'The Scottish Borders is often seen as a drive through area for travellers'' - Hawick farmers diversify into glamping
Borders farmers Carly and Stewart Anderson have diversified into luxury glamping in a bid to future-proof their family-run business near Hawick.
The new site is located on the Andersons’ 155-acre Stouslie Farm on the outskirts of the town in the Teviotdale Valley.
Recognising the increase in popularity of glamping in the wake of the pandemic, they took the decision to develop an area of the farm to accommodate glamping pods.
Designed by Edinburgh-based consultancy Glampitect, Stouslie Snugs Luxury Farm Glamping offers the latest in glamping luxury.
Each pod has been built and furnished by local businesses and include an en-suite double bedroom, shower, kitchenette, wi-fi, smart TV and comfortable sofa. Each unit also has a private enclosed garden area with outdoor seating, BBQ and a wood -fired hot tub.
“Farming has been in the Anderson family for generations, with the family renting farms from a local estate but in 2017 we were given the opportunity to buy Stouslie Farm,” said Carly.
“We knew that in order to secure the future sustainability of the farm and provide an opportunity for future generations that we would need to diversify. This was the beginning of our glamping journey. We are a farming business first and foremost but wanted to be able to offer people a peaceful and relaxing place to stay whilst encouraging holidaymakers to visit the Borders.”
There has been strong early demand for the new site and the Andersons hope it will provide an additional income stream and an accompanying extra layer of financial security.
“We own Stouslie Farm which is 155 acres and we rent the neighbouring farm, West Boonraw,” Carly said.
“Together they are a big enough farming unit to make a living from commercial farming as we have enough land for the livestock to graze. Stouslie on its own is not a viable farming unit as it is not big enough, however now that we have a glamping site it means that we don't need to worry financially in the future if we don't have the neighbouring farm.
“It's not easy to start out in farming so this now presents an opportunity for our son to enter into farming if he would like to when he is older. It's all about financial security.”
Carly hopes that Stouslie Snugs can also help boost tourism in the region, enticing visitors to the Hawick area.
“Our site was all about the view. We are very lucky to have such an incredible view across the Teviotdale valley and beyond,” she said.
“When designing the site, we knew we wanted to give each pod plenty of space with a private secure garden area and positioned in a way where they can each enjoy the view whilst keeping a degree of privacy from the neighbouring pod.
“The Scottish Borders is often seen as a drive through area for travellers making their way to Edinburgh then onto the Highlands. This makes the Borders one of Scotland's best kept secrets...steeped in history, adventure, local festivals, golf, walking, food, distilleries – and now glamping!
“There were a few ups and downs to get to where we are, and we couldn’t have done it without the expertise of Glampitect.
“It takes time, there are always delays and it costs more money than expected. But when your site is finally built and you see families, couples, friends enjoying the space you have created it makes it all worthwhile.”
Glampitect is the UK’s No. 1 glamping site design company and was also heavily involved in another Borders project, Braeview Glamping, near Coldingham, which recently opened for business.
Managing director Calum MacLeod said: “This is more good news for glamping in the Scottish Borders. To have a site located in Hawick means it’s accessible for a lot of people who maybe would prefer not to have to travel long distances.
“The site was one of the first that myself and business partner Ali Young worked on and it’s really pleasing to see it through to completion and now open for business.”