10 unique Gloucestershire staycation destinations

SoGlos shares 10 unique destinations for an unforgettable Gloucestershire staycation, from a historic lightship to one of the coolest caravans in the UK.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
For the ultimate staycation inspiration, look no further than SoGloss pick of unique destinations in Gloucestershire. Image  James Fear Photography.
For the ultimate staycation inspiration, look no further than SoGlos’s pick of unique destinations in Gloucestershire. Image © James Fear Photography.
In partnership with Visit Gloucestershire  |  visit-gloucestershire.uk
Visit Gloucestershire

With a mission to promote everything that’s wonderful about our county, Visit Gloucestershire promotes the very best places to eat, drink, shop, stay and visit in Cheltenham, the Cotswolds, the Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury – whether you’re visiting for a day, heading here on holiday or a local looking to discover a hidden gem.

Visit Gloucestershire

With glorious greenery, magical woodlands, heaps of family attractions and charming towns and villages, its no surprise that Gloucestershire is one of the UK’s most popular staycation destinations.

So, whether you’re visiting for the first time or a local looking for somewhere nearby to spend a few days away, SoGlos shares 10 unique places to spend a night in the county – proving that staycations are here to stay!

The LV14 SULA Lightship in Gloucester

As well as being one of the most iconic sights to see at Gloucester Docks, the LV14 SULA Lightship is also a unique place to spend the night. The nationally registered historic Lightvessel was originally stationed in the Humber Estuary, protecting mariners on the North Sea for 26 years before being decommissioned. Its rare Fresnel lens was lovingly restored and brought back to life after 20 years in 2020.

On board, The Humber Suite is available exclusively for adults-only stays, with two self-catering cabins as well as a lounge, compact kitchen and dining area, a spacious bathroom and a glorious upper sun deck with panoramic views of Gloucester, including the ancient Llanthony Priory and Gloucester Cathedral.

Stays on the LV14 SULA Lightship cost £300 per night with a minimum two-night booking.

Sunset Lodges at Cotswold Farm Park

For a family staycation with plenty of entertainment included, the Sunset Lodges at Cotswold Farm Park offer everything you could want. Each of its six wooden lodges sleeps up to six adults and one child and has its own private bathroom with towels, family kitchen with crockery and utensils, not to mention a private deck overlooking the gorgeous Cotswold countryside. Sunset Lodges are dog-friendly too.

What’s more, daytime admission to Cotswold Farm Park is included with every stay from the day of arrival to the day of departure – so families can enjoy meeting rare-breed farm animals, woodland walks and energetic outdoor play before retreating to their lodge in time to catch a spectacular sunset or soaking away the day in a wood-fired hot tub.

Stays at Cotswold Farm Park’s Sunset Lodges cost from £200 per night with a minimum two-night booking.

The Temple at Stancombe

Couples looking for the ultimate romantic getaway will fall head over heels for The Temple at Stancombe. The neoclassical Grade I listed temple sits on the banks of a tranquil lake, nestled within 20 acres of gardens inspired by Chinese, Egyptian and Greek architecture, with hidden tunnels and follies to explore.

The Temple itself boasts an opulent interior that sleeps two, with couples enjoying exclusive use of the lake and gardens, with massages and facials available to book on request, too.

Stays at The Temple cost £400 per night with a minimum three-night booking.

The Red Bus in Newnham-on-Severn

Fun-loving families can spend the night on board a lovingly restored double decker bus near the riverside Forest of Dean village of Newnham-on-Severn. Ideal for those with children over four, the charming bus comfortably sleeps six and is dog-friendly, too.

There are plenty of original features – including the driver’s seat and steering wheel – two cosy double bedrooms; bunks for children; a galley kitchen with dining area; an on-board WC; and a lounge area on the upper deck with spectacular views. The bus also boasts a furnished decking area ideal for alfresco dining, a firepit and a children’s play area – not to mention a wood-fired hot tub for a small additional cost.

Stays at The Red Bus cost from £265 per night with a minimum two night stay.

