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Blackhouse Forest Estate

Selkirk, Scottish Borders

Stay far from anywhere, amid a breath-taking, 1,000-acre Scottish Borders estate in the Yarrow Valley. 

Blackhouse Forest Estate

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Stay far from anywhere, amid a breath-taking, 1,000-acre Scottish Borders estate in the Yarrow Valley. 

Off-grid and eco-conscious, this stylish five bedroom home works equally well for escapists, cyclists and stargazers as friends or families.

Four miles from the nearest main road, this lodge on the Blackhouse Forest Estate is set in seclusion. It hides deep within a beautiful Yarrow Valley estate (an often-overlooked corner of the Scottish Borders) that’s more than 1,000 acres in size.

Forget traffic or buildings; all around is woodland and heathery hills – once part of the great Ettrick Forest, where Scots kings hunted, and birds and wildlife provide much of the soundtrack. Here, you will be inhaling clean, crisp air.

In short, this is somewhere in which to seek renewal or rejuvenation. To reconnect with nature. Or simply to relish perfect peace and quiet.

You’ll do so with a clear conscience too. Fuelled by hydroelectric, biomass and solar power, the entire estate operates on a fully-sustainable, off-grid energy system while water, sourced straight from the hills, is cleansed with UV. Although you’ll see some grazing sheep or cattle from nearby farms, many tracts are left deliberately wild to encourage biodiversity, and each guest stay is offset by planting trees on the estate.

But what about the lodge itself? Think understated luxury, with five en-suite bedrooms (two ground floor) whose airy feel is enhanced by a soft, calming colour palette. Groups of friends might want to draw straws for the master suite, whose hand-carved sleigh bed is accompanied by a window-side roll-top bathtub. All the other four rooms can either be set up as twins or super-king doubles.

Downstairs are stylish social spaces with a palpably Scottish vibe. A working fireplace in the sitting room, along with soft furnishings in tweed and sheepskin sourced from the local mills is a wonderful spot for relaxation. Candlelit dinners can be enjoyed below a chandelier formed from antlers in the formal dining room, or you may prefer to eat in the fantastic light-filled glass atrium which is also a perfect spot to indulge in a spot of star gazing under the dark night sky.

The farmhouse kitchen has plenty of room for informal dining or a relaxed chat while cooking, but is equally well set up should you wish to use the services of a caterer for special stays or celebrations. The boot room positioned between the atrium and kitchen benefits from an additional hob, oven, and dishwasher, including a large catering-size fridge.

Outdoors, there’s a large, raised patio leading into a multi-level garden that extends into the wider estate. Guests can additionally enjoy the benefits of the barbecue lodge; cosy-up around the fire pit with a toasted marshmallow or two; or can picnic by the estate’s lochan that sits nearby.

Property details


Access from rear to inner hall. This leads to a ground-floor bedroom and three bedrooms on the first floor accessed via two separate stairs.

Bedroom one - ground-floor bedroom with zip and link bed which can be configured to a 6' super king or 3' twin as required. Side tables, armchair, in-built wardrobe, armchair. Freestanding copper bath tub.

En-suite bathroom with shower, heated towel rail, basin and WC.

Hall leads into:

Kitchen with Rangemaster cooker with five burner gas hob, double oven and grill, fridge, dishwasher, island unit with stools, informal dining area with table and seating for ten guests. Door to the garden.

The kitchen leads into a large heated boot room with electric hob and oven, sink, dishwasher, microwave, large fridge/freezer.

Large glass-walled Atrium with open plan layout comprising dining table with seating for ten guests. Dining capacity can be extended further for larger parties on request. This extends to a seating area with a sofa, two armchairs and beanbags. Desk with work area. Doors lead out to a large raised patio with far-reaching views. 

Cloakroom with basin and WC.

Laundry with sink, washing machine and dryer, rod rack.

From the kitchen, this leads into:

Sitting room with two large sofas, two armchairs, window seats overlooking the garden, Samsung 'Frame' Smart TV, wood burning stove. Door to a porch with hanging space gives access to the rear of the property.

Formal dining room with seating for ten guests, window seat overlooking the garden.

