Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae

Back in October, we were lucky enough to spend three nights at Eagle Brae, an award-winning log village resort in the Scottish Highlands renowned for its environmental good practice.

As we were driving to Eagle Brae, I asked my Geographer husband what would make a good eco-friendly holiday in his view. He was quite sceptical about Eagle Brae being as amazing as I had described it and answered with a sarcastic tone: “No impact on the environment whatsoever. Well, the fact we’ve come all the way up here in a big diesel car doesn’t help…”

Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae - Arriving there

OK, not a great start but he had a point. What else? He also said that he would not want ‘eco-friendly pushed to the limit’ like we had experienced in Rwanda, with outdoor toilets, bucket showers, no hot water or fridge.

Once Mister Sarcastic had been tamed, I managed to get a decent description from him as to what in his mind would make a sustainable, eco-friendly holiday. To him, the place where we were to stay should meet our needs without harming future generations.

Buildings should be made of local, natural materials and sustainable energy sources such as wind, solar, HEP (Hydro Electric Power) should be used. Ideally, there would be a small holding on site where they would keep animals. He was also hoping we would be getting modern commodities like hot running water, a television and Wi-Fi.

Eagle Brae Promotional shoot, October 2013

Eagle Brae Promotional shoot, October 2013

Let me tell you something: reality of a stay at Eagle Brae exceeded our expectations! It really was eco-tourism at its best, and I will be publishing a post detailing it all next week (watch this space!).

There are no words to describe what I felt when we first approached Eagle Brae. I immediately fell in love with the place, with the trees and their beautiful autumnal colours, the deer grazing in the background, the stunning log cabins with “hair on” (Beanie’s words), or to you and me, grass.

Eagle Brae Promotional Shoot, October 2013

Eagle Brae Promotional Shoot, October 2013

My first impression was that the cabins blended perfectly with the strikingly beautiful landscape on which they were built.

Eagle Brae really is a place like I have never seen one before. It is a hand-crafted log village, set in breath-taking scenery. Mike and Pawana, who own the lodges and developed the concept, have thought of everything: at Eagle Brae, luxury cohabits with sustainability.

Mike is from Scotland and his wife Pawana is from the Indian part of the Himalayas. The cabins really display a great mix of Scottish and Himalayan features and the wood carvings in and around the lodges are impressively detailed and beautiful.

Eagle Brae Promotional shoot, October 2013

Eagle Brae Promotional shoot, October 2013

We stayed in two of the cabins. Sylvia, which is meant for a couple, was a lot more spacious than we had anticipated.

Eagle Brae Promotional Photos, October 2013

Eagle Brae Promotional Photos, October 2013

As soon as we got in and took our shoes off, the underfloor heating kept us cosy and we were wowed by the stunning place Pawana was showing us.

Eagle Brae Promotional Photos, October 2013

Eagle Brae Promotional Photos, October 2013

It was homey, full of sublime, solid furniture, ornaments that complemented the style of the cabin, giving it a unique feel.

Eagle Brae Promotional Shoot, October 2013

Eagle Brae Promotional Shoot, October 2013

The cabin was clean and contained everything we could wish for, from cooking utensils to a Sangenic bin to dishwasher tablets and eco-washing powder to eco-soaps. They had even left a complimentary hamper full of goodies (some homemade by Pawana!) for us to take home, books for us to read and board games for the family to play together.

Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae - Playing Monopoly in Loxia

Pawana’s attention to detail made me think her and Mike must have spent a few days in the lodge before having their first guests, so that they knew it would have anything they would want should they stay in there themselves.

The views were to die for and we quickly started seeing red deer graze close to the log cabins.

Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae - Wriggly and Jumpy Spotting Deer

We were in love with this magical place and as we were reading all comments on the guest book, it was clear were not the only satisfied customers! So many people were already on their second visit, mentioning the wild animals they had spotted and how happy they had felt at Eagle Brae.

Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae - Beanie Drawing in the Guest Book

Before bed that night, we ordered a curry made by Pawana through the online concierge service.

Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae - Concierge Service

We also organised for a couple of friends (Susan from ‘Mess in the Ness‘ and her husband) to come and have dinner with us the following night. The following morning, we went to the office for a chat with Pawana and to borrow a muffin pan from her. Crevette and I baked some chocolate muffins for our guests and we had a lovely night all together.

Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae - Crevette Baking

The day after, we had a long walk around Eagle Brae.

Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae - Family Trek

We then moved to a larger cabin, Loxia.

Eagle Brae Promotional shoot, October 2013

Eagle Brae Promotional shoot, October 2013

Oh my goodness, it was stunning!

Check our bedroom!

Eagle Brae Promotional shoot, October 2013

Eagle Brae Promotional shoot, October 2013

Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae - Wriggly in Bed - Loxia

Not only were there beds for the children within the logs, but we also had our very own private pond.

Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae - Pond Outside Loxia at Dawn

Had we stayed any longer, we would probably have taken part in some of the activities organised through Eagle Brae: fishing, pony trekking, sled-dog rides, canoeing, waling and many more. On a cold, clear night, you can even spot the Northern Lights if you are lucky. Here is a photo taken at Eagle Brae last November.

Holidays of a Lifetime at Eagle Brae - Northern Lights - Photo Credit of Eagle Brae

On our first night, I went outside on my own with a glass of wine at around 10 p.m. to soak it all in. It was darker than I am used to. There was no light pollution whatsoever and I felt completely alone, surrounded by nature.

I wanted to see if I could spot a constellation or two, but there were no stars to be seen. Even the moon was blurred by the thick clouds overhead. About two minutes after I went outside, I heard a couple of stags bellowing in the distance. I was astounded!

Being there was incredibly humbling. I have never questioned my lifestyle in a busy city, but being there honestly made me think I could live there and be happier than I have even been, living life like it is meant to be rather than rushing around in some sort of rat race. What is life all about? It is all about family, being together, enjoying each other.

I felt deeply contented, inspired and alive and imagined what our life would be like if we could stay at Eagle Brae.

What is your ideal lifestyle?

Baillie Gifford Caledonian Challenge 2013

Disclosure: We spent three nights at Eagle Brae free of charge it was the best family holiday we have ever had. All opinions are my own. My camera broke before we arrived at Eagle Brae so my own photos, taken on my phone, do not do the place justice and Mike was kind enough to let me use some of his photos. Unless they have my logo on them, photo credit: Eagle Brae

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Comments

  1. 20/02/2016 / 2:49 am

    Wow what a stunning place. Those cabins look so beautiful and the bit about the homemade curry has made me hungry now. I think I’d love to see the northern lights from there too!

    • 20/02/2016 / 3:28 am

      It is such a beautiful place I really hope I get to go there again. Pawana’s curry was to die for. It would have been cheeky to ask for her recipe but I should have really, shouldn’t I?

  2. 20/02/2016 / 9:37 am

    Sounds like a wonderful place for a holiday a real back to nature trip. I must say the log cabins here are very popular for much the same reason, it is something different from home and when set in beautiful soundings it is an instant distress. I love the look of the photos with the Northern Lights, something I would love to see one day. Thank you for popping over to #CountryKids

    • 20/02/2016 / 9:58 pm

      Coombe Mill is definitely on our list of places to visit!

      If you ever decide it is time to see the Northern Lights, I’d definitely recommend you take your lovely family to Eagle Brae in winter. It is magical!

  3. 20/02/2016 / 10:11 am

    Hi Mel
    I have just read the article….Thanks you so much for writing it. It is amazing. Glad to hear you have enjoyed your stay and liked the food and the whole concept…..Yes I’ll happily share the recipe with you. We are actually writing about all our meals on our Eagle Brae blog you will also get to grab it from there. But its not out yet. We have some snow on ground just now looking beautiful. We are also full so all the guests are having a great time.
    Lots of love to you all xxx

    • 20/02/2016 / 9:56 pm

      Hi Pawana,
      It’s so lovely of you to leave a message on here, Pawana! I cannot wait for the recipe and my mouth is watering just thinking about it actually! I’m sure every season brings a new dimension to Eagle Brae. Now we’ve visited in Autumn, we’ll have to come and experience the magic of the log village in the other three seasons! xx

  4. 20/02/2016 / 11:53 am

    Earlier on in the post I was laughing as my husband would have made comments about the petrol too as well as wondering about wifi! But omg what a beautifully stunning place to stay. Just love it! I adore the Scottish Highlands so this would be an ideal setting for me.

