Craighead Howfs

Central Scotland Perthshire Dunblane

  • From £140 a night
  • 7 Howfs sleeping 2-6
  • Cabin
  • Cottage

A unique selection of self-catering properties set in natural gardens and woodland in glorious Perthshire countryside

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Ian and Heather Keir’s Perthshire farm at Craighead contains a unique selection of self-catering properties set in natural gardens and woodland, sharing wonderful views and sunsets. Made up of stone and wood 'howfs' – the word for a favourite haunt or shelter – the innovative enterprise started with the conversion of an ancient stone barn into Muckle Howf, a five-star holiday cottage snuggled beneath mighty beams.

Muckle really is a special place, sleeping six in three en-suite double bedrooms. Both the master and upstairs 'whisky lounge' feature a glazed gable end – perfect for admiring the magnificent countryside vistas from, whether you're just waking up or watching the sun go down. There's a library and a wood-burning stove in the downstairs sitting area – a lovely, handsome space for settling down with a book and a drink. Everything else is right on the money too, from the modern, fully equipped kitchen-diner to the stylish sauna room with a large shower and an infra-red sauna. Outside, you've got a private hot tub and a patio with a fire pit, and beautiful grounds and gardens beyond, where you'll doubtless come across the farm's miniature donkeys, pygmy goats and friendly Highland cows.

For a bit more quirk, with the same bespoke style, couples will love Whisky Howf, a wood, stone and slate-built cruck-framed cottage down by the farm's loch. It's beautifully sited for wildlife- and bird-spotting and cosy nights, with a fire pit and barbecue outside and a wood-burner inside. The wooden, king-sized bed is a handcrafted thing of beauty, and there's also a roll-top slipper bath in a bedside 'nook' and a kitchen area with bespoke worktops, plus an en-suite shower and a compost toilet. It's 'off-grid' compared to Muckle, with only enough power for low lighting and to charge phones.

Five other two-person self-catering 'howfs' complete the picture. The off-grid 'Round Door Howfs' – the Red Burrow and the Green Burrows – are a pair of characterful hobbit dwellings that burrow into a grassy bank. Both have a colourful circular door that gives way to stone-walled interiors, and each is decked out with a carved wooden sink, a wood-burning stove, and a handmade bed (super-comfy and ideal for admiring the night skies as you gaze through the window above).

And then there's 'Ash Tree Howf', an enormous treehouse with far-reaching 360-degree Ochil Hills panoramas. This impressive masterpiece was built with attention to detail and features a wood burner, a huge stargazing window above the king-size bed, cooking facilities, a hot shower, and an eco-friendly compost toilet downstairs. There's also private outside space with a fire pit and a BBQ, plus more of those fabulous vistas. Let's not forget 'Wee Tree Howf', a split-level Swiss Family Robinson-style hideaway complete with an Ofuru wood-fired hot tub overlooking the water. Bathroom-wise? A private compost toilet and a spacious shower in the adjacent cabin. And finally, there's 'Summer Howf': immersed in the gardens and with a wood-fired hot tub under the trees, this secluded option is close to the duck pond and has electricity. Each is special in its own way and equipped with everything you could possibly need, from bedding and towels to kitchen equipment. Whichever location you choose, the design of the site has been carefully thought out, making the most of the natural shape of the garden and the fantastic views at each point. After one visit, you're guaranteed to have a favourite howf in this most stunning of Scottish locations.

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Details

Facilities

Each unit has bespoke furnishings but expect the likes of double beds, table and chairs, wood-burning stove and a kitchenette with gas cooker, fridge/freezer, microwave, all utensils, pots, pans crockery and cutlery, outdoor furniture, fire-pit, BBQ and more (see website for individual unit details). Star-gazing windows in the ceiling above the beds are a particular highlight. No parking directly beside your howf, but you can park within 50m. No WiFi in the glamping units but good mobile phone coverage. There are numerous animals around the grounds, including highland cattle, Soay sheep, poultry, ducks, rheas, turkeys, alpacas and more, as well as a wide variety of wildlife, with bird books and binoculars supplied.

Suitable For

All accommodations sleeps up to 2 people each, apart from three-bedroom Muckle Howf, which sleeps up to 6. Dogs are not permitted. Adults only (except in Muckle Howf).

