Starting at Paintbox in March, I have been promoting the amazing Luxury Art Retreats based at the beautiful Over Kirkhope Farm. Finally, at the end of June, I had my first visit!
Myself and my 1yr old wee girl Brooke set off from Inverness on a sunny Sunday morning. After a surprisingly pleasant drive down the A9, we met up with Jemma and Lynsey to stock up on supplies in Peebles. With the cars loaded up, I followed them to the farm. Now, living in the Highlands all my life, you would think that I would be used to remote areas, but I was surprised that an hour or so out of Edinburgh we could be in stunning rolling hills driving along a single track road that we were using passing places more frequently for sheep than oncoming cars.
As we drove deeper and deeper into the valley, I knew we must be nearby, and then I saw the beautiful farmhouse nestled in the trees. It really is a hidden gem. As I got out of the car all you could hear was the stream, the birds and of course the sheep! The farmhouse has been renovated to an impeccable standard. With under floor heating, luxury bedding and muted tones, everything about the house says, relax….
Jemma and Lynsey had just run a luxury art retreat, as well as dealing with the end of term madness so the recipe for the few nights stay was definitely eat, sleep, retreat. One of the biggest factors that I think really made it such a peaceful getaway is that there is NO SIGNAL in Ettrick Valley, not even wifi. For someone that wastes way too much time scrolling through Facebook this was great!
In the morning we had a lazy breakfast and then headed further into the valley to walk the dogs, Mouse and Henry. Of course Brooke decided to fall asleep 5 mins from home, but I will blame the wonderful scenery for keeping her awake! Once we were back at the farm we had two visitors waiting, Mel (the Shepherdess) and the gorgeous little Aaron (her son). They had heard Brooke and I would be staying, so had brought some milk for us to feed to the lambs. Brooke was rather unsure about this and I think she has decided she is more of a city girl!
After another lovely afternoon and evening relaxing and chilling out, I sadly started packing as we were leaving in the morning. I knew from the wonderful photos Jemma had provided and the way it had been described to me, Over Kirhkhope Farm was something special, but it really did exceed my already high expectations. It is a sanctuary to escape to, to get away from our busy lives. We were only there for two night but I was so relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards it felt like I had been away a lot longer. I literally can’t wait for our next visit!