Luxury safari lodges in a class of their own, set on a 100-acre farm within Scotland's unspoiled Gartmorn Dam Nature Reserve.
Hiding amongst 100 acres of farmland on the edge of Gartmorn Dam – Scotland’s oldest reservoir, dating back to 1713 – there's something palpably wild about Dam View. If you thought you were in the middle of nowhere on the drive here, prepare to feel even more isolated as you wander the surrounding nature reserve, where hours of walking trails await. And with all the romance and beauty that this part of the Central Lowlands inspires, it's important to find accommodation to match. Thankfully, Dam View is as equally pleasing as its natural surroundings.
Three family-sized safari lodges (sleeping six in three bedrooms) come lovingly furnished with crisp white sheets, vintage leather sofas, and antique furniture. At the heart of the open-plan living space is a well-equipped kitchen, and – thank you, Dam View – a roll top bath, so you can appreciate that unspoiled scenery whilst having a soak. Not finished there, each lodge boasts a wood burning stove keeping the interior warm in all weathers, whilst also providing a means of cooking. Also, the Ivy lodge features a wonderful wood-fired with a beautiful view of the Dam.
With all that space and fresh air to soak up, it's surprising to think that Glasgow and Edinburgh are both just an hour’s drive away. If you’ve not been, Edinburgh Castle is a must, and if you visit on a Saturday you can pass through the city’s farmers market and say hello to your host Sarah, selling Gartmorn Farm’s popular poultry. You’ll find plenty to enjoy close by too – the lodges overlook Gartmorn Dam Country Park and Nature Reserve, which buzzes with birdlife and offers connecting footpaths only two-minutes away.
After spending days exploring the nature reserve and beyond, Dam View is a comforting base to return to each evening. Sarah has done her hosting homework, pre-empting her glampers' every need – bathrooms stocked with toiletries and outdoor games are testament to that. The beautifully appointed tents also feature outdoor decking, so you can enjoy sunsets overlooking the reserve and the dam below. Allow evenings to float peacefully by, whilst enjoying the simplicity of a wild getaway – albeit in one of Scotland’s most luxurious lodges.
Alloa Fk10 3 Au, Scotland, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Sarah P.Joined in May 2018
12 Ratings · 12 reviews
September 26, 2022
A slice of heaven
For me this was an absolute slice of heaven. The joys of camping without the hard work and with so many touches to make it feel really luxurious. We had a fabulous family weekend just slowing down and hanging out with the kids and can return to our busy lives re-charged. Comfy beds, amazing views, hammocks, fires, baths and a trampoline to boot! Already having a look at when we can come back ❤️
August 29, 2022
Enjoyed by all
Great location, a nice drive through the woods to the location and everything provided in the tent for cooking/cleaning. Lovely welcome hamper and milk in the fridge on arrival which was nice. In general it was a very comfortable stay with still an outdoorsy camping feel.
Cons, (not big deals but required in a review)
We were unfortunate that the hot water boiler was playing up on arrival but good efforts were made to get it working which it did for the rest of the stay (boiler could do with a service maybe to help avoid future issues for the guest). The solar lanterns provided were not great (brightness) so late evenings in the tent were poorly lit, we took our own battery lanterns luckily.
Overall a great stay enjoyed by all.
August 17, 2022
A truly amazing place to stay. Welcome back on arrival was a lovely touch.
Great place to kick back and chill with the family.
Definitely visit again.
September 28, 2021
Love our stay in the ivy tent to celebrate a few birthdays. So secluded and relaxing with a little luxury thrown in. Sarah and her partner were so helpful and welcoming. Would recommend this place (and have already) to anyone looking for a stay in Scotland.
September 25, 2021
We loved our week away in the Ivy tent. Everything was easy to use, lots of blankets provided so didn't feel cold, great views and walks around the area.
June 22, 2021
Visited Monday - Friday last week and had the most amazing stay ever!
I had looked for a few weeks on and off for something I thought I’d love and honestly so so happy I found this.
There was nothing I would change!
All the little added touches made it even better!
June 22, 2021
We booked 'Tabitha' for 3 nights and the moment we arrived wished we had longer. The setting is beautiful, with views over the reservoir and total peace and quiet. The tent itself is amazing, stylish and comfortable, amazingly warm at night (no need to have packed those thermals!) and the addition of hot tub and for the young or young at heart trampoline and coits means there is really no reason to leave. That said there is loads to do in the local area, the Japanese Gardens at Dollar (15 min drive) are amazing and Stirling is well worth a visit (Brea restaurant is fab). If you stay local make sure to take a walk round the reservoir, only 3 miles in total, turn right whe you get to the circular path so you pass the coffee shop early on and can grab a cuppa for the stroll.
We can wait to come back, are already planning which friends and family to come back with and couldn't recommend Dam View enough.
June 5, 2021
Really great family escape. We hardly left as lovely spaces round tent (hammocks, hot tub, fire pit/BBQ area, quoits area and even a trampoline, front and back decking to sit at tent). Inside tent stunning too, so doesn’t matter if rains. We were catching up with family post Covid. Lovely low grade 1-1.5 hour walk round Dam from the front too. There is lots else to do if you wanted, but almost a shame to leave the site!
