The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

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For a low-key weekend break in the UK or a raucous overnight party with the whole crew, taking over a whole building is a brilliant option: tons of space to spread out, no other guests to worry about and the chance to live like a local. Before 2008, when Airbnb was founded, tracking down a holiday home was much harder. Now, it’s almost too easy – there are millions of properties listed on the site – but search fatigue can be overwhelming. To point you in the right direction, we’ve started with a round up of our favourite Airbnbs across some of the best places to visit in the UK. They all have beautiful settings – with ocean views, in the heart of the countryside, in the middle of buzzy towns – as well as pretty interiors and excellent reviews. Happy browsing.

Tried and tested Airbnbs

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A red-brick party mansion

    WILTSHIRE

    For a sleepover with the whole crew, this Cotswolds farmhouse sleeps up to 20. Covered in green ivy, the squat building backs onto a tranquil garden with its own stream. The 13 bedrooms are old-school country in style and all ensuite (plus there’s one wheelchair-accessible space on the ground floor with a wet room). Take it over for a country house party.

    For more options, see our pick of the best Airbnbs in the Cotswolds.

    The best Airbnbs in the Cotswolds, UK

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    The Riding House

    DORSET

    Once a 17th-century stable block, now a party house for 16 guests on the Shaftesbury Estate, the Riding House is one of Dorset’s most theatrical stays. Colourful interiors and quirky touches – such as the mantrap hanging beside the bar – make this quite unlike any country house you’ve ever stayed at before.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    Dom St John

    EAST SUSSEX

    Polish architect Marta Nowicka oversaw the reimagining of this Fifties former St John Ambulance station, footsteps from the main drag in the seaside village of Rye. Nowicka’s other properties include hideouts in Brooklyn and Warsaw. Here, details such as the tables made from reclaimed beach timber reflect the seafront location, and the master bedroom has views over the cobbled streets.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    Wolterton Hall

    NORFOLK

    This Palladian pile was given a regal makeover in 2016 when the current owners bought it. Intricate tapestries, chandeliers and a hidden Champagne fridge in one bathroom add to the sense of grandeur. There are three spaces to rent – the biggest is the seven-bedroom East Wing – or a garden cottage to take over if you want more privacy.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A cosy beachfront hangout

    WHISTABLE

    The linen-pillow-scattered bed at Tides Cottage overlooks the shingles of Whitstable beach, calling for a long slow morning watching the tides come in. There’s a dinky kitchen with reclaimed parquet flooring and a sweet cobbled garden planted with lavender where you can eat supper on balmy summer evenings.

  • A super-smart Scottish castle

    ARGYLL

    A B&B for most of the year, this 16th-century castle can also be taken over for exclusive use. It’s set in Kilmartin Glen, near Oban, which serves as a jumping off point for much of the Hebrides. The old stone castle has been carefully renovated, so bathrooms are ultra modern with rainfall showers and copper baths, there are wood-burners in most of the bedrooms and there’s an onsite cook to enlist if you can’t face the idea of slaving over a stove.

    For more grand stays, see our edit of the best castles to rent in the UK and Ireland.

    10 castles you can rent in the UK and Ireland

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    Lary

    ABERDEENSHIRE

    A stay at this lodge amounts to burrowing down in the vast wilderness of the Highlands. Interiors have plenty of classic Scottish touches – tartan fabrics, antlers hanging on the walls – and there’s a board-game-packed library to hunker down in on rainy days. For a proper party, call in a chef to take care of supper in the grand kitchen.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    Loma Beach House

    EAST SUSSEX

    This eco-friendly beach house that feels more Scandi than Sussex has been stuffed with thoughtfully curated antiques by stylist Gigi Sutherland and her partner Matt Sellers. The open-plan living spaces are industrial-looking, and there’s a swing hanging from the ceiling for kids or kids-at-heart.

    More Airbnbs we like the look of

    While we have not stayed in every Airbnb featured, we have done the hard work for you. We have carefully selected these as recommendations based on their location, design, previous guest reviews and the fact that they have achieved Airbnb’s Superhost status at the time of our research. All listings on Condé Nast Traveller are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A seaview flat

    MARGATE

    The pastel subway tiling and overgrown greenery of this apartment are bang on-trend in Margate, teasingly dubbed Shoreditch-on-Sea. The living area has a sage-and-crystal-decorated meditation corner from which to gaze at the harbour. There’s a stripped-back aesthetic in the two chalk-coloured bedrooms, one of which has a roll-top bath. And best of all, it’s almost on top of Margate’s colourful promenade.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    Secluded Treehouse

    KENT

    A tree trunk winds right into the living space of this quirky Airbnb in Elham. Micro-living fans will be delighted by its tiny dimensions – you can touch everything you need in one reach – but the rough wood panelling and views into the surrounding treetops make for some of the loveliest lofty accommodation we’ve seen.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A sea-facing stone cottage

    CORNWALL

    This three-bedroom cream structure is set right above the waves in the tiny Cornwall village of Portloe, about 20 minutes from St Mawes by car. From the outdoor patio, there are views of the water and tumbling countryside below, while interiors are fairly stripped back, all nautical whites and blues, with a huge dining table for group suppers and a breakfast table overlooking the traditional white-washed houses nearby.

    See more ideas with our edit of the best holiday cottages in Cornwall.

