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Unusual Hotels Of Europe

Unusual Hotels - Europe

by Steve Dobson

Author Steve Dobson of award winning website UnusualHotelsOfTheWorld.com picked up two awards for his book Unusual Hotels - Europe at the inaugural Food and Travel Magazine awards on Monday 3rd September at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London.

Over 22,000 readers voted for the awards, and the Unusual Hotels Europe title was a favourite with travellers, winning both Travel Book of the Year, as well as the overall Book of the Year award.

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Extracts From The Book
Unusual Hotels Of Europe: Nocole Tower Unusual Hotels Of Europe: Egyptial PalaceUnusual Hotels Of Europe: Rail HolidayUnusual Hotels Of Europe: Lundy IslandsUnusual Hotels Of Europe: Beckford

Nicolle Tower

Unusual Hotels Of the World: Nicole Tower This 160 ft navigational mark is located in a field called Le Clos de Hercanty, where Hercanty means "tilted menhir". Used as a navigation mark, a small rectangular lookout was bui lt next to the stone.

In 1644, this halfburied slab of diorite was marked with a compass rose inscription to become part of the foundations of a new lookout building, forming one corner. Records indicate that 18th-century owner Philippe Nicolle added the octagonal sitting room on the first floor in 1821.

Further work was undertaken in 1943 by the occupying forces of the German army. They made an observation or control position here by astutely raising the roof of the octagon by a single storey so that no change would be noticed from the air. Although this latest addition with its slit eyes and German ranging marks on its thick concrete ceiling isn’t part of the original tower, it has been renovated as part of the tower’s history
The Egyptian House

Unusual Hotels Of the World : The Egyptian House Of a style in vogue after Napoleon's campaign in Egypt of 1798, The Egyptian house dates from about 1835. The front elevation is very similar to that of the former Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, designed in 1812 by P. F. Robinson.

Robinson or Foulston of Plymouth are the most likely candidates for its design, although there is no evidence to support the claim of either. It was built for John Lavin as a museum and geological repository.

Bought by The Landmark Trust 1968, its colossal façade, with lotus-bud capitals and enrichments of Coade stone, concealed two small granite houses above shops, solid and with a pleasant rear elevation, but very decrepit inside. These were reconstructed into three compact apartments, the highest of which has a view through a small window of Mounts Bay and St Michael’s Mount, over the chimney pots of the city.

Unusual Hotels Of the World : Railholiday Railholiday is a family company that has built a living providing self-catering accommodation in restored railway carriages. The family started with the restoration of The Old Luggage Van in 1995 and such was the demand that they added The Travelling Post Office to their St Germans station base. They have since added The St Ives Bay SK2 carriage at their second location in Hayle, about 5 miles from St Ives on the west coast of Cornwall.

Each carriage has a different character, and perhaps the most historic is the 48 ft long Travelling Post Office No. 841, built for the Great Western Railway. It went into service in 1889, hauled by the City of Truro on its famous 100 mph run and was originally designed for broad gauge running. Converted to standard gauge in 1891 until its withdrawal in 1934, for many years the carriage formed part of a house in Wales. Now converted to sleep up to six in a combination of double room, sofa bed and bunk beds, The Travelling Post Office is a great place for families, friends and couples alike.
Lundy Island

Unusual Hotels Of the World : Lundy Island Lundy ("Puffin Island"), in the approaches to the Bristol Channel, is 3 miles long and rises over 400 ft out of the sea, commanding a tremendous view of England, Wales and the Atlantic.

It has tall cliffs towards the south and west, with grass and heather on top, and steep side lands with trees, shrubs and bracken in small hanging valleys, rich in wildflowers, on the east coast facing the mainland.
Beckford’s Tower

Unusual Hotels Of the World : Beckford’s Tower This tower, commissioned by William Beckford (1760– 1844), is designed in a Greek revival style with a hint of Tuscany. Born immensely rich, Beckford became a collector, patron, writer and eccentric builder. Cold-shouldered by English society, he became a recluse and bought two adjacent houses in Bath’s Lansdown Road, to pursue his fascination with towers.

Each morning, accompanied by his dwarf and pack of spaniels, Beckford would ride up to his tower to play with his treasures in its opulent rooms, described in the books of the tower museum, displayed on the first floor. After Beckford’s death the tower became a chapel and its grounds an elegant cemetery. Now restored and converted into flats, the ground floor is available to let.

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