Artistic inspiration

The glorious land and seascapes of Northumberland, the Scottish Borders and East Lothian have long provided inspiration for those with an artistic spirit and desire to create. This is an area flowing with creativity through its talents in arts, crafts and textiles. Our stately homes, grand houses and historic castles are veritable treasure troves of objets d’art, from classic masterpieces by celebrated artists to a “Cabinet of Curiosities” filled with weirdly wonderful curios from around the world.

On a (slightly) smaller scale, many of the holiday homes in our collection boast impressive arty connections. From the much-loved former coastal retreat of a renowned Northumberland artist to a local estate with a design-led ethos and a commitment to supporting local creativity, we explore the artistic histories of three Crabtree & Crabtree cottages that’ll ignite your imagination and have you reaching for your paintbrushes.



Artist's Cottage | Craster, Northumberland

Tucked away in the pretty Northumbrian fishing village of Craster, a place immersed in tradition and history, you’ll find the aptly named Artist’s Cottage – a quirky coastal hideaway with an intriguing interior. The former home of renowned local artist Pete Green, Artist’s Cottage is still owned by the family with the quirky interior complemented by Pete’s fabulous artworks which adorn the walls alongside an array of objects d’art collected over the years.

Given that Craster is home to a legendary smokehouse where herrings are transformed into “Craster Kippers” by the Robson Family, we particularly love Pete’s paintings of herrings which sit above the two fireplaces in the cottage sitting room and dining room.  Coincidentally, these striking paintings were completed before she moved to Craster!

From the writing bureau in the master bedroom to the workspace in the study and the countless scenes of coastal inspiration on the doorstep, Artist’s Cottage provides the perfect retreat for makers, creators, poets and painters looking for a galvanizing hideaway filled with fresh air... and kippers for breakfast!

Explore Artist's Cottage
We are currently offering a 10% discount on the week commencing 18th October, plus availability throughout November and December, including the Christmas week.



Tweedswood | Melrose, Scottish Borders

You’ll happen across charming Tweedswood nestled down a tiny lane in a Scottish Borders hamlet, surrounded by heart-capturing scenery and offering a tranquil country cottage hideaway within easy reach of the Tweed, pretty little St Boswells and handsome Melrose.  This cottage is owned by the family of the late William Landles, one of Scotland’s most prominent sculptors who hailed from the nearby town of Hawick – the family’s artistic roots in the Borders run deep.

Hidden behind the whitewashed exterior is an interior of traditional beamed ceilings and classic-country detailing with paintings and sculptures from the family’s collection by William Landles, his father and their close family friends, all with connections to the local area. Reminiscent of the surrounding Borders landscapes which have inspired makers and creators for generations, these much-loved family artworks set the tone for an idyllic countryside stay.

A very scenic 1.5-mile ramble will take you to Scott's View – a favourite of Sir Walter Scott and the inspiration for many of his writings – offering stunning panoramic views across the rolling Border heartland this famous view is sure to get your creative juices flowing throughout time here.

Explore Tweedswood



West Lodge, Milne Graden | Coldstream, Scottish Borders

Set in a wonderful location on the banks of the River Tweed - which rather spectacularly marks the border between Scotland and England - Milne Graden flaunts river views and breaktaking woodland which change with the seasons and are currently embracing the colours of autumn. Unpolluted dark skies perform impressive star shows and a unique Dog Park is situated within the walks of the old Victorian kitchen garden (much to the delight of our four-legged guests).

Here we offer a collection of six design-led holiday cottages typified with their own unique style: inspired by nature and influenced by the soft, earthy tones of the surroundings which provide the perfect backdrop for the estate’s small but growing art collection. There is an ongoing programme of refurbishment at the estate, allowing the owner to continually incorporate the designs of both much-cherished favourites and newly emerging artists, makers and creators. 

The most recently refurbished, West Lodge, is one of our popular romantic retreats. Combining a stately exterior with a country cosy interior, the arty interiors include ‘Nature’s Table’ wallpaper by Scottish watercolourist and print maker Angie Lewin, calming artwork from Emma Lawrenson and delightful doggy designs by Scottish-based Domenica More Gordon. The owner has carefully curated the interiors here to reflect their passion for art, design and the nature that surrounds the cosy cottage. This delightful gate lodge provides the perfect excuse to put a busy week behind you and discover a gentler pace.

  • Milne Graden are proud sponsors of the Borders Art Fair, continuing their commitment to showcasing and supporting the creativity found throughout our local area.
  • The well-known artist Andrew Davidson has designed the Milne Graden logo and his work can be seen in many forms around the estate from postcards and welcome notes to his designs for Lewis & Wood on the stand-out fabric headboards.
  • At North Lodge, the ‘Squirrel and Sunflower’ wallpaper designed by Mark Hearld for St Jude’s is the perfect backdrop for Angie Lewin’s sensational ‘Saltmarsh Storm ll’ and additionally ‘Seed Pods’, a calm and tranquil piece by award winning print maker Emma Lawrenson from Holme Firth. (As seen in the banner image at the top of this blog.)
  • Mark Hearld’s beguiling work ‘Harvest Hare’ for St Jude’s, inspired by the flora and fauna of the countryside, can be seen in situ at riverside Hamilton House and Garden House.

Explore West Lodge
Embrace the owner’s mantra of ‘retreat, rest and revive’ this autumn with a 10% discount on a 7-night stay from Friday 27th September or enjoy a cosy short break during October half term with a 10% discount applied to 11th-14th and 14th-18th October. Curl up for some pre-Christmas respite in November or book ahead for 2020.



A few of C&C's arty must-visits

As you'd expect from an area ripe with artistic history, innovation and talent, there is much to see and experience during your holiday in the area.

Visit Northumberland sing the praises of the county's "quirky, independent studios showcasing talented local artists and vibrant pop-up galleries appearing throughout the year in castles, stately homes and outdoor spaces" while slightly further north in the Scottish Borders, the small market towns of Hawick, Innerleithen, Peebles and Selkirk boast a proud textile heritage, with their iconic brands gracing the runways of fashion’s elite and the very best international boutiques, including Vivienne Westwood, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. With 10 textile producers in the area encompassing everything from exceptional tweeds to finest quality cashmere, it provides visitors with a perfect excuse to stock up on luxury garments or simply some woolly socks! Read more

Unmissable places and events:

Borders Sculpture Park, Mellerstain House
The Lowry Trail, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Borders Art Fair, Kelso
Kielder Art & Architecture, Kielder Water & Forest Park
Northumberlandia, Cramlington
Jupiter Artland, near Edinburgh