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Friday, March 11, 2016

Eagle Brae: Your Luxurious Retreat in the Scottish Highlands

Scotland is famous for its majestic natural beauty, wildlife and breathtaking scenery. On our recent holiday we discovered Eagle Brae, the ultimate in luxurious self-catering holiday accommodation located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, just north of Loch Ness. We felt at home immediately at Eagle Brae in their beautiful, unique and luxurious log cabins which are the perfect place to experience the best that Scotland has to offer and are an ideal base to explore the Scottish Highlands from. We fell in love with Eagle Brae instantly and truly believe the concept and design of these wonderful log cabins is like no other, anywhere in the world. It's a place we will never forget and are already aching to return. 

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

The moment we drove into Eagle Brae we were absolutely speechless. We knew from their website and the reviews we had read online that the log cabins would be incredible but photos truly do not do this place justice. The owners of Eagle Brae, Mike and Pawana spent over 8 years trying to create the ultimate luxurious, self catering-destination in the Scottish Highlands and they have succeeded. Eagle Brae is the result of a dream and years of hard work and is the epitome of relaxation, luxury and fine craftsmanship.

Eagle Brae’s log cabins were made by Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia in Canada using authentic Norwegian techniques. The Western Red Cedar is specially sourced from sustainably managed forests and has a beautiful grain, provides oustanding thermal performance and has natural insect deterrent qualities. The cabins are all well spaced out ensuring that each has their own privacy and uninterrupted views and each cabin is hand made using beautiful, unique logs of different shapes and sizes. 

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

There are 7 Log Cabins at Eagle Brae, three larger cabins which sleep up to six people and four smaller cabins that sleep two people. We were staying in Strix, one of the smaller cabins which is one of the central cabins making it easy to get to whilst still maintaining privacy and boasting beautiful views across the valley and glen as well as a gorgeous view back across the duck pond from our cabin and beautiful large deck. Strix is the Latin name for the Tawny Owl which can be heard every night around Eagle Brae, particularly around our cabin! We also knew we'd chosen the right cabin when we discovered Strix's reputation for being the best cabin to view the wild deer who frequent Eagle Brae!

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands ScotlandEagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

Eagle Brae is the ultimate fusion of rustic charm and modern luxury. We were just as speechless when we stepped inside our cabin as we were when we first drove into Eagle Brae and saw the cabins for the first time. The interior of our cabin was a work of art itself. Spacious, luxurious, warm and cosy with a log burning stove, beautiful bespoke wooden furnishings, leather lounges, Himalayan carvings and Scottish charm. We absolutely loved our open plan living, dining and kitchen area which had a superb cathedral ceiling and upper floor mezzanine. Our cabin was wonderfully warm thanks to the under-floor heating system which is controlled by thermostat controls in each room of the cabin. 

A photo book on our coffee table displayed the story of Eagle Brae’ construction from start to end. It was an incredibly way to showcase eight years of hard work and see the processes they went through to create the log cabins. Dan is a big fan of shows such as Grand Designs and he said that flicking through the photo book was like watching the best episode of Grand Designs ever, and I can attest to the fact that he was not exaggerating one bit!

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands ScotlandEagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands ScotlandEagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands ScotlandEagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands ScotlandEagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands ScotlandEagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands ScotlandEagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

The kitchen was spacious, well equipped and wonderfully stylish. It is a chef's dream kitchen with lovely big, marble benches and extremely high quality utensils, cooking equipment and appliances. Our kitchen was equipped with a dishwasher, fridge (there is a freezer in the cabin too), microwave, kettle, toaster and oven. We really appreciated the little extras which were provided for use during our stay such as olive oil, salt & pepper, tea, coffee, milk, cleaning products and paper towel (all things you forget to buy when on holidays)! Dan who is certainly the masterchef of the two of us had a great time whipping up some delicious dinners for us during our stay.