    15 of the best holiday cottages in Cornwall

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A cabin on one of England’s loveliest shores

    SUSSEX

    The great swathes of soft sand in Camber draw down-from-London visitors, who go antiques hunting in nearby Rye. Stay overnight at The Blue House, a glass hut set right on the beach. Huge doors open onto a wooden terrace for breakfast with a view of the sea, and steps lead right down to the ocean for brisk morning swims.

    See more of the best log cabins in the UK.

    The best log cabins in the UK

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A smart nautical farmhouse in the hills

    DEVON

    Designed by Hungarian artist-architect Andras Kaldor, this property nods to its location by the sea in Devon – white shiplap walls, a sailboat sculpture on a beam in the living room – without being kitsch. Double doors open out onto views of the surrounding hillside, and there’s a garden for sunbathing or outdoor suppers, as well as a little pool for cooling off on hot days. We particularly like the carefully curated details: a vinyl player, a wood-burning fireplace and a wooden boat-seat set over a babbling stream.

    For more low-key ideas, we’ve rounded up our favourite farm stays in the UK.

    7 brilliant farm stays in the UK

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A quirky pit-stop for a Scottish road trip

    THE HIGHLANDS

    Built by the RAF in 1940, this jet-black hut on the eastern stretches of the NC500 – one of Scotland’s best-loved routes through the Highlands – is a bit like a hobbit house, if hobbits had really good taste in interiors. Inside, a domed ceiling makes you feel as if you’ve burrowed underground, but the white-washed walls and cool black accents – a wood-burner, a double stove – keep the whole place feeling airy.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A classic city-centre loft

    EDINBURGH

    This traditional Royal Mile flat has huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the rooftops. Bookcases in the sitting room are stacked with hundreds of books and the kitchen has an enormous dining table for hosting supper or drinks. The bed is cleverly hidden behind panelling, making the whole space feel more roomy than it is. And you’re right on top of Edinburgh’s best restaurants and shops, too.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A rural barn conversion

    NORFOLK

    Framed with wisteria and climbing ivy, this huge building has tons of original details – beams, exposed stone walls, a vast dining room with lofty high ceilings. There are nine bedrooms, bathrooms have free-standing tubs, and there’s a cosy living room with a wood-burning fire and lots of squishy sofas.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    Carren Bach Cottage

    Pembrokeshire

    The covered deck and master bedroom at this Welsh cottage look out over the Pembrokeshire countryside. While the flagstone-floored, vaulted-ceiling living area is a roomy spot for dinner parties, there’s a cabin with a hot tub for sunset views. But it’s the location – plumb in the middle of Pembrokeshire National Park and a short walk from the beach – that’s the highlight here.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A historic Gloucestershire manor

    COTSWOLDS

    There’s bags of space at this buttery-stone Cotswolds village home, part of Airbnb’s Luxe listings, a curation of its finest, fanciest properties. Set in 14.5 acres of countryside, with its own pond and a clutch of outhouses, it has 14 bedrooms to pack out with friends and family. We particularly like the roll-top baths and original beams in the traditional dining room.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    The Stables

    HEREFORDSHIRE

    Stamp across 150 acres surrounded by the Malvern Hills on this 19th-century estate. The one-time barn is now a roomy guesthouse with lots of smart original features, including exposed brick walls and parquet floors. Early-morning dips in the Scandi-inspired swimming pool should be followed by a two-mile stroll to the nearest pub for lunch.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A cottage in the grounds of a country house

    ABERGAVENNY, WALES

    Set in a lovely garden surrounded by countryside, this pared-back cottage has high ceilings and muted, grown-up fabrics. There is one bedroom, a living room with white-washed walls and a wood-burner, and a kitchen with a retro Seventies colour scheme. Have breakfast at the table outside overlooking the Monmouthshire hills.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    An Irish seaside retreat

    COUNTY SLIGO

    Take over a 200-year-old country house on Ireland’s Atlantic coast. There are five bedrooms, nine acres of land with views of the sea (and one of the country’s best surf breaks) and lots of old-school furniture. A traditional Irish breakfast is served in the rustic kitchen, and there’s a games room and plenty of cosy nooks if the weather isn’t good enough to head out salmon fishing or to the beach.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A quirky art-district pad

    LIVERPOOL

    On the fringes of the edgy Ropewalks, Liverpool’s arty enclave, this eclectic flat has exposed brick walls and offbeat interiors. There’s a little wooden table for breakfasts of flaky pastries picked up from nearby tiny French patisserie Artisane or for drinks before heading out to the cobblestoned streets to seek out supper.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A flat that was once the home of Jane Austen

    BATH

    There’s a bohemian vibe at this apartment, which was the home of the Austen family from 1801 to 1805. Walls are stacked with art, and there’s creatively mismatched furniture in the flagstone study and original Georgian panelling throughout. The eclectic Holburne Museum is close by and the walk to the pretty town centre takes about 10 minutes.

  • The best Airbnbs in the UK and Ireland

    A Lake District hideout

    LANCASHIRE

    This cosy stone cottage in the Lake District comes with views of Lancaster Castle from the little window seat in the kitchen. Just big enough for two, it has a copper bath for a soak after days tramping across the hills. The bedroom is petite, but the living room is very sweet and minimal, with space to spread out. There’s a lovely patio, which you enter through a walled garden, giving the whole place a Secret Garden feel.

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