Ea­gle Brae

IN­VER­NESS-SHIRE, SCOT­LAND

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Cabin Retreats -

WHERE AM I HEAD­ING?

The Scot­tish High­lands are call­ing. The seven lodges of Ea­gle Brae perch on a hill­side up a secluded track a few miles from the hand­some river­side town of Beauly, with far-reach­ing views out over the val­ley of Strath­glass.

WHAT WILL I FIND THERE?

Ea­gle Brae takes its com­mit­ment to the log cabin of pop­u­lar imag­i­na­tion very se­ri­ously. Each of its lodges is a ver­i­ta­ble fes­ti­val of wood. The sturdy walls and stair­cases are hewn from the gi­ant trunks of red cedars hand-crafted in Bri­tish Columbia, and each cel­e­brates the quirks of their nat­u­ral state, re­tain­ing the hol­lows and branches of the trees from which they came. New, man­made ad­di­tions come in the form of fish, ea­gles and deer carved into their sur­faces. The terrace is also an all-wood af­fair, and is likely where you'll spend much of your time, end­lessly star­ing at the land­scape. The look may be ‘pi­o­neer’ but the lifestyle most cer­tainly is not; the cab­ins come with fully-equipped kitchens, Smart TVs, wifi, a wood-burn­ing stove and un­der­floor heat­ing. A wel­come bas­ket that in­cludes whisky, High­land crack­ers, short­bread and Black Isle beer comes as stan­dard, and veni­son burg­ers, pork and lamb are avail­able to buy from the re­cep­tion.

WHAT’S OUT­SIDE?

Peer out at any mo­ment and you’ll very of­ten come face-to-face with red deer, who de­scend from the sur­round­ing forests to drink at the site’s pond. There are plenty of walk­ing trails wind­ing out from Ea­gle Brae, and lo­cal fish­ing trips, photo sa­faris and kayak­ing can be arranged too. Guests should take the ad­vice of own­ers Pawanna and Mike and leave their hill­side do­main to drive to Glen Stath­far­rar, a pri­vate val­ley that’s home to golden ea­gles and very few hu­mans. The lodge will pro­vide binoc­u­lars and Ther­mos flasks for the en­deav­our. For din­ner, head to the Struy Inn a cou­ple of miles from Ea­gle Brae; do not miss out the Welling­ton of hag­gis and Isle of Mull ched­dar, and quite pos­si­bly the best chips in Scot­land. (var­i­ous price op­tions, in­clud­ing two-per­son cabin £580 for two nights and six-per­son cabin £1,426 for one week; three new lodges are be­ing built be­tween May and Novem­ber 2018, with a 20% dis­count on all cab­ins at this time; ea­gle­brae.co.uk)

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