Nearby

Craighead Farm is well placed for exploring central Scotland with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park (01389 722600) not far away merging into The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park at its closest edge. The local town of Dunblane lays along the route to Stirling the home of a prominent castle (01786 450000), The National Wallace Monument (01786 472140) and The Bannockburn Heritage Centre (01786 812664). Further afield Edinburgh and Glasgow are both less than an hours drive from the campsite. Cromlix House (01786 822125), is less than a mile away, a grand establishment, newly renovated by Wimbleldon champion Andy Murray and somewhere to go for real fine dining. Golfers, meanwhile, should head to the famous Gleneagles (08003 893737), host of The Ryder Cup and one of several golf courses in the area.

Food & Drink

The site always has a supply of free range eggs and the wee honesty shop is a point of call for the things you may have forgotten. The nearest village shop is 2 miles away in Braco but Dunblane at 4 miles has more stores plus a Tesco and M&S food. Closest to camp newly refurbished Cromlix House (01786 822125) offers lunches and evening meals while Gleneagles Hotel (08003 893737) is 7 miles away for afternoon tea or dinner in one of their restaurants. Dunblane has a variety of cafes and pubs. Bridge of Allan with its very attractive High Street also has a wide range of places to eat suiting all tastes and purses. It is also possible to get carry out food delivered to the campsite from Dunblane.

Open

Some properties available all year round, others March–November.

Pricing

Rates from £140 a night. Minimum 2-night stay.

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The Owner Says

Craighead is just the right place to escape from the bustle of everyday life but if you want to visit some of Scotlands finest scenery and attractions you don’t have too far to go.

With 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside we have created very special places for you to spend time here with us. At Craighead, our home for many years, you will find bespoke accommodation set in a space that has been developed to suit.

Over the years we have developed the grounds and encouraged wildlife, to this we have added our array of animals that includes our two highland cows, alpacas, donkeys, goats, poultry, rhea and a variety of sheep.

Here you can lose yourself in the countryside and listen to the sounds, watch the birds and in the evening enjoy our wide open and dark skies which treat you to wonderful displays of stars.

Choose between the magnificent Tree Howf, high in the branches of the ash tree, or the Wee Howf nestled on the side of the lochan or venture down to the shire and enjoy either the Burrow or Bag End – Bilbo loves to let people stay when he is not home! For a real garden feel you can choose the Summer Howf which sits right in amongst the trees and plants.

All have a wood burning stove for the chillier nights, a fire pit for those lovely long evenings watching the sunset or the stars. Each has its own facilities and we of course provide you with all the bedding and towels you will need.

We love to meet our guests and have a chat, we can help with ideas for walks and days out too, or can simply update you on life at Craighead or the wildlife and animals that you will see during your time with us. If you have forgotten anything you might find it in our wee honesty shop!

We really look forward to welcoming you to our glamping – each one designed and built by us making sure that they are very different and we think very special.

Ian, Heather & family.

Location

Contact Website  01786 880 321  Craighead Howfs, Craighead Farm, Braco, Dunblane, Perthshire FK15 9LP

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Getting There

Coming from the south, bypass Dunblane on the A9, take the left hand turn signposted to Kinbuck and Dunblane on the B8033. Continue through Kinbuck over the narrow bridge and straight on for a further two miles. You will come down a gentle hill with a bend at the bottom. Turn left here at the signpost that says Craighead and Tamano. Up the lane, turn right past the pond and drive up the small hill and swing right in front of the glazed gable.

From the north leave the A9 at Greenloaning signposted to Braco and Crieff on the A822. At the junction at the bottom of the road turn right for Braco. Go in to the village of Braco and take the second turn on the left after the only shop (Braco Shop) onto Feddal Road B8033. Continue along this road past the Bowling club on the left and over the bridge. Continue on for approximately two miles, you will pass a white bungalow on the left, a hundred yards further, on the right hand side you will see the signpost for Craighead and Tamano. Up the lane, turn right past the pond and drive up the small hill and swing right in front of the glazed gable.


Buses and trains get you to Stirling (08457 484950) and Dunblane (08457 484950). Taxis are available from Dunblane and it is also easy to cycle from Dunblane for those bringing their bike on the train.

Features

  • BBQs
  • Dishwasher
  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Open Fire
  • Parking
  • Sauna

Looking For...

