark properties in the vicinity, but the main event is the building itself. Perfect for a remote getaway with friends.

House in the Clouds Thorpeness, Suffolk- sleeps 10 (!)

Thorpeness 13-5-2004 The House in the Clouds was built in 1923 and what it lacks in centuries it makes up for in character. It was originally built as a water supply for Thorpeness village and pleasantly disguised, from a distance, as a cottage nestled in the trees. The cottage is, in fact, only the top floor of this five-story property. Bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen are all inside the tower, and the cottage itself has been converted into a huge games room where you can enjoy the spectacular view. Thorpeness itself is a charming village of only 400 permanent residents, though the number greatly increases in the summer months. Visitors come to enjoy the beach and the Peter Pan-themed mear- J. M. Barrie was a close friend of Ogilvie, the original land owner.

Botelet Farm Cornwall, United Kingdom- cottages sleep five, yurts sleep 2

Botelet_Stimmig Botelet farm has been owned by the Tamblyn family since 1865, and if you want to go even further back, it was mentioned in the Doomsday book in 1086. Talk about a property with history! Tucked away in the valleys of Cornwall, the farm offers the ideal cocktail of perfect tranquility, historical landmarks, and an easy natural lifestyle. You could stay in Manor Cottage, which is part of the original build mentioned in 1086, or you might stay in Cowslip Cottage, built for the first Tamblyns in the 19th century. Or if you’re feeling truly adventurous, you might stay in a yurt, historical in an entirely different context- traditionally home to nomadic tribes in Mongolia. Each yurt has its own wood stove, double bed and (covered) skylight; envelope yourself in the surrounding nature whilst sleeping in comfort. You can also pre-order breakfast in the farmhouse if you don’t fancy committing entirely to the nomadic lifestyle. Botelet farm is appropriate for both a family holiday and a romantic getaway; the buildings provide wifi so you can stay connected even in the vast landscape of the Cornwall countryside. Click here to find more historic holiday rentals and other Niche Escapes.

About The Author


Having just arrived home from a year in Asia, I intend on encouraging as many people as possible to go exploring, whether in some far off hollow on the other side of the world, or in your very own country.