The perfect Highland retreat for a large(ish) group of friends, The Crofthouse is situated on Roy Abel's farm in an exquisite Highland location, and kitted out with all mod cons and home comforts. It sleeps eight, so is perfect for a large family or group of friends who are looking for a base in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and visitors are made to feel very much part of the working farm. And it's dog-friendly too.
The Crofthouse itself is almost Scandinavian in feel, pine-clad outside and in, with a large open-plan living area, a family room that sleeps four and four further beds in two separate spaces in the loft. It's no slouch when it comes to state-of-the-art facilities, with underfloor heating, wifi and flatscreen TVs. And remember, it's a farm, so not only can you watch farmer Roy's herd of Highland cattle from your balcony, but you can pop across to see what he's got in the freezer – he sells his own great-value prime beef, hung for 21 days, so you'll never be stuck for dinner either.
The location isn't far from Aviemore, with all its activities and funicular railway, while the countryside around is stunning. The nearby village of Newtonmore was the location of the BBC series 'Monarch of the Glen', so you couldn't wish for a more picturesque Highland location. And night time can reveal some truly spectacular starry skies.
The Owner Says
Visitors, guests and volunteers enjoy a unique and inspiring blend at the Crofthouse. We get to know the care and breeding of the iconic horned Highland Cattle parading the farm pastures below the house and at the roadside. We overlook a uninterrupted view of Upper Strathspey, gazing upstream to the mountains of the west. We have access to wilderness solitude all around us but also the many adult- and child-friendly recreations of the Cairngorms National Park. Additionally, we enjoy this from a building of novel design that invites stories and intrigues the imagination of children of all ages!
Our favourite spot
The comfort of the Crofthouse means that many guests will just chill and cocoon themselves with books, old fashioned games or wi-fi and DVDs. Short walks around the farm may be enough to introduce ourselves some of that fragrant Highland air. Maybe we'll find favourites among the formidable Highland cattle, who turn out not to be hostile at all, but inquisitive and even friendly.
If we're feeling the need to walk off too much time in the car or office, we might take the 40-minute Monument tour ("the best dog walk in the world") – up a path though the birches alongside a chuckling burn from the heights of Creag Dhubh to visit Sarah-Justina Macpherson's obelisk. Here she waits, surveying the valley land up to the bluffs above Loch Caoldair where her husband of 50 years stands in joint permanent stewardship of the lands they cared for in their lifetime. From this vantage point our horizons broaden over the vastness of the Grampians or up the little-known plateau of the Monadhliath mountains
The local area
Here we find the headwaters of the river Spey in the ancient kingdom of Badenoch 'The Drowned Land' – so named for its tendency to become a giant serpentine loch. At times of snowmelt we find the floodwaters lapping up against the rock walls marking the passage of ice giants; and morraines dumped by melting glaciers becoming temporary islands.
It is the landscape therefore that embeds itself in the mind. Human history is here aplenty with the former seat of Clan Macpherson at Cluny Castle and the clan rally celebrated every summer in Newtonmore, but it is the contrast of valley and mountain that provides constant sources of delight. The seasons pass over the valley and uplands like cloud shadows in summer, hiding and revealing colours and contours, so that the landscape sometimes takes on the quality of an ocean in its changeability.
Let's not forget the wildlife: hares and voles among the grassland, peregrines and ravens leading young from rocky perches, migrant harriers working the marshes, buzzards and even the golden eagle patrolling the slopes above the farm.
Best local places to eat and drink
The Glen is the nearest pub at just 4 miles away on the outskirts of Newtonmore, providing consistently good pub food. It is relatively rare in providing CAMRA inspired real ales with the growing number of regional brewers regularly featured and updated.
Newtonmore also boasts a number of cafes, a good restaurant at the Letterbox and even a take-away curry house (that will intrepidly send bemused delivery riders down the road to deliver pre-ordered meals to the Crofthouse!).
Why stay with us?
The Crofthouse is let to one group at a time. It is a place where families thrive, friendships are celebrated and enjoyed, shared activities can be pursued in peace.
Outdoors there is the freedom of farm woodland and pasture and, for the more ambitious, heather moorland, mountain ridges and Munros within easy hiking distance.
The new Studio Space provides a different dimension: something more than just friendly accommodation, it is one of those creative places that begs to be used by individuals or groups in ways that maybe don't find room in the everyday?
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