Stuc a’Chroin – Stirling
- Yurt for 4
1 double bed, 1 double futon.
The three Trossachs yurts are a fusion of Kyrgyzstan design and local materials which create a homely, earthy feel. Thick rugs, felt wall-hangings and wood-burning stoves add touches of comfort to the traditional Kyrgyzstani dwellings. Stuc a’Chroin has wheelchair access and is set next to the orchard, slightly apart from the other two. In each yurt there is a double bed and a double futon, plus a single futon which can be added so that they can sleep five. From the boardwalk leading to the well equipped communal kitchen, there are impressive views across Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve, from which West Moss Side Farm, the home of Trossachs yurts, takes its name. On site, the West Moss-side Centre offer arts and crafts courses aplenty,including willow and felt crafting, spoon carving, paper making, Japanese block printing and batik dye work. There are also yoga courses on offer. An abundance of very local produce from the organic kitchen garden and beef from the Shetland cattle that graze on the moss. With all this plus the beauty of Loch Lomond and the Arrochar Alps to explore, you won't be short of ways to make your stay memorable.
- Children welcome
Kids are welcome, but pets are not allowed in Stuc a-Chroin. However, pets are allowed at Ben Lomond.
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Everything you need to know about Stuc a’Chroin
The important stuff
- Check in time is 3pm - please let Kate know your expected arrival time
- Check out time is 10:30am
- Kids are welcome, but be careful of the bridge over the burn and any sheep or cattle in neighbouring fields
- Stuc a’ Chroin is pet free, but well behaved pets are allowed in Ben Lomond yurt
- There is no electricity in the yurt, but there are solar lights and lanters.
- Mobile phone reception is possible with most providers
- Wifi is available in the Centre for free, by arrangement
- Stuc a’Chroin is a wheelchair friendly yurt
Sleeping arrangements1 double bed, 1 double futon.
Kids & PetsKids are welcome, but pets are not allowed in Stuc a-Chroin. However, pets are allowed at Ben Lomond.
- 2 ring gas hob and grill (free gas)
- Wood burning stove with oven
- One basket of logs with kindling provided. More available
- Barbecue - but bring your own charcoal
- Picnic table
- 25 litres of drinking water provided
- Whistling kettle
- Crockery & cutlery for 5
- Glasses for 5
- Kitchen knives, openers, peelers & tea towels
- Tea, coffee, salt, pepper and all the other basics
- There is also a fully equipped kitchen with fridge and freezer in The Big Green Shed
- There are two wet rooms with loos and showers in the West Moss-side Centre for guests’ exclusive use.
- There is a washing machine in the Centre and washing up can be done in the kitchen at the Big Green Shed.
Heating, lighting & bedding
- All sheets & covers included
- There is no electricity in the yurt, but there are solar lights and lanterns.
- A guitar and penny whistles! (on request)
- If you want something extra special - maybe dinner cooked for you, or use of the West Moss-side Centre for a special event, please let us know
West Moss-side Organic Farm and Centre, Thornhill, Stirling, FK8 3QJ
Stirling station is approx 12 miles from West Moss-side. Stirling Bus station is next to the railway station. There is a limited bus service to Thornhill. No 11 (for Balfron). Pick up from the village can be arranged.
West Moss-side Organic Farm is 1 ¼ miles outside Thornhill village off the A873 Thornhill – Aberfoyle Road.
Take Jct 10 from the M9, the A84 to Blairdrummond Safari Park and then the A873 left fork to Thornhill. Continue through the village on A873 for ¼ mile approx. West Moss-side road end is on the left. The farm road is 1 mile. Trossachs Yurts, West Moss-side are at the road end.
Eating & drinking
A welcome hamper can be pre-ordered to include West Moss-side's organic Shetland beef, local free range eggs, bread, Scottish wine and preserves, all from no more than 60 miles away. The organic vegetable garden also offers plenty in the summer months. On Wednesday and Thursday mornings there is a local fruit market at Boquhan Estate just down the road and a good deli in Kippen.
Pubs & restaurants
The Lion and Unicorn, Thornhill (1 mile). A real ale and good food pub only a stroll away (pictured).
MhorFish, Callander (7 miles). A great fish restaurant, but also a yummy fish and chip shop.
The Waverley, Callander (7 miles). A traditional Scottish themed bar and restaurant with real ales.
The Meadows, Callander (7 miles). A family run restaurant in a beautiful early 19th Century Callander townhouse.
Things to do
Courses & classes
An introduction to the basic techniques for batik with Libby Yule, an artist and textile designer who is inspired by the natural world and particularly the landscape and flowers of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
Japanese Block Printing 12th/13th May
This is a new and exciting workshop for West Moss-side. Elspeth Lamb works with woodcuts of the Japanese Ukiyo-e tradition. These are absolutely stunning but quite different from European woodcuts. This is because of the ink (watercolour paint) which is used. This will be a true Japanese experience using the traditional knives and of course special fine Japanese kozo papers.
