Providing accessibility for all
In March 2015 my husband, Clifford and myself were guests of the Kirkennan Estate, a 73 acre organically run country estate situated in Dumfries and Galloway, South West Scotland. Our home for the stay was the three bedroomed Woodsedge Cottage, which is one of three self catering holiday cottages on the estate. Woodsedge Cottage is suitable for those with reduced mobility.
The Kirkennan Estate is both beautiful and peaceful, the tranquillity was noticeable as soon as we entered. The estate consists of farmland, woodland and gardens, through which guests can wander spending time enjoying the scenery or spotting the abundance of wildlife and birdlife. Guests can bring their pet dogs which can be let off the lead in Jocks Wood. The clear, unpolluted, dark skies around Kirkennan would be ideal for star gazers.
As a holiday destination, the Kirkennan Estate, is ideally located because the area offers something for everyone. Whether you enjoy the countryside, riverside, coastline, history, art, food, (the list is endless) the area caters well for all. The tidal River Urr meanders through picturesque countryside dotted with pretty villages. The coastline here is beautiful,(there are some wide sweeping beaches as well as rocky coves suitable for rockpooling). The historical town of Dumfries, the artists town of Kirkcudbright and Castle Douglas (a foodie town) are all a short drive from Kirkennan.
We easily found the Kirkennan Estate from the directions given to us by the owners Jenny and Michael. Driving into the the grounds we almost instantly spotted the white painted Woodsedge Cottage, soon Jenny was greeting us and showing us inside.
Woodsedge Cottage started life as part of the Stable block, from which Jenny and Michael have created a cottage which is light, spacious and full of character. It’s suitable for all – adults young and not so young, mobile and the less mobile, children, dogs.
From the front, the cottage has views of farmland, parkland and woodland. From the rear it has views of the private garden.
Woodsedge can accommodate five – the bedrooms consist of a double, twin and single bedroom. There is room for the addition of cots. Ample storage provides a place for all clothes/possessions.
Throughout the cottage furnishings are comfortable. The Kitchen and bathroom have quality fittings and appliances.
The biomass district heating system is efficient, giving the cottage an excellent hot water supply and good radiator heating throughout. The lounge/diner has an open fire providing extra warmth and a relaxing environment – sitting by the crackling fire in the evening was just the perfect end to the day!
An enclosed private rear garden provides a secure place for children to play.
I have rheumatoid arthritis which at times can impair my mobility, so I was delighted Jenny and Michael have striven to make Woodsedge Cottage as accessible as possible. This includes level entry at the front door into a spacious entrance hall (there is enough room in the hallway to turn wheelchairs). There are no steps inside Woodsedge, all the accommodation is level and ground floor. There is a fully accessible bathroom complete with grab rails and a wet room, an adjustamatic bed and a variety and plentiful supply of seating, some with arms, some without arms, to suit all mobility needs. There is a step from the kitchen and lounge doors into the rear back garden, but a mobile wheelchair ramp is supplied. A mobility scooter is also available for use on the estate.
A file containing information on Woodsedge, the Kirkennan Estate and the local area was provided and we found this useful.
Maps, magazines and books on shelves in the lounge gave a homely feel. A starter supply of logs for the fire filled a large basket. We appreciated the thoughtful extras supplied, such as the umbrella’s standing in the hall, essentials – tea, coffee, sugar, and those items so easily forgotten when you are packing- dishwasher tablets, washing machine detergent, washing up liquid, pan scrubs.
What we loved about the Kirkennan Estate was its tranquillity. Stepping out of Woodsedge Cottage each morning the only sound we could hear was birdsong and what a variety there was! Paved roads/pathways run around the estate making getting about easy. We enjoyed walks through Jocks wood and were delighted to see native red squirrels. We wandered to the walled gardens, where we came across a stone patio, a place to sit with magnificent views of Ravens Craig – an impressive rocky outcrop.
We enjoyed spending time on this lovely estate, and the sleepy village of Palnackie which is almost on Kirkennan’s doorstep. At Palnackie we found a thriving community village shop selling a good variety of provisions, the village pub, the Glen Isle and The Willow Tree cafe where we enjoyed a tasty scone and coffee before visiting the historical harbour. Further afield we visited the town of Castle Douglas and took a trip along the stunning coastline visiting the pretty villages of Auchencairn and Rockcliffe.
Jenny and Michael were so friendly and made us very welcome. They were on hand should we have needed information or assistance. We left having thoroughly enjoyed our visit and would not hesitate in returning or recommending a holiday at Woodsedge Cottage.
Woodsedge Cottage can be booked for a full week or for short breaks and is available all year as can the other cottages on the estate such as Mews Cottage and The Lodge. I was able to look around Mews Cottage and The Lodge during my visit. Although Woodsedge is the most accessible for those with reduced mobility, the other cottages are maintained to a high standard.
The Kirkennan Estate
Dumfries and Galloway