Overheard the first night "Mum, you can't cook the pies, there's no oven"
Well, no there isn't. This is Greenhillock Glamping and if it's pies and an oven you're after then you're probably in the wrong spot, although undoubtedly the very hospitable owners would go the extra mile to make sure you're accommodated.
Located just north of Kirkbuddo and 8 miles south of Forfar, Greenhillock Glamping is a new arrival to the Glamping market. Greenhillock opened last year and hit the ground running. We arrived on a sunny bank holiday Saturday and, despite initial concerns that the site was heaving (it was just the angle looking up towards the paddock), the pitches are few, large and well spaced out with a fire pit already dug out and if glamping is your thing rather than camping, then Greenhillock has three well appointed bell tents already set up for you with a dedicated family shower room. Stig (one of the owners) took us on a quick tour of the essential facilities, a row of brightly coloured huts hide the composting loos (for the uninitiated they smell more of silage than sewage thanks to the straw) and the solar heated showers.
One of the things I liked most about Greenhillock Glamping was the things for the children to do. Not “organised fun” but a couple of carefully thought out activities that engage the children. E disappeared within moments of arriving there, made friends and wiled away the hours making a den, hunting for life in the pond, riveted in the bug tent with the skulls and wasp nests, colouring and sticking in the art shack. The area for the children to play games away from the tents with a couple of picnic benches and chairs for supervision was also great.
Other onsite facilities include a converted stable with covered external washing up area and inside is a food prep area, camping stove, fridge, freezer, table and chairs, which are very handy if it pours with rain as it did on our first night. Greenhillock Glamping has occasional licences, allowing them to serve alcohol, which was much enjoyed on the Saturday night! It was lovely for someone else to do the BBQing (in the thunder storm) and despite the captive audience, the food was very reasonably priced. In keeping with their eco friendly ethos, all the food and beverages were locally sourced.
We decided to head south and explore St Andrews and go to Tentismuir Beach, nr. Lechaurs (45 minutes away) but there is plenty to do locally. On the wall of the hut is a handy guide to local days out which includes country parks and nature reserves, food and drink, Glamis Castle and the Glens, Arbroath, Freedom and Smokies, the Angus Coastal Route and Dundee.
Speaking of Dundee, we drove through Scotland’s fourth largest city on our way to St Andrews. I wasn’t sure if it was being demolished or renovated but according to Kate and Stig, Dundee is firmly on the way up. Dundee has been named the UK’s first City of Design by the United Nations and the V & A Museum of Design is being built on the waterfront, the first design museum in the UK to be built outside London and the plans for the city are spectacular.
All in all, we had a fabulous couple of days on the East Coast. It’s totally different from the raw beauty of the West Coast and wonderfully midge free. I’d forgotten what it was like to sit outside on a warm summer’s evening and I must mention the bird song in morning, I haven’t heard anything like it in a long time. It was stunning, even at 0630 I didn't mind. There is much to admire and love about Greenhillock Glamping from their admirable eco ethos to the thought given to their guests comfort and needs. They even went as far as finding some dog food and bowls for us since we'd managed to leave the dogs' bag behind. Kate and Stig have some great ideas and plans for Greenhillock and we look forward to returning soon.
A tip for those to new to camping, if there's nothing else you make absolutely certain of, make certain you are comfortable and warm at night. Outwell Dreamcatcher 10cm self inflating mats are my tip for a decent night's sleep, they can't deflate in the middle of the night. Comfortable bed and a bottle of wine......
And finally, don’t forget the marshmallows for toasting in the fire. E says a golden brown crust on the outside and "melty" in the middle is perfect, J likes to set them alight for a second ensuring a flavour more akin to charcoal than caramel and frankly I'm not fussed, I just like eating them
It took us about two and a half hours from Helensburgh via the A85 (mainly to avoid the A9 and A82 on a bank holiday)