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Loch an Eilein

In early February 2024, we visited the Cairngorms for a week's holiday, staying on the Rothiemurchus estate, at Loch an Eilein.

This was our second stay at the Loch, our first visit was in the summer of 2019, pre-children!

In 2019, we stayed at Loch an Eilein Cottage. It was a very special treat, and whilst we became aware of Forest Cottage, which is set a little further back from the Loch, we didn’t think we would ever want to stay there, as it doesn’t have a loch view.

Fast forward 5 years, and we were back on the estate, and loving our stay in Forest Cottage! All of Hidden Highland Retreats accommodation is finished to a high standard, and we found the cottage to be amongst the best self catering accommodation we have stayed in.

It goes without saying, the location is outstanding. Although it doesn’t have the loch view of Loch An Eilein cottage, you are still a stone's throw from the water, and being right amongst the trees, really made it special in its own way. Loch an Eilein itself, is a magical mix of loch, forest and mountain views, so there is always a different view to enjoy.

There are two things for us which make it such a special location. Firstly, the isolation. On arrival, you turn through a gated forest track, and drive up to the cottage where no other cars can go. Not having anyone else staying near you, really does add to the feeling of getting away from it all.

Secondly, it’s the ability to park up the car upon arrival, and not have to touch it again if you don’t want to for the rest of the holiday. You walk out the front door, straight onto the footpath that goes around the loch, and that path, in turn, has other paths leading off to other parts of the estate and the wider area. It is mostly flat walking too, which makes it ideal for little ones. There is the opportunity to cycle also. From the cottage we cycled up to the Reindeer centre at Glenmore, and also cycled to the Osprey Centre at Loch Garten, both routes mainly on cycle path, and forest track.

Our days were spent taking longer walks in the morning, after a lazy breakfast. Then back ‘home’ for lunch and a short rest, before heading out again to play amongst the trees and by the loch, returning home to light the fire and drink hot chocolates, before settling down for the evening.

It really was a great place to be with young children. We were there with our 10 month old, and 3.5 year old, and both were in heaven. Our eldest even managed to walk the complete circuit around the loch, which is over 5km, with little or no complaint. This has much to do with the lovely atmosphere there, and the many distractions en-route.

Having been both in summer and winter, whilst both seasons have their advantages, arriving to snow as we did, plus a frozen loch, made the stay even more magical. We are planning to go back in 2025, and most likely for a winter break. We can’t think of a better place to go for a family holiday.

We highly recommend!

Alex and Emilie xx

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