What a year!

December 21, 2013

Hello readers, old and new.

Firstly our apologies for not getting round to updating the blog, after taking the business over from Mary & Kenny back in the summer of this year, we have had some bedding in to do…..6 months worth!

Anyhow, Tullochwood Lodges is as you would guess under new management.

I am Simon and my wife is Michelle, we originate from Bedfordshire and now live at and run Tullochwood with our family Tom, Hannah, Sam and my mum Sylvia….plus our family of dogs PJ (woof), Blue Dog, and Pepper (Pepper is a new addition, he’s a true Scot!)

I have been running different businesses for many years, initially a Greengrocer in our home village of Harlington, and lately working in the self storage industry…so everything about customers. Michelle has been a full time mum for over 16 years and most recently also had a role working at Harlington Lower School helping in the classroom, specifically supporting a couple of lovely guys with Downs…so a real carer. In combination then (one would hope) not a bad mix for looking after you on your holidays!

We spent the last 2 years planning our move, looking at rental properties in Devon, Cornwall, Wales, East Anglia….and of course Scotland. Back in the Winter 0f 2012 we visited Tullochwood along with another property on the west coast, leaving Luton Airport with a good 3 inches of snow, and arriving at Inverness with the weather setting in…driving a rental Golf, it wasn’t looking too great travel wise…

Our first day was spent near Oban, the property had some 17 lodges, a good reputation….and lovely owners, but after spending a night there we had some doubts.

Day 2, as we set back (in the snow) past some magnificent scenery, capped mountains, rivers and wildlife, we realised that it had to be Scotland….but the property had to be right…and so to Tullochwood.

As those of you who have stayed at Tullochwood will know, we have 8 Lodges, split 4 x 3 Bedroom and 4 x 2 Bedroom…the comfort of the lodges, the tranquility of the surroundings, and the convenience of being so close to a wonderful town as Forres is ticked almost all the boxes.

We had a few more months to wait, but by April it was all set…our lawyers worked hard to finalise details (Oh boy were there some details), we went backwards and forward to the local tip in Bedfordshire….47+ years of life in one house is many trips, and then on the 22nd June an articulated lorry and 5 chaps, packed what seemed like a never ending stream of boxes ( thanks to my other employers http://www.bigboxstorage.com ) and furniture and set off to our new home…Tullochwood Lodges

Thanks to White & Co….Bedford and Forres, I cannot recommend them enough

IMG_0556 Gulp….It was full!

Michelle stayed in Bedfordshire for a week whilst Tom completed his exam (and went to his prom!), my Mum, Hannah, Sam, 2 dogs and one driver (me) drove 14 hours, with plenty of stops arriving at Tullochwood on the 24th June 2013 in the wee hours…

We have settled in very well, and have had the pleasure of some lovely guests…..the weather has been fantastic and even as I type, it remains mild… a few photos to capture 2013 :

20130929_182006_Richtone(HDR) 20130929_182318_Richtone(HDR) 20130929_183006_Richtone(HDR) 20130929_183238_Richtone(HDR)  20130712_102003[1] 20131103_162402[1]

So…as we exit 2013, we look forward to welcoming our guests over Christmas and the new year, and of course looking into 2014, all of you that have already booked with us, and those of you who will do soon…. a very warm family welcome awaits.

2014 marks the year of Homecoming here in Scotland, whether you are coming from near or far, the country has much to offer, the Moray area is unspoilt and temperate…so go on, book with us (get a great early rate!), we assure you of our very best.

email enquiries@tullochwoodlodges.com

http://www.tullochwoodlodges.com

Telephone 01309 67 33 11 or 07702 056 240

Have a lovely Christmas Everyone, speak soon.

Simon, Michelle, Tom, Hannah, Sam, Sylvia…and our woofs! xx

Relax at Tullochwood

March 12, 2013

One of the most frequently heard comments we hear from guests is how relaxing Tullochwood is.  Living in the grounds, of course we have to agree – even after the busiest of days out and about – the tranquillity of the woodland and lochan is hard to beat.

