When urban life starts to feel like a drag, it’s time for a fresh perspective. Quite literally, as you ascend into the branches at one of our stunning treehouses. As you clamber up, the daily grind of emails, congestion and delays on the Underground will drift away on the breeze like fallen leaves. As will any London cynicism to be replaced with childlike wonder as you explore your playful pad. Take a look at our magical treehouses within two hours of London.
A trifling ninety minutes from London, Happenoak Treehouse in Cambridgeshire is an octagonal masterclass of style and comfort, hidden in the woods. The space is open and light with every mod-con a city dweller could wish for including a fully equipped kitchen and sleek bathroom. There’s even an elevated sauna to sweat out any lingering stress. The vast deck is the highlight, boasting an outdoor tub for long soaks under the stars, a hanging chair for two and spectacular views of the endless countryside. As you sip your fizz in the peace and quiet of nature, you might spot owls, woodpeckers, moorhens and tiny muntjac deer. Cambridge is only nine miles away for punting and culture, and the charming Black Bull pub in Balsham serves superb locally-sourced food.
You can pack the children as well as the wine and your torch for a break at The Oakey Koakey Treehouse in East Sussex. The gorgeous kids’ room is like something from a children’s story book with a branch ladder and birdbox hangers that turn the bunk beds into another mini treehouse. There’ll be no time for moaning in the car either as it’s less than two hours from the bustle of London to your peaceful perch. The vibe inside is chic and Scandi with huge windows that welcome in the views and a spacious deck for al fresco dinners. One of the woodland paths at Downash Wood takes you to the beautiful Bewl Water reservoir where you can try water sports and hire bikes. Plus, there’s a great café. The quintessentially English village of Ticehurst is within walking distance with a baker, a butcher (sadly, no candlestick maker) and a couple of lovely pubs.
If you’re fed up with Londoners avoiding eye contact on the tube, it’s time for a trip to Wilderness Wood – a thriving working community of artists, gardeners and woodworkers in East Sussex. You can rest your weary heads in Yaffle, one of our most beautifully handcrafted spaces that sleeps two adults and up to three kids. The treehouse is a work of art, elevated on stilts to avoid the need for foundations and made from individually carved beams. Owners Emily and Dan even used shire horses to pull sawn trees across the site to avoid damaging the forest floor. All visitors are asked to contribute to the care of the woodland by choosing from activities like chopping logs, carpentry, building and green woodworking. After a couple of hours of wholesome exertion, scamper off into the woods to play, making sure you try the enormous high-flying swing. If you still need convincing, take a look at The Guardian’s recent review of Wilderness Wood.
Next door to Yaffle at Wilderness Wood you’ll find Dumbledore, the site’s second treehouse. Just like Yaffle, it has glorious views over the famous Christmas tree field and South Downs below, and is only a few minutes’ walk from the main communal hub. The design of both treehouses is based on Spanish grain stores made from chestnut wood and they were constructed using timber from the surrounding woods. You’re fully immersed in woodland living but there’s no sacrificing the home comforts with a kitchen, wood burner, bathroom and outdoor BBQ area. It’s hard to tear yourself away from the immersive woodland magic but if you fancy a day out, Lewes and Tunbridge Wells are less than a half hour drive away.
Avoid FOMO and tick several glamping boxes in one getaway with a treehouse stay in the canopy, an outdoor and indoor tub and a veranda overlooking a pond. If you’re partial to a selfie, you won’t know where to start. Treehouse at Beneath the Branches is somewhere to switch off completely and let stress melt away as you head out on gentle nature walks, say hello to the horses in the field next door, play board games and whip up tasty feasts on the BBQ. All in between leisurely soaks in those two tubs. If you’ve brought your four-legged friend there’s a dog-friendly pub, The Fountain in Ashurst, within walking distance and five miles away, the pretty historic town of Steyning is well worth a visit.
If you’re going to escape the city, do it in style. The majestic Buzzardry treehouse is bigger than some urban flats and the views are infinitely superior. As you stand on the wrap-around deck, rolling Sussex countryside stretches into the distance taking in bluebell woods and a babbling stream. Inside you’ll find two luxurious ensuites, high beamed ceilings and a modern kitchen, but your ultimate happy place is likely to be reading a book with a glass of wine in the copper bathtub at the foot of the bed. If you like to earn your chill out time, the High Weald AONB is bursting with days out including over thirty small manor houses as well as castles, steam railways and sandstone climbing crags. The coast is just half an hour away and there are gastronomic pit stops at every turn including The Horse and Groom ten minutes’ walk away.