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A weekend glamping in the whimsical Featherdown Farms in Scotland is a great way to ease you back into the great outdoors after a winter hibernation.

I get cold very easily, am a restless and light sleeper, and don’t like traipsing to far to the toilet in the middle of the night. For this reason, camping has never really appealed. To be fair, the only time I have ever camped has been at music festivals, where the loud revelling and acute hangovers don’t help matters. 

But I do love nature, and with parents who grew up on a farm, and my grandfather having been a shepherd, I’m sure it’s in my blood somewhere. So what about glamping? Especially on somewhere as whimsically and wonderfully named as Featherdown Farms. I've been receiving their brochures for many years, evoking dreamy visions of frolicking sheep, fresh laid eggs, healthy ruddy cheeks, but never made it. Carpe diem Francesca - off to Scotland to find out.

We're spending a week in the Borders, at Chester's Estate, one of many farms running Featherdown Farms camps on site. The private 18th-century estate was inherited by John and his wife Ellie only a few years ago, and as corporate city slickers in a former life, they quickly had to get up to speed with the farming life. Running a successful farm, holiday destination and events has been a learning curve, but one they have been successful at. 

The estate itself is a delicious maze of delightful nooks and crannies in which guests can enjoyably lose themselves from the world, and is home to more than 1,000 sheep, 100 cows, roe deer, pheasants, partridges, buzzards, rooks and myriad rabbits, as well as a run of salmon, sea and brown trout for fishers out there. Bikes are available for hire, and you can even take the estate boat along the river. 

En route, it’s easy to see the attraction of the Border regions. Hills slope off like lush magic carpets, the purple heather fizzes in abundance, and even the clouds have an ethereal haze. The landscape is dotted with small castles and towers, testament to the tumultuous history of this area which has been fought over and desired for thousands of years. There is a sort of treasure hunt quality - there's always a feeling that something beautiful is to come, but it's still a surprise when it does. 

John meets us at the 'car park' - the old stables. Rumbling down a bouncy path with our luggage in a wheelbarrow, through some trees, across a walled vegetable garden and past a croquet lawn, I was curious as to what we were to find. The idea is that you leave your car and your normal world behind, and as we trundled along it felt like that. But as soon as we step through the safari canvas and on to the wooden floor boards of what was to be our home for the next few nights that slightly fearful anticipation I'd dismissed as travel sickness turns into happy fascination. 

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Get close (but not too close) to nature by glamping in Scotland
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