Cosy, comfortable hideaway cottage by the sea in a beautiful, small, private cove in the Scottish Borders.
We feel like covert runaways as we pile our holiday gear into a wheelbarrow at the entrance to the ancient smugglers' tunnel that cuts through the rocky hillside to the small cove and harbour on the other side. The wheelbarrow is piled high as we have a few things in mind, depending on what the weather may bring: wetsuits and snorkels, fishing tackle, paints and pencils, books, bikinis and binoculars wobble precariously and the beam from our torch bounces off the rocky sides of the tunnel as our footsteps echo about us.
As we step out into the bright sunshine we are greeted by a sight that is even more lovely than I'd hoped for. Cove Harbour is just as it has been for hundreds of years - a quiet, quaint, unspoilt cove, with sandy beach, rocky headlands, an old stone harbour with a few fishing boats moored and wonderful sea, sea, sea. We turn and look landwards and there is our hideaway cottage, the Blue Cabin, sitting just on the edge of the beach and living up to its name in a cheerful, holiday shade of cornflower blue.
It's somewhere to simply relax away from the hustle and bustle and see what each day might bring, somewhere quiet, in a beautiful spot, where we could enjoy our surroundings and from where we wouldn't have to stir unless we wanted to. We have found exactly that here at the Blue Cabin by the Sea: a perfect hideaway cottage for a perfectly relaxing holiday.
Summer holidays have been enjoyed at the Blue Cabin for a long time - it was built in the nineteenth century - but new owners architect Benjamin Tindall and sculptor Jill Watson have recently made it cosy enough to stay in all year round and converted it into a uniquely special place to stay, with their new, bright colours (local fishing boats are traditionally painted bright blue) and quirky carving, unusual antique furniture and fasciniating artwork. We feel as though we are staying on a luxurious boat: everything is made of wood; we climb into cosy cabin beds with handy lockers for storing our things; the well equipped galley kitchen is neat but with everything we need.
On warm, sunny days we have been lucky enough to sit and soak in the sunshine, swim and snorkel in the clear water, watch the waves and wander along the cliffs and paths nearby. We've spotted seals, seabirds galore and even done a spot of amateur painting, inspired by the excellent collection of artwork hung in the cabin (and painted in the guest book!). Wet days and cooler evenings have seen us snuggled in the Orkney chairs near a glowing stove, reading through the very well stocked library.
The guest book made excellent reading too, filled with tales of escapades, delicious meals cooked in the galley (the fisherman often have freshly caught crab or lobster), intriguing drawings, wistful farewells and promises to return.