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Already there seems to be more space to breathe.

The tents are actually quite large. All tents have three bedrooms, and a little cubby hole bed to hideaway in, with proper beds, mattresses and duvets. It does get chilly though, especially in England's weird and wonderful weather.

The kitchen is fully equipped, with cold running water, and I was thrilled to discover the flushing toilet! A large farm table makes for a nice centrepiece, although the verandah, hammock and outdoor barbecue are perfect for better weather. And for those in the upgraded ‘Frills’ tents there is even a private hot tub – although being coal powered you need to plan a few hours in advance. 

Anything you have not brought with you can be acquired from the ‘bothy’ - the local supermarket, if you will. In this stone building sits a repository of goods that you might need during your stay, such as vegetables and fruit grown in the garden (which you are also able to pick for yourself), pasta, tinned tomatoes, milk, bacon, eggs, and of course wine and beer. The latter is produced by the on site brewery, and varieties include Foxy Blonde, Game Bird and Dark Horse.

The Scottish Borders Brewery was set up by John in February 2011 to make use of the malting barley growing on site and having plenty of water (being Scotland) and their tagline of ‘from plough to pint’ reflects the local provenance being of important. Run on an honesty box basis, the bothy is another indicator of that bygone era that Featherdown evokes. 

The simple pleasures really are magnified. A lazy evening reading became magical with the addition of tea lights in a swinging lantern suspended above the sofa. A simple dinner of rice and fish seems to be all the more well-earned when cooked on a hot log burning stove. And with no television or internet we were playing card games and doing crosswords. Even talking to one another. Being off grid means that the phones can’t be charged every three hours as they demand, and so we simply stopped using them as much. 

The log burner takes a while to get going, and goes out over night. My friend, being a man, makes it his job to be responsible for the fire and gets up early every morning to heat the tent before we go about our day. In fact, he is insistent that he must take on the role, and at one point I even hear him utter "should have brought an axe".

It's brought out the best in us, and our days are filled with exploration. A few miles away is the town of Melrose, the start of St Cuthbert's Way and situated under triple peaks of the Eildon Hills, where we go for many a long country walk. The trail of Walter Scott lets us explore Smallhail Tower, Kelso and Abbotsford, his vast home. The local town of Ancrum is a pretty little place to meander, and the closest town Jedburgh is home to a fascinating museum revealing the history of the area, and the priory dating from 1138 is remarkably well preserved.

But it’s our tent, Chesters, and the Featherdown experience which really steals our heart. I'm still not sure on camping, but glamping - sign me up!

Featherdown holidays from £ 269 Visit for more information.

For more trips to Scotland see our trip itineraries on offer at TNT Tour Search.


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