Tucked away in the luscious countryside between North Berwick and Dundar in East Lothian, on a huge expanse of farming land with views to die for, sits Harvest Moon Holidays.
The long drive up the rocky, dusty track guaranteed one thing - this is a place to get away from it all. The wide open fields gave way to a tree lined trail though the forest and as we emerged we were rewarded with vast views of the Firth of Forth and out to the North Sea in all its dark and moody glory.
We were met by Craig, who took us to our rather quirky and unique accommodation for the night, the wooden treehouses, which are perched up the hill, overlooking the fields, forest and sand dunes.
Now open for the winter, thanks to the instillation of electric heaters and plug sockets these treehouses take glamping to the next level. A circular living room with wood burning stove, big "Belfast" sink, and comfortable seating lining half of the space, this is a really good looking place to spend the evening. With a high spec bathroom with hot shower and two double bedrooms with heaters and storage, a fridge, outside dining space, a love seat, hammock and swings this "glamping" malarkey was going to be easy.
My first task after we unpacked was to attempt the fire in the stove. Now I may love staying in quirky places but I don't camp, and I wasn't a girl guide, so this was all new to me and the lovely Craig showed a rather large amount to patience as he showed me the ropes. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts on the first night I am now proud to say I can build and light a fire. Quite an achievement for me!
We took a stroll down to the beach before dinner and what a beach! Ravensheugh beach has golden sands and high sand dunes and there wasn't a person in sight. You also get a fantastic view of Bass Rock which is home to 150,000 gannets during breeding season which you can see up close and personal on the three island tour from the Seabird Centre just up the road.
Harvest Moon have their own chickens and since they were just down the slope from our treehouse we got some pretty fresh eggs for breakfast. It's allowed, we didn't steal them! There are also rabbits and ponies you can visit as well as a stables next door, which I'm sure the kids will love if you bring them for a wee holiday.
I had the most amazing sleep, the beds are so comfortable and as I'd stuck the heating on earlier it was toastie. I awoke to a beautiful pinky orange sunrise and the gentle sing of the birds in the trees and I padded along the open walkway to the living room to once more practise my skills of lighting a fire so we could have a cup of tea and some eggs on toast. There is a little oven in the stove next to the fire which means things like toast can cook easily. When Taylor finally decided to grace me with her presence it was right back out the door to collect the eggs. We'd also been given bacon, butter and a gorgeous loaf of bread so it was breakfast for a king, sitting at the large table with it all laid out before us. Filled us up nicely before our trip into Dunbar.
Dunbar is a gorgeous little Coastal Harbour town and is home to famous conservationist John Muir. It's also the start (or end) of the John Muir Way. The walk or cycle takes you from coast or coast through central Scotland from Dunbar to Helensburgh and passes along the stunning Loch Lomond. There is a museum in his birthplace but it was closed while we were there so we missed it but I'd reckon it'll be well worth a stop off. Instead we explored the Harbour area and the remains of Dunbar Castle. Although it's inaccessible now it was once a mighty fortress where Mary Queen of Scots escaped to after the murder of her secretary Rizzio. She also spent time here after being abducted by Bothwell. Although it's in ruins now it's sits in a very pretty and prominent position in the Harbour.
Another castle in the region, just a short drive from Harvest Moon Holidays, is Tantallon Castle which quickly became one of my favourites when we visited that afternoon, what a cracker! The views from the top are outstanding.
We didn't half pack it in on our only full day in East Lothian and next on my list was an Outlander filming location which is just a ten minute drive away - Preston Mill. If you cast your mind back to a certain naked Mr Heughan, a giant wheel and some angry red coats? Yeah, that's the one.
After a tonne of photo taking we found an amazing little coffee shop for a much needed cuppa. Tyninghame Smithy is a hotch potch of cuteness, with a whimsical array of gifts to buy dotted around the brick walls and a huge roaring fire. We shared a delicious and massive slice of salted caramel cake but the choice was tough as there were so many I could have just dived right into.
That night back in our treehouse was the beginning of Storm Doris (I seem to be making a habit out of staying places during storms, like on Applecross) but the treehouse didn't even wince in the wind, which was a true test of a wooden structure on stilts at the top of a hill, exposed to the wind. Nope, didn't even flinch. We heard it alright but we were snuggy and warm inside and I wasn't the slightest bit concerned as darkness fell and we headed outside to see the stars. (Not a lot of light pollution here so great for a bit of star gazing)
We loved our wee stay at Harvest Moon and I'll definitely be going back in the summer so we can sit outside and toast mashmallows! You can book through the website Harvest Moon Holidays
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