Forget the ant-infested den your dad built you, today’s treehouses have everything from stained glass windows to copper baths to wood-fired hot tubs to fridges stocked with champagne.
While some are architectural extravaganzas with a price tag to match, others offer a simple way to escape the everyday and spend a couple of nights in the boughs of a big tree. Complete with some recommendations of nearby adventures, from Scotland to the South Coast, here are 10 of the UK’s coolest treehouse hotels.
1. Treehouse on the Lake, Cornwall
Outrageously indulgent, this new, five-star treehouse has a wraparound terrace, an outdoor copper bathtub and a fully-equipped kitchen (there’s even a dishwasher). It sleeps four in two oh-so-stylish bedrooms. There’s plenty to keep you busy on the estate, from spa treatments, tennis and golf, to rowing. You’ve also got St Michael’s Mount and some of Cornwall’s best beaches on your doorstep.
2. Treetops Treehouse, Devon
A multi-level house in a 250-year-old tree, this uber-comfortable option has a king-size bed, separate lounge and copper bath. Each interconnecting room is sculpted around the tree’s branches, and some of the furniture was made from the tree itself. At ground level, you’ve got a spa, bar and fishing lake at your disposal. For rainy days, stroll to the train station and crawl the pubs in Exeter.
3. The Woodsman’s Treehouse, Dorset
How does a spa deck with a sauna and hot tub in an ancient oak sound? Going one better, how about a revolving woodburner, an open-air shower and a slide? Featured on TV's Grand Designs, this adults-only escape and has been hoovering up awards since it opened. To add extra oomph to your weekend, you could learn how to carve a spoon, go fossil hunting in Lyme Regis, or join a cookery course at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage.
4. Rufus's Roost, North Yorkshire Moors
This double-turreted, six-person treehouse is tucked away in Baxby Manor’s medieval forest. Welcoming its first guests in January 2019, it has three bedrooms, plus a log-fired pizza oven and hot tub. The owners actively encourage you to climb their trees and swim in the stream. The White Horse of Kilburn is a hike across the moors – or, if you’re feeling lazy, brew a cuppa and enjoy the view of it from the treehouse.
The cost: from £270 per night (sleeps six)
5. Tawny Owl Treehouse, Knepp Safaris, Sussex
Walk beneath the antler arch, creep into the woods and climb to the top of a Sussex oak tree. Sublimely simple, this new treehouse has room for two in a canvas and cedar hideaway with a handcrafted bed. Hidden deep within Knepp Wildland re-wilding project, you can book onto guided safaris, or walk to two pubs past roe deer and longhorn cattle. After dark, take a starlit bath in an open-air tub and doze-off to the sound of hooting owls.
6. Sky Den Treehouse, Kielder Forest, Northumberland
Created by George Clarke and his pal William during the second series of Amazing Spaces, the Sky Den sits within England’s largest forest, home to 50 percent of our native red squirrel population. While not a treehouse in the traditional sense of the word, you'll stay high above the forest. Designed for a fully-immersive outdoor experience, the entire roof opens up so you can stargaze beneath Northumberland’s designated Dark Skies. A stroll away is Kielder Forest activity centre where you can get stuck into climbing, watersports, orienteering and more.
The cost: from £150 per night (sleeps four)
7. Living Room, Powys
Set in a wooded Welsh valley, these off-grid treehouses are near magical. Climb the spiral staircase to your living and dining space, take a lungful of forest air on the outdoor terrace, then sink into the outdoor hot tub or douse yourself in the spring-water shower. The surrounding terrain is top mountain biking territory and home of Red Bull Hardline. You’ve also got woodland walking trails and Welsh mountain hikes galore.
8. Copse Camp, Denbighshire
Wallpapered in Beano magazines, this off-grid hideaway is warmed by a pot belly stove. Wake up in the loft room, then cross the rope bridge and cook breakfast on the Dutch oven, or be boring and use the kitchen. There’s also a gypsy caravan that doubles as a dining room, plus 300 acres to roam, with chickens and oriental cats for company. For extra adventure, go horse-riding in the hills or mountain biking at Llandegla before heading to The Crown for posh pub grub.
9. Templar Treehouse, Pembrokeshire
This big-kid’s treehouse is the latest addition to Melin Mabes – a glamping wonderland that boasts a converted pod from the London 2012 Olympics. Templar Treehouse has river views, underfloor heating, a hot tub and an antique kitchen. Best of all, there's a slide to whizz you back down to earth. Here in Pembrokeshire you’re in prime surf country, so bring your board or book a lesson and hit some of the best waves in Wales at Freshwater West.
10. Fernie Castle Treehouse, Fife & St Andrews
Grazing horses, stained glass and a slipper bath are just some of the quirks at Fernie Castle. Expect a fridge full of champagne on arrival and, to reach the huge elm bed in your octagonal bedroom, you’ll be climbing up what feels like the hollow tree itself. Set 500 yards from the castle itself, you can get fully into the medieval thing with hands-on falconry and horse-riding. If knights in shining armour don’t float your boat, St Andrews beach is a 15-minute drive away.
The cost: from £445 per night (sleeps two)