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Britain’s last remaining sonar hull from an HMS Destroyer gets converted into a glamping pod


It’s now available to rent out (Picture: Mercury Press)

The last remaining UK sonar hull from a HMS Destroyer is now a glamping pod, after Toby Rhys Davies, 49, spent £50,000 transforming the naval relic.

Now it’s a luxury staycation abode at his campsite in Redberth, South Wales.

The hull, which is half a century old, was built to detect rival u-boats and submarines using sonic waves.

It’s the last of its kind in British ownership, with the rest sat at the bottom of the sea or in foreign territories.

Toby, owner of Apple Camping said: ‘This is one of four sonar hulls that were built.

‘Three of them were actually active on boats but this is the spare one.

‘The others were on HMS Sheffield and HMS Coventry but both of those are sitting at the bottom of the ocean.

It cost £50,000 to transform the naval relic into a luxury staycation abode (Picture: Mercury Press)
The project took eight months (Picture: Mercury Press)

‘The third one is still floating around but it’s owned by the Argentines so this is the last remaining sonar hull of its kind in the UK.’

Type 42 HMS destroyers, also known as the Sheffield class, were a class of fourteen guided missile destroyers that were first ordered in 1968 then launched in 1971.

For 38 years between 1975 and 2013, the Royal Navy used this class of destroyer before they were replaced with Type 45 destroyers.

After the historical item narrowly avoided active service in the Falklands War, Toby salvaged it in November last year when a friend with naval connections suggested he give it a new lease of life.

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Previously, the glamping site owner has made news for converting a former Etihad airbus and a 1970s Jetstar into two other luxury stays.

It took him eight months to work on this project, costing £50,000, and from August guests have been booking in.

Toby said: ‘I was on holiday when I got a call from someone connected with the Royal Navy.

‘He told me he had acquired this sonar hull and he thought I might be able to turn it into something.

Toby converted the navy relic to give it a second life (Picture: Mercury Press)
Since August people have been quick to rent out the unusual staycation spot (Picture: Mercury Press)

‘I’d already got planning to do something underground and we were thinking about creating hobbit houses, but when I saw the sonar hull it was better than anything else I’d looked at.

‘The shell of this thing is absolutely solid, it was built to withstand bombs so it was a bit of a task making some alterations to make it liveable.

‘We spent three weeks with disc cutters just trying to shape it and take bits off it and we broke several tools trying to make port holes.

‘It’s a serious bit of kit.’

It’s a unique place to stay (Picture: Mercury Press)

Now it boasts of having three-beds, a kitchen, bathroom, and even underwater light and sound effects to complete the atmospheric stay.

Toby said: ‘People are absolutely loving it and parents are going as mad for it as their kids.

‘We had one couple decide they were staying inside and put the kids in the tents outside.

‘There’s so many rewarding little features like the periscope effect holes that look out onto the flower meadow, the old diving gear decor or the sonar sound effects as you descend down into the hull on the spiral staircase.’

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