From lighthouses to submarines, we look at the most unusual places to stay in this summer.

The Raft at Chigborough, Essex

The Raft at Chigborough

This floating cabin for four is located at Chigborough Farm, near Maldon, Essex.

The Raft is built using hand-sawn pine and larch from the farm and is tethered to the bottom of the lake. It is surrounded by reeds, woods and fields.

From the jetty, there is a floating ferry platform, which bridges the gap between bank and raft. There’s a rowing boat too which can be used for visiting the wood-fired hot tub by the bank!

Inside, it’s cosy and comfortable.

Lounge of The Raft at Chigborough

The Raft is powered by solar energy and there is a camping-style gas shower and high-tech toilet.

The kitchen has gas hobs, fridge, and a proper barbecue. There is a fire pit and log store near the tethered hot tub platform.

From the living area with its double sofa bed, pop up a level to the mezzanine, where a second double turns into twin beds.

There are bikes provided for those who want to stretch their legs. If not, pull up a chair, lie back and enjoy the wildlife or do a spot of fishing.

Prices start from £195 per night.

For more information visit Canopy and Stars.

Coastguard Lookout Tower, Kent

Coastguard Lookout Tower, Dungeness, Kent

This unique former Coastguard Lookout Tower at Dungeness, Kent is just metres from the water.

It is ideal for couples wanting a romantic getaway or for those who love beach walks and access to the nearby nature reserve – Romney Marsh and Dungeness.

This converted 1950s tower can sleep up to five guests. There are two bedrooms, one with a double and a single bed and the other with a double bed. Dogs are also welcome.

Coastguard Tower Dungeness Kent

The tower has luxurious details such as underfloor heating, beautiful lime stone floors and a log burner in the sitting room.

Built originally as a HM Coastguard radar monitoring station for shipping in the Channel, the tower offers panoramic views; on a clear day, France can be spotted.

Close by is the Hythe & Dymchurch steam railway and Derek Jarman’s memorable driftwood garden.

Prices start from £785 per week.

For more information visit


The West Usk Lighthouse, Wales

West Usk Lighthouse

Overlooking both The Usk and the Severn Estuaries and The Bristol Channel, the West Usk Lighthouse B&B near Newport, Wales is perfect for that romantic getaway.

Bought semi-derelict in 1987, the lighthouse is now a grade II listed building. It was built by Scottish architect, James Walker, in 1821. The lantern room was restored in 1997.

There are four double rooms, some with four posted beds, for up to eight guests. All of them are wedge-shaped and there is a stone spiral staircase in the centre of the lighthouse.

The maximum group for overnight stays is eight adults plus two children on a sofabed.

The entrance hall of the lighthouse is slate bedded; the former collection well for water is now an inside wishing well.


West Usk Lighthouse Hot Tub

Guests can take in the stunning views from the lighthouse’s hot tub. There is also a full range of holistic and spa treatments available.

The lighthouse also has an added quirkiness; it is home to a life size Dalek and a Dr Who Tardis.

Prices start from £150 based on two people per room, per night. This includes breakfast.

For more information, visit


The Yellow Submarine, Merseyside

The Yellow Submarine, Liverpool

No trip to Liverpool could be complete without staying in one of its most iconic landmarks.

The Yellow Submarine, located at Albert Dock in the heart of the city, pays tribute to the Fab Four.

In the lounge. there are gold discs from The Beatles and the mod scooter from the film Quadrophenia.

Many of the designer furnishings are from Paris, Italy and New York.

The master bedroom is based on the suite at the 7 star Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

The submarine can sleep up to eight people, and has underfloor heating.

Interior of Yellow Submarine, Liverpool

There is a kitchen on board with an electric hob, fridge freezer and toaster, and even a washing machine.

Prices start from £199 per room, per night.

For more information, visit Yellow Submarine.


The Alexandra Lifeboat, Scotland


Situated on the shores of Cuan Sound on Argyll’s rugged coastline in Scotland, The Alexandra is ideal for those wanting to enjoy peaceful surroundings.

The 110-year-old lifeboat can sleep up to six guests and is in a designated marine area of scientific interest so there is an abundance of wildlife to watch out for.

The Alexandra has six berths set around a central table, each with a reading light, charger point, pillow and pillow slip; a sleeping bag with liner can be provided for a small additional charge.

The galley has a two ring hob, microwave, toaster, kettle and fridge and a small sink with cold running water. Crockery, pans and cutlery are all provided.


The covered cockpit entrance to the lifeboat provides an outdoor sitting and drying area.

The toilet, shower, scullery and drying facilities are situated in a uniquely designed timber cove approximately 25 metres from the lifeboat.

Prices start from £50 per night.

For more information visit Airbnb.


No Man’s Fort, The Solent

No Man's Fort, Solent

Completely escape with a break at No Man’s Fort in the Solent, just 1.4 miles from the Isle of Wight.

