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Vernon's review of self catering southern Scotland
Self Catering Castle Douglas

self catering southern Scotland - sleeps 8

Bright, contemporary longhouse holiday cottage near Castle Douglas in scenic Dumfries and Galloway

In a quiet lane a mile or so from the nearest village, this brand new luxury holiday house is perfectly situated for a relaxing holiday with easy access to all types of leisure activites. From the outside, the modern longhouse looks much like a traditional long byre, merging seamlessly into the landscape with local farm houses and buildings, while incorporating innovative design features and sustainable technology. The design was by sought after Scottish architects Dualchas, finalists in Architect of the Year 2013, who have cultivated a knack of lifting the familiar out of the ordinary.

The longhouse sits in a quiet rural location surrounded by lush farmland, with long views to the distinctive Screel and Ben Gairn hills to the south east, Barstobrick HIll and Neilson's Monument to the south west. In the field beyond, two Shetland ponies, Bumble Bee and Dragon Fly, graze placidly. Facing south, the tall windows and glass doors make the most of the lovely view while letting in maximum sunshine; beyond them you can make use of the outdoor seating on the large patio, soak in the sunshine and the view or, luxury of luxuries, indulge in a hedonistic spell in the outdoor hot tub.

Sunshine streams into the airy open plan living space which stretches up to the full height of the building; a large oak dining table ties in with the lovely underheated solid oak floor and opposite this sits the smart new kitchen in pale dove green and grey. It's hard to imagine you would need this with all the sunlight from the windows and the underfloor heating, but a cosy woodstove is the focus of the the seating area - cheery azure armchairs and sofas to sit on and interesting images by a local photographer on the walls.

Upstairs, two spacious bedrooms look out over the hills, with more than enough storage space in neat fitted wardrobes; light and unfussy, these rooms feel peaceful and relaxing to sleep in. Downstairs is a neat bunk room which children will love along with another large double bedroom similar to those upstairs.

There's loads to do in this corner of Scotland. A couple of miles along the road is the National Trust's Threave Gardens, where the lovely mature gardens have a wonderful view of the surrounding hills and there's a kitchen garden as well as a good cafe and shop. Nearby, the ruins of Threave Castle sit beside the river Dee - a great place for a picnic - and there's the added fun of crossing the river in the tiny ferryboat.

Walking, cycling, fishing, horseriding, watersports - it's all here within very easy reach and in the most beautiful scenery. The nearest market town of Castle Douglas is excellent for shopping too, with many independent local shops from butchers to antique furniture stores, classy boutiques, a chocolatier and even the local Sulwath brewery. I recommend working through their very palatable range of beers and lagers on a sunny afternoon on the patio while the barbecue sizzles with delicious local sausages...

self catering Scotland

holiday cottage Scotland

self catering southern Scotland

Further details about this accommodation

Spacious, double height open plan kitchen, dining and living area. The kitchen has a built in large single oven, integrated microwave oven, dishwasher and fridge freezer. Glazing along the length of the open plan area faces south affords across great views. There's a 42" smart TV is in the living area.
Double ensuite bedroom with built in wardrobes.
Twin bedroom with bunk beds and built in wardrobes.
Bathroom with showerbath.
Utility room with sink,washing machine and condensing tumble drier.

Double bedroom with large built in wardrobes.
Twin bedrooom with large built in wardrobes.
Shower room with wc.

Games Room - build in progress
There is a large insulated games room adjacent to the house with a table tennis table .
We are also installing an outdoor hot tub which will be ready in mid August.

There is underfloor heating on the ground floor and radiators upstairs. The upstairs shower room has electric underfloor heating.
An air source heat pump supplies heating and hot water. A wood burning stove heats the double ceiling height lounge area. A heat recovery ventilation system further aids heat efficiency and improves air quality.

Changeover Friday but may be flexible.

Our top five things to do while staying at self catering southern Scotland
self catering in scotland walking

There are wonderful walks all over Dumfries and Galloway, in the hills, alongside lochs and along the coast. Climb 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 such as Balcary cliffs to Rascarrel beach and on a clear day you might see England, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland, all from the same spot.

good area for sailing and boat trips

Not far from the holiday cottage, Threave Castle is set on an island and requires a fun boat ride across the river Dee before exploring its gruesome history. At the centre of nearby New Abbey village are the romantic ruins of Sweetheart Abbey. Also ruined, Caerlaverock Castle, south of Dumfries has a spectacular moat.

historic castle

Take advantage of free fishing on a stretch of the Dee just four hundred metres from the house. Salmon, trout, pike and perch have all been caught here.

self catering scotland golf

Dumfries and Galloway is a great place for cyclists of all abilities, with many marked cycle byways. There are quiet roads near the cottage and it's not far from part of the 7stanes - seven mountain biking centres spanning the south of Scotland, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the scenery. Bikes can be hired locally.

self catering scotland good food

For coffees, teas and lunches, Designs in Castle Douglas is lovely and has an excellent shop too and Streetlights also serves very good food. The Selkirk Arms in Kirkcudbright does very good meals or for something a little different, try Nikos at The Blackwater in Castle Douglas - you'll be spoiled with generous amounts of delicious Greek cuisine.