Travel & Tourism

The former water tower near Greater Manchester that’s now an Airbnb

It's a Grand Designs favourite.

Sophie Smith Sophie Smith - 25th February 2024

For a property to get a big thumbs-up from Kevin McCloud and Grand Designs, you know it must be special – and you can now stay overnight inside one of his favourites, the Lymm Water Tower.

This iconic 150-year-old landmark just outside Greater Manchester has been carefully converted into an Airbnb favourite.

The tower’s restoration has been an award-winning endeavour and has been in the public eye for more than two decades, The Hoot Leeds reports.

After being purchased back in 1997 by a sealed auction bid to Jannette and Russell Harris, the historic building was transformed into a contemporary home that combines that need to escape reality without compromising on any modern conveniences.

The Lymm Water Tower was a working water system up until the 1970s but has since been transformed with an extensive wrap-around extension that makes up the rooms itself.


Described as an ode to ‘calm modernity’, there’s truly nothing quite like it in the north, even the UK – and now, you’ve got the opportunity to play Grand Designs without any of the construction, and stay here on a countryside escape of your own.

Inside, you’ll find two different staycation options.


Set over two floors, the first is a open-plan, double-height suite with a king-size handmade Duxiana bed, a dressing area, with dressing table, extensive wardrobe space with a guest tablet (but no TV), plus and a bathroom floating over the bedroom: so regardless of whether you’re staying for a single evening, or a fortnight, you’ll have plenty of storage and freedom to make the staycation your own home, for however long you need.

The Penthouse Suite meanwhile is a single-storey, open-plan lounge with en-suite and king-sized bedroom. This suite in particular boasts the award-winning views, and is fitted with stunning sound system, mood lighting and a TV and guest tablet.

Both come with first-class service it would seem. Continental breakfast trays are served in your room and welcome refreshments are provided. You’ll also have access to a refreshment area, complete with, tea and coffee making facilities, ice, glasses and a fridge – and the hosts have even received a prestigious ‘superhost’ rating on Airbnb for their hospitality.


So, why exactly has the water tower become such a popular name across the north over the past two decades?

The restoration and renovation project appeared on TV show Seven Year Makeover, and went on to be selected as one of Kevin McCloud’s Best of Grand Designs, despite the fact that it did not appear on the show itself, and went on to win 11 different awards.

Most notably, the former owners, the Harris’s, took home 2006 RIBA Award for the Best Contemporary House before deciding to move on from the project, and was later sold to its current owners, who have decided to share the unique home with the UK by opening it up as a short-term rental.

These days, the site itself is the perfect escape to the country, and with just an hour to drive from Leeds, or slightly further from Sheffield, Lymm has plenty to offer.

You can find more information, including how to book your staycation at Lymm Water Tower on Airbnb here.

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Featured image: Airbnb