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

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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. Kate Holmes

    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.

    • Sarah Ebner

      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. lorna mai

    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!

  3. Anda

    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.

    • Sarah Ebner

      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!

  4. Coombemill

    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.

    • Sarah Ebner

      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!

  5. Vlad

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

  6. Christa Thompson

    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?!

    • Sarah Ebner

      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!)

  7. Mary Calculated Traveller

    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!

  8. Aly

    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.

  9. Jasmine

    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!

    • Sarah Ebner

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

  10. kirstie

    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!

  11. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    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

  12. Kizzy

    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!

  13. Joanna Sormunen

    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.

    • Sarah Ebner

      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!

    • Sarah Ebner

      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!

  14. Shell Louise

    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 🙂

  15. The Beesley Buzz

    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

  16. kidGLloves

    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

  17. Sara

    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…

  18. Penny Alexander

    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 🙂

    • Sarah Ebner

      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!

  19. Nina

    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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