After almost 18 months of lockdown, it may seem odd to pine for the seclusion and silence of the countryside.
However we wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of city life to chill out and enjoy a few days at a different, more sedate pace.
Our base for the weekend was Cobblehouse Country Cabins, located on the banks of the river Deveron.
Cobblehouse Country Cabins may be deep in the countryside but it is easy enough to locate when using the sat nav co-ordinates provided.
There are three cabins available – Fox, Red Squirrel and Otter. We stayed in Otter, which was luxurious, spacious and immaculate. It was superb.
Situated a minute’s walk from the river Deveron, after settling in we went for a stroll where we discovered a path that meanders alongside the river.
It is immensely satisfying to leave the white noise of the city behind and replace it with virtual silence save for the chirping of birds and the low rush of running water. Bliss.
My nine-year-old son Josh was excited to spot a red squirrel and we spent the walk nature-spotting and skimming stones across the water.
It was so peaceful and relaxing it was like time had stood still in our own little secluded world.
Beautiful by day, beautiful at night
The spectacular scenery is not only restricted to daytime. When the sun had dropped we sat outside on the porch and gazed at the stars.
As “toonsers”, we rarely get the opportunity to witness the full majesty of the sky at night as the city light waters it down.
From the porch, with a hot chocolate each, we were able to observe the sheer expanse of the universe spread out before us broken only by a few meandering clouds. My son loved it.
The adventure didn’t end there as the cabin had a raised area for sleeping with two single beds that could be accessed by a ladder.
It added to the sense of adventure for my son.
Cobblestone Country Cabins may provide an idyllic spot in the countryside but it also has modern comforts such as a large television, which was particularly welcome as there was a big Euro 2020 match on during our stay.
Jewels of the Moray Firth coastline
The cabin is just a 20-minute drive from the sea, and that was our first stop the next day on our tour of the jewels in the Moray Firth coastline that took in Macduff, Banff, Portsoy and Cullen.
Each is well worth a visit for the views, harbours, beaches and rich history.
Television and movie producers think so too, as already this year Portsoy has been used as a location for BBC show Peaky Blinders, with the harbour transformed into a French port for the shoot in February.
Beginning our mini-tour in Macduff, the Aquarium is of special note. With its wide abundance of sea creatures it is a must-see for any family.
A stunning beach to enjoy at Banff
A short journey away is Banff. The expansive sands of the beach were to our right as we drove in over the impressive seven-arch bridge that leads into the town.
We stocked up on food for a picnic at the famous Spotty Bag Shop before taking to the sand. Although baked in glorious sunshine on a Saturday afternoon, the beach wasn’t overly busy and we spent a relaxing few hours splashing in the water and building sand-castles.
Sun, sea, sand and… ice cream
Sun, sea and sand – but there was one thing missing – ice cream.
To satisfy our craving we made the 15-minute drive along the coast to the multi-award-winning Portsoy Ice Cream. Josh opted for the cookie and cream cone with a flake and gave it a huge thumbs.
There is a range of more than 100 flavours that is constantly updated. I plumped for strawberry and would agree with Josh’s rave review – it was delicious.
As we ate the ice cream we walked down the quaint streets lined with cottages to the picturesque Portsoy harbour.
A memorable view on entering Cullen
Next stop was Cullen, less than 10 minutes along the coast.
When driving down the Main Street you are immediately confronted by the breathtaking sight of Cullen Bay framed by the dominant arched railway viaduct.
It is a memorable view. The iconic viaducts were built by the Great North of Scotland Railway in 1886.
The railway line closed in 1968 but the route is now part of the Moray Coastal Path which is a great walk.
Cullen boasts the best of both worlds with glorious sand and rock pools. We played football on the beach and explored the pools, searching for crabs and limpets.
If you are lucky, dolphins can also be spotted out to sea.
Cobblehouse Country Cabins offers a fantastic base to explore the Moray Firth coastline.
It is also just a short drive from Fyvie Castle which offers family-friendly activities and is a great day out.
It was with a heavy heart we left Cobblehouse Country Cabins but we’ll be back looking for more tranquillity and, hopefully more red squirrels and maybe a few dolphins.
Located near Turriff at Cobblehouse Farm, Netherdale.
Type post code AB53 4GS into the satnav to find.
Cabins sleep two to four.
Minimum stay two nights with price £120 per night per cabin.
Check in and check out is with no person-to-person contact for Covid-19 safety.