Near Enough: Travel in the UK

Near Enough: Scottish Borders, Upland Shepherd Huts

September 6, 2016


For my birthday Chris surprised me with a little trip to the Scottish Borders to stay at Upland Shepherd Huts. Situated in Abbey Saint Bathans, Upland Huts are situated about an hour away from Roulotte Retreat where we’d stayed in June.

After how blown away we were with Roulotte Retreat, Chris knew he could trust anywhere he booked via Canopy & Stars and after quizzing me about places in the UK I’d like to visit, he made the booking. I was really impressed when he told me where he’d booked and I think he did really well at weighing everything up considering it was our first trip away with a newborn.

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It took us a little while to get to Upland Shepherd Huts as we had to make frequent stops to feed Mini and we misread some of the directions. When we arrived, there were sheep making their way down the drive and we hadn’t had signal for a good few miles so we knew we were completely off grid.

Mhairi and her husband met us at the end of the drive and Mhairi guided us to our Shepherd’s Hut, helping us with our luggage. We’d tried to pack light so we took what we felt were our essentials and this meant that we only had one trip to make between us.

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We were staying at The Woodman’s Hut which is high on the Shannobank with picturesque views across the valley and down to the bank to the River Whiteadder. The late afternoon light to the side of the hut created a beautiful scene and as we entered, the interiors were similar to those you’d expect to see in a Laura Ashley hotel.

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The hut was incredibly cosy, larger than I was expecting and complete with running water. There was no electricity which meant that we spent our evenings by torchlight (we kept the huts eco energy supply to heat the water in the shower) and this added to the feeling of being at one with nature.

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Even though we were without electricity and the ability to charge our phones or straighten my hair, for those two nights I didn’t miss it at all. The distance of the hut from The Gardener’s Hut and cottage was good for us as it was close enough for us to get to and from the car yet it was far enough for us not to be self-conscious about Mini’s colicky cries at the witching hour.

We stayed warm by lighting the wood fire, played Dobble while Mini slept alongside us in his carrycot, enjoyed hot showers in the morning, cosied up under soft, tartan blankets and cooked pizza outdoors. It was perfect. The only thing we would have changed is how long we stayed for.

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As we were leaving, Mhairi recommended that we visit Cove as we made our way home via the coast and as soon as we arrived we could see why she’d told us to visit. It’s the little touches and recommendations like that which reaffirmed how great a host Mhairi is.

Upland Shepherd Huts have their own website here and you can make a booking via Canopy & Stars here.

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