Staying in a prison! The House of Correction from the Landmark Trust in Folkingham

posted in: Blog, UK | 68
Outside the House of Correction
Outside the House of Correction

How would you like to stay overnight in a prison? It may not sound too appealing, but we did just that, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Of course, our prison was not your usual jail. True, it contained handcuffs and leg irons, but it also boasted a kitchen, two bedrooms, a living room and a garden which was just perfect for playing catch.

As you may have guessed, the “prison” or house of correction is no longer a place for criminals. Instead it’s part of the Landmark Trust’s amazing properties. These really are astonishing, ranging from railway stations to castles and taking in lighthouses (we have one of these on our wishlist) libraries. The Trust, which was set up in 1965, exists to “ensure that buildings of the past survive”. It rescues historic buildings, providing very special places of “landmarks” for people to stay in.

The buildings are full of history, and great for couples, groups of friends or families, as you can self-cater, and also have the flexibility of more than one bedroom (unlike a hotel!). But let me tell you more about ours, which was so wonderful that Jess thought it was the best place we’d ever stayed!

The House of Correction is in the tiny village of Folkingham in Lincolnshire, just off a main road. You approach it up a little drive, and have to unlock the gates first. This made us feel very special.

It is built on the site of a big medieval castle, and the moat still exists. The House of Correction occupies the site of the castle and was once a small prison for minor offenders and the idle (no jokes please). It was initially built in 1611, but replaced in 1808 and enlarged in 1825 when it was given its magnificent entrance. It was then closed in 1878.

What’s fantastic about the building is that it’s so unusual! Only the grand entrance survives and when you walk in, you look in front of you and see the way out! It must be the thinnest house we’ve ever been in. But it’s also great for a family.

Jess in the kitchen

Once you go in, there is a well stocked kitchen to the right (and nearby, in Bourne, there is a helpful Tesco), and then upstairs there is a bathroom and main bedroom (with double bed). If you go left as you come in, you go into the living room (no TV, and yet we coped) and then the kids’ room. If you have small kids, it probably isn’t suitable as they aren’t near you or the bathroom and their room is up some steep stairs, but it was perfect for us. The living room also boasts an open fire.

It was also incredibly peaceful. We played catch and threw a ball around outside, plus read our books and played board games inside (and cooked). We walked into the village (which had an interesting little church plus a couple of shops) and marvelled at how peaceful it all was. We also loved seeing the rabbits running around outside at dusk. Honestly, it was magical.

I thought these little wild flowers were gorgeous (they were happily growing outside our accommodation!)

There is ample parking, and we drove to Burghley House one day (it was about 40 minutes away). We stayed two nights, but generally the visits are either Monday to Thursday (four nights) or Friday to Sunday (three nights). We would have loved to have made it longer.

All in all this was a really special (I know, I’ve used that word before) place to visit. We live in a big dirty, busy city and this was a little bit of unusual, quiet, beautiful, unique, country heaven. It was a pleasure to be an inmate!

Read about our visit to Burghley House in Lincolnshire and watch Jess’s video above.

Disclosure: The Landmark Trust kindly let us stay at the House of Correction on a complimentary basis, but all our views are our own. Four nights cost from £297 (more details here)

Read more about the amazing properties owned by the Landmark Trust.

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68 Responses

  1. Fab post and I clearly need to investigate the Landmark Trust as we love all things quirky. I have worked in prisons a lot but never stayed in one. What an experience that will surely capture children’s imaginations. It does not look that expensive really for such a unique experience.

    • We really loved it and there are so many quirky places you can stay (I love the idea of staying in an old railway station!). It was so special, and definitely did capture the kids’ imagination – you’re right.

  2. What an interesting place to stay. I know a number of people who have stayed in the old Oxford Prison but think they’ve really glammed that up – this looks great.

  3. How exciting to say you’ve stayed in a prison! You don’t imagine prisons being in such beautiful places. Looks like a very small prison, sounds idyllic so it’s hard to imagine prisoners being there!

  4. Transforming this landmark into a “hotel” was a great idea. It looks extremely comfortable and clean inside and the setting is like a fairy tale. The kids did a great job with the video tour. I should add this place to my bucket list. Thank you for joining #TheWeeklyPostcard. Hope to see you here every week-end and read about your adventures.

    • Thank you! I’m sure we’ll be back and sharing adventures. And thanks for the video comment. I leave them to Jess and she does a great job!

  5. What an amazing and interesting place to stay. Not strictly Country Kids as it is indoors but I love your video but the kids and it looks like there is some wonderful outdoor space to enjoy too.

    • Yes, I thought of it as a country stay because it was so lovely, peaceful and great to play outdoors. Thank you for letting us through!

  6. omg never heard of this kind of stay haha brilliant!
    I’d love to experience it!

  7. Wow, it does look really interesting, but I think that what made it so special was the quiet area surrounding it 🙂

  8. What a unique place to stay, not many people can proudly say they’ve been to prison!

  9. This looks like a really great idea

  10. The kids are so great on camera! I love this place! You have got to send me their info this would be so much fun for us. What a great find!! Who wouldn’t want to stay in a cool place like this?!

