If you dream of a nostalgic break just like those back in the good old days, you will be delighted to discover that there is now a fantastic choice of places to stay in the UK; from 1920s villas to gleaming airstream caravans, mid-century chic apartments and hip retro pads, there are options to cater to any discerning enthusiast’s tastes.
Unique holiday accommodation directory Host Unusual features some of the best retrospective vacations in the country, and owner Dawn Crawford has picked out her top ten.
To see more, visit Host Unusual at www.hostunusual.co.uk.
Sound of Harris – Isle of Harris, Scotland
Stunning architecture and an awe-inspiring location aren’t the only reasons a stay in this remote retreat will appeal – fans of mid-century design will be in their element at Sound of Harris. The two adjoined deluxe coastal self-catering properties each sleep two, and are furnished with carefully chosen and restored pieces selected to celebrate the ‘best of British’, encompassing a range of British designers including R.W. Toothill, Elliots of Newbury and Guy Rogers for a stylish modernist feel. Even the sound system is retro, made up of recently refurbished and upgraded ‘80s components such as Rotel and Marantz.
Swallows’ Flight 1958 Airstream – Kingsbridge, Devon
Situated on a working Devonshire farm, a short walk from the picturesque village of Chillington, you’ll find a perfect slice of 1950s Americana. Sleeping two adults and up to four children, the gleaming 1958 Airstream at Swallows’ Flight has been carefully restored to retain much of its character. The seating and dining area converts to a double bed, and there is a separate bedroom with four small bunk beds which the kids will adore. This chrome beauty also has access to a rooftop hot tub at the neighbouring barn, perfect for watching the sun set with a retro cocktail!
The Studio at Lynchetts – Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire
This boutique self-catering accommodation for two in the studio annex of a Georgian townhouse perfectly blends period features with mid-century furniture and Scandinavian-inspired décor to create a unique and stylish space. Retro wallpaper, Scandi-graphic prints, cosy Welsh wool blankets and the original record player with vinyl collection will make any enthusiast feel right at home. Guests are free to explore the extensive gardens of the main house, which dates from the 1700s and enjoys beautiful views of historic Bradford-on-Avon.
Captain’s Deck and Captain’s Lookout – Penzance, Cornwall
Nestled within a terrace of charming cottages in seafront Penzance, this fantastic art deco property houses a pair of self-catering holiday homes full of the glamour of the ‘20s and ‘30s. The two apartments have been renovated and restored to make the most of the original features such as wooden floors and cast iron radiators to art deco bathrooms, while also enjoying modern luxuries. Both apartments can be hired together and connected to sleep six, and Captain’s Lookout enjoys spectacular views out across Mounts Bay and the historic 1935 art deco Jubilee bathing pool.
Marine Villa – Shanklin, Isle of Wight
If you’ve ever wished you could party like Gatsby, then Marine Villa is for you. This breathtaking clifftop art deco house dates back to 1929, and boasts many original features including parquet floors, wood panelling, an elegant sweeping staircase and period stained glass windows. The property sleeps up to 14 adults and five children, although you may need to draw straws for the magnificent master suite; this opulent room features triple aspect views out to sea which you can enjoy from the sleigh day bed – wearing marabou feathers and sipping a champagne cocktail, of course.
Number 1 Carbost – Carbost, Isle of Skye
Aesthetically pleasing at every turn, this pretty loch-side cottage close to the Talisker Whisky factory has been lovingly transformed into the perfect retro retreat by the owner, interior designer Emma Whyte. Sleeping four, this charming property has been imaginatively furnished with second-hand finds and upcycled pieces. For a perfect end to the evening, the converted loft room with roof-light telescope provides an opportunity to view the stars.
The Garden House Studio – Lyme Regis, Dorset
This stylish self-catering studio started out life as an outbuilding of The Garden House, a 1960s single-storey home designed in 1964 by architect Howard N. Mitchell and set in an acre of beautiful gardens in Dorset. Converted by the owners into a studio apartment for two, the Garden House Studio makes clever use of its space and is furnished with original mid-century furniture, which combines to create a stylish modernist feel. Some of the furnishings are even available to purchase, so you can take memento of your stay home with you!
Margate Retro Rooms – Margate, Kent
A stone’s throw from Margate’s large sandy beach and independent shops and restaurants, Margate Retro Rooms are perfectly placed for exploring the bohemian heart of the quirky old town. The two apartments are packed full of authentic mid-century and modernist furniture and collectables, right down to the crockery and cutlery in the kitchen. If that’s not enough, they also feature fully working original jukeboxes, free-play Space Invaders tables, arcade games and record players for a fully retrospective vacation. Situated right above the fantastic Madam Popoff’s, you won’t have to venture far for your fix of retrospective apparel either!
The Control Tower B&B – Walsingham, Norfolk
This former RAF Control Tower has been lovingly transformed into truly unique art deco and 1940s style B&B by its devoted owners, Claire and Nigel. Every effort has been made to source the most authentic period furniture and adornments – the bathrooms even feature original art deco bathroom suites! With three double rooms and a new garden suite, visitors can discover the eventful history of the building and the RAF North Creake Airfield, pay a visit to award-winning Wells-next-the-Sea beach just three miles away or just relax and marvel at the faithful period restoration. A hearty home-cooked vegetarian breakfast is also included.
Vista Point – East Preston, Sussex
A modernist dream home situated in an enviable position on the West Sussex coast, Vista Point was designed by architect Patrick Gwynne and was completed in 1970. This Grade II-listed five bedroom property is one of Gwynne’s least altered surviving works, with guests today experiencing the house almost exactly as they would have over 40 years ago. The striking exterior features a sloping roof designed to evoke the crest of a wave, and inside the modernist style continues throughout, with the beautiful wood panelled spiral staircase creating a stunning centerpiece. Did we mention there’s also a heated swimming pool?