Friday, 29 April 2016

COASTAL CARRIAGE

Earlier this month, Josh and I went on a trip up North. We had both just worked the Edinburgh Science Festival (which was 18 days of non-stop festival work, and months and months of prep beforehand), so we were in need of sleep and peace and quiet.

We had been swithering over where to go - originally the plan was to go camping (open fires! Gorgeous views! Nature!), then I went on a bit of an enthusiastic tangent and starting planning a walk of the West Highland Way (lol), before we realised that we were both too knackered and the weather was too unreliable to do anything but find somewhere snug and cosy in a quiet location.


After a fairly stressful bit of last-minute searching, we came across Coastal Carriage - a reclaimed railway carriage on the Banffshire Coast. Owned by the same people who run High Seas Hobbit, it ticked all of our boxes: relatively cheap (£70 per night, plus a discount as we were staying for 4 nights); a quiet, scenic location; a wood-burning stove; we didn't need a car to get there; and it looked pretty quirky (we've stayed in a gypsy caravan and a treehouse, so a railway carriage was the obvious next step!).

We'd been keen to avoid hiring a car (to save £££s), so travelled up from Edinburgh using public transport. This meant getting a train from Edinburgh to Aberdeen (2.5 hours), a bus from Aberdeen to Rosehearty (2 hours), then a lift from Rosehearty to the Carriage (the owner very kindly picked us up on the way there, and we ordered a taxi back to town for our way home).


The Carriage is situated on a quiet, family-run farm in Aberdeenshire - in farming country near Fraserburgh and Banff. It looks out over the Moray Firth (you can see dolphins if you are lucky!), and  there's loads of beaches, cliff walks, castles, and other interesting historic things nearby.

We were pretty lazy for most of the trip, but went on a big walk to New Aberdour beach - a beautiful big pebble beach, with loads of rock pools and caves to explore. There was also a cute doocot near by, and an interesting old graveyard, with a memorial to a chieftain who fell at Culloden.


The Carriage itself was pretty simple, but cosy enough to just curl up and chill in. At one end there's a really comfy bed (I spent about 80% of my time here), and at the other there's a wood-burning stove, a small table, and some chairs. The Carriage has french doors that look out over the sea, so it's a pretty beautiful place to nestle down in - although it would benefit from an armchair and a rug to make the space a bit nicer to nestle in!

The wood-burning stove took a while to get going, but was very toasty in the end - even when the weather went bonkers, and alternated between sun, sleet and snow in one day. I'm lucky that Josh is such a good cook, so we ate amazing food all week - slow roasted lamb stew, spatchcock poussin, steak and chips, and baked avocado, eggs and bacon. YUM.

There's no electricity (so you really are forced to switch off), but there's solar powered lights and lanterns, so you aren't sitting in the pitch black every night. There's also a bush shower in the Carriage, and a toilet in a hut nearby.


We spent the week reading, playing yahtzee and cribbage, and listening to a totally ancient Jurassic Park audiobook (which I loved!). It was bliss!

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