During our stay at Eagle Brae in February we spent a lot of our time cosying up in our lovely log cabin (a whole lot of hygge-ing!) and just enjoying the surroundings. But when we weren’t at the log cabin here’s what we got up to.
We visited Beauly on our way to Eagle Brae, stopping for lunch and to stretch little legs. We headed straight for Corner on the Square, a deli and eaterie in the town square. As well as serving delicious lunches you can stock up on lovely deli goodies – we very much enjoyed their homemade quiche and Ploughman’s Platter. After stuffing ourselves we strolled along to the Old School shop which is a treasure trove of beautiful things from homeware to clothing. I loved the ‘shop within a shop’ idea; each classroom in the old school building was home to a different range of products, and our favourite of these was the children’s room. Packed full of lovely things for littles we spent a lot of time here, and luckily for my wallet I didn’t have too much time to browse the other rooms. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in Beauly (they also have a coffee bar in the homeware room if you’re looking for a quick caffeine break).
We then walked from the Old School to Beauly Priory, a ruined priory built around 1230 and now in the care of Historic Scotland. It was incredibly peaceful, and I very much enjoyed our walk around the beautiful church remains.
I had long wanted to explore Glen Affric, having read that it is one of Scotland’s hidden, and most beautiful, glens. I wasn’t disappointed. The National Nature Reserve is home to stunning scenery and one of the largest areas of ancient Caledonian pine forest in the country. With unspoilt landscape it was incredibly tranquil, with an air of wildness to it. The dusting of snow made it seem even more magical; beautiful forested scenes that looked as if they’d appeared from childhood stories.
We were planning to walk at Dog Falls as well as Plodda falls but only managed the latter (note the intro about literally dragging ourselves away from our amazing log cabin at Eagle Brae). This was the perfect walk for little 4 year old legs and we loved the circuit through the peaceful woodland and the spectacular views from both the top and bottom of Plodda Falls (a 150ft waterfall).
It’s difficult to describe just how enchanting Glen Strathfarrar is. It completely knocked my socks off. Even more wild and untouched than Glen Affric, this hidden glen is so special it is restricted to 25 tourist vehicles in the summer months and in the winter months you need a key (which can be organised upon request if you stay at Eagle Brae – just make sure you ask in advance).
Seeing such unspoilt landscape felt like taking a step back in time, and the 17 mile journey (which should have taken around an hour and a half) took us almost three hours as I kept demanding photo stop after photo stop. I’ve never seen stags at such close range before and there are so many there (hundreds) that by the end of the journey I didn’t even raise my camera as they wandered either side of the road. It was just amazing to see these magnificent animals close up, for both us and the kids.
The mirrored loch reflections were also a highlight for me – just breathtaking.
It is, quite simply, one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Scotland…
You can also read more about our stay in this blog post for EmbraceScotland.