This two-day weekend workshop will focus on making a fine willow pig. The techniques involved will major on random weave and three dimensional structures although the detail of the nose and ears (!) will have you using other weaving techniques.
This one day workshop will introduce you to the technique of frame basket work. Using mainly willow with the opportunity of incorporating some hedgerow material you will learn how to construct the ribs of the frame, weave between the ribs to create the basket and put on a little handle.
This two-day workshop will introduce you to basic skills for small-scale sculpting with willow. At the end of the weekend you should have acquired the techniques to make your own sculptures. The session will centre around each participant constructing their own willow chicken or goose. The weekend celebrates the return of the pink footed geese from the Arctic Circle, back to West Moss-side for the winter.
Scottish Birch Bark Craft – Sat 8th December
Weaving with the bark is like working with soft leather, the roots are strong, white, long and slender and the twigs give structure to the objects. The Birch tree provided all that was needed for life and work in Northern Scandinavia - baskets, buckets, containers, shoes, mats and so on and so on. Bryce uses many of the designs and techniques in his work and he has a fund of knowledge about the tree and its uses which he will share. . Come for the day – Sorry Yurts will be packed away! Lessons learnt from 2011.
Festive Decorations – Sun 9th December
During the day Kate will introduce you to the techniques of weaving, braiding and plaiting to make unusual pieces. This is a day which combines techniques from a variety of crafts and materials (New Zealand flax, river rush, birch craft, straw, and willow craft) but using soft rush, fine willow and some moss collected from Flanders Moss and the farm. There will be a festive farmhouse lunch. Come for the day – sorry Yurts will be packed away! Lessons learnt from 2011.
Wellbeing and therapies
Have a qualified and experienced local practitioner visit to induce tranquility. Yoga massage, Reiki and aromatherapy, among other treatments, can all be arranged.
Outdoors & active
Take to the trees and Go Ape! at Aberfoyle (including Tarzan swings and epic zip wires!)
Being at the gateway to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park expect some spectacular walks and hikes. Local maps are provided.
Bikes can be hired nearby at Wheels Cycling Centre.
Loch Lomond is the largest body of freshwater in mainland Britain and offers boating, water skiing, windsurfing and of course, swimming. Canoeing and kayaking is also available on the Loch, along with plenty of paddling opportunities on meandering rivers and rapids for those with a bit more experience.
The historic city of Stirling is a short bus ride away with attractions such as The National Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle and Stirling Old Town Jail.
Festivals & events
The House Folk – traditional music festival in late November, held at Ledard Farm.
Albert Halls in Stirling hosts St. Andrew's Day and Hogmanay Ceilidhs, should you fancy dancing away on these special celebrations.
The Forth Inn put on beer festivals with live music at various points throughout the year, handily in nearby Aberfoyle.
With T In The Park Festival an hour away in the car, one of Scotland's largest music festivals is in reaching distance. This year it is running 6th-8th July.
Meet your hosts
In a secluded corner of Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve and at the gateway to Loch Lomond is West Moss-side, an organic farm that has been under the ownership of Kate Sankey for almost 20 years. In the last four years she has been opening up this hidden idyl to a select few. Kate is keen to share the cultural heritage of the site which she has given her own modern style. Trossachs Yurts fits perfectly with this ethos. Built using the finest elm, ash and oak in a 1000 year old design, the luxury yurts also provide all the comforts needed to be homely in modern Scotland.
West Moss-side started life as a mixed organic farm, which is being transformed into a venue for experiences. The 19th Century farm steading is now a centre for activities of all kinds, attracting the very best educators, tutors and adventurers to share their knowledge. The farm retains its eco-credentials in a number of innovative ways and is home to a rare breed of native Shetland cattle that are vital for the conservation of the mossy environment and not just for show.
In the Centre (www.westmossside.com) there is an exhibition of paintings including work by Darren Rees (www.darrenrees.com), Graham Tristram (www.studiotristram.com ) and other artists. Unique pieces by Paper Maker and Print artist Charmian Pollok’s (www.charmianpollok.co.uk) and willow weaver/artist Georgia Crook (www.georgiacrook.co.uk ) are also exhibited and a willow pig by Anthea Naylor (www.antheanaylor.co.uk) greets guests.
West Moss-side source all materials as sustainably as possible. All the decking for the yurts is sourced from used scaffolding boards and the yurtplatforms are reused exterior ply-boards. The working farm is of course organic while the small herd of native Shetland cattle are very important for the conservation of the farm's habitat. They form an elegant solution for keeping back the rough grasses and regenerating birch trees which threaten to take over the moss by simply eating them. The cattle also form part of the policy for sourcing food and drink - it must all be local!
The Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve forms a curious environment with domes of peat rising gently from the ground. Squelchy, colourful mats of sphagnum moss cover these bumps, hence the name of both the reserve and farm. It's the perfect environment for lizards, adders, snipe, stonechat and deer. The farm is also home to skylarks, meadow pipits and receives visits from many bumble bees in the summer.