Loch Lomond, Scotland is a beautiful place to visit. The lake has the most peaceful views and thousands of options of places to stop, roam, explore, hike, lay on the beach and eat/drink in little cafes around it’s perimeter. It is home to Wards Estate that we have fallen in love with!
We haven’t travel around Scotland much as we are usually opting for our holiday time to see family abroad as much as possible so this summer with covid rules in place, like everyone else, we decided to explore closer to home.
We were nervous we weren’t going to be able to find a holiday home that hadn’t already been booked up. We came upon a place called, Wards Estate. It did not disappoint. A few photos on the website were nice but didn’t compare to what you get when you arrive. We were blown away.
First, it was way bigger than we ever imagined. With two large families staying there we could have fit a few more. Glad we didn’t go on our own. The layout of the house is really amazing for families too. We used every part of it to it’s fullest. The decor was spot for functionality as much as for style. Emily, the owner, was amazing from the very first email through booking, setting up catering, and on hand if we needed anything whilst we stayed.
As luck would have it, we also got lucky with the weather. It was glorious almost every single day we were there. I only wish we stayed longer than a week. We definitely will come back some day soon.
Self-Catering v.s. Catering
We took the liberty of using their catering services too. After all, we were on holiday and had been in lockdown for months. To get someone else to finally cook for me was just heavenly. We did decided we would cook for all six kids and just use the catering for late night dinners for us, adults only. I doubt kids would have appreciated the art of the dishes we were served, like we did.
Regis Banqueting was the caterers and our two chefs, Laura and Beth, quickly became like family throughout the week to us. We booked through the owner Emily, but if you stay elsewhere in Scotland contact them, they go anywhere and everywhere.
Our expectation was it to be just your normal dinner service but the meals they produced were straight out of a five star restaurant and looked the part too. See for yourself below…
We got to choose styles of menus for each night and we even had them do two bbq whilst we stayed. Those turned out to be some of our favorite meals too. I loved that all the adults didn’t have to agree on one meal. We got to choose between a handful so everyone was happy. It was worth every penny to be spoiled in the evenings after the kids went to bed.
We stuck to self-catering for breakfast and lunch as we tended to be out exploring or just throwing sandwiches together after a swim in the pool. There is a Co-Op shop only few minutes down the road that has everything you need and we did get a Tesco delivery too.
Wards Estate Kitchen
Showcasing two island, four ovens, three dishwashers, a refrigerator fit for a king, and enough dishware to host hundreds you can definitely see why this is a sot after wedding destination. There is a wine fridge just as big as the king size fridge too. They had everything you can think of and we were better equip there than we are at home. I have to say, it was amazing to cook in that kitchen.
It overlooks the gardens and kid’s trampoline and play ground. The patio right outside has a table that fits 20+ and the dining table in the kitchen holds just as many with a lovely fireplace. I can see why Christmas is also popular in this house. It’s geared up for it.
Emily, the owner, was so kind to welcome up with a basket of essential goodies too. Biscuits, salt and pepper, oil, tea, and coffee beans were included too. They have the most amazing coffee machine so you got to try the beans with it. Fresh ground coffee is the way forward.
The Dining Room Options
You have three choices of dining tables. You have the long dining table in the kitchen that seats about 20 people. The patio dining table, just outside the kitchen next to the huge BBQ that also seats about 20 people. Or the dining table sat in the far sitting room that looks onto the garden. I would say seats about 30 people or more. It’s the entire length of the sitting room. But has carpet underneath it so I had the kids eat at the kitchen table and the adults at this table.
Bedrooms + Bathrooms
This gorgeous estate holds sleeps 22 people in your choice of 9 luxury bedrooms. There are stylish rooms for kids that make you want to go home and redecorate. Most bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms with the exception of one which has a bathroom right next to it.
It creates the perfect place to share with various families as no one has to share a bathroom and have their privacy.
We were impressions with the beds too. They were some of the most comfortable beds and bedding. I will even admit we bought all new bedding from the same company when we got home. It’s that cozy!
The layout of the rooms is great too. Kids rooms tend to me next to an adult style room so you can easily put one family down one hallway and another family down another on the second and third floor.
With blackout curtains in all rooms, you are sure to sleep soundly no matter which room you choose.
The Kid’s Playroom
What’s not to love about having a third living room with a big screen tv, corner sofa to snuggle up in and a closet bursting with every toy you can think of. I mean, this place had more books, puzzles, movies, dolls, stuffed animals, games, and child entertainment essential than my own house! Don’t bring anything!
