An enchanting hideaway for two set in a gloriously secluded position in the Minto Estate.
An intimate cottage in a tranquil setting that comes complete with the guest key to the historic Fatlips Castle
The former gamekeeper’s residence for the Minto Estate, Lilylaw is a delightful period lodge set on a private track amidst the lush grounds of the estate. Nestled into the folds of the land, between a small wood and open parkland, Lilylaw sits within its own enclosed garden with a sheltered, partially walled terrace to the rear for outside dining. The only things likely to interrupt the solitude of your romantic bolthole for two are the occasional noise from the resident sheep and birds.
Stay at Lilylaw and you’ll not only enjoy direct access to estate’s rolling parkland and fabulous walks but can even request a key to the recently restored Fatlips Castle, an iconic Pele tower situated on the estate at the top of Minto Crags with panoramic views reaching all the way to England.
Viewed from the surrounding grounds, Lilylaw is a simple, single-storey stone cottage with large, 18-pane sash windows to the front. As soon as you set foot inside this dainty property, you realise you’re in for a real treat. Decorated in the quirky English style of some of our favourite country house hotels, the cottage is virtually entirely open plan, with a slightly removed kitchen and a low privacy wall separating the bedroom from the living area (and a separate loo). Styled with sumptuous antique and upcycled designer furnishings, striking ikat Lewis & Wood curtains, Pooky lights and a mix of antique and contemporary artworks, the cottage feels both sophisticated and intimate.
You can enjoy candlelit dinners for two by the wood burner, soak in the clawfoot bath while watching sheep gambol in the fields and rustle up a picnic in the kitchen to feast on while you visit Fatlips Castle. When you’re not simply luxuriating in each other’s company and the tranquillity of the surroundings, you can enjoy a round of golf at the local Minto Golf Club or pop into nearby Denholm for a pub lunch or afternoon tea at the Denholm meet café/bistro, which features an enticing antiques and interiors shop upstairs.
The accommodation is all on the ground floor and may be suitable for less mobile guests.
Fully open-plan living area comprising:
Compact kitchen with Belfast sink, four-ring electric hob, electric oven and small fridge / freezer. Please note that due to the compact kitchen, there is no dishwasher or washing machine available.
Leads into small boot room / entrance hall with door to the terrace and garden.
Seating area comprising wood burning stove (logs provided), dining table seating two guests, two-seater sofa, armchair, TV with DVD player and Amazon Firestick (guests must use their own subscriptions), selection of DVDs, books and games.
Half-height wall separating the bedroom area with 5’ king size bed.
Feature claw-foot bath and fabulous views across parkland.
Bathroom with walk-in shower with rainforest head and separate mixer, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
Lilylaw sits in a very attractive, private garden with a sheltered terrace to the rear with an outside dining space and firepit. There is a large lawned garden to the side of the cottage.
The garden is enclosed, however we can offer no guarantee that it is dog-proof. It should be noted that the area around Lilylaw is farmland therefore dogs should always be carefully supervised.
The garden leads directly into estate parkland and extensive walks. Guests can request a key for nearby Fatlips Castle from the owners on arrival.
There is parking adjacent to the cottage.
Access is via an estate track with a hardcore surface which is suitable for all but very low-slung cars. Please contact us if you have any concerns.
Babies & Children
Regretfully, the cottage is not suitable for children. Babes in arms are welcome but please note that a travel cot and highchair are not provided.
One well behaved dog is welcome and a second dog may be considered on request at a charge of £15. Dogs must be kept off the furniture. A dog towel is provided.
The Minto Estate is a working farm and shooting estate, with livestock and gamebirds, and dogs must be kept under control at all times.
The bed features high-quality linen. Towels are provided along with a hairdryer and guest hand soap.
Wi-Fi & Mobile Coverage
There is a SIM card-operated 4G router with unlimited data provided. 4G signal and mobile reception are generally good and the 4G signal is reliable enough to support the Amazon Firestick provided for various streaming services (guests must use their own subscriptions to access this).
There is electric underfloor throughout the property, a heated towel rail in the bathroom and a wood burner in the sitting room (logs provided).
Lilylaw sits in a very private and peaceful position on a private estate amidst parkland. The Minto Estate is a shooting estate and we can provide details of shoot dates prior to booking, if required.
The cottage sits nearby the village of Minto (1 mile), where there you’ll find the wonderful Minto Golf Club, and a little further is the picturesque village of Denholm (2 miles). There is an excellent butcher, post office, two pubs serving good food, two cafés and the charming ‘Denholm Meet’, with a café/bistro on the ground floor and antiques and interiors shop upstairs.
Alternatively, head to Ancrum (4 miles) for superb gastro pub dining at The Ancrum Cross Keys, along with a fine craft ale from a multi-award-winning microbrewery, Born in Scotland.
You will find a more extensive range of amenities in Hawick (7 miles), including a deli, butcher, and many supermarkets for stocking up on those everyday essentials.
The location of Lilylaw means that it is perfectly placed for walking, cycling and exploring the great outdoors. Right on the doorstep is the historic Fatlips Castle, a Pele tower situated at the top of the Minto Crags, extensively restored by the Minto family. Guests can request a key to the castle from the owner and set off on an adventure of their own.
