Relaxing Romantic Retreat, Rink Hill, Scottish Borders

It’s always exciting planning a short break, especially when you find somewhere new that is so unique and architecturally striking.

Step up Rink Hill, a truly stunning bolthole for couples with incredible views over the Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders.  

The Scottish Borders wasn’t an area we were familiar with to be honest, but we knew there was plenty to do in the area with walks and small market towns to explore.    Before we arrived, we stopped off for lunch in Melrose and then stretched our legs along the banks of the River Tweed. 

Rink Hill, although rural is still close to nearby attractions and facilities. This romantic hideaway is nestled perfectly into the landscape.  As we ascended the off-road track taking in the Tweed Valley on our left, the property appeared out of nowhere on the right-hand side.

The 180-degree curved panoramic floor to ceiling windows were immediately striking, framed perfectly by the curved dry-stone walls on either side. 

The property looked so natural in its setting and more importantly this was our home, well, for a long weekend at least!

No neighbours (except some curious cows and passing fox), no interruptions, just peace and solitude – utter bliss!

The property is nothing short of stunning and exceeded our expectations.  Light flooded into the large modern open plan living area.  The view across the Tweed Valley was simply breath taking.  

The clever design, with the half glass wall to the bedroom means that you can enjoy the same amazing panoramic view from both the living area and the bedroom.  Makes you feel part of the outdoors, even when you are lying in bed!

The kitchen was very well equipped and to be honest was what we expected from a place of this quality.

It had everything you would expect, but the bean to cup coffee maker was a very nice extra and provided a great start to our day.

We awoke each morning to this incredible view – what more can we say it was stunning!

We were lucky with the weather; October in Scotland can be sometimes unpredictable, wet and cold however we had three dry, crisp sunny days. 

We ventured out each morning and enjoyed walks to the Three Brethren in Selkirk and Rhymers Glen and Cauldshiels Loch in Abbotsford. 

At this time of year, the daylight hours were short with the sun going down around 430pm so we returned to the Rink Hill each afternoon in time to enjoy the sunset and the changing browns and yellows of the breath-taking Scottish Autumn landscape.

The changing weather was also interesting to watch as the clouds rolled in.

We never needed to fire up the log burner as, even on a pretty cold Scottish weekend in October, it enjoyed the best of the sun throughout the entire day meaning Rink Hill was a very toasty place indeed.  

The stunning, large bathroom, with a double sized shower was fab and the free-standing bath also with its own view was the perfect place to relax after our days exploring.   

It was just a tad too fresh in October to enjoy a morning coffee on the patio, but in warmer weather you would be stretched to find a more peaceful location to start your day or even end it with a glass of wine or two.  

Fiona and Mike have created the perfect romantic rural retreat for you to return each day to relax, recharge and reflect on your adventures.  Although, if that’s not for you, then simply visit to chill out and relax with nothing else but the Scottish Borders countryside to marvel over. Clearly the area has plenty to do and we’ll certainly be back for a visit.

For those looking for a luxury self-catering hideaway, the new to market, Rink Hill is easily up there with the best and we really can’t stress how relaxed we felt during our visit, and would highly recommend a visit.

Take a look for yourself here www.rinkhill.com

Other Information:

Although this was a discounted visit, the review is an independent and true reflection of our experience.

The Fingal, Luxury comes to Leith

Want to experience an unprecedented level of luxury then look no further than Fingal, a luxury five-star floating hotel berthed at Leith docks in Edinburgh.

We’ve visited Edinburgh many times, but Leith hasn’t really featured, with the only exception a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia last year. We were therefore delighted to have the opportunity to stay aboard Fingal, Britannia’s sister ship and recent addition to the Leith landscape.

Fingal was commissioned by the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1963 and was the last ship to be built by the Blythswood Shipbuilding Company in Glasgow.   Registered in Leith, Fingal was stationed for 30 years in Oban and then for 6 years in Stromness, ferrying lighthouse keepers, essential supplies and maintenance staff to lighthouses, as well as undertaking repairs to navigational aids throughout the West Coast and the North of Scotland.

Launched in January 2019 with 23 luxurious cabins this 237ft long floating luxury hotel and exclusive use venue has been beautifully restored and transformed and is in stark contrast to her hard working past.  If you do visit, make sure you have a peek at the pristine engine room to remind you of her past and the elegant ballroom to show off her present.

All Fingal’s cabins have been named after one of the Stevenson lighthouses she maintained throughout her operational service. 

We were staying in Girdle Ness one of the luxury cabins with a private door onto an open deck walkway, meaning you could enjoy some fresh air during your stay.

All the cabins have a nautical and historical theme with ‘lighthouse’ Davy lamps, heavy brass fittings, maps, compass designs and bespoke commissioned fabric and throws by local designer Araminta Campbell adding a real Scottish and personal touch. 

Look out for the Fingal emblem throughout the room and the rest of the ship.  If you look closely enough at Neptune’s trident you might just see something else you recognise!

The cabins also have a modern twist with smart TV, Wi-Fi and underfloor heating, although watch out for the slight floor level difference.  Thankfully it has been ‘corrected’ for the king size bed being installed, meaning you don’t inadvertently roll out of bed!

We spent a very leisurely and relaxing afternoon in The Lighthouse Bar sampling a few gins including a very nice Royal Yacht Britannia gin (a new one for us) along with some tasty snacks.

We never dined on board as the ship is perfectly located to explore Leith’s bars and restaurants.  We chose to visit the original Fishers Restaurant nestled on the historic Shore in Leith.  Set in a 17th Century watchtower we feasted on a several very tasty and fresh Scottish seafood dishes – including a rather indulgent fresh lobster which was simply outstanding.

We returned to the Fingal for a wee night cap and an expresso Belvedere Vodka cocktail ! Maybe next time we’ll enjoy a light evening supper or afternoon lunch on the ship as we couldn’t help but notice some impressive and tasty looking dishes in front of the other guests as our evening came to an end.

After a very comfortable and peaceful sleep, the following morning we enjoyed one of the most tasty and artistic ‘Scottish’ breakfasts we have ever had. 

We were only aboard Fingal for twenty four hours but during this time we did feel a sense of romance and relaxation.  The ship really does offer a level of opulence and romance you only find in a handful of venues across Scotland.  A real exclusive and luxury feel destination with some clever attention to detail complemented by very attentive and bespoke customer service.

If you want to spend some romantic and intimate time with a loved one and ‘push the boat out’ then Fingal would certainly be an excellent choice.

We were equally impressed with Leith and were overawed by its vibrancy, variety of bars and restaurants and diverse cultures even after only a few hours exploring.  Its definitely on our radar for a future visit!

Other Information: This was a sponsored / discounted visit; however, the review / article is an independent, honest and true reflection of our experience.