Architect Designed Vacation Rentals

The travel section of The Guardian is always worth reading. This weekend they had an article about a new vacation rental agency that lets people rent modern architect-designed houses in unique locations in the UK.

High design, low price: UK holiday homes, Alain de Botton’s set of cutting-edge, affordable holiday homes is bringing modernism to the masses, by Hannah Booth, The Guardian, Saturday 2 October 2010

Alain de Botton, the author of The Art of Travel, and a group of architects have created Living Architecture, a not-for-profit organisation “set up to revolutionise both architecture and UK holiday rentals”. They have four houses now and plan to add one per year. Most are larger houses and the rates are low per person, but you need about eight people to fill the house.

One of the vacation rentals described in the article is Balancing Barn in Suffolk. Half of the house balances over the edge of a hill. Perhaps a little to “interesting” for me.

One of the reasons that I choose to stay in vacation rentals when traveling in Europe is that they let me experience living in historic. Usually I look for thick stone walls, low doorways, old wooden floors, but after reading this article I think it would be fun to seek out the opposite – interesting modern homes.

Burford Cottage
Old stone cottage near Burford

If you are looking to rent unique historic houses, check out National Trust Holiday Cottages or The Landmark Trust. They specialize in unique historic vacation rentals. Most in the UK, like Toad Hall Cottages with vacation rentals in the South West of England, have many historic houses to choose from – and even some modern ones.

Find more vacation rentals on Slow Europe – Vacation rentals in England. Read more about traveling in England on Cotswolder, travel guide for this unique rural area west of London and north of Bath.

In the United Kingdom they use the word “holiday” instead of “vacation”, so what we call “vacation rentals” in the US are called “holiday homes” or “holiday cottages”. The term “self catering” is also used, but not as much these days.

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

2 thoughts on “Architect Designed Vacation Rentals”

  1. An interesting concept of Living Architecture. Great that you want to make the most of your year “Living” the places you visit as much as possible. Coming from Scotland and now living in Australia I have become more interested in the history of Scotland and architecture that I just took for granted as I grew up.
    The Cotswolds are amzaing and having only been there once I look forward to returning one day. Thanks for all the pointers to find more information and I wish you all the best for your year in England.

  2. Pop Up Living Architecture Hotel on the Soutbank, London

    I am hoping to be able to book a night there ! Bookings can only be for one night I believe and I think reservations can be made from Sept the 8th.

    We spent a night at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel last week end as August rates are more affordable than any at any other time of year. The historical part of the hotel is wonderful and there is much of Gilbert Scott’s amazing architecture to see. You can book a tour of the hotel when the resident historian isn’t on holiday.

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