A builder today unveiled Britain’s most luxurious treehouse complete with a log burner, 60-inch plasma TV – and a jacuzzi.
Chris Whalley, 54, created the incredible hideaway for £60,000 by crafting it almost entirely from drift wood gathered from a nearby beach.
The holiday home in Blean, Kent, has plumbing and electricity and comes with all the creature comforts of a five-star hotel including a romantic log burner and tree-themed bathroom sink.
But amazingly it sits a staggering 20ft above the ground making it the tallest habitable tree house in Britain.
Talented Chris, who runs a holiday letting business, started designing his high-tech treehouse on a computer in March this year.
To keep costs down he used scraps of wood from a builders’ merchants and piles of driftwood collected from nearby Whitstable beach.
He even managed to build the treetop cabin without using any scaffolding by shimmy-ing up and down the tree with ropes.
Chris and wife Michelle, 48, who have six children, also salvaged enough scrap materials to build cupboards, a table and bed.
The finished product now proudly sits around a 25ft red cedar tree among the holiday log cabins Chris and Michelle built six years ago.
Almost every feature in the house, including the tree trunk sink and the concrete- wood affect kitchen work top are one of a kind bespoke items worth more than £1,500.
The pad promises the finest egyptian cotton linen, Waters and Noble bath robes and towels and top of the range kitchen crockery.
Grandfather-of-four Chris revealed he was inspired to build the luxury home after a little girl on holiday in one of his lets nagged him for a tree house.
He said: “So one night me and Michelle were staying in the log cabin, and sat in the hot tub with a glass of wine and I said ‘I’m bored’ – I needed something to do.
“I said I wanted to build a treehouse at the top of the garden and that was it.
“I built it from scratch. It was a bit ambitious and I’m glad it’s over – it’s half-killed me.
“There are several treehouses in Britain, but none that are habitable.
“People often have to go abroad to France if they want to stay in one. We have had nothing but good responses so far.”
Chris first had the idea for his tree house two years ago when a family with young children came to stay in his log cabins.
One of the young girls was trying to climb the tree and Chris told her it wasn’t safe but if she came back next year he would build her a tree house.
Last year the holiday makers returned to the log cabin and it had a children’s tree house for their youngsters to play in.
Excited Chris then decided he could do more with the sturdy tree and started his luxury project.
The couple’s dreams were almost dashed before they got off the ground after Blean parish council and angry neighbours objected to the plans.
But the tree house, which overlooks animal enclosures at Druidstone Wildlife park near Canterbury, went ahead in March and Chris completed the build in October.
Chris said: “Everyone who returned to the site said they loved the children’s tree house and it was a pity that they couldn’t stay in there.
Bookings are now taking being taken with customers from as far away as Australia and the US branching out for the added luxury.
The treehouse, is available for between £150 and £200 a night, has already scored an impressive five-star score on its Trip Advisor reviews.
Chris and Michelle Whalley put in a planning application for their tree house in 2010.
Blean Parish Council received several complaints and objections which the couple took on board before the application was sent to Canterbury City Council planning committee.
The couple were given the go ahead for their luxury holiday let in October 2011 and began building in March 2012.
The tree hideaway is now the most viewed holiday let on TripAdvisor.