  • Adults Only
  • Eco Retreat
  • Five-Star Luxury
  • Hills & Mountains
  • Historic
  • Off Grid
  • On the Farm
  • Rural Retreat
  • Sensational Views
  • Something Different
  • Walking
  • Waterside

Related Guides

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Reviews

Let us know what you think of your stay.

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Rated ★★★★★ over 6 reviews

★★★★★

Wonderful

We have just returned from a stay at the Burrow and if ever there was a place that was so good for mind, body & soul then this is it. From the minute you arrive you feel at peace. The red burrow was full of surprises and the attention to detail was outstanding. Truly a magical place and the craftsmanship was outstanding. Thank you for a wonderful time, we will be back.
Jan 25, 2024 by Alyson K
★★★★★

Absolutely wonderful

We stayed in the Whisky Howf for two nights. It is a beautiful drive up to accommodation and clear self service instructions await guests on arrival. The accommodation was wonderful and exceeded our expectations. Lovely little touches like a small bottle of prosecco and chocolates on the bed were a nice surprise. The accommodation itself was a good size for a couple and contained everything one would require for a self catering stay. The Howf itself is absolutely gorgeous inside and filled us both with a magical warmth. The Howf gets rather chilly but the log burning stove supplies an excellent heat once it's on the go. This was set for us arriving and very simple to light. We also loved visiting the wee honesty shop they have onsite. It's filled with essentials as well as fresh eggs from their own ducks, chickens and guinea fowls. Overall a wonderful experience and one we cannot wait to repeat again. Absolutely magical!
Jan 7, 2024 by Tim D
★★★★★

Fantastic location and accomodation

We stayed in the Whisky howf this time, previously in he Ash tree howf - both stunning and the attention to detail and care that has been taken building them are phenomenal. The grounds are beautiful and relaxing. We took our books and just chilled. We never left the whole weekend - we took M&S meals for 2 and just cooked them in the gas cookers. We need to try all of the howfs and will definitely be back!
Dec 28, 2023 by Shona H
★★★★★

A must for any LOTR fans! Amazing magical spot!

I booked 2 nights in the Green Burrow for my husbands birthday who is a huge Toilken fan, and my word it did not disappoint. Completely immersed into the world of The Shire, and caught myself smiling I was wandering about the Green Burrow thinking how cool this place was. We have stayed in a number of quirky places but this has been without doubt are most favourite. All the little touches (I won’t spoil), just make it more magical. I would love to be able to give lots of recommendations…but we didn’t leave Craighead for the 2 days! We did however take some selfies with the new Gandalf cart! The surroundings and animals are just beautiful, and the “ wee shop” is well stocked with most things you need, as well as fresh eggs, local sausages etc. This was the most amazing weekend and can’t wait to come back again!
Nov 7, 2023 by Mary
★★★★★

AshTree Howfs my heart

Unique honeymoon experience. We want to return soon! Ashtree Howf was our home for 3 wonderful nights. We enjoyed long comfy slumber in the coziest bed, cooked dinner and enjoyed it with some wine overlooking the majestic view of the hills. Made friends with all the adorable animals and loved our geese who kept watch on our howf during our stay. The memories of watching the wood burning fire cast shadows on the ceiling, keeping us toasty all night, and drying us off after a wet day out hiking, will stay with us for many years. What a superb stay and we hope to return soon! And the compost loo, the cleanest loo I've ever used!
Oct 26, 2023 by Mc M
★★★★★

Time really does stand still at Craighead Howf

We have just returned from a wonderful 2 nights in Wee Tree Howf. It is the most peaceful, relaxing place. We sat outside during the day watching the swallows over the pond, and the resident Guinea Fowl paid us several (rather noisy!) visits. Walking round the grounds we met the alpacas, sheep, goats, turkeys, geese and highland cow, and from the balcony at the back we could see the horses in the field behind. At dusk, we stood and watched bats racing each other round the Howf and performing aerobatics feet away from us. The Howf itself is just perfect, the craftsmanship is superb and all the little details have been so well thought out. We did venture out once to Braco to visit the site of the Roman fort and had a lovely lunch at the Braco Coffee Shop. We will definitely be back - Craighead Howfs really is the place where time stands still.
Sep 20, 2023 by Huskywoo

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