Top 5 gay retreats UK

28 Jan 2021, by Laura May

If you’re yearning for a remote escape and time in the wild, we know the gay-friendly retreats in the UK with the most secluded vibe and welcoming hosts. Get out in the great outdoors with these recommended staycations.  

Gay retreats UK 

While these incredible stays and experiences aren’t solely for the LGBTQ+ community, we know they welcome our guests. 

Go remote in the Scottish Highlands


The Scottish Highlands are the ultimate outdoors adventure playground. With hiking and biking trails across its mountains, stunning lochs for boating adventures, and endless bucolic views, you’ll be hard pressed to find yourself bored. And just on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, Tallavey Cottages are an idyllic escape to enjoy what this region has to offer. 

The quaint stone cottages are remote cosy boltholes with plush carpets, empire-sized beds and touches of tartan throughout. Expect big, inviting bathtubs and double sinks, plus an outdoor hot tub where you can watch the stars twinkle in the clear skies at night. A wood burner will keep you warm at night, and you can use your own personal sauna to soothe those aching muscles after a long day on the hiking trails.  

Nearby, strike out into the Cairngorms where you can hike to see incredible birdlife and red deer in summer, or ski down the steep slopes come wintertime 

Soak up the Shropshire countryside


Want to get back to basics without sacrificing too much luxury? A glamping pod in the Shropshire countryside is the perfect gay retreat in the UK. These cute little wooden huts might look simple on the outside, but inside they have comfy double beds and kitchenettes for teas, coffees and cold lunches. The highlight here, though, is the hot tub just outside on your own private patio.  

Spend an evening stargazing as you bubble away and look out for the resident barn owl that swoops across the surrounding fields. The site itself has a communal kitchen for cooking your evening meals, and shared toilets in a block nearby.  

The local area is a rambler’s paradise, with trails leading to monuments like Admiral Rodney’s Pillar, or you can head further afield to Powis Castle to discover a stately home with medieval origins. Another grand old house, Attingham Park has 200 acres of parkland where deer roam and flowers blossom in springtime 

Pair romance with adventure in Scotland


If adrenaline is your game, then you’ll love this trip in the Scottish Highlands. Deep in the north of the region, Dunphail is perfectly placed for wild rides in rafts on the white waters of the Findhorn. Settle into your hand-built shepherd’s hut accommodation, where you’ll find a wood burner, double bed and gas cooker, then head out onto the water the next day.  

Helmet and lifejacket on, you’ll have to hang on tight to the inflatable raft as you bounce and fly over the rapids in the River Findhorn, and when the waters get calmer you’ll have time to admire the stunning scenery. There’s an opportunity for cliff-jumping, too, for those serious thrill-seekers.  

Also make time for hiking in the nearby Cairngorms National Park, or head to the coast and spend a day on sandy Nairn beach where grasses sway in the breeze atop the dunes.  

Back at your hut, you can prepare dinner on the outdoor barbecue and spend the evening staring at the starry skies – with so little light pollution, you’ll be spotting constellations in no time.  

Get up high in a treehouse in Wales


Forget forest bathing, how about forest living? Book into one of Mark’s six treehouses in the heart of Snowdonia and you’ll get a back-to-nature experience like no other. The carefully crafted huts are suspended 30-feet above ground, supported by the trees that make up this lush, forested area. Inside, they’ve got all the little luxuries you could need, including a kitchen for indulgent cooked breakfasts and en-suite facilities with eco soaps and shampoos.  

Outside, there’s decking where you can sit and soak up the woodland atmosphere. Listen to the birds singing, hear the babble of nearby brooks, and watch the light change through the trees as the sun sets at the end of the day. Welcoming gay-friendly retreats in the UK like this are a breath of fresh air.  

Nearby, there’s plenty of hiking to be done, with the mountains calling in the distance and the coastal path just a short drive away. Plus, when you get back, you can opt to have a soak in the site’s hot tub to soothe those weary legs.  

Take to the water on the Dorset coast


Dorset’s coastline is one of the UK’s prettiest areas, with pebbly coves, sandy stretches of beach and wild nature reserves atop its cliffs. The best way to see all of this, of course, is from the water, and so this paddleboard adventure in Dorset promises an unforgettable gay retreat in the UK 

Staying on a private campsite near Swanage, you’ll have your own cosy bell tent to retreat to at night. There will be proper beds for a solid night’s sleep, and campfires come evening time where you can share a drink or two and stare up the starry sky. By day, you’ll take to the water from Poole Harbour, learning how to steer and stay stable on your paddleboard. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be paddling between the private islands around Studland Bay and admiring the flash houses on the Sandbanks Peninsula, or heading further along the shoreline to see the Jurassic Coast 

Back on land, you could make time to visit the beautiful Corfe Castle and hit some of the walking trails that criss-cross this rural landscape.  


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