3 (all year)
If you liked the films 'Mrs Brown' (a great British drama starring Dame Judy Dench) or 'Local Hero' you will warm to this magical corner of Scotland. Mar Lodge is well placed for access to Aberdeen, Speyside and the Grampian Highlands and the wealth of traditional Scottish culture, history, architecture, flavours, wildlife and sporting activities that are on offer all year round.
During the months of June through to September, the area comes to life with the colourful Highland Games providing a taste of tradition. Popular with celebrities, locals, visitors and Royals, everyone gets the opportunity to take part should they wish.
Furnished to Four Star standards this cosy secluded cottage sits on the edge of the private three hundred plus acre Knockespoch estate at the southern end of Strathbogie. From the romantic bedroom with king size bed and log fire you can enjoy spectacular views towards the Tap o' Noth, site of one of the highest hill forts in Scotland.
Follow the pretty estate walks by winding burns, ponds and clearings, and if you are feeling energetic you can climb up Suie Hill. Visit one of the distilleries that Speyside is so famous for; pop into Duncan Taylor's award winning specialty whisky shop in Huntly and marvel at one of the finest collections to be seen; or make it your holiday mission to spot all thirteen magnificent castles on the 'Castle Trail' (some are open to the public, hold events and have gardens). There are battlefields, historic monuments and archaeological sites to visit, including a Pictish stone on the estate close to Mar Lodge alongside Knockespoch House, which was once the residence to the Gordon Clan.
Visit the unspoilt quiet beaches and spectacular cliffs of the Aberdeenshire coastline and spot dolphins and seals or visit the brightly coloured fishing villages dotted along the coast, like Pennan where Local Hero was filmed, and make a phone call from the same phone box that Burt Lancaster used. Or if you prefer to keep active, the area is a fabulous outdoor playground with an abundance of opportunities including hill walking, mountain biking, superb salmon fishing and even ski-ing (both downhill and cross-country). The choices are endless with something to satisfy all energy levels.
Alex Walter joined Independent Cottages in April 2008
Ground floor accommodation comprises:
Additional information: Telephone. Internet access available on request. Guests have a garden which is private with lawn area and space for sitting out when the sun shines. There is also an outbuilding which houses the tumble dryer and space to store cycles and outdoor gear, as well as a BBQ and kennel for dogs by prior request if required. Heating, logs, bedlinen and towels are included within the price (please note there is an additional £20 winter fuel supplement between October to March).
Star Rating: 4 Star
30% booking deposit only. Online booking via booking form or pay over the phone to secure your dates. 7 night stay starts on a Friday 3 night stay starts on a Friday 4 night stay starts on a Monday