Bedroom two - master bedroom with handcarved sleigh bed (fixed super king), side tables, chest of drawers, armchair, window seat, wardrobe, free-standing in-room roll-top bath. Please note the fireplace is decorative only.

En-suite shower room with heated towel rail.

Separate en-suite cloakroom with heated towel rail, basin and WC.


There are two sets of stairs off the main access hall - the first leads to bedroom three; the second leads to bedrooms four and five.

Bedroom three with zip and link bed which can be configured to a super king or twin, side tables, armchair, in-built storage with hanging rail and shelving. Please note the wood-burning stove is decorative only and not for guest use.

En suite bathroom - large shower unit with rainforest head and separate mixer, heated towel rail, basin and WC.

Bedroom four with zip and link bed which can be configured to be a super king or twin, side tables, armchair, in-built wardrobe with hanging rail and storage.

En suite bathroom - large shower unit with rainforest head and separate mixer, heated towel rail, basin and WC.

Bedroom five with zip and link bed which can be configured to be a super king or twin, side table, armchair, freestanding storage unit with hanging rail and shelving.

En suite bathroom - large shower unit with rainforest head and separate mixer, heated towel rail, basin and WC.


For al fresco dining, the glass atrium leads directly onto a large patio with garden furniture and seating. There is a BBQ lodge nearby, as well as a separate seating area with fire pit. 

Multi-level lawned garden leading onto the wider estate which extends to some 1000 acres of woodland and hills in the stunning setting of the Yarrow Valley. A nearby lochan (small loch) is a super spot for a summer picnic.

The garden is not enclosed therefore dogs and children must be closely supervised at all times. 


There is ample parking at the property - luggage drop off at back door with ample parking in separate designated area with turning circle.


For safety reasons, we do not permit electric vehicle or hybrid car charging at this property. If you’re travelling by EV, discover your nearest electric vehicle charging point here.


Babies and children are welcome and a travel cot and high chair are available on request. A fire guard can be provided.


Two dogs are permitted at a £70 flat rate charge. There is no reduction for one dog. Dogs must be kept to the large heated boot room which extends into the atrium. They are not permitted in the main reception rooms, bedrooms, or on the furniture.

The garden is not fully enclosed and dogs must be supervised to ensure they present no risk to sheep and other farm livestock.


All bed linens and towels are included, along with bath robes. Duvets and pillows are hypo-allergenic. Natural soap and shower wash are provided. There is a hairdryer in each bedroom.


Wi-Fi is available via starlink in the sitting room and kitchen. Streaming with multiple devices will be limited due to the rural location and connectivity speed.

The off-grid location means there is very limited mobile reception in the property and estate, and coverage will depend on what network you use. A satellite phone is available for emergency use.


As part of the estate's environmental ethos, the estate has a fully sustainable off-grid energy system fuelled by hydroelectric, biomass and solar. There is a wood burning stove in the sitting room with logs supplied from the estate.


The water at Blackhouse Forest Estate is sourced straight from the hills and is cleansed with UV light.


The lodge is completely detached and sits in over 1000 acres of private estate which comprises farmland, woodland and hills in the Yarrow Valley. 

Two members of the Blackhouse Forest Estate team live in a separate annexe to the rear of the property and while they are respectful of guest privacy, they are equally on hand to support any guest needs if required.


Additional housekeeping and a daily turndown service can be arranged on request at additional cost. Catering packages can also be arranged.

Intimate events, corporate retreats and location filming & photography can also be accommodated on request.


Blackhouse Forest Estate benefits from a superb off-grid location offering privacy, seclusion, nature, and outdoor pursuits, however, please note that it is accessed by a four-mile forest/farm track off the main road. Care should be taken, particularly during the winter months, as adverse weather and farm vehicles can leave the track rutted in places. Four-wheel drive vehicles may be required in wintry conditions. Please contact us for further information if you have any concerns.


The historic market town of Selkirk is 18 miles away and provides a good range of local amenities, including a deli, bakery, butcher and small supermarket for holiday provisions. You will also find a number of textile producers in the area including the Lochcarron Visitor Centre for lovers of cashmere and tweed, or head to Lindean Mill Glass which offers a super chance to skilled glass artisans at work. Alternatively, a wonderful selection of independent shops can be found in Melrose (21.5 miles) or Peebles (19.1 miles) for larger supermarkets and a popular bakery.