Eagle Brae also provide a number of services to ensure your holiday is as relaxing as possible. Through the Eagle Brae intranet you can order groceries, wine and quality meats from a list of 150 popular items. We loved this because it saves on a trip to the supermarket, ensures your kitchen is well stocked and reduced carbon emissions! Eagle Brae also always try to source local and UK produce wherever possible. In addition to having your groceries delivered you can also order meals which will be prepared especially for you to save you time cooking after a big day exploring the beautiful Scottish Highlands! We bought way too much food with us so didn't have the opportunity to try them during our stay but just reading the menu had us salivating, with incredible meals such as Himalayan Venison Curry, Great Glen Vegetarian Lasagne and a Hearty Highland Sausage Casserole on offer.

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

There was a complimentary welcome kit awaiting us on the kitchen table with delicious Scottish shortbread, oatcakes, delightful incense, local craft beers and even Eagle Brae's own wonderful jelly, jams and their own whisky!

It was a such a lovely welcome to our cabin and to Eagle Brae!

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

One of the most beautiful and truly unique aspects of the log cabins are the carvings and custom made decor and furnishings. Pawana is originally from the Himalayas in India and her sister is married to a master wood carver, who with a team of exceptionally skillers carvers has created the decorative carvings that decorate both the inside and outside of the cabins as well as the signs around Eagle Brae. The intricate carvings are a wonderful combination of Highland wildlife, pagan gods and Celtic knotwork and beautifully immerse you in a unique blend of Scottish and Himalayan culture. In addition to the incredible carvings, the beautiful tweed curtains and custom cotton rugs have also been hand-made in various villages in the deserts of Rajastan, India specifically for Eagle Brae. Each cabin is decorated uniquely and some have decorative taxidermy and others don't - so be sure to choose the perfect cabin for you when booking. 

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

Our bedroom was spacious with custom made furniture and beautiful styling. The bed could be set up as either a twin or double and it was dreamily comfortable. Each night after a big day exploring the Highlands we slept soundly in the finest quality pure Egyptian cotton sheets. It was one of the most comfortable beds we've slept in during our travels. I loved the beautiful combination of the Scottish tartan curtains and throw pillows with the beautifully coloured hand woven Indian throws and rugs and luxurious stained glass lampshades. 

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

Through to the beautiful bathroom where the underfloor heating was particularly appreciated for trips to the loo during the middle of the night! The bathroom was very stylish and luxurious toiletries and soft towels were provided for our use. Our bathroom featured a shower over bath and we utilised both during our stay. The shower was lovely and hot and had excellent water pressure which was very much appreciated after a big day hiking in the Highlands and the bath was probably the largest bath we've come across in our travels which we loved and it was perfect to soak tired muscles in.

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

Our upper mezzanine floor had a beautiful carved balcony and overlooked the open plan living room below. We had an additional sitting room upstairs which had luxurious leather lounges and a smart TV for those who feel like relaxing with a movie. Every window from the cabin provides breathtaking views and we particularly loved the views from the windows on our mezzanine floor which allowed us to see even further into the beautiful countryside that surrounded us.

In addition there is an office space upstairs which has its own computer and printer which is handy for those who need to get some work done whilst they are away! There is also high speed Wi-Fi throughout the cabin which worked great throughout our stay much to our delight as more often than not the more remote your accommodation, the harder it is to stay connected. The internet at Eagle Brae was excellent and proves that this does not have to be the case!

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands ScotlandEagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

Mike's family have owned the land where Eagle Brae is located since the 1930s. The 8,000 acre Struy Estate provided the perfect location for Mike and Pawana to create their dream which involved over 8 years of planning, construction and hard work. Mike and Pawana are both warm and friendly and the perfect hosts along with their gorgeous, friendly Bernese mountain dog Kyla who is always around to welcome you back to Eagle Brae. Whether you want to visit Eagle Brae to relax in privacy or to participate in every activity offered, nothing is too much for your hosts.