Our February half term visitors enjoyed some gloriously sunny days, albeit a bit on the cold side too – and it was lovely to welcome back our regular guests as well as some new ones.

Many of the local tourist attractions are open again and everything will be in full swing by the end of the month for the Easter holidays.  We have a couple of spaces, so check availability online if you want to see Tullochwood at one of the prettiest times of year with the spring flowers through and the trees beginning to blossom.  With any luck the ducks and moorhens will have come back home too!

I wonder if they take different routes to get here each year? By car it’s lovely having a choice of roads – all spectacular in their own way.  Along the Moray coastline from Inverness; through Pitlochry, gateway to the Highlands, from Edinburgh; and closer to home there’s Dava Moor, the Speyside whisky trail route and the easy 4 mile drive from Forres.

The lodges are the perfect base to explore the area, or simply take a time out and sleep from 2 – 6 people, with some suitable for your dog to come too.  We can always help with information about what’s happening in the area and keep our information lodge stocked with lots of information and leaflets – but for a sneak preview check out our things to do page – some highlights for the year are on the right too.

We often have special offers and just now short breaks are available until the end of June 2013 – even over the Easter Holidays when you can pop up to Brodie Castle for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Bookings can be made online, or email Mary at enquiries@tullochwoodlodges.com or call 01309 673311, for more information.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Best wishes

Mary

Tullochwood Lodges at the Porridge Championships

October 22, 2012

If you’d told me when I left school that eight chums and I would spend an afternoon in Carrbridge watching the World Porridge Championships, I’d have presumed you’d consumed too much of Scotland’s other famous product.
Yet earlier in the month, on Saturday 6th October – that’s exactly where we were. Nine school chums enjoying the bookclub annual weekend away.

First there was the leisurely lunch at the Heather Centre – stovies and oatcakes – where we chatted about the book for the month. Coincidentally (or maybe not!) based around the area in Ballindalloch Castle – Bloodlines, Touch not the Cat, by Mckerley & Schippers. Sadly the castle was closed for the season or we’d have been there too!

So we decided to pop in to see the World Porridge Championships at Carrbridge. The village hall was buzzing. We arrived just at the end of the second heat. Seats were found and we watch the third heat of contestants create traditional and specialty porridges for the judges. Proper traditional porridge – oats, water and salt. And yet five totally different results. Toasted oats, coarse oats, fine oats, soaked oats – a combination of any. Yes – and I have to say surprisingly – we were gripped. The whisky tasting during each round was an added bonus obviously!

So thank you to the organisers – this was the 19th championship. Well done to everyone who took part. And congratulations to Benedict Horsburgh who won the Golden Spurtle for traditional porridge, Lauris Figone who won the specialty porridge and John Boa who won the ‘People Choice’ award. You made our weekend.

To join in next year – just get yourself booked in at www.tullochwoodlodges.com for the first week in October! Or call 01309 673311 for short break prices.

Best wishes
Mary x

Take a Timeout at Tullochwood Lodges

August 24, 2012

Wow – how fast did the summer go? What an exciting few months for the country. With the Jubilee celebrations and then the Olympics with Team GB doing us proud – it’s no wonder the school holidays seem to have sped by and now most of the children are back at school. And with 10 days of the Paralympics taking us into September now is the time to think about having a little bit of a time out again before the Christmas festivities.

So if you need a second break – or just simply didn’t get round to one earlier in the year – here’s why you might want to take a wee holiday at Tullochwood. Other than the trees turning to beautiful bronzes and golds, reflecting in the silvery water of the lochan – we can have our own spectacular olympian displays too – there’s still lots going on in Moray over the autumn!

Why not invent your own holiday pentathlon – with a trip to one of the local castles or museums, book festival, whisky tasting, red deer rut safari and a day at the local swimming centre. Or if food is more your thing there are festivals and local farmers markets, or why not add a spot of ceilidh dancing, golfing or horse riding. There’s lots to choose from – our around and about page will give you a few more ideas.

