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    Vernon's review of The Coach House Durhamhill
self catering holiday scotland


The Coach House Durhamhill
, large holiday home sleeps 12+ 2 or two smaller holiday homes each sleeps 6+2

Picture this: glass in hand, comfy seat, self seeded globe artichokes scattered about the garden like wonderful, giant thistles, cat, king of the castle on the turf and wildflower roof, llamas lazily chewing the cud, knee deep in buttercups. Down below, at the bottom of the hill beyond the fields, the village of traditional Galloway cottages of all shapes, colours and sizes, basks in the evening sunshine. Someone hands me a plate of chargrilled sausages and vegetables and tops up my glass. This is the final, halcyon evening of my self catering holidays in Scotland at Durhamhill, with memories to treasure.

When Juliet and Alan undertook the mammoth task of converting their two Georgian coach houses into holiday accommodation they had the enjoyment of their guests very much in mind. If there's been an opportunity to make the most of a view or let in an extra shaft of light it has been taken, from the tiny porthole window in the twin room, to the various shaped and sized rooflights all around the house to the large glass doors which were once the entry for the coaches in the old part of the house. I'm sitting now on a huge semicircular stone bench high up in the garden, admiring the view while from down below me delicious smells drift up. Because we've rented both wings of the house, we have the use of both gardens and each has its own stone built barbecue, designed to take plenty of food for hungry people and as usual we are welcome to help ourselves to herbs from the herb gardens.

Other meals have been enjoyed at the huge dining table in the East Wing and on the sheltered terrace beyond its sliding doors, which is a real sun trap. We can rest easy that we're not making much of a footprint here - the wind turbine provides electricity and the air heat exchange system does its bit. If we'd needed to we could have lit the woodburning stoves, but it has been plenty warm enough without.

We have had so much fun here and done some things we would never have thought of doing without the imagination and inventiveness of our hosts. I had never been in a motorcycle side car before but Alan's enthusiasm rubbed off on me and I plan to do it again soon. Another highlight was an old fashioned leisurely picnic by horse and trap, on very quiet back roads, courtesy of friends of our hosts. I have refreshed my waterskiing skills in the most beautiful setting on Loch Ken while others tried windsurfing and kayaking and spent a lovely afternoon searching out the Henry Moore Glenkiln statues which, astonishingly, are scattered about in the middle of nowhere.

Beside the main house is a second coach house converted into a space for conferences and workshops and we've had the run of this to play pingpong, table football and airhockey as well as using the projector and screen to make our own cinema with popcorn making facilities on hand - beats watching television hands down! Last, but by no means least, the highlight of this self catering holiday in Scotland for one particular member of the party was the daily feeding of the llamas and taking Lettie, the oldest member of the herd, for a walk around the field with her halter and lead with owner Juliet. There may be a tear or two when we leave in the morning.

large self catering scotland

large holiday house sotland

self catering dumfries and galloway

Further details about this accommodation

EastWing (sleeps 6+2) self catering holidays in Scotland
Large open-plan kitchen/sitting area with woodburner.
Sliding glass windows/doors along side of room.
Huge oak dining table seats up to 16 people.
Sitting area seats 6/7 comfortably (sofabed here).
Bedroom 1 - twin room with zip & link mattresses, forming 6ft wide bed on request, small ensuite shower room. Sliding glass window/door to outside decking.
Bedroom 2 - small room with 4ft wide bed (small double), glass door to front lawn.
Bedroom 3 - king-sized bed with ensuite wet room

West Wing (sleeps 6+2)
Small entrance hallway, with door to open-plan kitchen/sitting room with woodburner.
Glass door in original front archway - great views.
Sitting area seats 6 comfortably. Dining table seats 6 (+2).
Shower room.
Stairs in kitchen area.
Bedroom 1 - double room with small en suite shower room.
Bedroom 2 - twin room.
Bedroom 3 - bunk room (3ft beds, fine for adults).
There is a sliding partition between the twin room and bunk room. This allows two extra guest beds (comfortable mattresses 2’6’’ wide) to be set up. This takes up most of the twin room but extra floor space is added by incorporating the bunk room. These two combined rooms then become suitable for 6 young people or adults who don’t mind limited space.

The accommodation is versatile. It can form one big house with beds for 12 (+2) people, or can be divided by a sound-proof door, making two separate 3-bedroomed houses for individual rental, each sleeping 6 (or 8 if guest beds/sofabed used).

There is a workshop/studio next door with its own woodburner. that can be used in association with the holiday lets for entertainment, with table tennis, table football and small air-hockey, and can be converted into a mini-cinema. This space is also used for artist breaks and residential courses and small conferences.

Our top 5 things to see and do while staying at The Coach House Durhamhill
hotel There are wonderful walks all over Dumfries and Galloway, in the hills, alongside lochs and along the coast. Climb the Criffel, near Dumfries and enjoy the fantastic view across the Solway to the peaks of the Lake District, or try one of the coastal walks and on a clear day you might see England, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland, all from the same spot.
hotel National Cycle Routes 7 and 74 and the National Byway provide 450 miles of well signposted, connecting cycle routes throughout Dumfries and Galloway. All follow quiet lanes and roads so far as possible and take in attractive countryside, heritage sites and places of interest. In the Machars Peninsula in the west of Galloway, where the beautiful, low-level landscape is ideal for cycling, there are four additional marked routes ideal for your self catering holidays in Scotland.
self catering Drumlanrig, which takes its nickname the 'pink palace' from its red sandstone, is an impressive castle with fine gardens, woodland walks and adventure play area. Ruined Threave Castle, the home of the Black Douglases, sits on the side of the River Dee and is reached via a small boat - a lovely spot for a picnic. Caerlaverock, also ruined, is in an RSPB reserve with bird hide. Visit 13th century ruined Sweetheart Abbey near New Abbey and enjoy a pleasant lunch or tea at Abbey Cottage Tea Room.
hotel Dumfries and Galloway is well known for its artists and craftsmen and Kirkpatrick Durham is home to several of these. The nearby town of Kirkcudbright is the region's Artists' Town; many famous artists have lived and worked there, including Charles Oppenheimer and Jessie King. See and Don't miss the rare opportunity to go in search of the Henry Moore sculptures hidden away in the countryside not far from Durhamhill.
hotel There are plenty of good places for a family day out, within easy reach of the Old Coach House. For outdoor activities and watersports, go to the Galloway Sailing Centre on Loch Ken, where you can spend from half a day to a full week trying out a range of activities such as laserquest, sailing, canoeing, climbing and the famous 'leap of death', not for the fainthearted. At Mabie Farm Park you can visit and pet the animals, try the thrilling, bumpy astroslide or astroturf sledging, carting, quad biking and allsorts or in wet weather take refuge in the play barn with its climbing wall, tractor rides and trampolines.