    • 20/02/2016 / 5:18 pm

      Men, hey!

      It really is an amazing place to stay. I was already in love with the Highlands by the time we got there, but Eagle Brae really is a very special place. I wish I could go back in summer, spring and winter.

  5. Eva
    20/02/2016 / 3:11 pm

    Cet endroit est magique comme hors de temps ! Vous avez la chance d’avoir passé 3 nuits las bas, j’imagine que pour les enfants c’était comme un rêve ! x

    • 20/02/2016 / 5:45 pm

      On était tous aux anges, les petits comme les grands. x

  6. 20/02/2016 / 8:57 pm

    What a beautiful place it looks so idyllic. Such a wonderful place, sounds like you had an amazing time. I would love to visit the Highlands some day. We used to regularly visit St Andrews with my parents during my teens and each time we visited we would venture a little further north exploring the sights.

    • 20/02/2016 / 10:04 pm

      It was our first time in the Highlands and we loved every minute of it. Everything is so beautiful and people are incredibly friendly everywhere you go. I’ll definitely go again.

  7. 20/02/2016 / 9:06 pm

    The cabins inside and outside look absolutely fantastic. It looks like such a chilled out and quiet place too. Sounds great that it is so eco too.

    • 20/02/2016 / 10:05 pm

      I can’t think of a thing they left out when they were planning the log village. It is absolutely perfect, with sustainability at its heart. It’s one very special place to visit.

  8. Oh my gosh I don’t think I have ever seen anywhere that looks so perfect! The larger cabin is such a wonderful space and it sounds wonderful xx

    • 20/02/2016 / 10:01 pm

      Both cabins were really perfect for us and we felt happy beyond belief there. I didn’t want to go home!

  9. 21/02/2016 / 9:29 am

    Wow, what a fantastic setting, space & ethos! I am very tempted to say the least! I won’t ask how your camera got broken 😉

    • 22/02/2016 / 9:48 pm

      You should really try and book a nice weekend away from the city for yourself, lovely. It is the most stunning place I have ever been to.

      My camera broke after taking too many photos during our trip to the Highlands (seriously!). I wish it had broken after the trip, but no… it happened after only 4 days there!

  10. 21/02/2016 / 1:52 pm

    Oh my goodness, I’m not sure I’d ever want to leave. EVER! I love the photo of the children watching the wildlife – they are the sort of moments that stay with you for such a long time. For us the highlands would be too far for us to travel but I’d definitely consider staying in an eco lodge like these after reading this.

    • 22/02/2016 / 9:45 pm

      I also thought driving to the Highlands was a bit crazy with my father-in-law, husband and 4 children, but it was little over 10 hours from North London, and the journey itself was full of fun and nice stops we had planned ahead. It definitely is an area you have to visit at least once in your life. People are lovely beyond imagination, the landscapes are worthy of Tolkien’s novels and the food is scrumptious!

  11. 23/02/2016 / 12:16 pm

    WOW! What a sight! That is just stunning and such a homely feeling to it as well. No wonder it was one of your favorite holidays together. I have never been to the highlands, but it is somewhere that I would love to visit. It is stunning.

    • 26/02/2016 / 8:57 pm

      It really felt like home away from home, only just better!

  12. amytreasure0
    02/08/2016 / 2:36 pm

    Oh my gosh Mel it looks out of this world. Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction. x

    • 02/08/2016 / 4:36 pm

      My pleasure sweetie. It really is a magical place, one where everyone is happy and relaxed, switching off completely. x

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