Embracing iconic properties to introduce new experiences and destinations, Unique Home Stays prides itself on providing luxury settings for the most inspirational escapes.

The company only markets homes which genuinely inspire; where exceptional living spaces and breath-taking settings combine. Challenging convention and reimagining 'luxury', the passion lies in introducing new experiences and destinations to the most seasoned travellers.

As escape specialists, the cottages, country homes and hideaways that we hand-pick to feature within the exclusive collection cannot be found elsewhere; ensuring an immersive, one-of-a-kind travel foray.

With a focus on the idiosyncrasies that make each and every property 'unique', there's nothing prescriptive about the private homes it invites you to explore. From engine houses to water towers, cliff-hanger cabins, coastal cottages and woodland hideaways; Unique Home Stays markets real homes, where character, personality and individuality are part of the essential patina.

Embracing individualism; whether you crave a nomadic adventure wandering where the WiFi is weak and the air is fresh, or an indulgent escape amidst inspiring interiors... your journey starts here.

Dorset Living chats to Cleo Dickson, who owns two of the hand-picked, unique properties, Orbis and Papilio Creek in Sherborne...


Milborne Wick, Sherborne

Simple, contemporary and bathed in natural light, this luxury self-catering farmhouse in rural Dorset is the perfect retreat for gathering the whole family together. Boasting a sauna and steam room, hot tub and magical gardens, this enchanting home, available in conjunction with Papilio Creek, offers deep relaxation come rain or shine.


Milborne Wick, Sherborne

Squirrel away from responsibility at this luxury self-catering cottage near Sherborne in rural Dorset, where gentle relaxation and napping to birdsong lullabies are the only activities on the agenda. Contemporary and idyllic, romantic and bright, Papilio Creek is a celestial haven of harmony and joy.

Q: How long have you owned the properties?

A: 15 years - Papilio did not exist in its entirety when we bought Orbis but we extended and completed it around 10 years ago.

Q: What was it about each of the homes that appealed to you?

A: That they are nestled into the hillside in a village that is like going back in time. Papilio was built from 300 tonnes of Sherborne stone we excavated out from the hill and built it into the hillside as it stands today.

Q: How important is the location when it comes to choosing a property, and why did you choose Milborne Wick specifically?

A: When we visited the area to view the house 15 years ago we were struck at how the village was as if it had stopped in time with wandering chickens and horses tied up outside the small church on the village green with our properties sitting just above with views across the surrounding fields and across to the hill fort. All the houses in the village have that ‘Hardy country’ huw of warm stone and rambling roses about them albeit a stones throw away is the market town of Sherborne. With the Abbey at its heart and the narrow streets surrounding it holding a welcome mix of individually owned shops and boutiques, galleries, antiques and artisan bakers mixed with the constant hubbub of students milling through the streets from the clutch of well known schools whose boarding houses sit in amongst the centre of the town alongside the almshouses.

Q: Tell us about the design choice for your home…

A: The house originally a pair of former mill workers cottages was restored and over time extended into the hill with the oak framed windows and Strawberry style Gothic leaded lights replicated throughout. The interior is a mix of eclectic antiques collected over the years and modern contemporay mid century pieces. With its two staircases and and numerous doors out to the garden whether you step out from the first floor guest room or out through the oak framed conservatory or out of the original two front doors the house and gardens you are opened up to once you pass through the original two cottages at the facade are always a surprise.

Q: What work/refurbishment have you had done to the property?

A:The drive has been dug up more times than I can remember and we quickly changed the orientation of the first floor adding bathrooms and updating all the services to the property. Having run an Interior Design studio for over 20 years it is par for the course that you regularly want to change the details and swap out or add pieces to the house with new finds from my travels.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the interior choices?

A: For the house to be a home to us and our four sons when we are all together in the UK - comfortable warm and space enough to be a family and entertain friends whether that be alongside the mill race in the garden or around a roaring fire or sitting down for kitchen suppers.

Q: What makes Orbis and Papilio Creek so unique and special for a retreat?

A: Hidden away private and whether a large group or just a weekend away for two you can hunker down watch a film by the fire or take a walk to the nearby pub en masse to then return and enjoy the relaxed and cosy interiors or enjoy the different areas of the garden … petanque beside Papilio or swinging in the bubble chair in the hidden Grotto alongside the mill stream watching the resident Kingfisher and Coots or walk up through the orchard to look out across the landscape towards the hill fort.

W: orbis.uniquehomestays.com

W: papiliocreek.uniquehomestays.com

W: uniquehomestays.com

T: 01637 881183