*This post is a paid partnership with Visit Scotland. All views are my own but I am labelling with AD for transparency*
glamping: [ glam-ping ]
Informal. The activity of camping with some of the comforts and luxuries of home.
I’m very much a home comforts kind of girl. Love a good walk in the countryside followed by a steaming hot bath, a cup of tea and snuggling on the sofa with a movie. Camping hasn’t ever been on my list of things to do, but the kids were desperate for some sort of camping experience that didn’t involve our back garden.
So, we made a bit of a compromise and decided to go with a spot of glamping. I was sold at the promise of a cup of tea by the fire, under the stars.
Gorsebank, nestled in the stunning countryside of Dumfries & Galloway, is filled with beautiful woodlands and meadows has a range of wild camping and glamping options that suit everyone. Each little place has its own little nook of privacy, thoughtfully spaced out so you can enjoy the stars at night with a campfire and that hot cuppa.
Gorsebank – Glamping & Bothies
We stayed in sweet little Bothy 1. Which sleeps 6 in 2 double beds and a set of bunk beds in one shared room. Downstairs had a little kitchenette with all the basics you need for making food, a wood burning stove & a small sitting room area with a TV which was never used as we were too busy exploring the grounds and walking the stunning trails into the forest.
Theres a camping and galloping option for every kind of budget with the choice of adding as many extras as you’d like.
The staff are super helpful and have a pretty good knowledge on the place and its surroundings, theres an honesty box with fresh eggs for that morning campfire breakfast and a small shop with firewood and marshmallow kits. We walked up through meadows, past beautiful horses and around the kids woodland adventure path. The kids insisted on bringing their map, incase we got lost (it’s a map of Linlithgow) and we collected feathers and spotted as many flowers as we could.
Outside the Bothy has plenty seating for everyone, a chiminea, BBQ and a lovely hot tub, which you can have pre heated for your arrival. The showers and bathrooms were 150ft away in a separate section of the campsite, which the kids LOVED and were full of hilarity when we made family trips to use them.
Toasted marshmallows while waiting for dinner will never get old.
Dumfries & Galloway is usually somewhere we pass while we are visiting elsewhere. We didn’t realise there was quite so much to do and just how beautiful the place was and have so many things we want to share.
Senwick Alpaca Trekking
I have NEVER enjoyed an activity so much in my entire life as Alpaca trekking.
We got to meet our lovely tour guide, Nicola, who took us to meet the alpaca and picked out the ones that were best suited to our family. The kids all got to walk one with one each and a couple followed us around the route too. Lucy took a little while to warm up to the ‘sheep with giraffe necks’ and wasn’t very sure at first. But she fell in love pretty quickly and was soon walking Iain all by herself.
We did a mini trek, due to the large amount of small legs we had and it was just the right amount of walking involved. The farm is beautiful and family run, so we got to see the lambs, goats and chickens on our little adventure too. The alpaca were such beautiful animals and super gentle with the kids, not to mention super snuggly!
We even got to make some alpaca art to take home for the grandparents!
Lucy got to meet Peppa (she renamed her) the chicken. And tried her hardest to take her home.
It was such a lovely morning and would be something we would love to do again!
The Cocoa Bean Company
Every kids dream, am I right? Not only could they go in and make their very own assortment of chocolate bars, there was a soft play AND a huge outdoor play park with a cafe so adults can relax with a hot chocolate while the kids burn off some of that excitement. You could easily spend an entire day here and not be bored.
The kids each got to make 3 different chocolate treats, Jamie was so good with them and had them giggling throughout, they loved getting to taste all the chocolate and swirl it around their moulds and get a little messy. But the best part was getting to bring it all home!
The Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust
Peter Pan was one of my favourite books growing up. I always found it so magical and would watch Hook over and over again, jumping across sofas playing pirates, careful not to step on the floor incase you got eaten by the crocodile and lost a hand, just like Captain Hook. So, you can imagine how much fun it was getting to visit the very place that inspired J.M. Barrie to write Peter Pan.
The rooms he played in growing up and the garden, each were beautifully thought out. Moat brae house only opened in June 2019 and the trust raised an epic £6.5m, saving the charming building and its enchanting little gardens from demolition. It’s such a magical project and walking through each room you can see just how much love has been poured into each and every one.
Theres a reading library, the original bell that was used for the sound of tinker bell, donated by J.M. Barries Great Granddaughter, and not to mention the interactive treasure hunt for children, looking for shadows throughout the house and crocodiles through the garden. You can even spot Tinkerbell flying through the children bedroom upstairs.
You can even play in the little ‘Wendy house’ in the gardens. It was so lovely to visit somewhere that was so interactive, without worrying about the kids touching something precious.
Normally I try and avoid a gift shop at all costs. But this one, was just beautiful, every item related to the theme of the day, from mermaids and pirates, feathers quills down to tiny pewter acorns, or a ‘kiss’ for those who really love Peter Pan.
The kids loved it so much we spent the entire day running around the gardens exploring, you can be a mermaid on the little sandy beach or climb the pirate ship and search for treasure. We stayed for lunch, the kids lunches are served in a pirate ship and they jam & cream scones were pretty good! We didn’t leave until closing time (we tried to stay longer) and listened to Peter Pan story all the way home in the car and spent the next few days watching Hook and making treasure maps.
One weekend isn’t nearly enough to fit in everything, which is always a good excuse to come back again, next time we plan on driving the South West Coastal 300, we drove a little of it this time and it was stunning, we kept stopping to take pictures and have a list of little towns and villages we want to explore next summer. You might get me camping yet!
There was more on the list that we hope to visit next time. You know how much we love a castle!
Thank you Visit Scotland for sending us on such a lovely trip!