It all started with the conversion of an ancient stone barn on Ian and Heather Keir’s farm in 2001. Then, having created ‘the Muckle Howf’ – a five-star holiday cottage snuggled beneath mighty beams – they pondered what they could do next? The exciting architecture of the barn had only whet their appetites. Outside lay the burn, lochan and rolling greenery of their sprawling Perthshire garden… today this is where the real fun of Craighead Farm can be found.
It’s no exaggeration to say the couple have gone high and low to craft the perfect glamping enterprise. The farm, home to five different accommodation options (as well as the original barn), has a pair of hobbit dwellings – burrowed into a grassy bank with characterful circular doors, stone-walled interiors, carved wooden furnishings and a wood-burning stove – as well as an enormous treehouse, built into the branches of a giant ash tree with panoramic views over the Ochil hills. Falling more squarely on terra firma is the white wooden summerhouse, with the bed built deep into a window bay, and the ‘Wee Howf’, a cabin on stilts overlooking the waters of the farm’s private lochan.
Each of the howfs is in its own private space and comes kitted out with everything you could possibly need; from bedding and towels to well-equipped kitchens. It’s the more bespoke touches, however, that show real attention to detail. The hobbit howfs, for example, have beautiful wooden sinks carved out of a single piece of oak, while the Wee Howf has a pulley system that lets you keep your beer cold by lowering it into the water below. The tree howf, meanwhile, features a stained-glass window that matches the shape of the king-sized headboard, while the outside deck has a special raised platform for enjoying a sunset drink. Wherever you turn the design of the site has been carefully thought out, making the most of the natural shape of the garden and the views of each location.
Privacy, tranquillity and serenity may be the buzzwords here but a mile down the burn and across the river the A9 zips drivers across the country. To the south, the city of Stirling is overlooked by a mighty castle and preceded by the National Wallace Monument. While further afield Loch Lommond and the Trossachs National Park and the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh offer interesting day trips. If you can put down the book and get away from the wood burner there’s certainly plenty to keep you busy.
FacilitiesEach unit has bespoke furnishings but expect the likes of double beds, table and chairs, wood-burning stove and a kitchenette with gas cooker, fridge/freezer, microwave, all utensils, pots, pans crockery and cutlery, outdoor furniture, fire-pit, BBQ and more (see website for individual unit details). Star-gazing windows in the ceiling above the beds are a particular highlight. No parking directly beside your howf, but you can park within 50m. No WiFi in the glamping units but good mobile phone coverage. There are numerous animals around the grounds including Highland cows, Soay sheep, poultry, ducks, rheas, turkeys, a highland pony and more. There are also plenty of birds to watch, with bird books and binoculars supplied.
Suitable ForAll accommodations sleeps up to 2 people each. Dogs not permitted. Adults only (over 16 years).
Craighead Farm is well placed for exploring central Scotland with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park (01389 722600) not far away merging into The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park at its closest edge. The local town of Dunblane lays along the route to Stirling the home of a prominent castle (01786 450000), The National Wallace Monument (01786 472140) and The Bannockburn Heritage Centre (01786 812664). Further afield Edinburgh and Glasgow are both less than an hours drive from the campsite. Cromlix House (01786 822125), is less than a mile away, a grand establishment, newly renovated by Wimbleldon champion Andy Murray and somewhere to go for real fine dining. Golfers, meanwhile, should head to the famous Gleneagles (08003 893737), host of The Ryder Cup and one of several golf courses in the area.
Food & Drink
The site always has a supply of free range eggs and the wee honesty shop is a point of call for the things you may have forgotten. The nearest village shop is 2 miles away in Braco but Dunblane at 4 miles has more stores plus a Tesco and M&S food. Closest to camp newly refurbished Cromlix House (01786 822125) offers lunches and evening meals while Gleneagles Hotel (08003 893737) is 7 miles away for afternoon tea or dinner in one of their restaurants. Dunblane has a variety of cafes and pubs. Bridge of Allan with its very attractive High Street also has a wide range of places to eat suiting all tastes and purses. It is also possible to get carry out food delivered to the campsite from Dunblane.
The Owner Says
Craighead is just the right place to escape from the bustle of everyday life but if you want to visit some of Scotlands finest scenery and attractions you don’t have too far to go.
With 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside we have created very special places for you to spend time here with us. At Craighead, our home for many years, you won’t find rows of pods, shepherds huts or tents. You will find bespoke hand crafted glamping accommodation that are very different from each other and set in a space that has been developed to suit. Each of our bespoke glamping options being set in their own very unique part of the garden and grounds which becomes yours for the duration of your stay.
Over the years we have developed the grounds and encouraged wildlife, to this we have added our array of animals that includes our two highland cows, donkeys, goats, poultry, rhea and a variety of sheep.
Here you can lose yourself in the countryside and listen to the sounds, watch the birds and in the evening enjoy our wide open and dark skies which treat you to wonderful displays of stars.
Choose between the magnificent Tree Howf, high in the branches of the ash tree, or the Wee Howf nestled on the side of the lochan or venture down to the shire and enjoy either the Burrow or Bag End – Bilbo loves to let people stay when he is not home! For a real garden feel you can choose the Summer Howf which sits right in amongst the trees and plants.
All have a wood burning stove for the chillier nights, a fire pit for those lovely long evenings watching the sunset or the stars. Each has its own facilities and we of course provide you with all the bedding and towels you will need.
We love to meet our guests and have a chat, we can help with ideas for walks and days out too, or can simply update you on life at Craighead or the wildlife and animals that you will see during your time with us. If you have forgotten anything you might find it in our wee honesty shop!
We really look forward to welcoming you to our glamping – each one designed and built by us making sure that they are very different and we think very special.
Ian, Heather & family.
Accommodation2 wooden cabins (Howfs), 2 hobbit dwelling (Hobbit Howfs) and 1 treehouse (Tree Howf).
No availability showing at Craighead Howfs.
Coming from the south, bypass Dunblane on the A9, take the left hand turn signposted to Kinbuck and Dunblane on the B8033. Continue through Kinbuck over the narrow bridge and straight on for a further two miles. You will come down a gentle hill with a bend at the bottom. Turn left here at the signpost that says Craighead and Tamano. Up the lane the campsite is the first turning on the right past the pond. To park just drive straight on and turn right at the top of the lane and park in the tarmacked yard.
From the north leave the A9 at Greenloaning signposted to Braco and Crieff on the A822. At the junction at the bottom of the road turn right for Braco. Go in to the village of Braco and take the second turn on the left after the only shop (Braco Shop) onto Feddal Road B8033. Continue along this road past the Bowling club on the left and over the bridge. Continue on for approximately two miles, you will pass a white bungalow on the left, a hundred yards further, on the right hand side you will see the signpost for Craighead and Tamano. Turn right up the lane and the campsite is the first turning on the right past the pond. To park just drive straight on and turn right at the top of the lane and park in the tarmacked yard.
Buses and trains get you to Stirling (08457 484950) and Dunblane (08457 484950). Taxis are available from Dunblane and it is also easy to cycle from Dunblane for those bringing their bike on the train.
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