While we’re still being told to ‘stay at home’, with the vaccination programme continuing apace and the roadmap out of lockdown starting to become a reality, we can perhaps start to look forward to breaks again with a little more confidence.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has indicated that Scotland will be returning to a system of tiers, meaning that even when holiday accommodation reopens we may not be able to leave our council area.
Aikwood Tower, originally built in the 1540s, offers a unique getaway in the lush heart of Ettrick Forest.
The Tower’s entrance is via an enchanting walled garden and west door, where a spiral staircase leads you into the building with plenty of original features and artefacts from lives lived long ago.
The Great Hall has cosy furniture, a hearty fire and animal coverings on stone flooring, while next door is a reading study with panelled ceiling and books slected by Tower owner Lord Steel.
On the lower floor, the former byre (or cow barn) is the perfect venue for a celebration, with a gallery above offering comfortable seating, wifi, a television and a small bar.
Then there’s the Laich Hall, with lodas of games for all the family – including giant Jenga, table tennis, Monopoly and Twister.
The accommodation comprises five en-suite bedrooms, each bursting with individual character and style, along with four supremely comfy reception rooms.
You can opt for perfectly catered meals, or self-cater using the AGA-equipped kitchen, while the dining room, set in the vaulted ground of the tower, provides a stunning backdrop for serving up banquets.
Outside, the scenic and tranquil south-west facing walled garden is the ideal spot for relaxing, star-gazing or playing croquet on the lawn.
Aikwood Tower sleeps up to 10 people and is available to book at www.hostunusual.com from £1,800 for three nights.