Due to continued Covid restrictions in Scotland its unfortunate that we are still unable to travel and explore this varied and beautiful country. That being said, it doesn’t mean we can’t start looking forward to the future when we can hopefully hit the road again and enjoy some wanderlust on our very own doorstep. Last October, before travel restrictions ensued, I journeyed to the rugged Highlands to explore the legendary Eagle Brae. Eagle Brae is a stunning collection of eco-friendly luxury log cabins hidden in the remote hillside of Beauly in Inverness-shire.
As you enter the grounds of Eagle Brae the narrow road winds its way up the hillside and you can’t help but be filled with excitement when the cabins come into view. I have stayed in my fair share of log cabins but it wasn’t until I saw these beautifully crafted buildings that I realised what I had been missing. The first to capture my attention was the impressive reception, a double level cabin surrounded by a tranquil body of water. Due to restrictions, I was unable to go inside, but during ‘normal’ times, this would be the place where guests can relax, meet the owners and organise the many varied activities on offer.
There are ten log cabins to choose from which can all hold different occupancies, ranging from 2 people up to a maximum of 6. Signposted with hand-crafted wooden signs, it is easy to navigate your way around the grounds to find your cabin, each one having their very own unique name. Although there are ten cabins, the grass laden roofs blend them into the environment and as they are adequately spaced out and scattered around the hillside, you feel like you are the only one there.
I stayed in Ardea (the Gaelic word for Heron) which is one of their newest additions and is surrounded by attractive serene views. Ardea holds up to 2-4 people and I was expecting it to be quite small, however, I was completely taken aback by how spacious it was. Wandering through its heavy wooden door you immediately come into the entranceway. This large area is used to hang jackets and leave those wet boots, but it also conceals an area where you can find a washing machine and drier and many cleaning amenities.
As you wander through into the living quarters, it is here where you see the gravity of craftsmanship that has gone into this place. Each of the cabins is made using Western Red Cedar known for its highly durable and robust properties. You can see the entire tree trunk running through the cabin, each one with its unique markings, colouring and texture.
The open plan living room, kitchen and dining area has an impressive double-height ceiling with expansive windows allowing you to take in those views and enjoy the natural light pouring into the cabin. Even though the space is of considerable size there is a constant warmth and comfort due to the surrounding wooden surfaces and the impressive underfloor heating.
The lounge has a comfortable sitting area with all the modern touches you would expect such as a TV, DVD and music system. A log burning stove is a perfect addition to this room, not only adding warmth but a beautiful ambience as you sit back with a glass of wine whilst it flickers away.
The Kitchen is fully stocked with everything you need for a short stay, such as condiments, utensils and dishware. I was especially impressed with the luxurious hamper filled to the brim with Scottish produce and items specifically developed for Eagle Brae.
Adjacent to the living space is double French doors, leading out to a large outdoor seating area. This decking is adorned with a magnificent wooden picnic table which sits under an impressive carving of an eagle, especially hand-made in Canada.
Here you can look out onto the most spectacular views across the glen, and to make it even more special, you have your very own duck pond below. If you are lucky enough, you will spot the resident group of wild deer which graze in front of the cabin. This was a major highlight and added to that unique Eagle Brae experience.
The double bedroom on the ground floor is another spacious room and again takes in those beautiful views through its double French doors. The bed was large and comfortable; along with the silence of the evening ensured I had one of the best sleep ever.
The adjoining bathroom is another expansive room which includes a bath/shower, separate rainfall shower as well as the usual sink and toilet area. What makes this even more special is the inclusion of a sauna, which was fantastic relief after a long day of exploring.
Heading upstairs and the cabin continues to impress with its unique carvings and quirky touches. Etched deer hooves on each step lead you up the stairs which is adorned with a heavy roped bannister adding even more character to the space. As you reach the top the large window makes you feel as if you are floating above the trees and hills of the surrounding area.
An oversized candelabra constructed with deer antlers, quirky animals carved into the walls and a shelf filled with old keepsakes are just some of the features that make this place so special. Hand-carved wooden panels from the Himalayas depicting highland wildlife, Pictish beasts and Celtic knotwork line the mezzanine area where you can stand for hours admiring the work that has gone into them.
Another spacious lounge is also located upstairs which provides an additional relaxation area, particularly good if you are sharing with other guests who perhaps may want their own space away from the kids.
Adjacent to this, is the quaint log cabin beds which appear to be carved out of the wall and provide the perfect nook to lay back, read a book and enjoy the quiet of the area.
In addition to this is a small workspace with a computer which holds a special Eagle Brae Concierge system. This allows you to order groceries, meals and wine allowing you to sit back and take the hassle out of food shopping.
Eagle Brae also offer an array of activities which allow you to fully explore the surrounding landscape such as canoeing, dog sledging and pony trekking to name but a few. Due to restrictions, I wasn’t able to make full use of these services, however, this only gives me an excuse to go back, not that I ever need one.
From the second you enter Eagle Brae you immediately sense the dedication, love and hard work that has gone into creating such a unique and captivating destination. The endearing qualities of the cabins transform them from simple structures into beautiful spaces filled with soul. This along with the devoted staff who put every ounce of their energy into creating a wonderful and memorable stay, will make you want to come back time after time. I myself will never forget the impression this place made on me and I am so looking forward to returning to Eagle Brae once restrictions have changed.
Eagle Brae Log Cabins
Inverness-shire IV4 7L
t: 01463 761301 / 07738. 076711
Blu Blazer Guy Rating
Location – 5/5 – Hidden away in a beautiful part of the Highlands yet easily accessible.
Customer Service – 4.5/5 – Warm, Friendly & Personal.
Accommodation – 4.5/5 – Stylish, Comfortable, Luxurious, Eco-Friendly.
Cleanliness – 5/5 – Clean and Tidy and adhering to all covid guidelines
Food and Drink – 4.5/5 – Although self-catering they provide a beautiful welcome hamper, essential items and online food options through their concierge service.