In Disney’s new live action movie Pete’s Dragon, forest ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) sets out to discover the truth about a mysterious 10-year-old boy she encounters in the woods.
He goes by the name Pete (Oakes Fegley), and claims to live in a treehouse in the vast forest of the Pacific Northwest. But this is no ordinary treehouse – not the kind the average child enjoys in their back garden growing up. From Pete’s description, it’s an incredible construction, sitting above a cave where resides his enormous dragon friend, Elliot! Can you picture it?
For some inspiration, and to discover just how amazing a treehouse can be, take a look at some of the world’s best (and perhaps slightly bonkers!) buildings in the branches…
Built by Minister Horace Burgess in Crossville, Tennessee, this is a treehouse sure to take your breath away. The five-storey structure reaches a whopping height of 97 feet, making it the world’s tallest treehouse!
Free Spirit Spheres
If the weird and wonderful is what takes your fancy, then this is the one for you! Suspended by winding ropes, these huge, handmade spheres hang from the trees in a rainforest of Vancouver, Canada.
Part of Sweden’s famous Tree Hotel, the Mirror Treehouse makes for the perfect forest hideout. With mirrored walls that reflect the surrounding woods, this awesome abode is practically invisible, similar to Elliot!
La Casa Del Arbol
Perched in the branches of a tree in Baños, Ecuador, this small, simple hut has one very special feature…a seriously super swing! Hanging 2,600m above sea level, it offers extraordinary (and somewhat terrifying!) views of the still active Tungurahua Volcano.
Built by architect Terunobu Fujimori, the Teahouse Tetsu sits on a tree at the Kiyoharu Shirakaba Museum, Japan. Surrounded by gorgeous pink cherry blossoms, it’s arguably our planet’s prettiest treehouse!
This charming treehouse is found deep in a forest in British Columbia, Canada. Consisting of three thatched-roof huts and a winding staircase, it looks like something straight out of a magical fairytale!
Build your own tree home!
Imagine if, like Pete, you lived deep in the woods. What would you do for shelter? Well, building a breathtaking treehouse high up in the branches may be a bit out of reach, but here are six simple steps to make your own fantastic forest den!
Plan properly! Think about who’ll be using your den, how long you’ll need it for and what materials you have to hand.
Location, location, location!
Find yourself a strong tree with flat, dry, comfortable ground at its base. This will make the perfect spot for your den!
Branch out! For the framework of your hut, collect long, strong fallen branches. Lean them against the trunk of your tree to make a tipi-type structure, leaving a gap for the doorway.
Strong and sturdy!
To make the structure sturdy and easier to insulate, gather long, bendy branches and weave them through the larger branches that form the framework.
Fill in the gaps!
Cover your hut with leaves, twigs, ferns and moss to help make it warm and waterproof. Don’t leave any gaps for the wind and rain to get in!
Try and Test!
Make sure your tree tipi is fixed firmly together – if it’s wobbly, it won’t last long! Then head inside and try out your new forest hideout!
Pete’s Dragon is in UK cinemas from August 12