An environmentally aware self-catering oasis just back from the banks of Loch Lomond, East Cambusmoon Farm is a five-acre smallholding which is handily tucked into the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The savvy couple who run the cottages – Deborah and Steve Macken – have experience in renewables and have learned lessons from their success in fashioning their own home on clean and green lines. The result is spectacular, with fabulous insulation, solar panels, heat and hot water provided by a ground-source heat pump and no less than three charging-points for electrical vehicles, and two very different cottages joined at the hip to share their magical green touch.
The two-bedroom Old Dairy is the original property and the four-bedroom Curlew Cottage the young upstart, with larch cladding and white render. You won't find a radiator in either, rather underfloor heating on the ground floors, which is usually enough to make things snug, although there are wood-burning stoves on hand if need be. Both cottages are open, airy spaces bathed in light and bringing a bit of the beautiful surrounding countryside inside as well. It works so well and is such a cosy hideaway that even if the weather is damp you won't mind too much.
Neat touches include some welcome (homemade and local) provisions, free unlimited wifi and a trampoline in the barn that helps keep active wee ones happy when it rains. All brilliant and compelling proof that a low-carbon footprint and a responsible attitude to the environment doesn't mean sacrificing comfort or style. You can rent the cottages individually, for couples or for families, or together they can accommodate up to 14 people in some style, with four bathrooms, an en-suite loo, plenty of patio space, and toys, games and books for young children.
As you might expect from a property located in a national park the local area offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, from Munro-bagging, golf and mountain biking to a much more leisurely walk up neighbouring Duncryne Hill with its spectacular loch and hill views. Deborah and Steve can advise on the best cycle routes and have maps you can borrow as well having a clean-down area for when you return – handy for bikes, dogs, muddy boots, whatever. The dramatic fortification of Dumbarton Castle, is just a 20 minute drive away, as are the whisky distilleries of Glengoyne and Auchentoshan Glasgow and its myriad attractions, meanwhile, lie just forty minutes to the south.
Old Dairy: two or three nights from £300, 7 nights from £600; Curlew Cottage: two or three nights from £450, 7 nights from £900.
Old Dairy: three nights from £340; Curlew Cottage: three nights from £510.
Available all year.
From Glasgow, follow the A82 and take the exit to Stirling (A811) at the Balloch roundabout. Follow the A811 through Balloch, and on to and through Gartocharn, where you should take the road on the right after the House of Darroch restaurant and shop. The cottages are 1km further down on the right.
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