    • I know! It was so different – the kids just loved it, and so did we. And they haves masses more unusual places too (am very keen to try out more!)

  11. Wow! Not many people can say that they enjoyed staying in prison. lol! This place looks awesome!

  12. I always think of staying at a cool place such as this but then all those ghost hunter shows come on tv and I start thinking about it and I get freaked out! But obviously if your kids were ok…. sometimes kids are braver than I am!

  13. Wow what an amazing place to visit and stay in.I can imagine it being a bit spooky if you let your imagination run away with you.

  14. What a great idea. I think I would like to do something like this. Great post.

  15. What a cool experience for you and the kids. How many families get to go to prison together?

  16. Wow! This is SO cool! I didn’t know places like this exist. I’ll be honest, I might be a little scared to sleep overnight but what an amazing adventure!

    • Honestly, it wasn’t scary at all – just very different! And surprisingly comfortable (I guess because we stayed where the governor would have been!)

  17. Sounds like an amazing place to stay! Great fun for the whole family, not to mention tons of atmosphere!

  18. Great post and I love the idea of staying in prison over night, I could not possibly resist the opportunity 🙂

  19. What a fab experience – imagine telling that to their friends at school 😉

  20. Sounds good. There’s nothing like staying in a place to get a feel for it’s history. Haven’t managed to stay in a prison yet myself, although we have had a few gritty tours in our time!

  21. I can see why the kids enjoyed it! Very interesting place to stay x

  22. What a brilliantly novel idea, I would love to stay in a prison. I might have to check this out xx

  23. I must check them out…it’s new to me! How great to stay somewhere a bit different!

  24. this sounds great, we are always looking for unusual places to stay and this isn’t too far from us. Will definitely put it on the list! x

  25. oooh what an interesting place to stay!

  26. At first thought I reckoned this might be a bit creepy to stay it but it looks anything but!

  27. Sounds like a really cool place to stay – must have a look on their website!

  28. Looks like a great place to stay, and so interesting too! We’ve looked at the Landmark Trust properties in the past, but never got round to staying in one 🙂 #CountryKids

  29. I think an overnight stay in a prison wouldn’t be so bad… so long as it isn’t haunted!!

  30. Wow what an amazing place to stay, I’d love to stop here for a night, not sure anyone else would in my family though!

  31. haha fab post! I love themed hotels. 🙂 looks like you guys had a lot of fun.

  32. What an interesting place to stay – definitely a great story to tell!

  33. Wow, that looks like a really quirky place to stay!

  34. Goodness! That must have been an experience! I wouldn’t mind a visit, but not so sure about spending the night.

  35. What a fascinating place to stay in. I would probably be a bit creeped out at first, but hopefully could get over that quickly.

  36. The house is absolutely beautiful! And the video was so much fun to watch. Your children are quite the TV personalities 🙂 What a wonderful place to stay in and such an interesting history behind it.

    • That’s so nice of you – thanks! I leave the videos to my daughter. If you have time, please take a look at her one on Austria too, as I love that one!

  37. What a really interesting place to stay, I’d definitely consider it

  38. You were so close to us, you could have stopped by for a cuppa!
    Must investigate this further – have heard so much about the Landmark Trust: love a bit of quirkiness 🙂

  39. Fascinating. Didn’t know you could do anything like this! Glad you enjoyed your stay x

  40. Oooh this would give me the heeby jeebies, but you have made it sound delightful.
    xx

  41. The kids are great on the video, they’re definitely TV presenters in the making. The house looks lovely, a really interesting place to stay.

    • Thank you! I think (hope) they enjoy it too. I’ve been impressed by the last two videos Jess has done for us (Austria and this one). So much better than I could do!

  42. I’ve lived in Lincoln for over 10 years and never knew about this place! I’ll have to check it out, it looks like a lovely place to get away with the hubby for a weekend 🙂

  43. […] Landmark Trust offers guests the chance to sleep in some astonishing historic buildings and Family Travel Times all enjoyed their stay at the House of Correction, a Trust property in […]

  44. What an unusual and interesting place to stay! We spent some of our road trip days in strange places like a lighthouse and on a batman themed boat which we are yet to blog about but a prison is very extraordinary. x

  45. Lucas says – How awesome to stay in a prison. I would so try and lock the Mother up!! he he. Such an awesome place for a holiday. Popping over from BritMums carnival

  46. This is seriously awesome, what an amazing place to spend the night! So long as a ghost prisoner didn’t pay a visit that is…

  47. Love the video. I’m fascinated by former prisons and jails that become holiday accommodations. This one is now on our list!

  48. What a fab video, I am going to show my two, they will love this. I’ve been looking through the brochure and this one caught my eye as it is near us, and well who doesn’t want to stay in a house of correction! Lovely to see it brought to life 🙂

    • Thank you so much! We really did love it, though there are so many great buildings in that brochure – probably too many that are tempting!

  49. I love sleeping in places with some kind of history, so this one is on my list now! I never heard of the the Landmark Trust, before but I’m definitely going to check it out!

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