This Victorian fort was originally built as part of defences against a French invasion and, along with two other forts in the Solent, is known as the “Palmerston’s follies”.

Guests can experience the fort’s own spa, a selection of bars, a large sun deck, a hot tub and a lighthouse.

With all the sea air, you’re guaranteed a good night’s sleep in one of the 22 double bedrooms.

There are four room types to choose from; all have en-suite bathrooms.

Each room boasts stunning sea views and a wealth of architectural details that remind guests of the fort’s historical and unique surroundings.

For the ultimate castaway experience, stay in the fort’s lighthouse. The penthouse, self-contained two bedroom suite has stunning views.

One of the rooms on No Man's Fort, Solent

The fort also has five function rooms which can accommodate up to 200 guests. This makes it the perfect venue for weddings and parties.

There are also a host of activities on offer including fishing and kite flying, or you can relax and enjoy afternoon tea.

Stays are from £360 per person for a two night break.

For more information visit Solent Forts.


The Wild-de go, Cornwall

The Wild-de go, Bude, Cornwall

Situated in a “secret garden” overlooking a pond near Bude, Cornwall, this converted 1920s Isles of Scilly day tripper boat offers perfect seclusion for couples.

Much of the boat’s original features remain such as portholes and exposed beams and ribs.

Added luxuries have also been installed inside like a wood burner and under bed heater.

The kitchen on board has a Belling stove, as well as pots, pans, cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils. There is also a mini fridge, Belfast sink and Chimenea barbecue outside.

Inside of Wild de go, Bude Cornwall

A beach hut toilet and outdoor, but hot, shell-shaped shower are close by.

There is also a private wood-fired hot tub sunken into the surrounding timber decking, where you can star gaze or just relax while watching the local wildlife.

Prices start from £82 per night.

For more information visit Canopy and Stars.


Horton Lodge Boathouse, Staffordshire

Horton Lodge Boathouse

This stunning converted Victorian boathouse sleeps up to eight people and is located on the edge of Rudyard Lake in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Original features and contemporary furnishings make this an ideal base for a get-together with family and friends.

There are three double bedrooms and one basement double bedroom, all with lake views.

There is a well equipped fitted kitchen, basement games room with pool table and darts board.

The dining and sitting room boast the original wall tiles and stunning views. In the sitting area there is an open fire and doors to a balcony overhanging the lake.

Horton Lodge Boathouse

There is a terraced garden, a lakeside patio and even a small private seasonal beach to one side of the property, which is also dog friendly.

Here, a rowing boat or kayaks can be launched to explore Rudyard Lake, which also offers boating, sailing, fishing, a cafe plus a hotel with bar and restaurant.

Prices start from £948 per week.

For more information visit


Wandering Duck, Manchester

Wandering Duck

Wandering Duck offers hosted canal boat experiences for two or three nights, as well as day tours. Special, further afield trips are also organised.

Guests can either join a tour or charter the boat, which can take a maximum of 10 people. This makes it ideal for spending time with friends or family.

The tours take in the canals of Manchester, Cheshire and the Peak District.

The 69 foot narrowboat has two cabins of four bunks. Bi-folding doors separate them, and each bunk has an individual reading light and a space for a book, glasses, or phone. A sofa bed in the lounge accommodates two people.


There are also two bathrooms, with flushing toilets, a galley and kitchen. Most meals are also provided, aiding a stress free break.

All Wandering Duck tours are hosted; you can steer the boat from the rear, open the locks or just sit back and enjoy the scenery.

The front deck is very quiet, making it the perfect place to relax with a book.

Prices start from £145 per person for a 2 night trip. The cost includes accommodation, all meals, except one evening meal, and crew services.

For more information visit The Wandering Duck.


Sunborn Yacht London

view of sunborn yacht london

Moored by the Royal Victoria Dock, right next to the Excel, Sunborn Yacht London is the only floating hotel in the capital.

The 128 metre-long yacht offers luxury, with a grand central staircase, crystal chandelier, teak wood panelling and brass railings.

The Lands End Restaurant offers extensive breakfast, lunch and a la carte supper menus. The Sundown Bar has spectacular views across Canary Wharf and Central London. Refreshments are served throughout the day, from traditional afternoon tea to evening cocktails.

bar at the sunborn hotel london

There are 136 roomy and elegant cabins on board. Just four of them are yacht suites, with polished timber sundecks and bespoke furnishings.

With dedicated room and concierge service plus access to the hotel’s facilities, it’s an exclusive experience.

There are also meeting and conference rooms, an auditorium and an Elemis Spa for those wanting extra pampering.

Prices start from £119 per night.

For more information visit Sunborn Hotels London.

For further holiday inspiration, visit YBW’s Travel section.