“Relaxed, peaceful haven”, they said….”watch wildlife from your bedroom”, sounded like the remedy to a difficult few weeks and a short trot away from my last visit in the Scottish Borders, Press Mains Cottages was my oasis for the soul, if only for one night.
Absorbed in the Berwickshire countryside, Press Mains is firstly, a working, mixed arable and beef farm, nurturing 1200 acres of Scotland’s rolling lowlands and winner of a Beautiful Farms award.
Additionally however, the estate is also home to the quaint Press Mains Cottages; award winning, environmentally friendly, self-catered homes from home; secluded, beautiful and offering a little more than a brush with nature.
With a Gold Award for Green Tourism, the cottages have been thoughtfully equipped for a low impact on the encompassing wildlife and a well considered approach to sustainability. A new tree is planted for each visitor to Press Mains, ensuring habitats are not only maintained but improved for the resident wildlife.
The focus is very much nature based and what better spot…within minutes of arriving, goats, hares, rabbits and pheasants graced us with an appearance, easily accustomed to the comings and goings of busy cottages, as if, almost by way of a welcoming party, not to mention the plethora of birdlife, feeding enthusiastically from well placed feeders in full view of their new guests.
Steward’s Cottage presented extremely welcoming accommodation; spacious, well equipped and cosy, yet light with at least two rooms offering dual aspect and a genuine feeling of being organically immersed in the surrounding countryside. Little luxuries around the cottage ensured the opportunity for plenty of pampering and quiet time.
Reports and lots of eager chatter as regards CCTV intrigued me and continued to do so via four dedicated TV channels offering coverage from strategically placed cameras around the estate. The badger cam, focussed on an established sett, presented a highly charged atmosphere of expectancy; almost too fearful to look away for a split second, for fear of missing some activity. The badgers, remained elusive for my stay however the cameras did catch other wildlife in their natural habitats, undisturbed by their hidden spectators and a source of endless fascination.
The luxury of time is something which usually eludes me these days and the one indulgence I could have wished for more of at Press Mains; to read, to watch, to think, to be quiet. Unfortunately on this occasion, not to be, but on a guaranteed Return, where once again I may wake to the ever calming sounds of nature and nothing else.