Monymusk, hidden among woodlands on the hillside on the outskirts of the Borders town of Galashiels, just across the Tweed from Sir Walter Scott's lovely home of Abbotsford, is a fascinating and most unusual house. Built in 1958 and restyled 20 years later, it is one of these one-off, architect-designed, cutting-edge modern houses which were the last word in chic in the 1970s, with loads of angles and loads of glass!
Owned by the same family since 1970, it has now been carefully brought up to date, while yet keeping in mind the distinctive style of its period. Inside it is very spacious, with a large L-shaped living room with open fire, one glass wall with access to the terrace outside and adjacent playroom, a newly refurbished kitchen, and four/five bedrooms, one en suite. A particular feature is the sunken bath in the en suite bedroom! Centrally heated and most comfortably appointed, it makes a memorable holiday home.
Its setting, too, is second to none. It stands at the end of a drive shared by only one other house. Its extensive woodland garden, complete with tree house (used at tenants' own risk!) has been a beloved play and adventure area for generations of children, while its west facing terrace (furniture, barbecue) is a delightful place to wile away a sunny afternoon or to relax with an evening drink. From the garden, one can walk right out on to Gala Hill, from the brow of which, in the words of the local poet Roger Quin, you can 'gaze on Scotland's Eden', looking along the valley towards Melrose (4m) and the Eildon Hills.
At the bottom of the hill, you can stroll along the banks of the Tweed at Boleside, or, for something more strenuous, join the Southern Upland Way on the edge of the town.
Galashiels, while not perhaps a tourist honeypot like its neighbour Melrose with its ruined abbey, has all facilities, including a cinema and swimming pool. It also benefits from its position in the very heart of the Borders, ideal for touring in all directions. You can be on the Berwickshire coast in an hour, perhaps on the beach at Coldingham, or exploring historic Berwick on Tweed. 45 minutes will find you in the centre of Edinburgh. (There is an hourly bus service from Galashiels.) To the west, there are the Border hills to walk, the mountain biking trails at Glentress, sailing at St Mary's Loch, fishing and golf courses galore, and riding just beyond Selkirk (5m).
As well as Abbotsford, there is also no lack of historic keeps, castles and stately homes to visit, while garden enthusiasts will enjoy the Kailzie and Dawyck Gardens near Peebles.
Gas central heating, bed linen and towels are included in the rental. Up to two well behaved dogs are wecome by arrangement. Smoking is not permitted in the house. Wi-Fi is available, subject to provider.. A refundable householder's deposit will be required.
Accommodation (sleeps 8):
- Kitchen with dishwasher, mcrowave and fridge-freezer etc. Cupboard with washing machine and tumble drier.
- Open plan L-shaped living room with open fire, TV/DVD.
- Double bedroom with en suite bathroom.
- Double bedroom leading through to single bedroom.
- Twin bedroom.
- Single bedroom.
- Bathroom with bath/shower, WC and wash basin.