We were lucky enough to spend almost a week exploring the Scottish Highlands and truly could not think of a better location than Eagle Brae which is set among beautiful glens, some of the largest loch's  and some of the highest mountains in Scotland. Our stay at Eagle Brae was perfect, we felt far removed from the hustle and bustle of every day life, and loved how peaceful and relaxing every aspect of our stay was. The views were incredible from every direction and we loved exploring the local area and received some excellent tips and advice for hiking trails and sites of interests nearby from Pawana. Eagle Brae's location in the very heart of the Highlands ensures it is the perfect base to explore the Highland region in all directions. It is very easy to get to Eagle Brae as they are only 30 miles from Inverness Airport and less than a four hour drive from Edinburgh.

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

The remoteness, natural beauty and serenity of Eagle Brae and the Highland region mean that they are home to some of the most impressive wildlife in all of the UK. The area around Eagle Brae is home to majestic golden eagles, rare bird species, squirrels and pinemartens and also large herds of red deer which regularly venture down to the log cabin village at dawn and dusk. We arrived just as night fell on our first night and there at least half a dozen beautiful red deer grazing within twenty metres from our cabin, and on our first morning whilst out walking and exploring Eagle Brae we were in awe when these gorgeous deer strolled straight past us into Eagle Brae, completely unfazed by us.

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

Eagle Brae are also one of just a few tourism destinations around the world to offer completely carbon neutral holiday accommodation. The log cabins are completely self-sufficient for all their utility and energy needs, with an incredible micro-hydro scheme which provides electricity and hot water, wood-pellet burners for an their floor heating system and water which comes from a natural underground source. They even have “eco strimmers”, their three goats Barnaby, Billy and Bakra which help to keep Eagle Brae’s grounds under control. Eagle Brae are world class in their commitment to sustainability and the environment and we really hope that other holiday destinations follow in their footsteps. 

We woke up early on our second morning to bright blue skies and so decided to put on our hiking boots and check out Eagle Brae's Hydro Weir Walk, which was a twenty minute walk to where Eagle Brae's generate their electricity! The scenery and views were so stunning that we continued our walk and half an hour later we were standing on top of a mountain, knee deep in snow! We returned to our cabin invigorated having fallen even further in love with Eagle Brae and the Highlands. 

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

On our last morning we woke up to a lovely, light dusting of snow which was the perfect was to end a perfect stay. We've seen photos of the cabins covered in snow and if it is possible they look even more magical! It really doesn't matter what season you are planning on visiting because every season has its charm, just make sure you book well in advance because in the few years since they have opened the Eagle Brae message has spread far and wide ensuring the cabins are very popular!

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland
Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

Eagle Brae is the perfect, luxurious, self-catered experience where guests can either relax in complete privacy or get involved in a number of Eagle Brae activities and the Eagle Brae community. In reception you can help yourself to free hot drinks from their vending machine (the hot chocolate is especially delicious) and browse through brochures, maps and information. Mike and Pawana are also always on hand to offer advice and ideas as well as help you book local activities! There is also a wildlife log book in reception where guests can record any interesting wildlife sightings they have had during their stay so that other guests can benefit from the information. You can also try on and purchase gorgeous, original Eagle Brae Himalayan Nehru Jackets from the Indian Himalayas!

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

Our stay at Eagle Brae was absolutely perfect. Mike and Pawana have created the ultimate destination for luxury and relaxation in the Scottish Highlands. Your stay at Eagle Brae is also environmentally friendly thanks to their dedication and commitment to sustainability. We've been lucky enough to stay in some incredible places around the world and we'll both happily attest to the fact that our stay at Eagle Brae tops that list. It is truly a unique and personal experience and I can see why people fall in love with Eagle Brae. Despite our location in Australia we know that one day we will return to Eagle Brae and until then we'll tell everyone we know about this incredible place in the beautiful Scottish Highlands in the hope they will get the opportunity to experience Eagle Brae for themselves.

Eagle Brae Log Cabins Scottish Highlands Scotland

Eagle Brae,
Struy
Beauly 
Inverness-shire IV4 7LE
01463 761301 / 07738 076711
www.eaglebrae.co.uk


The Aussie Flashpacker was welcomed to Eagle Brae as a guest.
Our opinions are as always, our own.

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