**Disclosure: We were guests for three nights at The Loft. Regardless of this, please be advised that all opinions expressed in this blog post are genuine and authentically our own.**
Back in May we tried our hand at glamping, a portmanteau of the words “camping” and “glamorous” indicating a style of camping with amenities. Although as a Girl Scout I went on a number of camping trips which I completely loved, I looked forward to confirming how glamping would take the best parts of my camping memories – spending time outdoors, sitting around cozy campfires while making smores, and being surrounded by beautiful views - and combining it with my creature comforts such as having a proper night’s sleep, having my own bathroom and not freezing overnight.
The Wigwam Adventure
After driving for nearly two hours from Aberdeen to Kinloss, we arrived to Wigwam Holidays The Loft at East Grange Farm. It was easy to find just off the A96 as there was good signage to follow.
We arrived after working hours which simply meant we had an unmanned check-in. An envelope was left for us at reception in a box outside; it had the keys to our cabin and a map so we could find it on the 388-acre working farm along with information about the campsite and where to find facilities.
The scenic campsite, made up of three areas (Barnside – the en-suite and newest cabins site, Millside - the traditional Wigwam village, and the Wilderness campsite), is set up very well. The site exudes a relaxing, peaceful, and family-friendly environment. It was evident that the campsite itself is very well looked after, spacious and gives you plenty of privacy regardless of where you are staying. Although the cabin beside us was occupied, we never heard any noise and we still felt private for being close together.
At The Loft, the glamping cabins offered to guests are known as “wigwams,” a semi-permanent domed dwelling formerly used by many Native American cultures. Although they appeared to be small from the outside, we were in for a big surprise!
Our designated home-away-from-home was the large (wheelchair accessible) en-suite Wigwam Cabin with wood fired hot tub option located in the Barnside. For three lovely nights, we enjoyed wigwam #17 as it was fitted with home comforts to fast-track relaxation on our staycation. This proved successful with our three-year old, Ythan George.
Our glamping pod was spotless, all made up for us on arrival and plenty of space for the three of us as it has the ability to sleep up to 5 people. No doubt that the fully insulated wooden Wigwam Cabin was a good home to us and suited our needs as individuals and as a family. It had the following features which helped make our trip be a lovely, comfortable and fun stay:
Optional wood fired hot tub add-on* (additional charge of £35 per day and includes wood)
En-suite shower and toilet (it is an accessible adapted wet room with shower, toilet and wash hand basin)
Heated towel rail (nice touch)
Low-level worktops and kitchenette with sink, 2 ring-hob, microwave, fridge-freezer, kettle, toaster
Table and chairs
Double bed with comfortable memory foam mattress (all beds are extra-long)
Double sofa bed with comfortable memory foam mattress
Single bed with comfortable memory foam mattress
Electric heating, lighting, and power sockets (metered £1 and £2 coins required)
Decking area with picnic table
x1 allocated parking space
Prior to Covid, bedding and kitchen equipment were normally available at an additional cost by booking in advance or you could bring your own. Although we took our own bedding, the kitchen equipment was provided which was both practical and convenient.
3 Happy Kids – One Toddler and Two Inner Children
Once we settled down, we were ready to stretch our legs and get to know the campsite’s surroundings. The first place we ventured to was the Fairy Trail located on the outskirts of The Loft. It was a perfect way to get acquainted with the beautiful natural spaces and embrace the numerous health benefits of being in the great outdoors. Ythan George took the lead in trying to spot the paintings of the fairies, goblins and witches while coming across the colorful wishing tree, a few fairy homes, and a cauldron where we all sat and did our fairy oracle cards reading. The fairies love the outdoors!
Upon return from our magical walk, we did not hesitate to change into our swimming gear and jump in our glamping holiday treat, our private hot tub. It was fantastic! Management had lit and maintained the fire until our arrival so it would be hot. The wood and fire-starter packs were delivered daily to our cabin in order to light our hot tub stove as required. And if additional wood were required, it could be purchased onsite. Ythan George absolutely loved his first hot tub experience and that made us very happy to see him enjoy it to the max.
We could have easily spent more time relaxing under the stars, but we had our work cut out for the next four days researching Moray Speyside, a region with a stunning natural landscape and large selection of things to do including dolphin spotting on the Moray Firth to outdoor activities and adventure on land, river and sea and an abundance of history and heritage with beaches, castles, cathedrals and distilleries. Indeed, Moray Speyside did not disappoint which we will cover in a separate blog in the near future highlighting things to see and do while in Moray.
There is also a good selection of restaurants just a short drive from the campsite. We enjoyed a Chinese meal at The Abbey Inn, Kinloss, and a bar meal at the Crown & Anchor Inn, Findhorn. We also heard good reports about the Mosset Tavern in Forres, however, we were unable to get a last-minute booking there – it seems that it is extremely popular with the locals. For those looking to cook at the Wigwam, there are large Tesco and Lidl stores just a ten-minute drive away in Forres.
On our second morning at the camp site, we had the pleasure to meet Victoria, one of The Loft owners, who was on her way to feed her adorable and friendly goats. Before the pandemic, she used to run goat feeding sessions, but due Covid-19 restrictions on social distancing, they temporarily stopped. Thus, we were extremely fortunate to be invited to join her feed her small goat herd and be taught so much about them. All three of us enjoyed this memorable morning activity which gave us a glimpse of life on a working farm.
Our first family glamping trip was a research trip to remember. We were not disappointed. Situated in the heart of the Highlands, between Forres and Elgin, Wigwam Holidays The Loft at East Grange Farm offered all that I love about bonnie Scotland: rural beauty, beautiful beaches, rich history and adventure. We made memories to last a lifetime while exploring the great outdoors alongside the comforts of home.
This is definitely what glamping is all about. Besides the Wigwam Cabins surpassing my expectations, we got to have a lovely, quiet escape from the world as we know it at the moment. However, what made The Loft extra special was Victoria, Sharon, Grigor and the staff who were genuinely friendly and made us feel welcomed. The owners of East Grange obviously love what they do and it reflects on the campsite through their hard work. Plus, I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take young or older kids away for an adventure for we had a magical time and an excellent first-time experience.
Remember, take the challenge, discover what is in your backyard, whether you live in Scotland, in the other parts of the British Isles or even Europe, venture into magnificent Moray, Scotland. Don’t forget that at Tailor-Made Itineraries we delight in creating bespoke self-guided tours. So, if visiting Moray appeals to you, reach out to us by email. We would be more than happy to design a self-guided tour around your requirements incorporating the amazing attractions of Moray, or indeed, of Scotland in general.
Join us next time when our family adventures continue as we explore the Moray area of Scotland. Until then, happy reading and safe travels.
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*Interested in staying at The Loft? For more information visit: https://theloft.co.uk/