A Highland getaway at Strathspey Lodge


Picture the scene: roaring log fire, cosy cashmere socks, glass of wine in hand and a really good book. Dreamy, right? Rather than jetting off to sunnier climes for an A/W break this year, embrace the ‘coorie’ vibes of the Scottish Highlands and enjoy a stylish staycation at our new favourite home away from home, Strathspey Lodge.

If you want the cosy comforts of a traditional cabin without compromising on style, Strathspey Lodge is the place for you. Just a stone’s throw from the historic village of Carrbridge (and a short drive from the region’s unofficial capital, Aviemore), this modern lodge is the perfect base for exploring the forests and mountains of the Cairngorms.

We checked in recently for a week of much-needed R&R, taking advantage of the lodge’s peaceful setting to switch off from daily life. Phones off, loungewear on and a fully-stocked fridge… What more could you need?

Opened in the autumn of 2017, owners Andrew and Catherine McDonald found much of their inspiration for the property’s design by scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram. The orange velvet corner sofa, high-spec kitchen and finishing details from Rockett St George are oh-so-grammable, but it’s not a case of style over substance. The light and airy four-bedroom lodge also includes a well-equipped playroom for the children and an open-plan living area for entertaining, plus it’s dog-friendly to boot - with no extra charges for bringing your four-legged friends along.

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With a range of bedrooms - including a stunning master suite on the lower ground floor complete with French doors out to the garden and view of the hills - and an impressively spacious living area, Strathspey Lodge is perfect for all types of gatherings. Whether it’s an extended family celebration, a girls’ weekend or a chilled getaway with friends, you’ll soon settle in and never want to leave. We were particularly delighted to find a welcome hamper waiting for us upon arrival, full of local beer, a bottle of prosecco, chocolates and some breakfast essentials.

It’s clear a lot of thought has gone into Strathspey Lodge – all the way from the welcome packs to the never-ending supply of logs for the woodburner. Colourful pieces from local artist Ann Vastano adorn the walls, accompanied by unique ‘bric-a-brac’ decor from nearby antiques shops.

If you’re the active type, borrow the lodge’s two mountain bikes to explore the local area, or – like us – grab a glass of wine and enjoy the sun setting over the hills from the balcony terrace instead. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, the lodge comes complete with a full Sky TV package, BOSE speakers and plenty of board games to keep you entertained.

The kitchen is equipped with everything you need to whip up a feast, and there’s even a barbecue for guests to use. And yes, we did manage to fire it up, even on a chilly, rainy day in September! There’s even a mini library and reading nook under the stairs in case you’ve forgotten to bring a book with you, and there are plenty of blankets to snuggle under on chilly evenings on the terrace. Seriously, they’ve thought of everything.

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You’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from the cosy comforts of the lodge, but if you do, you’ll be rewarded with stunning scenery and interesting local attractions. Our favourites? A stroll around the picturesque Loch Morlich on a sunny day, a visit to Landmark adventure park with the kids, a tour of the Balmenach Distillery to sample Caorunn Gin or a trip to Rothiemurchus to stock up on local produce in the farm shop. Oh, and not forgetting Muckrach Lodge’s restaurant for a delicious dinner in sophisticated surroundings.

A far cry from the heavy wood and tartan carpets of many self-catering options in Speyside, Strathspey Lodge is bright, vibrant and quirky, with everything you need for a relaxed yet stylish getaway. We’re already plotting our next visit…

Short breaks at Strathspey Lodge start from £800 for three nights, and weekly prices range from £1200 to £2700. Strathspey Lodge are offering a 20% discount for breaks in November 2019, when booked directly.

Strathspey Lodge, Duthil, by Carrbridge, PH23 3ND - strathspeylodge.co.uk