Beautifully renovated early Victorian sandstone station in an elevated position looking over the small town of Sanquhar and the hills beyond.
Through steep wooded glens decorated with thick carpets of bluebells and edged with creamy swathes of delicate blackthorn blossom, past broad rivers winding though fresh green pasture, what more appropriate way could there be to travel to the Station Master's House than by train? A relaxing journey ending at an unusual, special destination. A few steps from the platform bring us to the front door and as soon as it's opened we can see we're in for a treat. Sadly neglected for more than forty years, the old station and station master's house at Sanquhar have recently been lovingly brought back to life with great care, patience and attention to detail and combined into one spacious, luxurious holiday home.
Thick, solid flagstones lead into a bright hallway and through to a lovely large kitchen, beautifully fitted out with pale blue units and cool, dark granite surfaces. First stop (of course) is the kettle and exploration of the kitchen cupboards before enjoying a refreshing cup of tea while admiring our temporary unusual cottage home. Here and there about the room (and the rest of the house too) are reminders of a former life – antique signs stating 'tickets', 'ladies' waiting room' or 'do not cross the line' as well as old maps and railway posters. The ceilings in the house are high, the doorways wide and lovely sash windows let in lots of light so there is a general air of spaciousness.
Through the kitchen we find a brightly lit dining room, once the waiting area for rail passengers, now a colourful eating space with an al fresco feel to it, just right for fun family meals. Over the following days, this will be the scene of many such occasions, with the added novelty of friendly waves to surprised passing train passengers. Relaxed evenings have been spent cocooned in the sumptuous sofas by the warm glow of the woodburning stove in the big living room on the other side of the house, where the view is across the town to the Southern Uplands and Blackcraig Hill, a good spot to sit with a map and plan outings for the following day.
The kitchen, dining room and two of the bedrooms are on the platform side of the house so occasionally we've looked up from our breakfast cereal to see a train glide by – a real treat for us as we live miles from the nearest railway – and they really do seem to glide: speed restrictions mean that they're going at a genteel pace and make hardly a sound as they pass through our station.
Two of our party arrived here by car and we've all brought bikes (there's a handy garage to keep them in) so we've made a few forays into the countryside along quiet, scenic roads; visits to Drumlanrig Castle and Dumfries House made two very interesting and enjoyable days out and we spent a delicious evening enjoying the food and view at the Lochside House Hotel just a few miles away. Making the most of our stay in a railway cottage in Scotland, we've also done some exploring by rail: out west to the Ayrshire coast, up to Edinburgh and for a memorable night out at the theatre in Glasgow - all without having to find a parking space or worry about a glass or two of wine with a meal.