Forget countryside hotels and old wooden inns, this year it’s all about the outdoors – and no, we’re not talking camping.
Treehouses have become the new trend in the travel world, and this summer they’re dotted all over the country and the continent, where you can watch the stars from your cosy cabin, tucked away in the branches.
You don’t need to go far for an unforgettable treetop adventure – not only does the UK boast some amazing treehouses you can hire out, but there are plenty across Europe offering unrivalled views of the scenery.
For the more daring, you can find some great snug cabins tucked away in the heart of the African landscape, amidst the luscious greenery and exotic wildlife.
To give you a dose of inspiration, we reveal our pick of the best..
If an eco-friendly holiday is what you’re after you may also want to check out our favourite eco-lodges from around the world. Meanwhile if a staycation is on the cards, we’ve searched out the most stunning gardens for the perfect family picnic.
Treehouses don’t have to be primitive. This is one of a collection of five mini chateau-treehouses, which come complete with spas and have typical French flourishes such as turreted roofs.
The emphasis here is on luxury. Cabane de Puybeton, for example, has a hot tub and sauna, a sitting room with a fireplace and flatscreen TV, wi-fi, a minibar, central heating and air-con.
You can even book an in-treehouse massage, and there’s a shared pool.
Details: From €280 per night for two, including breakfast, chateaux-dans-les-arbres.com
Machynlleth in Powys has long been a centre of green living, with the adjacent Centre for Alternative Technology.
There are six treehouses distributed in woodland, each with double beds and fold-down bunks to sleep four, a wood-burning stove to heat the spring-water shower, plus a composting toilet and a kitchen – but no electricity.
Environmental disturbance is kept to a minimum, with materials sympathetic to the setting. The romance of lanterns, tea lights and lamps holds sway.
Details: Two nights costs £379 for two, £399 for a family, living-room.co
Trust our Scandi cousins to put a designer spin on the whole thing. The Treehotel’s most famous innovation is its Mirrorcube, a square room suspended among trees and rendered virtually invisible by exterior mirrors.
Now there’s also the UFO, plus the wicker-exterior Bird’s Nest and more. All are set in pine woods in Harads, about 100km from Luleå airport, with a fantastic view of the forested Lule valley.
All have bedroom and bathroom, some have space for a family. All are satellites of Britta’s Pensionat, a guesthouse with a restaurant and a sauna.
The Treehotel’s most famous innovation is its Mirrorcube, a square room suspended among trees and rendered virtually invisible by exterior mirrors. Now there’s also the UFO, plus the wicker-exterior Bird’s Nest and more.
All are set in pine woods in Harads, about 100km from Luleå airport, with a fantastic view of the forested Lule valley. All have bedroom and bathroom, some have space for a family.
All are satellites of Britta’s Pensionat, a guesthouse with a restaurant and a sauna.
Details: The Mirrorcube costs £440 a night B&B. treehotel.se
This is tree-sleeping in its purest form. The Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht climbing park is in Pfronten, in the Allgau, in the foothills of the Alps.
Here you can choose to be either hauled up and harnessed to a ledge firmly attached to a tree trunk, or suspended dangling from an overhead branch on what they call a “portaledge”.
Either way, you’ll need a head for heights to get up and down by rope, and have a tolerance for nighttime noises.
Details: Visitors get full instruction in the rope technique. The price of €250 per person (over-16s only) includes entrance fee, dinner, and breakfast in the tree. waldseilgarten-hoellschlucht.de
A chateau, an organic farm, a 300-acre estate and gardens – and a pad in the branches of a beautiful 200-year-old oak.
This generous beast supports three main buildings, two of them treehouses (one sleeps four and the other five) with private terraces plus a big terrace up at the highest point for giddy sun-downers.
The result is a treehouse getaway for a group (maximum nine people) looking to share a back-to-nature experience, with no electricity or running water, and organic dry toilets.
Breakfast is sent aloft via a pulley system. A remarkable feat of engineering, relying on what nature provides.
Details: The base price of €282 per night for four is increased by €42 for every additional adult. chateaudelagrandenoe.com
A treehouse in the heart of the city is a novel enough idea, but a treehouse in a listed crane from the 1950s is creative thinking.
Crane 29 is on the waterside in the leisure docklands (think arts centres and festivals) around 15 minutes from Temple Meads station. Upstairs, there’s a proper bathroom, electricity and a double bedroom, all very organically done.
The idea is to bring “all the goodness of the outdoors and put it into a cocoon of calm in the city”.
Details: Opens on May 27. Demand is high so Canopy & Stars (canopyandstars.co.uk) is running a ballot. A week night costs £185, a weekend night £250, with breakfast hamper.
This is something a bit different. Two designer treehouses on stilts with big windows overlooking an enclosure with a dozen Canadian timber wolves.
The tree-houses have a whirlpool bath, minibar, safe, coffee machine, TV etc, with a roof terrace on each one so you really do feel up among the leaves.
For an extra fee the brave can enter the enclosure with a wolf handler. During the day there will be visitors around, but in the evening it’ll be just you and your fanged friends. Expect a midnight howl.
Details: B&B from €350 per night for two. tree-inn.de
It may not be tree-supported, but it is up there with the birds, looming above the tree canopy.
This eccentric pair of towers on the coast north of Mombasa has been included in this list for their anthropomorphic shape and the way they loom over the treeline, with the Indian Ocean 150 metres to the east.
The rooms are open to sunsets and the breeze. Great for a post-safari chill.
Details: B&B $100 pp (full board $140). treehouse.co.ke
Treehouse agency La Cabane en l’Air offers 252 treehouses in 57 locations, from the wacky to the luxurious.
The Cabane Spa Comète – at the Cabanes des Grands Reflets in the Franche-Comte – has a spa and a globe bedroom at the end of a monkey bridge, complete with round bed.