For light-bites, you will find The Glen Cafe (9.1 miles), a popular spot on the edge of St. Mary's loch. Alternatively, The Minstrel Tearoom at Bowhill Country Estate (15.5 miles) is an attractive spot, or the Waterwheel cafe at nearby Philiphaugh is a super stop-off for refreshments and a chance to see salmon leaping at the viewing centre. Try the Selkirk Deli for lovely coffee and lunches, or The Woll Restaurant in Ashkirk has a good reputation for serving excellent food full of fresh local flavours.


You will find a range of excellent walking and cycling routes from the doorstep from gentle ambles to more substantial marked routes on a network of footpaths and bridleways around this area.

For cycling and mountain biking, the Ettrickbridge and Yarrow Cycle Trail sits nearby - a scenic, but hilly, 19.5 mile loop using mostly quiet roads and forest paths but offering spectacular views in reward for one or two leg-burning climbs! Less demanding routes are within easy reach including the 7 mile Bowhill route, and 8.5 mile Ettrickfoot & Yair trail which offer relatively flat rides taking in forest paths and river courses.

St. Mary’s Loch is close by and a relaxed spot to while-away an afternoon in scenic surroundings, or why not spend time exploring the rich history of the area - from the skirmishes of the Border Reivers, the remnants of fortified towers, or the story of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd who became one of Scotland’s literary giants.

Crossing the border into Dumfries and Gallaway, a 30 minute drive will take you to The Grey Mare's Tail Nature Reserve, one of the UK's tallest waterfalls. Take the steep trail up the side of the waterfall to the picturesque Loch Skeen, and if you're up for the challenge, continue to the summit of White Coomb to experience breathtaking views as far out as the Lake District and Northumberland.

For routes the whole family can enjoy, head to Bowhill Country Park just down the road which has miles of tracks in a stunning woodland setting in addition to a wonderful range of family friendly activities, including an amazing outdoor playground with exhilarating zip wires, and a new ranger-led holiday programme offering budding young adventurers hours of woodland fun. It also provides a chance to explore all that the wider estate has to offer including stunning gardens, the outstanding painting collection of Bowhill House, or simply some time outdoors enjoying the forest trails and wonderful wildlife of the area. A riding centre is also located nearby for forest and moorland treks on well-schooled horses.

For walking, the beautiful valleys of Ettrick and Yarrow affords plenty of choice in all directions, including the easy/moderate ‘Ettrickbridge Circular’ (4 miles) to the more challenging ‘Yarrowford Circular’ (10 miles) taking in the Three Brethren cairns which offer superb panoramic views from the summit. Other nearby trails include ‘The Loch’s Walk’ on Bowhill Estate (2 miles), the moderate ‘Duchess’s Drive’ (7 miles) or the strenuous ‘Ettrickhead Horseshoe’ (10 miles) which is a splendid high level walking experience.

There is good value fishing on the Yarrow or Ettrick Water described by Shooting Times & Country Magazine as, ‘one of the best-kept secrets in the fishing world’ and there are a number of lochs and reservoirs for stillwater fishing. For golf enthusiasts, you will find three courses at Peebles to choose from, including Peebles Golf Club which features a top class Harry Colt designed course in a superb location.

The magnificent city of Edinburgh is a perfect day trip - you can hop on a train from Tweedbank (23.5 miles) where you can take advantage of events such as the vibrant Edinburgh Fringe Festival, exceptional Jazz and Blues Festival, or simply a day-out exploring the exquisite architecture of this beautiful city.




Location Rural - 18 miles from Selkirk
  • Two well-behaved dogs are welcome at a flat rate charge of £70.
Arrival / Departure
  • Typical arrival day: Flexible.
  • Arrival time: 12pm
  • Departure time: 12pm
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The glass atrium at Blackhouse Forest Estate in the Yarrow Valley
"Sit back and take-in the natural beauty of the dark night skies from the glass atrium and enjoy a star-studded show like no other. "
Sue, Crabtree & Crabtree
email us or give us a call on 01573 226711 for details.

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