The hidden Alpine B&B for the perfect Scottish getaway

source: Singdean

The sign of a good stay, in my mind, is being sad to leave. It's rare for me, despite how often I travel, to find a home away from home. Usually after a few days I'm craving my big comfortable bed and creature comforts. Singdean, in the stunning Scottish Borders, evoked that feeling of warmth and contentment of home.

A 700 year old Scottish Byre decorated in Alpine chic style, sporting warm woods, cosy throws and scandi touches everywhere, was our home for a long weekend in January. The site sits in 4 acres of woodland, covered in Douglas fir trees and a fresh water stream which provides water to the off grid Byre.
source: singdean
We arrived Friday evening in winter to a light dusting of snow gracing every corner of the property. This, combined with the ambient glow provided by fairy lights around the perimeters, made for a magical feeling. After a light deli supper, we climbed into our swimwear, wrapped up in the fluffy dressing gowns provided and trudged outside through the snow to reach our private wood-fired sauna and hot tub for two. We cracked open our bottle of fizz and settled into the soothing waters just as the snow started to fall in fat flakes landing softly on our eyelashes.
source: Singdean

After several bracing dashes between the sauna and hot tub, stopping occasionally to scoop up fresh snow to rub on our hot bodies, we were treated to a break in the snow which gave way to the most dazzling clear skies. The area boasts the darkest skies in England and it did not disappoint, with the stars twinkling and showing off, as we listened to the distant call of an owl and a light breeze stir through the trees.

The charming owners Christa and Del have really put their warm personalities into this place and little touches like having breakfast served in your room via a secret door made for a novel experience.
source: singdean

After an enormous alpine breakfast we whiled away our first day with a long walk through the enchanting forest. So remote was it that we crunched through virgin snow, with only footprints from local wildlife to show that it was inhabited at all.

Singdean boasts it's own shop selling European homewares, clothes and the most gorgeous smelling candles and oils. The experience at Singdean is truly sensory, as it is forever synonymous in my mind with smells of fresh forest air, soothing essential oils and wafting woodsmoke. After a little look around the shop and selecting several things that I would love to own, it was time to retire to our bijou suite and get cosy with a book. The peace and quiet is so absolute that it resonates at the deepest level of your soul, allowing your body to give way to complete relaxation. So much so that we enjoyed an afternoon snooze - something we've not done for some time.

As darkness approached, we enjoyed some more time in the outdoor spa before heartily tucking into supper. A long soak in the bath using the array of luxe products provided and a mug of steaming herbal tea and I was a new woman. Just in time to embark on an adventure! Painstaking research into the phases of the moon had preceded our trip to the borders, as 15 minutes by road lies Keilder Forest observatory.

Source: Keilder website

As stargazing enthusiasts and tenacious hunters of the folkloric Northern lights, we couldn't resist booking the Aurora night at the Keilder Observatory and light pollution from the moon just would not do. Despite being treated to the clearest skies all week, sadly we were thwarted in our mission for aurora action again and the event was cancelled due to impassable tracks. However Dan and his team brought telescopes down to us, and not just the amateurish bits of kit I've used to see blurry images of the moon, but a full on professional robotic jobby. Their knowledge and good humour, while we stood in a car park in freezing conditions in the early hours of the morning, made up somewhat for the disappointment. They showed us faint bands across Jupiter and explained it was a storm front, and pointed out three of its moons. We also saw Comet Lovejoy that won't be back for another 8000 years! 

Just then, right there in that car park, at that moment in time, I have never felt so insignificant yet so special and it  was the perfect way to conclude a truly enchanting weekend in this beautiful corner of the world. Home from home, we will meet again.

Source: Keilder website

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This a collaborative post with Boutique and Breakfast but all views are my own and objective.

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