Our editor takes a trip to the Treehouses at Leckie where nature envelops their beautifully appointed cabins
There is wi-fi, isn’t there?” comes the plaintive voice from the passenger seat. I can’t turn my head because I’m driving, which is a relief since she won’t be able to see the lie in my eyes if I just concentrate on the road.
This was the condition, you see. We’ll come away for the weekend with you, Mum, if there’s wi-fi and nice toiletries, outlines my middle (teenage) daughter. The younger one is nodding in agreement. I’ve not even attempted to break the news that there’s definitely no TV.
It’s a risky business, bartering with kids. They’re as aware as adults are of the need to take care of themselves (thanks, TikTok), and for them, rest and relaxation invariably means no alarm clocks, school or clubs, but plenty of time to scroll.
That’s the thing, though; ‘wellness’ means different things to different people.
Making our way to the Treehouses at Leckie for a couple of days, it occurs to me that, like most modern phenomena, we are told what the notion of ‘well-being’ is, rather than finding our own version.
Yoga retreats, expensive facials, luxurious spas… they all sound wonderful but, as I’ve discovered over the last few years, my version of wellness simply means doing nothing without it feeling wasteful. At Wren, our digs for the weekend, there is plenty of time for whatever kind of wellness you want to indulge in.
These are boutique treehouses; a cluster of four, conveniently close to both Glasgow and Edinburgh, hiding in plain sight in the Stirlingshire woods.
Husband-and-wife team Simon and Louisa Dickson wanted each treehouse (Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Siskin and Wren) to have its own personality, to give guests a different experience depending on what their visit entailed.
With that in mind, the couple enlisted the help of Rebecca Hughes: “Lighting was particularly important,” says the interior designer. “During the day there is an abundance of natural light through the expansive windows, but we wanted to be able to create a cosy, intimate feel in the evenings.”
The treehouses are on an elevated site so they enjoy superb views of the Gargunnock hills. “The interior themes pay homage to woodland,” says Simon.
“There’s Chiffchaff, with its ‘forest hut’ feel and birch branch overhanging the kitchen table; Goldfinch has a bold woodland green colour palette, chinoiserie botanical wallpaper and etchings of plants on the walls; Wren has clean Scandinavian birch-ply cladding and natural fabrics; and then there’s Siskin, where the fragrance of cedar wood hits you as you enter. They all play on the senses to make you fully aware of your surroundings.”
Wren, dubbed ‘the cool one’, sits on stilts with its own bridge leading to a decked area overlooking the pond. The interiors are rich and enveloping, like a plush bolthole that you’ve escaped to; yet, cleverly, the style feels like something you could achieve in your own home.
Simon is right about its Scandi aesthetics – its simplicity is its success. The main living area combines kitchen, dining and lounging, with generous ceiling heights and three-metre-high windows to give the sensation of treetop living.
An indoor woodburner and a connection to the barbecue area on the deck blurs the boundary between inside and out, and gives way to informality. How do my diminutive companions cope with their tech-less time?
Once the board games are cracked open, we do a bit of BBQ-ing as the sun goes down, and they have a soak in the outdoor copper tub, they seem to have gotten over their shock at the absent TV and lack of internet.
This is the kind of place where you have the option to be active or you can simply loll around your treehouse – both are encouraged and handsomely catered for.
The accommodation is warm and inviting, taking on a home-from-home vibe (albeit
significantly tidier than our actual home), and you can order farm shop deliveries or the services of a massage therapist.
The forest is filled with paths for walking and cycling, as well as opportunities for wildlife-watching. Nesting barn owls are a particular favourite, as is mucking about in the Leckie burn, which, in a wetsuit, turns out to be a refreshingly energising dip. Old-school cold-water therapy and not a mobile phone in sight.
Thank you to Treehouses at Leckie for inviting us to stay.
TREEHOUSES AT LECKIE
From £245 per night (two-night minimum stay) for the Wren cabin