Don't forget to pack your sense of adventure for a fun-filled stay at this dog friendly Scottish glamping site
*I WAS HOSTED AT SHEPHERD'S LOCH IN EXCHANGE FOR THIS REVIEW *
Do you remember going on holiday when you were wee? If you were anything like me you spent your days running around outdoors, clambering around playparks, easily establishing holiday friendships, improvising your own adventures and generally revelling in the freedom to explore without the worries and hang ups that come with being a sensible grown up.
Then you did grow up and those carefree childhood vacations became a thing of the past as adult holidays tend to revolve around relaxation rather than fun and play. But what if I told you there is a place you can enjoy it all?
At Shepherd's Loch Glamping Site in Aberdeenshire they actively encourage adults to embrace their inner child while offering plenty of opportunity to unwind or explore, if that is what you prefer.
The first bit of fun comes in choosing which of their unique accommodation options you are going to stay in. Some are already open and some are a work in progress, I already have my eye on the ship's wheelhouse for a future trip. If you're travelling with your four-legged friend then all but the yurt are dog friendly and all options have an open panorama over countryside and water.
I stayed in the 'Otter' which is a charming hobbit like house with lots of quirky details and a large picture window with a view over one of the lochs. The interior is surprisingly spacious with a super comfy double bed and overhead bunk, a sitting/dining area where you can gaze out at the scenery, a toilet, shower and cooking area with a wood fired range and gas stove.
Upcycled pieces like the corrugated shower lining, locally sourced wood, church pew and the cute bedroom window add lots of unique character.
Although the accommodation is a cosy place to chill out in, it would be a shame not to explore the outdoor space at Shepherd's Loch as there is lots to discover.
The site is situated on a working farm and if you fancy a quiet walk there is a path around the surrounding fields , alternatively if the owner Jamie has some free time, he will happily show you around the farm buildings and introduce you to some of the animals. I was amazed at all the different operations going on, diversity is definitely key to making a farm profitable these days.
The name of the place might give you a hint to the fact there is a loch but there is not just one loch, there are actually three. They all have their own charm with outdoor seating, a zip slide, a rowing boat and free use of fishing equipment offering a few different ways to enjoy the water.
Personally I loved pottering around on a rowing boat with no particular purpose other than to see the landscape from a different perspective.
"Shepherd's Loch is definitely much more than just a bed for the night and is a world away from traditional glamping sites, it has the feeling of a mellowed out festival or an easy-going eco-village."
It is worth remembering that the whole site is run on energy from a water wheel and solar panels so you won't have a TV or Wi-Fi but escaping from the digital world is huge part of the appeal on a break like this.
If you book one of the accommodation options with a hot tub you can spend the evening soaking any stress away or on fine weather nights join your fellow glampers around the fire pit and share stories under the stars. Shepherd's Loch is definitely much more than just a bed for the night and is a world away from traditional glamping sites, it has the feeling of a mellowed out festival or an easy-going eco village.
As the May temperatures were colder than usual during my stay, we relaxed with a glass of wine and a book in front of the wood burner which is a pretty perfect way to unwind after a busy day.
"You could easily swing, stroll, sit, soak and story tell the day away without leaving the farm."
I love the whole concept that Jamie has come up with here, there are few rules and an overriding ethos of having fun. Although children will love it here, I honestly think that big kids will love it the most - I know I did! You could easily swing, stroll, sit, soak and story tell the day away without leaving the farm.
There is also a little honesty shop with some basics to get you by if you do decide you would rather chill out and not venture too far.
Or you could explore the many attractions on the doorstep, it actually makes a great base for exploring Aberdeenshire and beyond, I've listed a few of my nearby favourites below.
Shepherd's Loch is the most entertaining place I've stayed at in a long time and with Jamie's future plans and head bursting with creative and quirky ideas (an outdoor bath is the latest invention being tinkered with for the Otter house) I can't wait to see how things develop over the coming months and years. However, Jamie is adamant that the site doesn't ever grow to feel too groomed or commercialised, and since that is its most appealing feature, I'm glad that some things won't be changing.
THINGS TO DO NEARBY
Disclaimer - As stated, I was invited to stay at Shepherd's Loch for the purposes of a review and my opinions are based on my own experience. However, I always carry out additional independent research to ensure my own experience matches up with that of other guests. This way I feel I can confidently recommend featured accommodation to my readers.
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