There are fifteen designated walks in the area; from short 1-mile stretches to more demanding 8-mile hill hikes, taking in beautiful countryside and rolling border hills. Passing through the village of Minto is the Minto Hills walk, a 5-mile circular route with the option of ascending to their summits, which finishes at Denholm Village Green - a perfect spot to enjoy tea and cake after the day’s exertions! Or if you’re feeling slightly more energetic, The Borders Abbeys Way is a long-distance circular walk (68 miles in total!), which links the four spectacular remnants of four 12th century abbeys of Dryburgh, Jedburgh, Kelso and Melrose. You can join the route in Denholm and head in the direction of Jedburgh or Hawick, depending on how far you’re looking to go! The route from Denholm to Hawick is a pretty stretch, which follows the course of the River Teviot and ends at the historically significant Horse Memorial in Hawick, which celebrates the ‘callants’ victory in the 1514 Battle of Hornshole.
Similarly, there is some fantastic cycling and mountain biking to be had here from leisure routes to more challenging hill terrain, including the NCN Route 1, Four Abbeys Cycleway, Tweed Cycleway, and Borderloop tour. Local trails include the Denholm Circular (14 miles), Cavers & Stobs (19 miles), and Vertish Hill Loop (7 miles). The 7Stanes centre at Newcastleton is 27 miles away for any dedicated mountain bikers, and the Kielder Forest Park is 26 miles.
The nearby town of Hawick (7 miles) is home to the finest quality Scottish cashmere and knitwear, where guests can follow the Textile Trail, which includes visitor centres and museums as well as factory and retail outlets, with everything from finest quality cashmere, unique sample pieces or perhaps just some rather natty woolly socks! Visit the Lovat Mill Hawick, a world-class weaver on the banks of the River Teviot, then stop off at The Borders Distillery for a tour (Mon-Fri, 3 tours per day). Find out more via Famously Hawick.
For a little bit of history or maybe even tracing your Scottish ancestry, head to the Heart of Hawick, for superb new art and heritage project, which includes the Textile Towerhouse Museum, as well as the Scottish Archive whose registrar and genealogy services can help you on the path of re-connecting with your Scottish roots.
A short drive will take you to Born in Scotland (previously named Born in the Borders), a super new visitor centre with shop, café/restaurant, riverside walks and micro-brewery, bringing together the very best of all things produced and created here. Or, you could go by bike or on foot, and stop for some lunch halfway to refuel.
Next, explore the pretty Border towns of Melrose, Kelso and Jedburgh where you’ll find an excellent range of independent shopping, the magnificent ruins of Border Abbeys, the elegance of Floors Castle, and the grand stately homes and gardens of Abbotsford, Mellerstain, Manderston and Bowhill. The outstanding cultural city of Edinburgh is an easy day trip - just over an hour by car from the property.
Not to be missed are some of the events and festivals running during the course of the year - our historic Common Ridings and Cavalcades, Border Rugby Sevens, National Hunt Racing at Kelso, the epic Borders Book Festival as well as Food Festivals, Music Festivals and Walking Festivals.
For golf, the 18-hole Minto Golf Club course lies approximately 1 mile from the property, a gem of a parkland course with wide challenging holes and the very aptly named ‘Everest’ at the 12th. Across the wider area, you have a vast choice from stunning parkland tracts to PGA courses, including the Roxburghe Championship course at Kelso. There is clay shooting at Braidwood and fishing and shooting days can all be arranged nearby.
For riding, the area has a rich historical connection dating back to the Border Reivers in the 13th and 14th century and the Ian Stark Equestrian Centre and Broomhill Riding Centre both have an illustrious reputation for training those new to the sport through to advanced riders looking to refine their technique and skill set.
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Babysitting and nannies
Relax, explore the local area, enjoy a long lunch or a romantic evening out by hiring one of our fully qualified registered and experienced nannies or babysitters to come to your house.Find Out More
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"We had a fabulous week at your wonderful cottage. The cottage facilities are so well thought through. Such an amazing place to just relax and enjoy the surroundings. The location is perfect for walking, cycling, golf and visiting the area. Thank you for making our stay so enjoyable."Mr & Mrs Irvine
"What a wonderfully peaceful location to spend time together. We have thoroughly enjoyed our all too brief stay and hope one day to return. Fatlips is the cherry on the cake. Such a treat to be able to climb the tower and savour the views."Mr & Mrs Lawrence
"Honoured to have been the very 1st guests to stay in lovely Lilylaw. The cottage is perfect, loved sunny breakfasts on the patio, being able to soak our aching muscles after a long days walking and then absolute peace and quiet. Also loved our trip up to Fatlips".Mr & Mrs Brown
- One dog is welcome. A second dog may be considered on request for a small fee.
- Typical arrival day: Friday with the additional option of Monday out of high season.
- Arrival time: 4pm
- Departure time: 10am
"Wander up the farm track and through the trees from the cottage and you’ll find a peaceful spot with stunning views over the Minto Hills – it’s so still and tranquil."Diana, owner of Lilylaw