The Big Six: Wildwagons
Friday 16 March 2012
Showman's Wagon, Shropshire
Built in the 1920s and carefully restored, this wagon has a colourful interior that screams for attention – from the painted ceiling and paisley carpet to the Tiffany lamps, panelled walls and lace curtains. The all-singing, all-dancing colour scheme within is matched outside by a vision of rural calm, with wide views out across north Shropshire's small but picturesque lake region.
Showman's Wagon, English Frankton, Ellesmere, Shropshire SY12 0JX (0844 500 5101; underthethatch.co.uk). Two nights' rental starts from £157. Sleeps two.
The Beer Moth, The Cairngorms
This quirky green truck is stationed in the grounds of an Edwardian country house. The location is four miles outside Aviemore in the wild, undulating Cairngorms National Park. Under the Beer Moth's raised canvas roof, you'll find a salvaged oak parquet floor, a leather armchair and a wood-burning stove. There's a brass-framed Victorian bed to retreat into at night. By day, venture outside for birdwatching, biking and hiking in the Scottish Highlands.
The Beer Moth, Inshriach House, Aviemore, Inverness-shire PH22 1QP (01540 651341; canopyandstars.co.uk). Two nights' rental starts at £125. Sleeps two.
This showman's wagon was once used by a family that ran a fairground coconut shy. It's now rooted in the Mendip Hills. Its original mahogany is still intact, with cut-glass mirrors, chrome fittings and chandeliers.
Mollycroft, Croft Cottage, Highcroft Lane, Gurney Slade, Radstock, Somerset BA3 4UX (01749 841087; croftcottage-holiday.co.uk). Two nights from £132. Sleeps two.
Wild in Style, Lake District
Two painted gypsy caravans on Lake Windermere combine doubles, singles and bunks with toasty wood-burning stoves and a shared yurt with kitchen, table and chairs. Horse-drawn lake tours can also be arranged.
Low Wray campsite, Windermere, Cumbria LA22 0JA (07909 446381; wildinstyle.co.uk). Four nights from £225. Sleeps three to four.
Gypsy Cwtch, Carmarthenshire
This restored 19th-century Romany wagon is set on an organic farm in west Wales, surrounded by woods and fields a short drive from the coast. Inside, there's a wood-burning stove and a luxury, pull-out bed. Guests also have access to a separate off-grid cabin, complete with a kitchen, solar-heated shower room, compost toilet, sofa and wind-up radio. Rustle up a feast on the barbecue; sway in the hammock; or go canoeing down the Teifi river if you're feeling more energetic.
Gypsy Cwtch, Penybanc Farm, Drefach-Felindre, Llandysul, Carmarthenshire SA44 5XE (01559 370211; gypsycwtch.co.uk). Nightly rental starts at £95. Sleeps two.
Showman's Van, Essex
Parked on the wildlife reserve of Coppin's Farm, this former fairground wagon now acts as the perfect back-to-nature escape. It's one of two current properties on the farm (the other is a former railway carriage), while a second showman's van will open this year.
Showman's Van, Coppin's Farm, Essex CO8 5HE (01787 269297; coppinsfarm.co.uk). Weekly rental from £225. Sleeps four.
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