Lauren Fraser discovers just how perfect a Scottish Borders minimoon can be when she escapes to West Lodge for a calming weekend in the country…
Nearing West Lodge, our home for the weekend, the winding lanes welcomed us alternately from Scotland to Northumberland and back again. Even after a long journey, the playful charm of our location was irresistible. We couldn’t help but fall in love with the Milne Graden Estate, of which West Lodge is part.
We arrived after dark, so while the inviting interiors in restful creams and taupe immediately caught our eyes, we had another surprise waiting for us outside the next morning. With enchanting wooden shutters, plush textiles and one of the roomiest beds I’ve ever dreamt the night away in, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more relaxing minimoon destination.
A real rural and romantic retreat, our single storey cottage didn’t need height to make the most of the views. You can see for miles across fields and open countryside. It’s peppered with wild pheasants, deer and rabbits. Step out and you’ll discover a wood beside the cottage and mountains in the near distance, too, and the picturesque view is all set to a natural soundtrack of birdsong.
As the soft furnishings and artwork in quirky canine prints would suggest, four-legged friends are as welcome at West Lodge as you are. A map of the Estate awaits in your welcome hamper, complete with goodies for the two of you and your hound. With sketched routes of the best walks and fishing spots on the river Tweed, you’re guaranteed an idyllic escape.
Neighbouring cottages are little more than a stone’s throw away, but you’d never know it, and Coldstream, which lays claim to being the very first Border town, is just a few miles distant. The location couldn’t be more ideal. You’ll also find plenty of purveyors of quality pub fare, whiskey and independent shops nearby. But, with the opportunity to invite a chef cook for you in your cottage and have your wine delivered, you’d be forgiven for simply staying in…
Crabtree & Crabtree (01573 226711, crabtreeandcrabtree.com) – West Lodge costs from £375 per week and from £281.25 for a three-night short break.