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Getaway Haven

13.04.22

Abode2 visits Leuchie Walled Garden, the Dalrymples’ exclusive mid-century ancestral home, that has been newly restored and now available as a holiday let

Leuchie Walled Garden, a sleek mid-Century, post-Bauhaus glasshouse, where Sir Hew Dalrymple, the current 11th Baronet and his siblings spent an idyllic childhood, running free in its five-acre walled garden, is now available as an exclusive holiday let. Having been spectacularly renovated, refurbished and reconfigured for 21st Century living, in readiness for a soft launch last year, the single-storey home remains an outstanding example of a mid-Century modern house. It was originally designed and created in 1960 for his father by the highly regarded architect James Dunbar-Nasmith, winning numerous plaudits for its bold design. While other mid-Century houses are fitted out with furnishings of the period, Leuchie Walled Garden was, and still is, unusually, designed around the family’s 300 year-old collection of furniture and portraits: an intriguing juxtaposition between modernity and tradition.

However, it is not just the house and garden that are extraordinary; the location is exceptional too, set within a 60 acre estate with the county of East Lothian offering a multitude of attractions. The star in the crown is the seaside town of North Berwick, just two miles from Leuchie Walled Garden. Affectionately known as the ‘Salcombe of the North’, North Berwick is home to independent restaurants and shops, and a procession of beautiful sandy beaches stretching along the coastline, with secluded Seacliff Beach considered one of the finest in the UK. For those a little more active, there are prestigious golf courses, miles of footpaths to explore, and Bass Rock, home to 150,000 gannets and a wildlife spotter’s dream.

Commenting on the restoration, Hew Dalrymple said, “There are many castles and historic buildings in Scotland, but few of this period and of this quality. When I was a child, my parents opted to upsticks from Leuchie House, as it was too large and impractical and moved into this stylish modern home, built within the walled garden. They lived there for some 60 years during which time, nothing changed: every room remained painted white and no item of furniture was moved. Indeed the pictures taken for an article in Country Life in 1961 could still have been used to illustrate the house 60 years on.  We have now transformed it to accommodate contemporary standards of luxury, complete with ground source heating, while retaining the unique features of the mid-Century building, with its striking angles, glass and timber.’

The heart of the house is the newly created and spacious open-plan kitchen-living room.  The adjacent drawing room is adorned with Italian antiques, fine portraits, a grand piano and an open fire.   There is a separate TV room for movie nights and a games room with pool and table tennis tables. All the rooms are flooded with light from the large picture windows and have incredible garden views.  Sleeping 12 in total, and perfect for multi-generational stays, there are six individually designed bedrooms with bathrooms, each one blending mid-Century and traditional details and decorated in a wonderfully rich colour palate.

The delightful private walled garden, a haven from the wildest of Scottish weather, was initially built to provide the 18th Century Leuchie House with fruit and vegetables. The garden is split into two, with the northern half bordered by gnarled fruit trees and a colourful herbaceous border, while the southern half remains as a kitchen garden, with produce available to be picked by guests. There’s plenty to keep occupants at home with a newly refurbished tennis court, golf pitching range, croquet and boules.  From the walled garden a gate leads to woodland and a further 60 acres of landscaped private estate where, in the spring, the grounds are carpeted with daffodils and cherry blossom. Dogs are welcome too, with no additional cleaning supplement.

Leuchie Walled Garden sits in East Lothian in the Scottish Lowlands, a 30 minute walk from the coast and the attractive coastal town of North Berwick, regularly voted as Scotland’s best place to live with superb beaches and a flourishing restaurant scene. For guests looking to stretch their legs, the area is perfect for walking and cycling, with Leuchie close to the John Muir Way and half an hour from the Lammermuir Hills which offer moorland walks with stunning views over East Lothian and the Borders.

East Lothian is known as Scotland’s ‘Golf Coast’, and keen golfers staying at Leuchie have no less than a dozen courses within 20 minutes’ of the front door, including Muirfield and North Berwick’s historic West Links course, two of Scotland’s finest. Better still, golfers can prepare for their game by practising on the pitching range in the Walled Garden.

One of the most intriguing local attractions is the Dalrymple-owned Bass Rock, a small island two miles off the coast from North Berwick which houses the ruins of an ancient prison and chapel. Bass Rock is also home to 150,000 gannets, the world’s largest colony of northern gannets, a spectacle described by Sir David Attenborough as one of the natural wonders of the world. Weather permitting, the family can arrange for guests to have trips around Bass Rock to see the nesting birdlife and learn more about the island’s history (Boat hire approx £150).

Sleeping 12 people and dog-friendly, a 3-night let costs from £3,700, 5 nights from £5,100 or 7 nights from £6,800.  A week in high season costs £8,500. For more information on Leuchie Walled Garden, North Berwick, EH39 5NT visit leuchiewalledgarden.com From Edinburgh, the property is 45 minutes by car or 35 minutes by train.

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