Long Cottage is a delightful, whitewashed and well-insulated stone built cottage that was once a 19th century grain store and forms part of the secluded Balcary Mews courtyard. It fronts onto a quiet lane just 50 metres from the tranquil Balcary Bay in Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland. Across the Bay lies uninhabited Heston Island - with its lighthouse, remains of a 14th century fortified mansion and history of smugglers, it is now home to grazing sheep and seabird colonies. In the distance are the peaks of the Lake District.
The cottage is in a peaceful position and enjoys stunning coastal and loch walks from its front door. One of the most memorable walks in the region begins directly outside – the coastal path to Rascarrel Bay with its beautiful sea views and spectacular cliffs covered in wild flowers and teeming with nesting fulmars and cormorants, and from where, on a lucky day, you might spot dolphins, porpoises or seals.
Set in the heart of East Stewartry National Scenic Coastal Area, Long Cottage is an ideal base for families, walkers, bird-watchers, cyclists, or for anyone wishing to find a tranquil break. In addition to forests, lochs and gardens, the area is steeped in history with numerous castles and ancient ruins to explore. If you are a family with children, you can be down on the beach within less than a minute.
All electricity, bed linen and towels are included. Initial fuel for wood burner is provided. For a small fee additional fuel can be delivered and a simple welcome hamper provided by prior arrangement.
A high chair and travel cot can be provided on request. For the benefit of future guests, we regret no smoking is permitted and dogs must be kept on ground floor of cottage (stair-gate provided) and not left alone unattended during the day.
- Living/dining room: Comfortable open plan room with wood burning stove, flat screen TV with DVD player, dining area for 6, and selection of traditional games. Electric heater.
- Kitchen/diner: With extra large fridge, freezer, microwave, electric stove with double oven, breakfast table for 6, washing machine, and beach chairs. Electric heater.
- Bedroom 1: With super king-size bed (which can be made up as 2 single beds on request). Night storage heater.
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- Bedroom 2: With twin beds. Night storage heater.
- Bedroom 3: With twin beds. Night storage heater.
- Bathroom: With bath, shower, heated towel rail and WC.
Additionally there is a secluded, small garden. This is securely fenced for children and pets and is set across the lane directly opposite the property. Catching the evening sun, al fresco dining for 6 can be enjoyed on the patio area overlooking open fields and gentle hills. You are also welcome to set up your own barbecue there. For cyclists, secure and waterproof top-rated Asgard bike storage can accommodate up to 4 adult 29er (extra length) mountain bikes. There is also a drying area.
In front of the cottage is a further south facing area with bistro table and chairs offering an inviting glimpse of the sea. Private parking is provided for one car with ample additional parking in the public car park immediately adjacent. There is no need to travel by car to savour some of Scotland’s finest cuisine or a dram from a wide selection of Scottish malt whiskies - 300 metres away, the renowned Balcary Bay Country House Hotel, with sea views from its formal restaurant and less formal cocktail bar and conservatory, is open to non-residents. A local bus service links the nearby village of Auchencairn with Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie and Kirkcudbright.
Walk along the single track lane which follows the water’s edge to the village of Auchencairn and you will get wonderful views of Heston Island and the tide as it enters and leaves the Bay. You will pass a 17th century mansion, now the Balcary Hotel, tiny former fishermen’s’ cottages and a four-storey Victorian tower lodge. Only a few miles further is Screel Hill – from its summit you can enjoy a 360 degree view of the Galloway Hills and the Solway, and on a clear day you can glimpse the hills of Northern Ireland. The nearest town is Castle Douglas which is 10 miles away; due to its rich selection of traditional food shops and cafes it has been dubbed “food capital” of South West Scotland.
Set in the heart of the world-class 7Stanes Mountain Biking country, Long Cottage is also ideal to explore castles, ruins and abbeys or the Machars Peninsula and the Galloway Hills. The region’s Galloway Forest Park has been awarded the status of being one of only four Dark Sky Parks in the western world. In addition to offering extraordinary stargazing experiences, its 150,000 acres have waymarked trails that are ideal for trekking and cyclists. Formal gardens and country parks can be found throughout the region including the island stronghold of Threave Castle, and the beautiful Threave Gardens. Loch Ken provides activities such as windsurfing, waterskiing and sailing, whilst the Colvend scenic route follows an unspoiled coastline of secluded sandy beaches and coastal villages with boat hire and yacht moorings.
The historic town of Dumfries is 22 miles away, renowned for its associations with Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns who spent the last five years of his life here, whilst the town of Kirkcudbright with its distinctive rows of colourfully painted houses and picturesque harbour was home to the colony of artists known as the Glasgow Boys.