Travel review: Lochhouses, East Lothian, Scotland

The magnificent beach
The magnificent beach

With a flick of their tails and a twist of their tiny feet – the three amigos soon had Ruaridh and Flora eating out of their hands!

Snowy, Greedy and Dance Floor may have only been a few months old, but they had already learnt the art of wooing.

The treehouses are a new addition to Harvest Moon Holidays

The treehouses are a new addition to Harvest Moon Holidays

And so good at it they were, that Ruaridh (8) and Flora (5) were even prepared to get out of their beds at first light to make sure their new found friends were up and about.

The three lambs are the latest additions to the animals at Harvest Moon Holidays in Lochhouses and not only do they get lots of attention, but also probably have one of the best views in the world.

For their home is perched on a hill overlooking what’s known locally as the “Forth Riviera’’ with the famous Bass Rock, home to thousands of seabirds just across the sea in North Berwick, Scotland.

They share it with hens, rabbits, ducks, horses and seven treehouses! These wonderfully designed holiday homes are the brainchild of Robert and Michele Dale, laird and lady of Lochhouses and Newbyth and are part of the couple’s arable farm estate which stretches for miles and takes in a magnificent beach, lochs and woodland and has been in the family since 1832.

This part of Scotland is bursting with things to do and see

Rebecca Hay

The treehouses are a new addition to Harvest Moon Holidays joining seven equally impressive safari tents, which are more like home from home, with all the mod cons you need and designed to the highest of standards.

But it was the treehouses which attracted Kenny and I and the children. Ruaridh has always wanted one of this own in the garden and for a weekend he had a real top notch one to keep him happy.

The treehouses lie at the bottom of the estate and sit up high to give impressive views of Bass Rock, a seabird sanctuary which at its peak has 150,000 gannets breeding and living on it. The rock has been dubbed one of the 12 wildlife wonders of the world by expert Sir David Attenborough and the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick affords close up views on what’s moving on the rock that day.

But for us it was hard to tear ourselves away from the treehouses. Why would you want to move when you have luxury accommodation comprising of a kitchen come diner with a wood burning stove and Belfast sink, two bedrooms, one much to the delight of the children had bunk beds and a well equipped bathroom.

Snowy was the main attraction for Ruaridh and Flora

Snowy was the main attraction for Ruaridh and Flora

There is no Wi-Fi or electricity, with lanterns to light up the treehouses at night and so it means you have to relax and escape modern life. There’s a communal barbecue, with fire pits next to each treehouse, which also boast hammocks, swinging settees and the all important swings for the children. Cars have to be left in the nearby car park and luggage is delivered wheel barrow style, also serving as the mode of transport for the wood for the stove.

An honesty shop is on site for all those important things you may have forgotten or just fancy and there are lots of games and toys to borrow to keep the children entertained.

Not that they get the chance to be bored, with a beach stretching for miles and empty of people, there is plenty to explore and what fun we had, using plastic sledges to whizz down the sand dunes and into the sea. Such a place of beauty attracts wildlife too, with lots of birds to watch and plenty of wild rabbits and hens bobbing about.

Snowy (the white lamb), Greedy (who drained a bottle of milk in a minute flat) and Dance Floor (black and white like the old disco floors) might have been the main attraction for Ruaridh and Flora, after all its great fun to feed, stroke and play tig with loveable lambs, but for the adults it was the peace which we loved best, so quiet at night, once the marshmallow toasting had finished and with spectacular views, what more could you ask for?

This part of Scotland is bursting with things to do and see, from the old seaside town of North Berwick, nearby big city of Edinburgh or the quaint town of Dunbar, famous for the thirst quenching Thistly Cross Cider, which is proving as attractive as the lambs for some connoisseurs!

Nearby East Linton is not only a rural idyll, but home to the National Trust for Scotland owned Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot, the area’s last remaining water mill, with a quirky Dutch style conical roof and a beehived shaped doocot, both dating back to the 18th century.

The National Museum of Flight which houses Concorde is also nearby too, but once you have your fill of activities, there is nothing better than joining Snowy, Greedy and Dance Floor to watch the sun set, ready for another day of fun tomorrow!

Factfile:

Glamping is the best way to camp and for something different the treehouses at Harvest Moon Holidays, Lochhouses, East Lothian, are hard to beat. Check out: www.harvestmoonholidays.com

There is lots to do in this area, with nearby Dunbar claiming to be the sunniest and driest town in the UK. Log onto www.dunbar.org.uk

This area of Scotland is also famous for its cider. Thistly Cross Cider was set up in 2008 by farmer Ian Rennie and cider maker Peter Stuart and has won many accolades over the years. Ranging from traditional to whisky and elderflower flavours, log onto www.thistlycrosscider.co.uk