Pillars of Hercules Bothy

We’ve had the most relaxing weekend at the Pillars of Hercules Bothy just outside Falkland. The bothy is on the Pillars of Hercules organic farm, the name for which was inspired by a local 19th-century landowner with an interest in classical history, Onesiphorus Tyndall Bruce. There is a statue of him in Falkland:

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The history of how he came to Falkland is quite interesting. He was originally from Bristol and married the illegitimate daughter, Margaret, of Lt Col Sir Robert Hamilton Bruce by an Indian lady. When her father died she was adopted by a rich uncle who was also a professor of logic at Edinburgh University, John Hamilton Bruce. He did not approve of Onesiphorus because he was debt-ridden but when the uncle died they married anyway; Margaret paid off his debts and Onesiphorus took her surname. The couple went on to do very well, improving the estates and extending the farm and they were very popular in the local community.

The organic farm has been here since the 1980s and just 200 metres from the bothy is the farm grocery store and café. The grocery store is like Newton Dee and Foodstory only better. The café is all vegetarian and the store is full of vegan foods. It was heaven for me!

The bothy is delightful and a place we will definitely return to. Despite being just 200m from the café and shop it still feels very rural and backs onto forest where there are lots of forest trails for walks. We also saw a red squirrel foraging for nuts in the backyard.

The bothy is a simple, homely building dating from the late 1800s and with a colourful history having been home to the Home Guard during the First World War, a home for ponies, a shed for farm equipment and more recently a party house for local workers on the farm. Now it’s a holiday let and one of the most relaxing weekends away we’ve had.

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Part of the charm is its simplicity. There’s no TV, central heating, dishwasher, or washing machine and it’s full of quirky features like a tree trunk in the middle of the living room and curtain rails made from tree branches. We brought our own dishwasher – in fact, two of them called Daniel and Elizabeth – so we didn’t miss having one.

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The log burner heats the whole place beautifully as well as the water. The bathroom is huge and the shower hot with good water pressure. The kids slept in a mezzanine room above the lounge which got very toasty warm and cosy. They loved it because it felt like a treehouse.

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The bothy is full of books, games, and CDs so we spent our time reading by the fire and listening to Ella Fitzgerald. There is very good wifi too.

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You don’t need to bring any food because the farm shop has everything, is open every day, and is just a hop, skip, and jump away.

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They even stocked my favourite chocolate, Vego.

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Falkland is a delightful 20-minute walk through the woods.

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We loved the Pillars of Hercules Bothy and I’m already planning our next trip back.

 

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