By Katie Wilson
If you’re looking for independent places to stay, chances are they aren’t going to come top of Google.
So to make it a little easier, we’ve rounded up what we think are the best travel websites in the UK.
Whether it’s a treehouse in the woods, a cosy cabin, or a stunning coastal escape, we’ve got you covered. And we bet there are a few websites here you haven’t heard of before.
Best Travel Websites In The UK
ToWander UK – Best New Travel Website
If you spend your downtime lusting over secluded spots and high end hideaways, you need to book your next staycation through ToWander UK.
Offering ‘cool and unique’ retreats in the UK, the website only launched last summer but now boast over 60 properties on their books, all of which have a luxury element.
From romantic retreats for two, to farmhouse properties which sleep up to 11, ToWander UK caters for all – and is a great site to check out dog friendly stays.
ToWander UK works by directly connecting guests with property owners – and is run by Laura and John Lewis, the same people behind luxury treehouse business, Squirrels Nest.
Some of their quirkier properties include The Lazy Mare, a converted horse truck in North Devon, Arcadia Glamping, an art-inspired cabin near Loch Lomond, and The Garden Shed, a romantic bolthole for two in York.
Prices start from just £55 a night.
Find out more about ToWander UK here
Kip Hideaways – Best For Affordable Luxury
The ethos behind this bespoke UK travel site is ‘small places with soul’ – and they certainly deliver that.
Set up by boutique travel experts Sarah and Liz, Kip Hideaways is your go-to for stunning UK stays at affordable prices, starting from just £59 a night.
It only features self-catering properties which sleep 2-6 people, and you can search by collections such as ‘Super Affordable’, ‘Dog Friendly’, ‘With A Hot Tub’ and ‘Total Seclusion’.
Kip currently have 85 properties to choose from, ranging from cabins in the Scottish Isles to lakeside yurts in Cornwall.
The only catch is you need to sign up to the website to book directly through the owners – but for £10 a year, it’s totally worth it.
Our favourites include the Secluded Norfolk Cabin, the Boutique Barn South Downs and St Ives Seaview Studio.
Find out more about Kip Hideaways here
Unique Homestays – Best For Total Indulgence
If a luxury private home is your idea of staycation heaven, you need to get acquainted with Unique Homestays.
Established in 2001, their exclusive collection of stylish homes caters for couples holidays to large groups. You can even find houses to host your wedding.
They might not be the cheapest to book – with prices starting from £525 for a short break – but you’re guaranteed an extraordinary stay in a place you probably wouldn’t have found if you were looking yourself.
Some of our favourites include Anthology Farm, an 18th-century luxury converted barn in the Cotswolds; Alchemy Hill, a farmhouse with wood-fired hot tub in Herefordshire; and Zingara, a super stylish Georgian manor in Devon.
Find out more about Unique Homestays here
CoolStays – Best For Quirky Places
If you prefer to stay somewhere truly unique, the CoolStays website is sure to provide some inspiration.
They have over 1,800 properties to choose from, mainly in the UK, but also Europe and worldwide.
Some of the quirkier collections include Boatels, Lighthouses, Windmills – and we even spotted an Airship in Sussex you can spend the night in.
It’s also worth checking our the Editor’s Picks section which is updated regularly. Prices start from just £43 a night.
A few of our favourites are The Windmill in Suffolk, Belle Tout Lighthouse in Eastbourne and Lingholm Boathouse in Cumbria.
Find out more about CoolStays here
Canopy and Stars – Best For Getting Back To Nature
If you are more of a great outdoors person, then you’ll definitely find somewhere you love on Canopy and Stars.
Probably the one most people will have heard of, this website specialises in luxury camping in the UK and parts of Europe. Think yurts, treehouses and shepherds huts – and lots of al fresco bathing.
It’s also another affordable option with prices starting from just £75 a night.
We love the Dimpsey Yonder Shepherds Hut in Somerset, Hergest Lee Cabin in Powys and Rufus’s Roost Treehouse in Yorkshire.
Find out more about Canopy and Stars here
Pride of Britain Hotels – Best For Independent Hotels
If the thought of glamping makes you shudder, then Pride of Britain Hotels is the website for you.
Here you’ll find 50 of Britain’s finest independently owned hotels, offering everything from five-star luxury in London to Michelin-star dining in the Midlands.
It’s worth checking out their Inclusive Packages where offers include 3 nights for 2, gourmet getaways and midweek spa stays.
Our top picks are The Goring in London, where Kate Middleton famously spent her last night as a ‘commoner’, Gravetye Manor in Sussex, which was built as a romantic gesture back in 1598, and Seaham Hall Hotel, an award-winning spa hotel on the Durham coast.
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