Of course, our guests aren’t the only active ones. The Tullochwood swallows have been very busy this summer, one busy pair have reared 5 chicks – feeding them non-stop for weeks through rain and sunshine – the chicks fledged and within 7 days new eggs had been laid in the nest. Feeding is going on as we speak, it is amazing how attentive they are….always a shame when they go as we know the colder weather is approaching….never mind they’ll be back!!

Add to the array of things there are to do and see, our fantastic Autumn special offers – which include midweek (Monday to Friday) and weekend breaks throughout September to November – including the October school holidays – and other discounts subject to availability – and you’ll feel you won your own gold medal! Please call 01309 673311 for more information or email me via the website at http://www.tullochwoodlodges.com.

Best wishes
Mary x

Going for Gold @Tullochwood Lodges

June 15, 2012

Yes – we’re getting into the spirit of things and ‘going for gold’ – but we’d like it in the shape of gloriously round and warm sunshine for all our guests to enjoy a relaxing summer break at Tullochwood, while watching The Olympics in comfort on the flat screen digital TV’s…bliss!
In saying that, we did pop up to Inverness last Saturday to see part of the Olympic Torch relay – just one of those events you don’t want to miss – especially with a budding athlete who’s just enjoyed her primary 1 school sports day!

We have our own sporting events to look forward to over the summer. In June there is the Moray Walking Festival from 21st-24th and then the whisky Trail Cycling Sportive on 24th. The Barclays Scottish Open is being held for the second year running at Castle Stuart Golf Links from 12th – 15th July. And of course the Highland Games are in full swing in towns across Moray.

So whether you want to be active (and you can be) or whether you want to get away from it all and enjoy some peace and quiet, with woodland walks on your doorstep and beaches and forests close by – you’re going to love our summer special offers.

We are offering midweek breaks (Monday to Friday) in the two bedroom lodges throughout July and August – and other discounts are available subject to availability. Please call 01309 673311 for more information or email me via the website at http://www.tullochwoodlodges.com.

Best wishes
Mary x

Hopping Mad Easter Deals @Tullochwood Lodges

February 23, 2012

We always look forward to this time of year at Tullochwood – as the weather warms and the plants and wildlife come out around us.

With Easter being a bit later this year, whilst we can’t promise you sightings of any Easter bunnies, we can be sure you’ll enjoy a lovely display of spring bulbs in and around the lodges.  And this year we’re offering guests staying for a week or longer 15% discount while there is availability.

As usual there is lots happening in Moray and Speyside throughout April, including the Glenlivet 10k in aid of the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association, local farmers’ markets and musical evenings in the local venues.

Visitor attractions will all be opening their doors for the start of the new season with activities and interests for all ages, from dolphin spotting and nature parks to castles and museums.  Check our Around and About page to see everything that Moray has to offer.

We look forward to welcoming guests to Tullochwood in 2012.  Check out our special offers for full details of our Easter Offer as well as ongoing deals, or call on 01309 673311 for more information and availability.

Best wishes

Mary x

PS Just spotted our first moorhen of the year on the lochan – spring is on it’s way!

Spring Spectacular at Tullochwood Lodges

November 28, 2011

I can’t believe we’re at the end of November already and watching the woodland turn wintry with beautiful frosty mornings – and no doubt snow soon!

It’s been a busy year in Forres and Morayshire – from the Barclays Scottish Open Golf Championship at Castle Stuart in July (returning again in 2012) to the Porridge championships at Cawdor in October. There have been Highland Games throughout the summer months and local musicians and bands playing in the many venues in the area.

We are delighted to hear from our guests about their stays with us at Tullochwood – and have added some of their comments to our website Guest Book. Our website also now features our online video so you can capture a bit of the ‘feel’ before you even get there!

So, before the winter sets in, why not take advantage of our special offers and find out what our guests are raving about.

