"Escapism can come in many forms, but if for you it's about immersing yourself in a good film with lots of popcorn, what could be better than a getaway to your own private cinema?"

Stay in a.... Cinema

Malmaison, Manchester - malmaison-manchester.com

Escapism can come in many forms, but if for you it's about immersing yourself in a good film with lots of popcorn, what could be better than a getaway to your own private cinema? Manchester's Malmaison hotel, housed in a former cotton warehouse building, offers five cinema suites. Complete with huge projector screen, surround sound, electric curtains which open and close at the touch of a button, plush velvet sofas and touch-sensitive lighting, the suites provide the ultimate in luxury for all you film buffs. What's more, there's an extensive collection of classic and newly-released DVDs to choose from in the library at the hotel reception. More than just the silver screen, the rooms have all the trimmings you'd expect from a cutting-edge boutique hotel. Situated bang in the heart of the city, it's perfect for spending your days exploring, after which your most pressing concern might be: popcorn - salt or sweet?

Nearest station: Manchester Piccadilly

Stay in a.... Castle

Lumley Castle, Chester-le-Street - lumleycastle.com

They say a man's home is his castle, but why not make that a reality? For a weekend at least. Standing proud among beautiful parklands in County Durham, Lumley Castle is over 600 years old and steeped in history, from conspiracies to overthrow King Henry IV to the murder of Lady Lumley, whose ghost is said to walk the corridors. Owned by Lord Scarborough, Lumley is now run as a luxury hotel with a décor chosen to complement all you'd expect from a castle of such grandeur. Whether your bed is located in a turret or your bathroom is hidden behind what appears to be a wardrobe door, there are plenty of surprises and opportunities for you to live like royalty.

Nearest station: Chester-le-Street

Stay on a.... Houseboat

Houseboat Hotels, Victoria Quays, Sheffield - houseboathotels.com

If the idea of staying on the water  floats your boat, literally, then head to Sheffield's canal basin - Victoria Quays - where two long boats are moored in the heart of the city. Named Ruby and Lily May, they house up to two and four respectively, and come complete with kitchen, bathroom and outdoor space on the fore and rear decks. They're affordable and equipped with wood-burning stove, TV, digital radio and sound system. The owners have an agreement with the Hilton on the Quays for guests to use the health club and pool for free.

Nearest station: Sheffield

Stay in a.... Log cabin

Whinstone View, Middlesbrough - whinstoneview.com

The term log cabin conjures up scenes of roaring fires and sheepskin rugs, but in reality they often turn out to be draughty, insect-ridden shacks. Thankfully, this is where a Whinstone View log cabin differs from others: remote and luxurious they are, rickety and rotting they are not. The five bespoke log cabins are near a popular bistro and a health and beauty spa, Quiescence. The cabins have all the mod cons and a private hot tub.

Nearest station: Middlesbrough (Take bus no 29 towards Stokesley and alight at Great Ayton)

None of those take your fancy? How about these...

Stay in a.... Boat house:

Keswick Boat House, Keswick - cumbrian-cottages.co.uk (ref 111212)

On the water but without the need for sea legs, this unique boat house sleeps two and is as close as you can get to the lake without getting your feet wet.

Stay in a.... Windmill:

The Windmill, Scarborough - scarborough-windmill.co.uk

An 18th-century Grade II-listed building, offering B&B-style accommodation. One suite has exclusive access to the balcony for a 360° view of the town.

Stay in a.... Stately home: Middlethorpe Hall, York - middlethorpe.com

Offering 20 acres of parkland and manicured gardens with all the grandeur of a William III country house, Middlethorpe Hall hotel and spa is a treat for the senses.

Stay in a.... School:

Leopold Hotel, Sheffield - leopoldhotel.co.uk

It's back to school with a twist at this converted Grade II-listed boys' grammar school which has been sympathetically developed into a boutique hotel.


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