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Dundas Castle Glamping Review | A beautiful retreat near Edinburgh

*This is a collaborative post

Glamping is one of our favourite types of holiday. We love regular camping but are the first to admit it can be a hassle at times - packing everything into the car for our family of 5 is like a giant game of Tetris so if there is the option of glamping where we can enjoy the benefits of camping without the hassle of taking our own tent and everything that goes with it, we'll take it! We were delighted to be invited up to Glampotel Dundas Castle near Edinburgh last half-term to stay in one of their luxury canvas cottages. 


Aren't they stunning! We love Edinburgh and it's only a couple of hours drive from our home in Northumberland so it's perfect for a short break. Dundas Castle is around 10 miles North of the city centre near Queensferry and nice and easy to find. There are 6 canvas cottages to choose from, all in secluded locations overlooking the loch in the grounds of the castle. They all sleep up to 2 adults and 2 children (we were naughty and Jack & Heidi bed shared - this isn't something they would normally offer) and come with everything you could possibly need for a relaxing break.


We stayed in 'Wren' which has it's own private parking and gorgeous views of the loch from the decked area. The loch is home to lots of wildlife and I loved watching a pair of herons throughout our stay. Wren is wheelchair accessible and dogs are welcome too (just make sure you keep them away from wildlife).


The decked areas are fantastic with a large parasol to protect you from the elements, outdoor seating and lighting, a gas BBQ, a decent heater and blankets to snuggle up in. It really is perfect for all weathers.


Step inside your canvas cottage and you'll find that the facilities really are second to none. I have tried lots of glamping before - safari style tents with Ready Camp, Wigwams, National Trust Glamping, Adult-only glamping and Bell Tents by the beach. They were all lovely but they really don't come close to the facilities provided at Dundas Castle. Take a peek inside with our quick video tour below:



First of all, the bed is a 'proper' bed with a memory foam mattress and luxury bedding. We had the best night's sleep. The furniture is lovely and not what you'd normally associate with camping and the canvas cottage even has a proper floor! All of the essentials are provided in terms of crockery and cutlery plus there's a cool box, torch, binoculars, walking guide, hot water bottles, tea and coffee, a bottle of drinking water, candles......everything you possibly need. There wasn't one point during our stay where I had to think - 'oh I wish we had this' - everything was taken care of.





Oh and now for the best bit - our canvas cottage had it's own private bathroom too! A compost toilet and shower with actual hot water. I've never stayed under canvas where I've had access to instant hot water. It really was a treat (especially when washing dishes and not having to wait 20 minutes for the kettle to boil).



You can also order a locally sourced breakfast hamper for an additional charge which we did and we would highly recommend you do this for a little added luxury. Our hamper was packed with pineapple and coconut granola, hand pressed apple juice, freshly baked almond croissants and bread, local bacon, eggs, preserves and more.... For foodies like us, it was a like a basket sent from heaven!


The location is simply stunning. You are just 10 miles away from the city centre but it feels as if you are deep in the scottish countryside. There is a loch just outside your tent and because of this, I would not recommend this break for pre-schoolers or toddlers. I do think it's perfect for older (and sensible) children aged 5+. My three loved playing nature detectives and sitting on the banks of the loch spotting wildlife (whilst supervised of course).



You are provided with a walking map around the Dundas Castle estate which highlights various points of interest. The full walking route is around 1 hour but with our various stops to take photos and watch the wildlife, we managed 30 minutes and didn't even make it 1/4 of the way around. If we stayed for longer, we'd definitely explore the full estate as it really is so beautiful. I love the pictures I managed to take from just a small corner and can only image what the rest of the route is like.













We spotted lots of gorgeous flowers, trees and plants along our walk as well as phesants and various birds. We were super lucky to watch a swan and her cygnets and a pair of geese with their goslings on the loch too. Super cute! I really wish I had a zoom lens so I could have taken some decent photos. We've never really watched birds with their young before and it was lovely to see (from a safe distance). I had no idea that cygnets were transported about on their mother's back. We could have watched them for hours.


Back indoors and the kids had brought some of their board games along - something we always do when we go away. Harry and Heidi settled down to a game of chess whilst Steve and Jack got cracking on with the BBQ. Me, I enjoyed just sitting outside with a glass of apple juice and listening to the birds tweet. Sometimes it's the simple things that bring us the most joy isn't it.






Jack discovered a pair of binoculars and entertained himself for a good few hours trying to learn how to use them. He eventually got the hang of it and he amused himself watching the birds. Jack is such a caring nature lover and he was really so happy during this trip to be surrounded with wildlife.






After our delicious BBQ (nothing beats al fresco dining does it), we settled down to play a game of 'Beat the Parents'. These photos may look like a picture of happiness but after around 10 minutes this game soon descended into chaos which is something that often happens when we try and play a board game together. At one point, all three kids were crying for some reason. Please tell me I'm not the only one this happens to? I despair! So we sacked off the game early and moved indoors to light the fire to toast our marshmallows instead.....