The layout of the house is great for families with small children. The playroom is right off the sitting rooms and kitchen so you can keep a close eye on them.
The Game Room
Different than the kid’s playroom above. This one is for the adults!!! It holds a pool table, hand carved chest table, stand up piano, and huge stone wall feature. The stone wall is a fireplace that opens up onto another living room with big screen (it’s hidden so you might miss it) and onto another sitting room that has a view. This room will WOW you. They have twinkling lights hanging from the rafters above which at night set of a soft ambience.
Sit at night with the lights off and nothing but the twinkling lights, we saw all sorts of animals, deer, a fox, birds of prey, you name it. It was a window that looked onto the mountains and just off to your left of it, Loch Lomond.
Outside Gardens and Play Areas
Where do I start?
Upon driving up the drive way that swirls around the beautiful Wards Estate property, you will see a lovely tree swing in the field to your right. Further down, an amazing firepit area with comby wooden lounge chairs in a circle for marshmallow smores making and cozy nights by the campfire. We organized firewood with the owner, Emily who gets it locally.
Then as you turn down the final leg of the driveway, on your right, is the wedding pavilion. Where numerous people have said their wedding vows over looking the beautiful wetlands and marshes in front of it. We had our morning coffee and pastries here as the sun was coming up and it was just stunning. There are four wooden lounge chairs here if you aren’t having a wedding.
What’s in the Garage you say?
The doors open up and the lovely Emily greeted us and got a sneak peak at the amount of kid’s gear: bikes, scooters, tractors, and more. This garage is full. For all ages. Once you get in the wetroom, it’s has wellies, umbrellas, tennis racks, helmets, floaties and toys for the pool and more. You literally don’t need to bring anything to this estate.
We parked and walked the grounds. On the left side of the house, you look out to a vast green plush garden with two big soccer nets (the boys were excited) and a wooden climbing frame next to a huge trampoline and wooden playhouse for the little ones. It was a kid’s paradise.
There is a tennis court but the floor of it needs redone and isn’t easy to play on safely.
Continuing around the back of the house, there are patio seating and tables tucked in various corners over looking flowers everywhere. With the nice weather and it being summer time, everything was in full bloom.
The right side of the house which I would classify as the front. Had loads of cozy deep cushioned seats to curl up in and watch the sunset. Then we made it full circle to the grand front door.
Wards Estate Indoor Swimming Pool
Yes, there is a heated, indoor swimming pool. Hooray. Every kid’s fantasy. Let me warn you, if you aren’t in the water, the room is hot!!!! It felt like a sauna itself and made my skin amazing sitting pool side watching the little ones play.
I loved that it had a door lock with a code so kids couldn’t let themselves in by accident or without an adult.
Inside the pool area, there were three shower rooms so you didn’t have to walk through the house to a bathroom to wash off. There is seating poolside too.
We took a daily dip with the kids. I can imagine on rainy days this would have been a savor too or in winter.
There is a laundry room, just off the kitchen, that houses two of the three dishwasher I mentioned above. It also has a freezer, ice machine, iron and ironing board, vaccum, and extra sink. There is full size washer and dryer too. This was amazing as we went home with everything clean! There is nothing worse than having to do the laundry when you get home from holiday.
Living Rooms x 2 / Sitting Rooms x 2
There are two sitting rooms and two living rooms with big screen tvs. One is just off the kitchen that has the second dining table within it. Sadly, I don’t have a photo of the full table but the sofas are the biggest and most comfortable sofas ever. One area of sofas faces a lovely fireplace and I bet it’s the best seat in the house during winter.
The second sitting room has the most glorious views out into the woodlands towards Loch Lomond. We sat here at night with the twinkling lights on and saw all sorts of animals: deer, foxes, birds of prey and more.
Next to the this sitting room is more luxury sofas and a hidden big screen tv next to another huge fireplace to create a living room. We had to have a fire one night just to say we did. It was fab.
The second living room I have labeled the kid’s playroom as it hosts everything a kid could want to play with and I explained all this above. But it is technically another living room so I thought I would mention it here.
It was our first time ever getting a house with another family and sharing a holiday together but it won’t be the last one. Wards Estate had everything we needed and more to make an unforgettable holiday. There was no need to leave the house ever but I highly recommend you do because we did the Fairie Trail and the beach on Loch Lomond and both are worth departing for a few hours. Stay tune… blog posts coming on those attractions soon. Or for some cool Scotland hotel experience ideas here.