March 11, 2022 4 min read
From stone structures to camouflaged barns, these retreats work with the landscape rather than ruin it and are yours to stay in. These nature-inspired hideaways seamlessly blend into their surroundings and are perfect for outdoor lovers seeking an unforgettable nature-fuelled experience. All of these homes were built with greenery at the heart of their projects, so anyone seeking a break from the urban environment will love looking at these. We have gathered five of our favourite homes from around Europe that celebrate the natural beauty around them. Best of all they are all places you can stay yourselves!
This villa named SynVillan – translating to “optical illusion” – is located in the Eriksberg Hotel and Nature Reserve, Sweden’s largest safari park. German manufacturer Exyd designed this spectacular house using elements/characteristics found in traditional Scandinavian architecture. This hideaway features a straw roof, sitting on top of the shimmering façade giving the illusion of it disappearing into its surroundings. What makes this house even more impressive is that it provides the opportunity for visitors to get right up close to the wildlife in the nature reserve, thanks to the glass plate in the floor. You’ll be able to watch deer, bison, wild boar and moufflon freely roam beneath you from the comfort and safety of your bedroom.
With two bedrooms, a kitchenette and a furnished terrace, there is enough space for four people to enjoy an unforgettable experience. As the house is located within the Eriksberg Hotel and Nature Reserve, there is plenty to do such as private guided safari tours and bison walks. If you don’t fancy cooking, there is a dinner and breakfast buffet served at the farm area, as well as plenty of other restaurants to choose from, each one of them offering seasonal produce.
Find out more about SynVillan here.
Hidden amongst the greenery of Netherby Estate stands a secluded, cosy treehouse that, once inside, will provide you with outstanding views of the River Esk. Guests are able to immerse themselves in the surrounding nature while relaxing on the elevated walkway to the treehouse. If you’re lucky enough to pay a visit to the tree house, expect to hear the soft rustle of the neighbouring oaks, the trickle of the Esk, the sheep that roam the rolling fields around you, and not a whole lot else. Despite being a celebration of the nature that surrounds it, the Treehouse isn’t lacking in home comforts, boasting a woodburner, modern kitchen, comfy beds, and hot tub.
North Cumbria is a fantastic place for walking, with a never-ending supply of rolling hills to explore and stunning views to take in. It’s also just under an hour drive to the Lake District, home to some of the best walking trails in the UK and fantastic local markets, including Keswick market which takes place every Saturday all year round as well as every Thursday from February to December.
Find out more about Netherby Estate Treehouse here.
Casa do Penedo, also known as “Castle of Stone”, obtained its name due to it being built between four large boulders that make up the house’s structure. Casa do Penedo has recently been considered as the “strangest house in the world”. It is located between Fafe and Celorico de Basto in the north of Portugal, and was built and perfectly integrated into its surrounding natural landscape in 1972. The owners of the house had no choice but to move out as it attracted many nature lovers and architectural experts. It then became a small museum, housing many photographs and memorabilia of the history of the building and surroundings.
The house now sleeps up to five people, enabling you to have an extraordinary private experience. There is also a fully equipped kitchen and a living room fitted with a fireplace. It also features a swimming pool overlooking the stunning surroundings, allowing for a remarkable communion with nature.
There are guided tours and custom experiences in the surrounding area, such as being a shepherd for a day, horse riding, ATV riding, and wine tasting.
Find out more about Casa do Penedo here.
Located on the edge of a stunning nature reserve a couple of miles inland from the Suffolk coast stands the Balancing Barn. Designed by the Dutch architectural practice MVRDV, the building dramatically suspends in the air, overlooking Suffolk’s tranquil landscape with outstanding views thanks to its panoramic windows. Clad in reflective steel tiles, the building mirrors and thus blends seamlessly in with its woodland surroundings. This remarkable property can host up to eight guests, who, if brave enough, can have a go on the rope swing that dangles from the building’s overhang. And the fun doesn’t stop there, with over six acres of private gardens and terraces to eat, cook (courtesy of the outdoor fire-pit) and play.
Find out more about the Balancing Barn here.
This multiple award-winning Hobbit Hideaway in Moray, Scotland is a unique and beautiful home that has been designed to delight. The family-friendly hideaway was created by its owners as a fun holiday home with a very close connection to the natural world. Built using all-natural, locally-sourced materials, including stone, earth, clay, straw bales, and its grass roof, the home could be mistaken for a mini mound rather than a house. Thanks to its round shape, open-plan living area, the hideaway helps bring its guests together during their countryside escape. A unique eco home with stacks of character, the hideaway can accommodate up to six guests, including four-legged friends.
Find out more about the Hobbit Hideaway here.
We hope you have been inspired by these wonderful nature-inspired houses. We know there are so many more out there so if you’ve got any fabulous spots we would love to hear about them in the comments below!
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