Log House Holidays near Cirencester

Situated within a private nature reserve near Cirencester, Log House Holidays is a tranquil escape for nature-loving families and friends. The serene setting is home to an array of wildlife, from kingfishers and nightingales to an otter family that lives on the lake, with guests able to indulge in wild swimming, woodland walks, stargazing and fishing.

There are eight beautiful lakeside log cabins sleeping from four to 11 people, each with their own hot tub, rowing boat, fire pit and private beach, with the showstopping Mayo Landing boasting its own private island, heated pool and wood-fired sauna, too!

Stays at Log House Holidays cost from £770 for a minimum three-night booking.

Campden Yurts

Located near Chipping Campden, within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Campden Yurts offers eco-retreats in its two luxury yurts called Buttercup and Daisy. Each yurt sleeps up to six and has a cosy king-size bed, futons and a wood burning stove inside, as well as a private bathroom, campfire and outdoor hammock area.

The off-grid yurts allow guests to reconnect with nature, while solar-powered lights, electric showers, phone charging points and a gas cooker provide all the home comforts guests need. The yurts can be booked separately or together, for exclusive use of the site, with extras including breakfast hampers, pancake kits and pizza parties also available.

Stays at Campden Yurts cost from £90 per night with a two-night minimum booking.

The Warwick Knight Caravan in Longney

The Warwick Knight is quite unlike any caravan you’ll have ever seen. The restored 1950s van has been transformed into a cosy glamping destination that sleeps up to two adults and two children, with a completely unique design that saw it featured on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.

Complete with a full-size double bed and bunks for children; wood-burning stove; wood-fired shower; outdoor fire pit; and even its very own roof garden, visitors can soak in the views over the Severn Valley by day, stargaze by night and cosy up under a luxurious duvet when it’s time to retire to bed.

Stays at The Warwick Knight cost from £95 per night with a minimum two-night booking.

St Briavels Castle in Lydney

Stay at the impressive St Briavels Castle in the Forest of Dean and feel like a medieval king or queen. The 800-year-old Grade I listed ancient monument operates as a youth hostel with both shared dormitories and private rooms, or it can be hired exclusively.

With eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms and space for up to 50 guests in total, it’s ideally located for exploring the magical Forest of Dean, with family attractions like Clearwell Caves, Dean Forest Railway, the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail and Go Ape at Beechenhurst and Mallards Pike all nearby – not to mention gorgeous picnic sites like Wenchford, where you can paddle in the summer.

Stays at YHA St Briavels Castle cost from £15 per night for a bed in a shared room, £29 per night for a private room and from £299 per night for exclusive use with a minimum two-night booking.

The Old Chapel in Slad

For a characterful Cotswolds holiday, the Old Chapel in Slad offers groups of up to ten guests a chance to stay in a converted church with its own graveyard in the grounds. The unique 19th century property has been converted into a comfortable, modern holiday home with four bedrooms, a huge open-plan living space, separate kids den and garden with fire pit, barbecue and trampoline – making it ideal for two families to share.

Located in the village of Slad, which has been immortalised in Laurie Lee’s book Cider with Rosie, the chapel is perfectly located to explore the stunning hills, meadows and woodlands of the Slad Valley.

Stays at The Old Chapel cost from £1,155 for a minimum three-night stay.

Arlington Mill in Bibury

Sleeping up to 12 guests, Arlington Mill boasts five bedrooms and five bathrooms set within a former mill dating back to the 17th century. With beautiful exposed beams and the original wheels and machinery preserved, the property is both unique and luxurious.

There are two pubs within walking distance of the mill and Bibury Trout Farm is just next door, where families can have a go at catching their own fish. The iconic Arlington Row is right on the doorstep – and with Bibury being described as ‘the most beautiful village in England’ by poet, William Morris, its ideal for anyone looking to experience a quintessentially Cotswold escape.

Stays at Arlington Mill cost from £1,079 per night with a minimum two-night booking.

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