It's not often you get the chance to stay somewhere truly original. But here's a place we think fits that description. It's an eighteenth-century garden folly that was designed to look like a ruin – and had in fact become a ruin before the Landmark Trust restored it two years ago. Located at Hackfall, Grewelthorpe in Yorkshire, England, the garden was landscaped by father and son John and William Aislabie, and the Ruin was designed as a small banqueting house in a folly at the end of the garden. Today, like most of the Landmark Trust's properties, it's available to rent.
According to the Trust, they made an interesting discovery while they were piecing the ruins back together: 'Work was well underway when we had our surprise – a discovery entirely consistent with Hackfall’s pedigree. Our building archaeologist noticed a striking and incontrovertible similarity between the Ruin’s Romanesque elevation and a watercolour, Capriccio on Ruins, by Robert Adam. It offers an unusual example of the work of this greatest of eighteenth-century British architects, better known for his more formally Classical houses and interiors.'
Smooth and Gothic on one side and ruggedly ruined on the other, it boasts a great view of the Yorkshire landscape. There are three rooms inside it – sitting room, bedroom and bathroom, accessible to each other only across a terrace. If you're planning a banquet, bear in mind, you'll have to throw everyone out at midnight – the Ruin only sleeps two.