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Living the High Life: Why We All Still Want to Take to the Trees.

Published: 18th November 2015

In the fabulously flighty world of travel there is one travel gift that appears to keep on giving, and that is the treehouse. Take a wooden lodge and place it high in the trees and none of us can resist it. Polly Humphris investigates...

Wherever we lay our hats is not always where we want our home to be in the fabulously flighty world of travel in fact, the accommodation zeitgeist changes more regularly than the seasons: posh hostels, or poshtels are having a moment; first class hotel rooms on planes are even a thing now, but for how long? Never have our holiday lodging options been so endless and what may have seemed to be right off the quirk-ometer last year is probably pretty normal now, but there is one travel gift that appears to keep on giving and that is the treehouse. Take a wooden lodge and place it high in the trees and none of us can resist it.

That said, a wooden lodge doesnt really do the treehouses of today justice gone are the days of four simple wooden sheets with a door and a rope ladder (which were really just places to have a secret snog or stash things you didnt want your parents to find, right?); the reason we are still fascinated with treehouses now is because they are just that fascinating.
The Birdhouse Treehouse, SomersetThe Birdhouse Treehouse, Somerset

If you havent seen Swedens Treehotel, check it out: the location is the stereotypical stuff of our treehouse dreams - tall pine forest? Yep. Intoxicating views across a misty river? Yep. And then comes the curve ball(s). There are six tree rooms in total, all sat between four and six-metres above the ground and where the Birds Nest is exactly that, a gigantic birds nest of a structure that camouflages seamlessly with its surroundings, the UFO contrasts completely and appears like a shiny spinning top ready for take off between the trees.
Treehotel in Sweden

Thats another treehouse preconception blown apart it seems theyre not all made from wood, but there is something about the more traditional wooden treehouse model that smacks of childhood escapism.

Across the pond, corporate designer turned restless nomad, Foster Huntingdon, who first hit the headlines for chucking it all in to travel around in his 1986 VW Syncro, spent 2015 building his own multi-platform treehouse with a skate park at its base. His inspiration? The films he watched as a child such as Swiss Family Robinson, Hook, and Return of the Jedi.

Closer to home, theyre continuing to be built too. Treetops Treehouse in North Devon is perhaps the ultimate in childhood fantasy. A truly remarkable structure that sits so neatly within a huge oak tree its as if the house came first and the massive branches that hug it grew second to do just that, Treetops beautifully blends quality craftsmanship with modern tech. All at once thrillingly childlike, but utterly grown up on the inside, if it doesnt immediately put you in mind of Enid Blytons Faraway Tree, well eat our flighty hats.
Treetops Treehouse in DevonTreetops Treehouse in Devon

There will always be cynics among us. Cynics who predict the fall of travel trends before theyve even begun; cynics who question why its cool to stay somewhere different that might make you feel a bit like a kid again, but seriously? Why not. Treehouses arent a trend, and neither are they a thing, or having a moment. Besides being pretty damn clever, theyre fun - and surely thats the whole point of getting away from it all.

Polly Humphris
Polly Humphris is a writer and editor based in Brighton. She writes regularly for the Metro, is a travel writer at Responsible Travel & CoolStays, and edits insideSUSSEX magazine. She talks too much and she eats too much, but hey, no one's perfect. You can follow Polly on Twitter

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CoolStays showcases unique and unusual places to stay across the UK, Europe and worldwide. Accommodation includes glamping options such as gypsy caravans, shepherds huts, tipis, yurts, tents and cabins; luxury tree houses and cave houses; cool conversions such as planes, trains, boats, buses, churches, windmills, lighthouses and deluxe beach huts; as well as the coolest quintessential cottages, villas, B&Bs and boutique hotels.

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