October 17, 2020
Although due to covid we never met Sarah ( owner,) the personal touch during our stay was evident. The safari tents are stunningly decorated with astounding attention to details. From the most amazing little touches of fairy lights and candles to the stunning, soft, cloud like duvet covers and stocked kitchen with welcome hamper. The whole experience was out of this world. On the first morning we were greeted with deer outside our tent. We were instantly sad that we only had four nights in this magical place and booked for a week in august next year. This was the most relaxing and surreal experience I have had this year and was a most welcome break. Definitely a place to sit back grab a good book or two and let the world pass you by. We booked the IVY lodge with the hot tub. For those with young children I recommend the Tabitha lodge that has a trampoline outside ( sunk in to the ground for safety) and also is suitable for buggies with a an access ramp.
The whole experience was bliss. We can not wait to go back and our friends and family have been incredibly jealous of our stunning photos ( no filters required).
August 2, 2020
We have just returned from a 4 night stay at Dam view and had the most brilliant time. We stayed in the Ivy lodge which was so tastefully furnished and had everything you needed from fluffy white towels to solar powered lanterns, a very well equipped kitchen to an endless supply of firewood for the stove and hot tub. No ask was too big and the owners promptly answered any queries and dropped off eggs that we asked for and ice for the cool boxes at a safe distance. This is the perfect location for cycling or walking in the surrounding forest or around Gartmorn Dam which is so peaceful. We would highly recommend and we will return!
September 18, 2018
A long weekend in mid September in a perfect bolt hole. The Albion Safari tent has 3 (!) bedrooms each kitted with lovely warm duvets comfortable mattresses -and most importantly for our 7 year old- a unicorn hot water bottle.
We needed to pack nothing but our clothes. BBQ and breakfast packs were lavish. Even marshmallows were provided. Decor wonderful. Luxury bath products and a beautiful bath. The children went brambling, chick holding and horse patting. We listened to owls and observed herons. Sarah and Robin were easygoing responsive hosts. Will love to come again.
August 28, 2018
Wonderful long weekend at Dam View. More than what we were expecting. Great setting overlooking the Dam with horses roaming in full view. Very quiet and peaceful surroundings. The accommodation was fantastic. Sarah has great taste in furnishings. Wonderful beds and duvets made for enjoyable rest and relaxation. Must try their chicken BBQ packs, best chicken ever! We all agreed will definately come back.
From the host
We are situated on our small 100 acre family farm looking out over a nature reserve with miles of walking, bike riding and bird watching straight from your lodge.
The lodges are ready for you to sit back and relax with a book and a glass of wine in front of a hot crackling stove.
Enjoy the breath-taking
views from the front of your tent while listening to the sound of wildlife, the smell of the wood smoke from your fire pit while cooking outside on an open fire.
We have our own pet chickens on site that are looked after by our children, they would be delighted to bring guests fresh eggs. 2022 will be the first year we no longer have any poultry on the farm - due to the ongoing worry with bird flu we took the difficult decision to end the business.
This year we have added a few extras, each lodge now has a hot tub, trampoline and mud kitchen and we are also opening an honesty shop for all the little extras hopefully in the summer of 2022.
We do live in a beautiful peaceful setting, however if the wind is blowing the wrong way, then you might hear some road noise.
Luckily this also means that although you will feel like you are in the middle of nowhere it also has the advantage that we are in a very good location for visiting the rest of Scotland.
It's a scenic 45-minute drive to St Andrews where you will find excellent beaches, a world renowned golf course and many restaurants and farm shops. If you'd like some pampering you could pop up to Gleneagles (01764 662231) for a luxury spa or lunch. Closer to the site, Dollar is a lovely little village with walks up to the castle and through the hills. If you don't fancy such a calf-straining walk then pop in for an ice cream or milkshake, and wander up the burn to Mill Green Park where all the local children paddle when it’s warm. The Kelpies (01324 590600) – a sculpture of huge Clydesdale horse heads standing 30 metres over Helix Park – makes for a great afternoon out, plus there’s a visitor centre and a small cafe. As impressive as they are during the day they are even more so at night – so if you are heading back from Edinburgh at night, look out for them! Do bring bikes (the path around the Dam is reasonably smooth) and you can also go further afield and tackle some longer and slightly harder rides. There are many places around the Dam to stop for a picnic (or try some bird watching) and there’s a coffee shop at the head of the Dam which is an ideal end-point to grab some refreshments. Lochleven Castle (01577 862670) is an early 15th-century tower where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in 1567 and spent a year at the castle as a prisoner, before dramatically escaping. The castle is only 16 miles from the site and you can take a boat ride over to the castle and follow in the footsteps of Mary and Robert the Bruce.
Food and drink
We are able to provide breakfast packs sourced locally, if you would like eggs during your stay our pet chickens will be happy to oblige. The Juniper Bar and Restaurant is an independent restaurant in Tillicoultry (01259 753777) with excellent local food at reasonable prices. The chef has worked at some of the UK's best restaurants, including Gleneagles. Muircot Farm Shop & Bistro (01259 750886) is the ideal place for breakfast, lunch or just a quick snack – they also serve mostly local produce. Cafe Des Fluers (01259 743699) in Dollar used to be open only in the daytime and they dish-up the most amazing scones, cake and milkshakes. At the time of writing they started serving evening meals too, but please check with them directly. The perfect place to eat if you fancy a traditional Scottish meal with the freshest of ingredients, Bridge Street Kitchen (01259 928020) is well worth a visit. They also serve a few dishes in tapas quantities and host themed nights throughout the week. Finally, The Tormaukin Inn (01259 781252) offers a stunning setting, and were featured in the 2015 Michelin Eating Out Guide. If you enjoy walking then you can ramble from Dollar Glen across to the Tormaukin, and really work for your meal! The restaurant is popular so book ahead to avoid disappointment.