Luxury Glamping close to Edinburgh at Glampotel Dundas Castle
“Turn left at the sign for the boathouse, follow the Rhododendron lined single track road towards the loch, and you will find your luxury glamping cottage nestled amongst the trees ready and waiting for you.”
Check in time was 4 pm, and we were itching to see our cottage, crack open Raymond’s birthday bottle of Lussa Gin and relax on our terrace overlooking the loch. Turning left was like entering the land of Tir Nan Og. Birds were singing, swans and geese were swimming and sunlight was magically glinting off the purple Rhodies reflecting in the water. How could this be? We were only about 3 miles from the A90, but this oasis felt like a world away. We had arrived in paradise and we didn’t want to leave!
Our Luxury Canvas Cottage
Glampotel Dundas Castle has ten luxury “canvas cottages” situated in the beautiful Dundas Castle estate near South Queensferry, and they really set the standard for luxury glamping in the UK. Each cottage offers a home from home experience with comfy king size bed complete with Egyptian cotton bedding, soft pillows, and a cosy duvet. A wood burning stove with a big basket of logs ensures that you won’t be cold inside while the patio heater, huge umbrella, and BBQ make outside just as comfortable.
Thankfully our confirmation e-mail also told us that the cottages are all en-suite – happy days! We’ve never really fancied camping before as it’s sod’s law that you will always need the toilet during the night and tramping across a field in the cold and dark at 4 am isn’t the most relaxing way to spend a holiday. No nocturnal wanderings were required here as just through a zip up flap is an outside/inside en suite. Complete camping luxury! The facilities come with hot and cold running water, a shower, composting toilet and a selection of eco toiletries. Glampotel Dundas Castle was our type of camping!
Gin with a view
All settled in and unpacked we sat on the terrace, gin in hand and planned a wander around the estate. Each cottage comes with a map showing the estate trails, and there seemed to be a circular walk that would take about an hour – perfect timing before our BBQ tea.
The circular tour is ideal for all the family and takes in incredible views of the Forth Bridges (sadly partly obscured with haar on our visit), the circular doocot, Dundas Castle, golf course and the picturesque loch. Kids and adults alike will love saying hello to the cows and horses and trying to spot squirrels, ducks, geese, swans and all sorts of different bird life. We had a lovely relaxing wander through the well cared for grounds.
Barbecue on the Terrace
Back at the ranch, it was time to get the BBQ fired up for dinner. The tent comes with cutlery, crockery, crystal glasses and pots and pans, making it easy to dine well. You can store any fresh produce in the battery operated fridge inside your cottage. We managed a three-course meal of grilled sweetcorn, steak, salad and vegetable skewers followed by meringues with strawberries and nectarines. The sun may have disappeared, but with our patio heater and hot water bottles, we were able to sit out until after 11 pm enjoying the summer evening, playing cards and drinking wine with the birds singing away around us. We decided to light the wood burner inside so that the cottage would be cosy for us heading to bed. You could see smoke starting to rise from each tent across the glen, so I think everyone else had the same idea.
The glow from the candles and wood burning stove provides a very romantic atmosphere, so you certainly won’t miss mains electricity. Torches, solar powered lights, and an emergency USB charger are all supplied to make sure your stay as comfortable as possible. We only burned 3 or 4 logs in the wood burner (we didn’t really need to have it on, but we were desperate to light it) and this gave us a very toasty cottage. We visited in the height of summer when the nights are bright and mild but remarked how cosy it would be to come back in darker, cooler October. The stove would really come into its own at that time of year.
We slept well and woke to the sound of the dawn chorus about 3.30am. You feel like you are part of the landscape sleeping under canvas and I suppose you are. We soon went back into a deep sleep until Mr and Mrs Pheasant decided to have a little mating dance outside the tent at 8.30am – the best alarm call of the year so far!
Awake, it was time to try out the shower and get the bacon sizzling for breakfast. We both loved the shower as although it’s covered and surrounded by wood paneling, strategically placed gaps allow you to see out into the forest and to feel at one with nature. The water was hot and plentiful and the towels lovely and fluffy – who would have thought we were in the middle of a forest with no power!
Super chilled out, we sat on the deck with our bacon roll (don’t forget to take sauce with you – we did!) watching the ducks and swans swimming on the loch and contemplating what a great place this is to stay for a visit to Edinburgh. If you’re visiting the capital and looking for somewhere out of the ordinary to stay, then we can highly recommend Glamping at Dundas Castle. Only 10 miles to Edinburgh city centre and with a bus route running close by, you can be in the heart of the town in no time. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the festival city but retire to your wooded lochside glen for space and chill out time – what could be nicer?
Although you feel remote at Glampotel Dundas Castle, you’re not too far from civilisation. If you don’t fancy cooking and want to enjoy fish and chips by the Forth Bridges or dinner in one of Scotland’s award-winning restaurants, then you have lots of options nearby – there are some great recommendations in the welcome pack.
We had many highlights during our one night stay and wished we could stay longer. Check out the video of our highlights below.
How do I check availability and book in?
Glampotel Dundas Castle has an online booking system showing up to date availability and current rates. Just click here to check to see if your dates are free?
Many thanks to Glampotel Dundas VAstle for inviting us along to experience their canvas cottages.