WW2 bunker in Dorset is transformed into a stunning holiday home

World War Two bunker is converted into a luxury £350-a-night underground holiday home in Dorset

  • The Dorset bunker has a kitchen, two bedrooms and is booked out for summer 

An abandoned bunker that once warned of Hitler’s bombers in the Second World War has been transformed into a quirky holiday home.

The windowless concrete structure was built into the hillside at Ringstead Bay,  Dorset, in 1941 and served as an RAF radar base.

It was part of Winston Churchill’s ‘chain home’ early-warning system of bunkers spread across the south coast used to track the German Luftwaffe.

The fortification was later refurbished and used as a rotor station to look out for Soviet bombers during the Cold War before being decommissioned in 1956.  

Now the old bunker has been given a new lease of life as a holiday home, complete with a kitchen, two bedrooms and stunning view across Dorset’s Jurassic Coast – and it’s proved a hit with holidaymakers, who have booked it out for the summer.  

The former Second World War bunker used to be a radar HQ but now it’s been transformed into a holiday home (pictured)

New ‘blast holes’ have been created to give the ex-military fortification a stunning view over Dorset’s Jurassic Coast 

And inside, there are plenty of creature comforts, including a modern kitchen, underfloor heating and wifi 

Camouflaged into the hillside, it sits on land owned by dairy farmer Johnnie Russel, whose family have owned the plot for more than 400 years. 

The Grade II-listed fortification was almost completely hidden from view, just looking like a grassy mound from the outside.

Mr Russell secured planning permission to convert it into a novelty holiday bolthole last year, which now features a ‘blast opening’ patio doors that flood the once dank and dark space with light.

Known as the ‘Transmitter Bunker’, the unique holiday let sleeps up to four people in two bedrooms and prices start from £702 for two nights.

It opened to holiday-makers in April through Sykes Cottages and is already fully booked for July, August and September, with just a handful of nights still available in June.

The bunker has an open-plan living and dining room, kitchen, a twin bedroom, a bunk bedroom and a shower room. 

A far cry from its once spartan wartime facilities, the bunker now has underfloor heating, a smart TV, Wifi and modern kitchen appliances including a dishwasher.

But while it has been transformed, nods have been paid to its previous life, with the concrete walls kept bare throughout and exposed pipes and lighting visible.

The novel summer home has proved a smash-hit with holidaymakers, who have booked it out for all of July, August and September 

Inside, the bunker has two bedrooms, including one twin room (pictured) and another with a bunk bed

The bunker was once tucked away and overgrown. Now it has been overhauled and transformed into a novel summer home 

Architect Jonathan Plant said they sought to celebrate the structure’s historical significance.

He said: ‘It is essential for us to make sure that anybody staying at the bunker will be able to understand the building’s history and original purpose.’

The bunker was part of the ‘chain home’ ring, which was the first warning radar network in the world, and the first military radar system to reach operational status.

The ground-breaking tech proved critical during the opening salvos of the war and were a lifeline during the Battle of Britain, helping to spot enemy bombers. 

The towering metal structures and their bunkers were used to pin-point the direction of Nazi warplanes, allowing RAF fighters to intercept them.  

Work has already started on a second bunker on Mr Russell’s land which is much bigger but will have a similar look and feel.

A spokesman for Sykes Cottage said: ‘Tucked away in the rural setting of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Ringstead Bay near Preston, Dorset, discover this sympathetically restored, unique former bunker.

The station had been abandoned for years, having once been part of the Chain Home network of radar early-warning hubs in the Second World War and later, in the 1950s, an alert station during the early Cold War. The bunker is pictured before it was refurbished 

‘You can practically feel the history emanating from every part of the property with original features throughout.

‘The renovation has had regard for the fact that the bunker is listed Grade II, with the original concrete walls and other features retained.

‘The Transmitter Bunker sits in the middle of the owner’s dairy farm, two fields away from the sea.

‘Boasting all ground floor accommodation, stunning sea views and an abundance of character, The Transmitter Bunker welcomes four guests to experience the ultimate quirky retreat in Dorset.’

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