• Spring Spectacular – 15% off all breaks taken before the end of May 2012

Check out our special offers for full details or call on 01309 673311 for availability.

Thank you to all our guests for staying at Tullochwood – we hope to see you again soon

Best wishes

Mary x

September 6, 2011

Well, my ‘baby’ is growing up and had her first day at school last month – and yes Mummy did shed a tear or two at the school gates! And in a way that marked the end of a busy summer – Tullochwood Lodges have been buzzing with lots of guests – and of course we have enjoyed some fantastic events this year including the Scottish Open.

We’re offering 20% discount on all breaks in October and November (as well as a few in September), so guests, old and new, can enjoy a late season holiday and take in some of the delights of the Morayshire area. Check out our special offers for full details or call on 01309 673311 for availability.

And to whet your appetite, here are some of the events and visitor attractions you could enjoy from Tullochwood Lodges.
• Huntly Farmers Market takes place on the first Saturday of each month where you can not only get local produce but crafts and plants as well.
• The Red Deer Rut Landrover Safari gives a unique opportunity to chance upon rutting stags in the glen – as well as see red and black grouse – a nature lovers dream.
• The Speyside Whisky Festival takes place from 30th September to 3rd October – but if you miss that there’s always the Whisky & Shortbread tasting at Balvenie Castle

All this and an array of local craft fayres, Hallowe’en activities for children and an abundance of concerts and gigs to suit all musical tastes.

Who knows? With a bit more time while school is in – I may even get to some of these myself – or enjoy some relaxation time at http://www.tullochwoodlodges.com!

Best wishes
Mary x

Spring arrives at Tullochwood!

April 20, 2011

Well Spring has arrived at Tullochwood – piles of lambs are everywhere enjoying the sun on their backs!  It lifts the spirit to see them on my way driving to and from Forres most days…

Work has started on the flower beds and floral display area at Grant Park in Forres which is a sure sign that the frost is almost gone…I wonder if they will win any awards this year!?  Let’s hope so as it’s an amazing display of colour. 

Brodie and Cawdor Castle are opening their doors this weekend for Easter egg hunts and the start of hopefully a busy season.  And it won’t be long until the Highland Games dates are posted so look out for these on the Tullochwood website soon.

The moorhens are back on the lochan and a few ducks – we’re not sure yet if they are nesting but usually they surprise us – so will keep you posted with developments!   The hard winters over the past couple of years seem to be affecting their numbers so it’s about time we had a nice mild winter!!

Happy Easter from all of us at Tullochwood.   

Mary & Kenny

Deer spotted at Tullochwood

November 4, 2010

I’m delighted to say I seem to be losing my blogging job – as longtime friends of Tullochwood, Robert and Linda Lees, kindly agreed to submit an update for this month.

Many thanks to both of you – looking forward to seeing you again at the end of the month.

Mary xx

Hello everyone

Our week’s break at Tullochwood was spent mostly relaxing. We caught up with friends met at Tullochwood and relatives who live in the area.

I managed to catch sight and photograph one of the red deer in the woodland walk, near the play area end. The trees were turning colour and dropping their leaves resulting in a golden carpet on the grassy areas – so lots of wonderful colours for photographing.

We cycled in the Culbin forest a regular haunt for us, we headed down to the seal viewing hide, which thankfully has been repaired (the windows had been broken the last time we visited). There we watched the antics of the seals and boisterous behaviour of the Oystercatchers as they tried to pinch each other’s food – mussels, of which there seems no shortage!

A new discovery for us was spotting a small bird called a Turnstone. We saw this when we caught the sunset at Findhorn – which can be spectacular over the shoreline. Another must for us is dinner at Simply Red in Forres – we always try to get there at least once. The food, wine and the ambiance would not be out of place in up the market restaurant areas of our larger cities.

We had a few rainy days, even so I managed to get some nice shots around Tullochwood, and after the rain everything seems much fresher. Looking forward to our next trip which I don’t think will be long.

Robert and Linda Lees


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