Virgina Woolf wanted a room of her own, but we’d like to upgrade to a cabin or lodge.
There’s something very romantic about a wooden retreat, preferably situated somewhere that’s very far from cars and humans. There are those that are basic, so you can live out your pioneer homestead dreams, but also plenty of luxury versions to make you feel cosseted when it’s chilly inside.
Here are a few of our favourites.
There could be no better place to commune with trees than on Brucefield Estate. They recently added these Schenbothies, named after their location in the medieval barony of Schenbothy, to their small portofolio of self-catering options, which also includes their beautiful Slackbrae property to sleep four. The bothies are comparatively bijoux and suit two, with a bed up on the mezzanine level and beautifully designed kitchen and bathroom areas. It’s worth noting, in these chilly times, that they are supremely warm and cosy, thanks to the ‘fabric first’ architectural design and the Danish Morso wood-burning stove. Activities on site include cycling, tree planting and wildlife spotting with their experts.
Brucefield Estate, Forestmill, Clackmannanshire (01259 690013, www.brucefieldestate.scot)
For those who aren’t so into the look of the minimal Scandi-style bothies, there’s this destination. One of their guests even had a picture of one of their grass roofed cabins tattooed onto his arm, after his artist sourced the image on Pinterest. These lodges are named after the Latin names for local bird species, and are made from Western red cedar logs that are shipped over from Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia. NB: There’s a herd of red deer living near this spot, so you’re practically guaranteed a sighting.
Struy, Beauly, Inverness-shire (01463 761 301, www.eaglebrae.co.uk)
As well as a safari tent, this place, situated in the Cairngorms National Park, offers four individually designed cabins, each of which are a bit cosier and more rustic than some of our other offerings. The Woodman’s Eco Hut is one of these, and is perfect for couples who want to get off grid, with a wood-burning stove, box bed and - this one may split the crowd - a composting loo. There’s also a Wellbeing Studio on site, where you can get massages and use the infrared sauna and hot tub.
Nethy Bridge (07846 291154, www.lazyduck.co.uk)
Although most of the places we’ve mentioned are designed to suit two, this East Lothian spot also offers a few family-sized lodges. Their smallest studio cabin, The Weir, is perfect for a couple, but the biggest is The Laidlaw, which has space for a big party of 10. Guests (and non residents) can take advantage of Whitekirk Hill’s on site amenities, which include an excellent spa, two restaurants, a leisure club, The Play Barn and more.
Whitekirk, North Berwick (01620 671 700, www.whitekirkhill.co.uk)
Some people think hot tubs are tacky, but we love broiling our worries away. They’re the focus at this retreat, where the cabins are curved, like the upended hulls of boats and have verandas, complete with sunken Jacuzzis, that extend towards Loch Linnhe. The vibe inside these is very much that of a spa hotel suite, but with plenty of self-catering space too. If you want to go smaller, try one of their RiverBeds - micro cabins overhanging the river, which have porthole windows and a bedroom, kitchenette and wet room, as well as the prerequisite hot tub.
Glencoe (01855 413 006, www.woodlands.scot)
There’s not much left of the original railway carriage that makes up the lounge and kitchen of this glorious mini bolthole, which launched last summer and is situated on a private estate of 500 acres. They’ve extended its bones outwards, so there’s a large double bedroom that’s worthy of any five-star hotel, big bathroom and decking, which features the piece de resistance - a wood-burning Norwegian hot tub and an outdoor shower. If you want a Sir Walter Scott fix, you’re just five minutes drive from Abbotsford and Melrose, where you can stock up on bread from their new addition, bakery Twelve Triangles.
Faldonside, Melrose, www.crabtreeandcrabtree.com
Atholl Estates already has lots of self-catering property available on its 145,000 acre estate. They most recently added their charming Shepherds’ Huts - Lapwing and Curlew - which have views over the Tulliemet Valley and Strathspey, as well as a field’s worth of Beltex sheep. Also pending in May this year will be their five new Glen Glack Cabins, which will be perched on stilts at the edge of Cally Loch in Dunkeld, and have their own private pontoons. It’s early days, but the plans look fantastic.
(01796 481 355, www.atholl-estates.co.uk)
They aren’t tokenistic, when it comes to the eco-friendly credentials at this Leckmelm Wood destination and family business, which is near Ullapool. They’re restructuring and diversifying the land that surrounds their cabins, as part of their regenerative tourism plan. Choose from just two very cool-looking cabins - Red Squirrel, which sleeps two - and Pine Marten, for up to four guests.
(07483 102 111, www.ecotonecabins.com)