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Review of Dundream, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Posted by Florence Fortnam at 08:27 on Tuesday 19 June 2012

Dundream is a stunning, contemporary eco-retreat with panoramic views, light and open-plan interiors, and masses of space - inside and out - to relax and unwind in

>> For availability and booking, see our full listing for Dundream

View from Dundream. Photo: Florence FortnamView from Dundream. Photo: Florence Fortnam

The accommodation
Many people throw their all into their property developments, but few can claim to do it as genuinely as Elaine with her Dundream. Elaine is a homeopathic therapist and she has splashed her personality all over this house, from the heather-coloured walls and feng shui-inspired design, to the sea-and-sheep-filled views and homeopathic-scented bathrooms.

Open-plan living room. Photo: Florence FortnamOpen-plan living room. Photo: Florence FortnamThis new-build ranks pretty highly in the wow-factor stakes, too. It’s impossible not to be impressed as you walk into the vast and gorgeous open-plan space downstairs with the kitchen and central island. The vast expanses of sky, sea, and green fields – which stretch away in every direction – flood the house through huge picture windows. In a house that begs you to be outside exploring those views, the inside is very homely and relaxing; despite its size and spaciousness, it’s incredibly warm and cosy, helped in no small part by the woodburning stove in the sitting room and the underfloor heating in the bathrooms.

Mull of Kintyre bedroom. Photo: Florence FortnamMull of Kintyre bedroom. Photo: Florence FortnamIt’s simply furnished and uncluttered with a Scandinavian feel, focussing instead on few essential, well-chosen pieces – it’s a set-up that allows you to completely unwind. There are beech floors throughout (reclaimed from an old school gym), a soft terracotta-coloured kitchen, clean lines, four beautifully finished bedrooms, and everywhere you look, awesome views. Stepping foot in the bathrooms feels like you’re entering a spa as they’re filled with homoeopathic smellies. Our room, Mull of Kintyre (so named because you can see it on a clear day) had a quirky layout, super comfy bed, and huge windows. Two easy chairs by the balcony invite you to sit and stare at the view across the fields and out to sea and watch the ferries chug away in the far distance.

Welcome hamper. Photo Florence FortnamWelcome hamper. Photo Florence FortnamThe food
You’ll find a lovely hamper on arrival packed with delicious local goodies. For dinner, head across the fields to perhaps one of Scotland’s most unusual restaurant venues – a 1865 functioning lighthouse perched on the edge of the craggy coastline, Corsewell Lighthouse Hotel. It’s all local – the beef, lamb, seafood and there’s a good list of vegetarian options. The menu features dishes like local pan-seared Galloway lamb with warm raspberry vinaigrette, and pan roasted Scottish beef filet with port and red onion marmalade. Alternatively you can find pubs and restaurants in Kirkcolm, a couple of miles away, including the Blue Peter, which won Scottish Pub of the Year a few years back.

The activities
Dundream is tucked away in an untouched area of the Scotland – we wandered for miles along the coastal paths without bumping into another soul. There’s everything to keep walkers, cyclists, ramblers, watersports enthusiasts, ornithologists, writers and artists happy for weeks here. The nearest beach is Lady Bay, 1.5 miles away, which is good for walking and swimming. There are numerous local gardens within easy access, and Stranraer, 10 miles away, has plenty of galleries, museums and shops for rainy days.

The newly-planted trees behind Dundream. Photo: Florence FortnamThe newly-planted trees behind Dundream. Photo: Florence FortnamThe green
Dundream has been awarded Gold by the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Amongst the impressive list of green features are an air-source heat pump, water supply from a natural spring, high spec insulation and double-glazing, eco paints and low-energy lighting. Outside, there is a large organic meadow which Elaine has planted with hundreds of trees. She has also been busy planting natural hedgerow and fuchsia hedges around the house and installed birdbaths to encourage wildlife.

Getting there
It may be a bit out on a limb, but getting here by public transport is pretty easy. Daily buses run from Stranraer and drop you off 600m from Dundream at the end of the lane.

Track leading to the house. Photo: Florence FortnamTrack leading to the house. Photo: Florence Fortnam

Top tip
Elaine grew up on the farm next door and knows everything there is to know about the surrounding area – she’s full of tips and advice on what to do and where to go.

This is a beautiful retreat. Its isolated position means it’s great for families – kids can run riot in the surrounding fields – or groups of friends who need space to relax, recoup and regain a bit of balance and harmony in their lives. Elaine’s commitment to the environment is really impressive and it has influenced every aspect of her creation.


Happy sheep in the fields behind Dundream (in the distance). Photo: Florence FortnamHappy sheep in the fields behind Dundream (in the distance). Photo: Florence Fortnam

>> For availability and booking, see our full listing for Dundream


Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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