Nethy Bridge, the Forest Village, hides in a great swath of woods in the shadow of the Cairngorms’ vast peaks on the northwestern edge of the park. The village is little more than a handful of houses and a main street with an impeccable Telford bridge, a couple of 19th-century hotels, and a convenience store. The Nethy water trickles through town and an ancient castle moulders on the outskirts heading toward Grantown-on-Spey.
Nethy Bridge was quiet, peaceful, and our home sweet home for four nights thanks to HomeAway.
Sarah and I arrived to Lower Granite Cottage to find a large, stately building situated on a slight rise, which provided a small view over Nethy Bridge. The building is separated into two rentable units – Upper and Lower Granite Cottage – and while we occupied the larger, lower portion nobody was staying in the upper rental. The grounds were impeccably maintained with grasses, trees, and flowers in eye-catching arrangments, and one morning we woke up to the sound of landscapers working in the yard.
The space inside Lower Granite Cottage is vast, and it made me glad I had a companion this time. Shining wood floors greeted us in the foyer off which several rooms and hallways opened. A door was locked here, and I presume it led to Upper Granite Cottage. Lower Granite Cottage conveniently separates the guest rooms from the master, and directly off the foyer was an open and bright bedroom with a plush queen-size bed. Sturdy wooden furnishings and fresh colors filled the room. Someone with an eye for design had been through here. We considered staying in this room, but large windows opened on the front yard and we sought a bit more privacy. A short hallway on the same side of the house led to the guest bathroom and another comfy room with two single beds. We were already smiling.
On the opposite side of the foyer, doors opened onto the airy living room. Light poured through the front window illuminating leather furniture and more of the attractive wooden tables. This room was perfect for relaxing and watching the sun set. Another set of glass doors opened from this room into the dining room, which was gorgeously appointed with a modern aesthetic. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend much time here as the room smelled strongly of dogs.
The hallway leading from the foyer to the kitchen branches toward the secluded master suite where another large, plush bed sits. It appears that Danny, the owner of the cottage, has made it a point to maintain the same high-quality furnishings throughout the cottage. The space is roomy, comfortable, and full of good sleep. A small bathroom stands to the side just as you enter.
The kitchen is really fantastic, perhaps our favorite spot in the house. It’s laced with warm wood tones, big windows, and all the conveniences including a hidden refrigerator and strong wifi signal. Once we’d cleaned it up a bit, we spent a lot of time in here cooking meals and entertaining our friends Michael and Katherine who happened to be in the area. Just off the kitchen toward the back of the house is a small sun room and mud room with washer and dryer.
It all felt like home by our second night. The cottage allowed us to slow down and revive some of our natural biorhythms from home, which was so necessary by this point in my five-week trip. We actually spent an entire day in Nethy Bridge walking along the river and retiring to the cottage where we had some wine and read. Perhaps it could have been cleaner, a bit fresher inside, but Lower Granite Cottage was a great oasis. We were extremely sad to leave it behind when we continued on our journey, and we still reminisce about it fondly today.
Tip: Don’t miss Monday nights in Nethy Bridge! We just happened to visit the convenience store when we noticed a fish and chips food truck on the corner just down the street from Lower Granite Cottage. Get the cod and mushy peas – they’re delicious!
Disclosure: HomeAway provided me with a four-night complimentary stay at Lower Granite Cottage. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.