Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Happy New Year from Briar Cottages Scotland - for stargazers, wildlife watchers, romantics and those who like a wee dram at Hogmanay followed by a BBQ on the 1st January!

Happy New year from Kim and Fraser in bonnie Lochearnhead, Scotland.  A big thank you to everyone who stayed in Little Briar cottage in 2010 and to our first guests in our luxury holiday cottage,  Briar Steading over the festive period. The Hogmanay village party was a sell out. A good laugh and a few wee drams were had by all. We  are delighted that our guests have secured a booking for this years event.  Both couples can testify that we really do have a barbecue on 1st January outside in the loch garden.  We had fireworks this year too.  Anyone who enjoyed BBC Two Stargazing live will appreciate the location we are in.  There are no street lights polluting the natural light in our section of the road.  It means that you see everything on a clear night and can enjoy the moon rising and setting. You need the cottage torch on dark nights as it is pitch black without the moon, though temporary search lights do come on around the  cottages.  Fireworks are a spectacular contrast to the night skies over Loch Earn.  A friend bought multiple fireworks from Lidl this year. You only light them once and they pop off about 30 fireworks. I have to say that they were first class, excellent value and we would use them again.  For those of you who are aware that we have a 17th century thatched cottage on the grounds;  I promise we were careful!  Briar Steading is booked however Little Briar cottage  is there for the booking if you like a weeks holiday for 2-4 with a party atmosphere around New Year.   Any dogs would have to stay indoors for the fireworks bit of course.  

Winter has been glorious here.   Lochearnhead is stunning when the snow falls.   Fraser and  I could not resist trying out the sledge from the top of the garden.  I would encourage any age group to have a go. We have had regular visits from  a herd of deer and a stag this winter.  They come down in search of food and water when it gets colder.  I am a great fan of BBC Springwatch and Autumnwatch however they sometimes go off on a mission hoping for a glimpse of something.  Our  first guests sat looking out of the full length windows of Briar Steading and the deer came down most nights almost performing in front of them.  I wish I had a better camera, photogaphy skills and a webcam here.  Summer watch and winter watch are just as entertaining at Briar Cottages.  We can get close to the malard ducklings in spring.  They literally eat out of your hand as does the robin in winter. The robin gets very close to Fraser, usually because he is digging  up insects and worms as he weeds. It did fly  into our bedroom in the spring which is maybe a bit too familiar. A brave attempt but it failed to mark its territoy in our boudoir as we politely showed it the door... or was it the window.  An otter has been digging a shelter under our jetty stairs and ospreys catch fish in front of us on the loch all summer. Eagles, owls, red kites, cranes, red squirrels and other creatures can be spotted all year round.  This is a great venue for wildlife and bird watching throughout the picturesque seasons.  Now that Briar Steading is up and running we can concentrate on landscaping around it.  We have plans to put in some trees shrubs and flowers however we better double check that they are not in a deers top 10 favourite things to eat or it will be an annual event. 
If you are interested in booking  either or both cottages please check our website and do not hesitate to contact us with any questions briarinfo@btinternet.com,  Tel Kim or Fraser: 44 (0)1567 830 443, Mob: 07876 122 505, http://www.stayatbriar.co.uk/   

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