Going Into The Wilderness… In Luxury Style

Going into the wilderness… in luxury style

Take a hike with us (literally) and experience Eagle Brae’s beautiful log cabin homes, homemade food and sled-dog riding.

Eagle Brae

There is something magical about the Scottish Highlands and, at this time of year when the colours of nature are changing, the landscape is breathtaking. Fellow travellers, it’s time to put everything else on hold. We’ve found the one destination you need to put on your bucket list, or at least, your honeymoon wish-list. Let’s travel far away from the nine-to-five and away from everything that we call city life, and busy morning commutes. In the heart of the Highlands, just outside Inverness in the north of Scotland, where the morning sunshine will sweep you up into a dreamland, we found Eagle Brae

UK's premier luxury log cabinsLast week, we at Your Coffee Break needed a break from the city and the chaos that came with the fashion month, so we decided to make the trek up north to visit our Scottish neighbours. We packed our bags, put on our Hunter boots and Henri Lloyd jackets, and took the midnight train from Euston Station up to the Scottish Highlands to stay at Eagle Brae; the UK’s premier luxury log cabin experience that opened only last summer.

The resort opening follows 8 years of development stretching all the way back to 2005, when its creators (and our most hospitable of hosts) Mike and Pawana, first began to lay the foundations for a series of modern, mezzanine-style wood cabins, crafted from giant interlocking logs – borrowing from an ingenious Canadian woodcraft technique that’s rarely seen on this side of the pond.

You can imagine our excitement as we veered-off from the main road to begin our Scotland adventure up the beaten track, towards our very own wilderness retreat.

While the foundations of each of the 7 uniquely named cabins are ultra-sturdy wood constructions that create an exquisitely rugged, woodland vibe; Mike and Pawana have clearly gone to great lengths to balance this with highly contemporary interiors and amenities. Being the outdoorsy types that we are, we particularly enjoyed the back-to-basics leather armchairs pitched around a stylish free-standing fireplace, made for many late nights chats sipping merlot (or a good book with hot apple cider, if you’d prefer). It’s also the quirky attention to details, such as stag footprints craftily etched into the stairs, that make staying here a thoroughly modern indulgence that manages to compliment the resort’s quietly wild surroundings.

We know we’re stating the obvious but what surroundings they are! Eagle Brae’s collection of cabins are situated around an elevated ridge facing a number of spectacular nearby river valleys (or, Glens – as they’re known) that are covered by either huge areas of forest trees, or smooth but withered-looking brownish green vegetation, where wild Stags can be found brazenly strutting their stuff, or heard letting out a battle cry that carries down the Glens for miles.

The location is otherwise peacefully quiet and still. The air has that enriching quality of being mountainous and crisp. Yet the autumn climate is usually mild enough that you can lounge around the porch in your favourite pyjama pants and wool-knit jumper combo, and still feel deliciously comfortable. But tempting as that may be, you would be missing out on lots of interesting and, let’s say, unusual activities to be had.

Your Coffee Break's trip to Eagle Brae in Scotland

We chose to brave the elements and tried sled-dog riding; a curious, but no less incredibly fun sport involving being pulled around a racking-track-come-wildflower-meadow by six half Alaskan husky/half German pointers that – it was comforting for us to discover – are pure athlete hounds that will sprint non-stop and only respond to calls of ‘Left!’ and ‘Right!’. Fortunately for us that wasn’t our job! Each sled is manned by Tobias, an expert rider who, aside from knowing seemingly everything about each of his 60+ race dogs, also competes in competitions around the world. 

Eagle BraeIt’s safe to say the experience put our outdoorsy wear to good use. Up in the Scottish Highlands, you quickly discover that getting muddy and wet only adds to the pleasure of getting back to a cosy cabin, throwing off your damp clothes and enjoying an irresponsibly long, hot bath. Then to top it all off; enjoying one of Mike and Pawana’s absolutely delicious homemade, cabin-delivered meals that have even been recognised and awarded by The Guardian. We can confirm the authentically made Himalayan venison curry is sublime!

Yes – there’s a lot to enjoy and regret leaving behind at Eagle Brae. The team here at YCB had a blast and would thoroughly recommend booking a special week away. With all it’s idyllic scenery and sense of total removal from normal life, we can’t imagine a more romantic lover’s getaway or honeymoon spot than this, most comfortable of retreats.

Eagle Brae, Struy, Beauly, Inverness-shire, Scotland IV47JE; 01463 761301/ 07738 076711 

For more information, visit www.eaglebrae.co.uk or send Mike and Pawana an email at info@eaglebrae.co.uk 

Greg Nicholls

Greg is a seasoned creative producer at a London based design agency, but finds the time to service his other passion, travel and writing, as a travel writer at Your Coffee Break.