October | Travel
Prepare for a weekend of bracing walks and life-enhancing scenerySusan Ward Davies
Owners of the UK’s big country estates are all about regeneration these days. Biologist Victoria Bruce-Winkler (whose family, history fans, can be traced back to Robert the Bruce), is mistress of the magnificent, 420 hectare, Brucefield in Clackmannanshire, 29 miles north west of Edinburgh, which has a 10 year wildlife conservation plan. As well as maintaining Brucefield’s ancient forest, pastures and lowland heath, Bruce-Winkler has plans to open it up to guests who will soon be able to stay in eco bothies (with compost loos and renewable energy), or in the newly revamped former gatehouse, launching as a ‘thermally efficient’, self-catering cottage this month. Now sleeping four people in two stylish bedrooms, this 18th century house was renovated with the help of The Green Building store, among other suppliers, using sustainable materials, and focussing on core insulation (very topical) to reduce heating costs.
So if you fancy a cosy, back-to-nature, conservation-boosting weekend of bracing walks and life-enhancing scenery, where you may spot bats, tawny owls, pine martens and red squirrels among the rare wildflowers, you might want to bag some dates now.
The (dog-friendly) cottage costs from £300 a night, including a welcome breakfast hamper for the first morning. Additional groceries and local artisan produce can be pre-ordered.
Slackbrae on the Brucefield Estate, 01259 690013, brucefieldestate.scot
See LNER.co.uk for trains to Scotland