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Monday, 26 August 2013

Weird and Wonderful Places to Stay

My mum and dad's 30th wedding anniversary is soon approaching and I have been thinking long and hard about what I can possibly buy them.

I’d like to give them a gift where they can both enjoy it together and for it to be a memorable occasion, and so I've been looking into places for them to have a couple of nights away.

My parents are always spending weekends in hotels in different parts of the country, but I have noticed that they’re not too adventurous with their choices. Yes, a fancy 5* hotel is very nice, but I think they should broaden their horizons and look for more unusual places to stay!

This is where I come in! Of course, I’ll have to pick locations where they’ll be comfortable, as it wouldn’t be very kind of me to choose a camping break for people who have a phobia of sleeping bags!

I want them to have an anniversary to remember for good reasons, and most importantly for them to realise what a lovely and thoughtful child they have!

Here are some weird and wonderful places that I've found...

Ahoy there!

A fort set out in the sea in Hampshire, a night at the Spitbank Fort would be the perfect get away for mum and dad.

I know that they would love the fact that they would need to get onto a little boat to get to the fort, and once they get aboard, it really is quite luxurious.

Not too expensive either with the package deals, which include champagne on arrival, a light lunch, guided history tour around the fort dinner and other activities to keep them busy out at sea!

Shabby Chic Outdoors

This is definitely one that I would love to try out myself; the is an old-fashioned gypsy ‘Bow Top’ caravan with a modern shabby chic design both inside and out.

This is probably one that mum would appreciate slightly more, just because of how quaint and beautiful the caravan is, however, there are absolutely stunning views overlooking woodland and a river, and the garden where it sits is also very pretty.

There’s a wood burning stove, pull out bed and paraffin lamps which all add to the 'living off the land' feel.

All aboard!

This is also somewhere that I would love to check out myself, a retired station where you actually stay overnight in a converted train that still lives on its tracks!

Coalport Station in Shropshire is a truly beautiful location, and considering the fact that you’re sleeping in a train, the rooms are very impressive, almost staying in a caravan in terms of size, except more fun!

This is a really good place for walking around and appreciating the surrounding nature, as the station sits in a beautiful garden with a riverbank in the immediate area, which means plenty of kingfishers, herons and swans to admire; as well as owls, badgers, foxes and the occasional deer.

It’s windy up here!

I think mum and dad would really love the idea of staying in a windmill and the Rye Windmill, which stands on the banks of the river Tillingham, has some impressive views that most people would be in awe of.

There are a choice of rooms, such as the Windmill Suite (which as you can imagine, will be the most expensive), the Four Poster Room, and then various rooms on each floor.

This windmill in particular stood out to me because the rooms look so beautifully decorated, giving a really luxurious feel to the place, as well the stunning views.

Join the Knights Templar

Situated in North Yorkshire, which of course means out-standing scenery, the Temple Folly is the former site of an 11th century preceptory of the Knights Templar. Very cool!

I think my parents would enjoy the history behind this, as well as the beautiful surrounding woods, and the fact that the remains of a Templar's Chapel can be found nearby.

Although the website didn't have any photo’s of the inside of the temple, I'm sure that it won’t disappoint, as the description explains that the building has all its original features, including a domed ceiling and Georgian plaster-work.

It also has a log burning stove, fridge, cooker and microwave, a patio and car parking area. There’s also the opportunity for dad to go fly-fishing on the River Ure.


These bizarre and beautiful places to stay make great gift ideas for two, but I know that my Dad will love staying in an old train coach. Mum on the other hand, would probably prefer the windmill. But thinking back to all our camp site holidays in the South of France in a mobile home, the Coalport Station carriages should be familiar to them, but a little bit different.

Either way, rather than buying them something like wine glasses, ornaments or some other tack that will get stored in the loft to collect dust, an overnight stay or two in these weird and wonderland places will really show them how much time and effort I put into choosing a special gift for them.

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