Roulotte Retreat is gypsy caravan in the Scottish Borders
- Rhona Taylor
- 17 July 2013
Traditional yet luxurious gypsy caravans for hire near Melrose, Scotland
The emphasis at this friendly retreat in the Borders is on rest, relaxation and getting away from it all in luxurious and comfortable surroundings. Each of the seven roulottes, or traditional gypsy caravans, has been designed with a meticulous eye for detail, ensuring that guests get to enjoy the retreat’s quiet rural location with access to the modern comforts of home.
Alan and Avril, Roulotte Retreat’s owners, designed and commissioned their first roulotte three years ago, and had the final two delivered to their meadow this year from the workshop in France, where most of them have been built, all using sustainable oak. They have been designed to make maximum use of the space, meaning each roulotte is not only comfortable, but has useful features such as clothes storage under the bed, and all are equipped with a decent-sized loo, sink and shower, and plenty of hot water. Each caravan is completely individual, but all offer the same high standard of fittings, and level of comfort – the mattresses, in particular, have been carefully selected to ensure guests get a good night’s sleep.
Outside, each roulotte has an area for dining and relaxing that faces onto the lochan at the centre of the site. Chairs, tables, outside lights and potted plants give a unique outdoor space that feels welcoming yet private – a communal BBQ and seating area means that guests can also socialise together. For colder nights (the retreat is open year-round) each is equipped with its own wood-burning stove, and eco-fuel is provided to create a cosy, romantic space. Avril and Alan are keen travellers themselves, and it shows in the detail: a well-equipped kitchen with fridge, cooker and stove comes complete with small touches like a cafetière and teapot, while a full-length mirror and hairdryer are provided in the bedroom.
They have also created a new studio, which was originally built in the 1950s as an exhibition space in Glasgow before becoming the gift shop at Dryburgh Abbey, and then moving to the retreat as the previous owner’s wood workshop. This has been renovated into a beautiful, relaxing space complete with a wood-burning stove and a kitchen, and can be hired by groups for events or parties.
The retreat has strong connections to the local community and businesses, and information can be provided for anyone wanting to hire bikes to explore the area, enjoy a treatment from a massage therapist or have a meal out in nearby Melrose. Avril is also a qualified yoga instructor, and can arrange classes on request. They can also arrange for boxes of organic fruit and vegetables to be delivered to your roulotte, and even have delicious free-range eggs for sale, laid by the retreat’s very own chickens.
Roulotte Retreat, near Melrose, call 0845 0949729 for booking, roulotteretreat.com Prices start from £90 per night.