East Cambusmoon Holiday Cottages, Loch Lomond
East Cambusmoon Farm
Reviewed by Gary
We arrived at East Cambusmoon Farm, a 5 acre smallholding on the outskirts of the village of Gartocharn at the southern end of Loch Lomond, and were met by the owners Deborah and Steve who welcomed us like old friends and settled us into our cottage.
There are two luxury self-catering holiday cottages here; one with four bedrooms sleeping up to eight and one with two sleeping up to four people. Both are brand new and absolutely gorgeous. The cottages have been renovated to the highest of standards and character of the former farm buildings has been retained with the original, locally quarried, red sandstone of The Old Dairy restored to its former beauty alongside the white render and larch cladding of Curlew Cottage. Even the stone that was once the house on the site which now has Deborah and Steve's house on it was re-used to make the garden walls.
We were in the larger (Curlew) which is mostly open plan on the ground floor and is spacious and bright with large windows looking out to the open countryside. Here there are areas to relax, read or watch the freeview TV with plenty of sofas and chairs. A digital radio, i-pod docking station and selection of books and games including scrabble, chess, draughts and cards meant there was plenty for the kids to do when just kicking about the cottage. There's a dining table that sits 8 but also extends to sit 12 (good if your group have taken both cottages as you can all eat together if you wish) and a modern kitchen you most definitely could swing a cat in (but of course you wouldn't!) with all the appliances and utensils you would find at home.
There are 4 bedrooms in Curlew Cottage, two double rooms and two twin. The two upper floor bedrooms each have en-suite with shower, washbasin and WC. On the ground floor the family sized bathroom has a double ended bath, separate shower, washbasin and WC. With bedrooms on both levels this would be ideal for a family on holiday with grandparents perhaps, or two families on holiday together.
Outside the cottage the patio area looks out onto fields and views towards The Campsie hills beyond. Garden table and seating is provided along with a barbecue (note - ask Deborah about the local butcher's BBQ pack - superb!). We had access to a selection of herbs to use and eggs from hens are available (in season). You can't get fresher than that and our girls enjoyed meeting up with Steve to go fetch them. Deborah also bakes and the odd fresh loaf arrived during our stay. Eggs on toast never tasted so good!
The old dairy cottage is to the same high standards only smaller and sleeps four. Ideal for a family of four away on their own or perhaps grandparents travelling with a larger family or group. For both cottages there is ample car parking for several cars with some parking under cover. There is also a storage area for bicycles and trailers should you be bringing those with you.
And finally there's the eco-friendly pedigree's of the cottages. These have been designed and fitted to reduce their carbon footprint to almost nothing. Indeed in May 2012 the site produced 93% of the energy required for both the cottages and Deborah's and Steve's house and office. Solar panels, ground source heat pumps, heat capture......the list goes on. I was in eco-geek heaven and Deborah and Steve were happy to talk me through how it all worked. This is how houses will be built in the future.
There's lots to do in the immediate area from climbing up the locally known ‘Dumpling' hill that reveals spectacular views up Loch Lomond to heading down to the shore with a picnic. Being based at East Cambusmoon is ideal for families to explore Scotland. Glasgow, with its shopping, cinemas and myriad of museums etc is only half an hour away to the south. Half an hour to the east is Stirling with its famous castle with Edinburgh about 45 minutes beyond that. To the North lie the highlands with stunning views of lochs and glens. And in between more things for a family to do, see and visit than you could want or do in one visit ~ which makes East Cambusmoon a great place to keep coming back to. Speak to Deborah about places to visit and what's on locally.
We loved it.