Our evening was spent strolling along the loch, playing more chess and drinking wine and hot chocolate as the sun set. It was lush having nothing to do and I had banned any use of mobile phones so there were no distractions for us either. We had the best night and Harry is now super smug as after years of practice he finally beat his dad at chess. The first victory of many I think.












As darkness crept in around us, we retired indoors and it was lovely and warm thanks to our woodburning stove which Harry and Steve had expertly kept going for us throughout the evening. We  made memories reading bedtime stories and sharing jokes by torchlight before all drifting off and enjoying a wonderful night's sleep.....





Well it was wonderful until I was woken up at 3:30am by the dawn chorus of birds around us. I have never heard so much noise! I guess that's the downside to being surrounded by nature. They soon quietened down though and I drifted back to sleep until around 8am which as any parent knows, is a proper lie in. With a late check out of 11am, there was no rush to get up and ready which was nice.


Breakfast was taken on our terrace with everyone chipping in and helping to prepare. We chatted about how we didn't want to leave over bacon sandwiches, croissants and endless pots of tea before deciding that sadly, it was time to pack up.






We would have loved to have stayed at Dundas Castle for longer and think a 3-4 night trip is ideal to really get the most out of the experience and properly relax and explore your surroundings. Steve was unable to get any additional time off from work on this occasion but we live in hope for next time.....


We packed up our car in agreement that this had been our best glamping experience to date. If you're looking for a place to get away from it all that's in a stunning location with top facilities, or would like a quiet base to explore Edinburgh that's away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, you really won't be disappointed with Dundas Castle Glamping.

You can find out more and book via the Glampotel website here. 

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Dundas Castle Glamping Review | A beautiful retreat near Edinburgh


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15 comments

  1. ah Sam what a brilliant review and gorgeous photos! Looks idyllic and miles away from our leaky tent accomodation on the bank holiday! If we had any spare dosh I'd be booking pronto

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  2. Oh wow! Those beds look so comfy - I wonder if I show this to Simon I'll convince him to give glamping another chance, I love it so much but he just loves his creature comforts too much! He's such a grump!

    Your break looks beautiful!

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  3. WOW! This looks fantastic. I think glamping could be for me!

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  4. Oh you've really captured the magic of this trip Sam! It looked wonderful. I love the photo of Heidi looking into the meadow and the photo of you towards the end where you just look so happy. This is right up our street and I'll definitely consider this once Lena is less likely to drown herself in that loch!

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  5. WOW what an amazing place. We are hoping to visit Edinburgh in the summer, and I really wanted to stay away from the city. This looks the perfect place to stay as we love glamping. Though I think those tents are the best I have ever seen. Your whole stay looks so peaceful (apart from the crying kids and board games, YES that happens to us too). Great review Sam, and I will definitely check them out for the summer x

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  6. Ah wow! It looks so comfy and relaxing :D xx

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  7. This looks amazing & seems as though you all enjoyed it a lot from your photos! The little fire is so cute, but even better with marshmallows toasting in it :)
    Now to try and persuade the hubby...

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  8. What a fabulously detailed review. Glamping here sounds and looks wonderful. The little touches like a floor and proper bedding really do help make a glamping experience even more enjoyable and for me more tempting! Your photos are beautiful and this is firmly on a wish list when up that way!

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  9. This place looks awesome!! You've given such a detailed review, absolutely gorgeous pictures too. I'm glad it's not just my kids that melt down during board games! 😂

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  10. I thought this place looked amazing when I saw your posts on social media, and it's lovely to read about it. Although it must have been unsettling to be woken by the dawn chorus, I can think of worse things to hear in the middle of the night! Your pictures are beautiful x

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  11. Oh yes please - now *this* is my kind of camping: a comfy bed, hot water and a toilet. I do love a lot of things about camping, the beautiful scenery especially somewhere like here, how relaxed you always feel, but I am not good at doing without my creature comforts...

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  12. Oh Samantha this looks AMAZING. I was so interested to see what it's like there after I was at my friend's wedding in Dundas Castle recently. Love that you saw cygnets too!

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  13. What a gorgeous setting! Your tent looks amazing, I think I would love camping if it came with memory foam beds ha ha. I really like how you had a private bathroom and the seating area outside is great too - we never have enough room in the car for camping chairs so end up sitting on the floor!

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  14. Home from home! :) :) It looks ideally suited to your adorable kids.

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  15. My hubby used to live on the Dundas estate as a teenager and we often take a walk through when we're up. I saw these glamping pods last time we were up and thought about booking with them so it's nice to read a review. Such a beautiful area and so much to see.

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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