There are some people who just have the happy knack of putting together a really first-class holiday cottage, and the owners of Phaup Cottage certainly fall into that category.
Situated midway between Langholm and Hawick, in the heart of the hills of the central Borders, it stands quite alone in a wooded valley, reached by about a mile of (good) private track, and without another house in sight. There has been a dwelling here for over 100 years, but the superb cottage which has emerged from the chrysalis of its predecessor would be unrecognisable to the original inhabitants, combining as it does style, character, space and every modern comfort.
Phaup Cottage is a delight, and no effort has been spared in its furnishing and equipment. Downstairs is a bright conservatory, with French doors to the dining room, from which a few steps lead down to the enormous sitting room, with wood-burner, and stairs lead up to the two upstairs bedrooms, both with luxurious en suite facilities. The kitchen is very well equipped, there is a further utility area and yet another shower room. A decking area is accessed from the upstairs landing and overlooks the pond. For peace and quiet and total seclusion you could not be better situated.
Outside, there is plenty of parking, and beneath the cottage is a charming pond (care required with young children). You can walk out from the door along the forest paths into the surrounding hills and walk all day without seeing another soul. Mountain biking is another option, either in the immediate vicinity or in the trails at Craik Forest (10m).
Hawick (9m) has a leisure centre with swimming pool, woollen and cashmere outlets and all facilities. Langholm, also with shops, hotels and eating places is about the same distance in the other direction. Nearer is the Riverside Inn at Newmills (6m), which serves bar meals.
Gretna and the Solway coast are easily accessible from the cottage. The brooding Hermitage Castle is well worth a visit, or, for something completely different, you could visit the Samye Ling Tibetan Monastery at Eskdalemuir. You can be in Edinburgh in less than two hours (buses pass the end of the track) and in Carlisle in about half that - then on to the Lake District, perhaps. Kielder Water too, with its many sporting opportunities is less than an hour away.
Heating is by oil-CH (first £20 included) and wood-burner. Electricity, bed linen and towels are included. Up to two well-behaved pets are welcome by arrangement. Smoking must be confined to the conservatory (NOT outside because of the fire risk in this forestry area.) Water is from a private spring.
Accommodation (sleeps 4):
- Dining room with stairs to bedrooms
- Sitting room with wood burner, TV/DVD
- Kitchen with electric cooker, dishwasher, microwave etc.
- Utility area with washing machine, tumble drier and small freezer
- Shower room with shower, WC and wash basin
- Double bedroom (ziplink) with en suite bathroom with bath, separate shower, WC and wash basin
- Twin bedroom (ziplink) with en suite bathroom with bath/shower, WC and wash basin