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Holiday lets come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes, the more unique your property, the more successful it could be.

Many people are unaware of just how many different options there are for holiday let properties, it’s not all just traditional stone cottages and seaside apartments. In fact, exploring these options could be a very wise choice, as offering a more unique holiday let will make you stand out from the rest.

Read on to discover just how many different options there are to consider when choosing your property to holiday let.

What are the alternative options to holiday homes?

Can I turn my annex into a holiday let?

the annexe shropshire

The short answer is yes, with the correct permission and if set up correctly, you can use any form of annex, outbuilding, lodge, shepherd’s hut or similar as a holiday let, as long as it qualifies as a furnished holiday let.

Holiday letting an existing annex could be an excellent opportunity for investment, as you are simply repurposing a structure rather than building or buying a completely separate property. This eliminates a lot of the bigger costs that can come with holiday letting, and as they are generally smaller than traditional holiday homes, they often prove to be less expensive to run and maintain.

Lodges and Log Cabins

hampton lodge shropshire

Building lodges and log cabins is an excellent way of turning spare land into an income generator. Aside from typical holiday homes, lodges are the most popular property types with customers according to our booking trends.

The often rural settings and the natural features that make up a lodge holiday experience allow holidaymakers to escape from the everyday and re-connect with nature – something that has become increasingly popular in the UK in recent years.

Yurts, pods and shepherd’s huts

little silver fox shepherds hut

If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option, more unique structures such as shepherd’s huts, yurts and pods can prove to be excellent investment opportunities. Glamping has become somewhat of a trend among UK holidaymakers, meaning that quirky getaways such as these are as popular as ever – the more unique the better!

They can be reasonably simple and inexpensive to build, and offer something different to standard holiday lets which makes them stand out to potential guests browsing holiday letting sites.

What are the benefits of holiday letting annexes and outbuildings?

Easily accessible

Having your holiday let either attached to your home or on the same grounds makes it a lot easier to maintain and manage your property, while also having sufficient privacy between you and your guests.

If you are the type of owner that likes to be hands-on with their property; welcoming guests, completing changeovers and being there to deal with any queries and issues, this could be the perfect setup for you.

A wise investment

Whether you are renovating an existing structure to become a holiday let, or building one from scratch, this could turn out to be a very profitable investment. It not only brings in an extra method of income for you, but will also add value to your entire property should you ever decide to sell it.

If your holiday let were to be successful, then the revenue you make from bookings will recoup the money spent on the initial renovation – anything extra would be a bonus.

A cheaper way to get into holiday letting

With an expected increase in staycations in the UK during 2021, now is the perfect time to invest in a holiday let, however for many people it’s not as easy as that – property is expensive. However, if you do happen to have an annex or an outbuilding that already exists, then you could be a holiday let owner before you know it.

If you have some spare land, building separate structures such as lodges, log cabins, yurts and shepherd’s hurts are also a cheaper option for starting a holiday let business, as they are a lot less expensive to make and their unique style has helped them become increasingly popular with holidaymakers in recent years.

Do you need planning permission to holiday let an annex, lodge or outbuilding?

The requirement for planning permission depends on the type of property that you are looking to holiday let – each has its own individual regulations that you must adhere to in order to become a holiday let owner.


If you are thinking of transforming an existing annex that’s attached to your home into a holiday let, you will require planning permission as you are changing the purpose of the structure. You may also need to apply for a ‘change of use’ in this instance

If you are building an annex to create a holiday let, you will also require planning permission.


Lodges and log cabins are another popular way of making the most of any extra land that you may own, however building such structures on your premises would require you to get planning permission.

Converted barns and outbuildings

If you happen to have any disused farm buildings on your land that are simply taking up space, then transforming them into a holiday let could be a wise investment. With the Class Q General Permitted Development Order (2015) being in place in England, planning permission may not be required for agricultural buildings.

Our guide to holiday let planning permission gives you more information on the rules and regulations.

Can I get a mortgage to holiday let an annex or outbuilding?

Finding a mortgage for any type of holiday let can be tricky, however if you go through a specialist holiday let mortgage brokers, then you should be able to get a mortgage for more permanent structure such as annexes and outbuildings.

One type of holiday let that you will struggle to get a mortgage for is more temporary fixtures such as lodges, log cabins, yurts and shepherd’s huts. As these structures are not necessarily designed to last forever, it is difficult to find a mortgage lender to help you out.


Let your property with Sykes and earn up to £125,000 per year*

  • Join over 15,000 holiday properties already working with Sykes Cottages
  • We welcome over 26 million web visitors a year
  • Many of our owners achieve more than 45 bookings a year
  • We specialise in turning your holiday property into a profitable year-round income for you

*Based on a 7 bedroom property in the Lake District with bookings between October 2017 to September 2018.

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