A Bird Box for Humans

Spend the summer nesting at the Tree Sparrow House in Cornwall

Jul 7, 2014
Outside
Outside Magazine
  • Tree Sparrow House, Cornwall, England  Photo: Grant Lampard

  • Photo: Grant Lampard

  • Photo: Grant Lampard

Noted for its craggy seaside cliffs, verdant pastures, and temperate climate, the Cornwall region of southwest England is a favorite of divers, hikers, surfers, and drinkers (windblown pubs dot the countryside like giant cattle).

To the north sits the Celtic Sea; to the south are the English Channel and the Lizard Peninsula, home to this countryside aerie available for rent on Airbnb. The red barnlike cabin is nestled into an old ash tree. It's a mere 10-minute hike downhill to rocky Porthallow Beach.

bird nest design style abode architecture England Tree Sparrow House outside magazine outside online home house Cornwall
  Photo: Grant Lampard

A local artisan built the tree house, and it shows, from the blond wood paneling and sculptural elements in the interior to the ladderlike exterior staircase leading to the front door.

Amenities are few but include a small kitchen with a two-burner cooktop, running water, composting toilet, and lofted canopy bed. Take your tea on the balcony and marvel at the surrounding vistas, which encompass wide swaths of farmland and the sprawling Atlantic.

design style abode architecture Cornwall Tree Sparrow House home house England outside magazine outside online
  Photo: Grant Lampard

When you’re ready for a hike, grab a walking stick and head to Fat Apples Cafe in Porthallow, just off the coastal walking path. Its scones and sandwiches will fuel you for a long day of hiking—and for your eventual return to your castle in a tree.

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