The Mill is situated in arguably one of the most scenic of spots, the magnificent scenery from the property down the valley and beyond to the Ladder hills and to the peaks of the Lecht Mountains are truly inspiring. The position of the property is ideal for exploring the Cairngorms National Park. The property part of an original barn steading is adjacent to two other properties, The Cattle Shed and The Grain Store, both of which can be booked through us making the properties ideal for a large family or a group of friends.
The cottage, the largest property at the steading, has been painstakingly converted and rebuilt by the owners, now retaining much of its original character, with double height vaulted ceilings and exposed beams. The official name for the steading is Balneden, meaning “farm on the hillside” in gaelic, and records show that it was first used as a farm from the 1740’s. The owners are located nearby and are able to offer a free shopping service of locally produced food, including meat and vegetables, and a home delivery from Asda can also be arranged.
The property, the majority of which is all on the one level has been completed in a contemporary style, and has been well equipped and furnished. The property consists of a spacious open plan lounge/kitchen, complete with a wood burning stove. A focal point of this room is the five metre floor to ceiling window, making this room very light and bright. Further facilities include a twin/double bedroom, large bathroom complete with a separate shower enclosure and roll top bath. A master bedroom with direct access to the outside decked seating and dining area, completes the facilities. The lounge/kitchen and bedrooms have all been floored with oak, and these including the tiled bathroom, benefit from underfloor heating. A private outside seating and garden area is available for the use of guests.
Private Water supply
Two well behaved dogs are allowed, however as the property is located near a working farm during the lambing season, April 16th - to the end of May, no dogs are allowed.
Balneden Steading is a superb place to spend a winter break. Situated in a remote glen, the cottages are still very close to the Lecht ski area and only 30 mins drive from Cairngorm Mountain. In snowy conditions, the 200 metre access path is ploughed daily to ensure that 4WD vehicles will always be able to get to the cottages. The owners have also made arrangements for 2WD vehicles. If the access track is impassable with a 2WD vehicle, there is a parking area at the bottom of the access track, and the owner will collect you and your belongings at the start of your break and drive you up to your cottage. At the end of the week your bags & belongings can be taken down to your vehicle for you. During the week you may need to walk up and down the access track, which is a 3-4 minute walk from the cottages. The owners provide torches, and you are advised to bring appropriate clothing and footwear to suit the conditions. People driving a 4WD will have no problem with the track. If you are not able-bodied and are driving a 2WD vehicle, it is not advisable to book any of the cottages.
7 Days at The Mill were lovely and relaxing. It was clean and tidy, with the most amazing view out of the large front windows. We were up before dawn every day and the sunrises were superb, sat with a coffee as the room gradually lit up. The bed was comfortable and the whole place was warm from under floor heating. So much so we didn't even light the woodburner (Although it was October, it was a very dry and mild week even for Scotland) . The internet is just about good enough for email (not the owners fault) and the TV was lousy all week so we ended up enjoying some early nights and hence, early mornings. The dogs loved it too, with some excellent walks in the area. We normally stay in Aviemore, but this was some 25 miles and 40 minutes away, which did give easier access to the northern coastal towns and beaches than we usually enjoy. As always, the bottom line is would I go back again, is it value for money and would I recommend it? - YES.
Lovely location, beautifully equipped and designed property.
A lovely stay. What a spectacular view! The Mill was a very easy place to stay with our 19 month old. She loved seeing the cows right outside the window. We thought the location was great and the amenities at the property made it a real home away from home. The wifi was patchy, but the setting made it worth it. I liked the additional touches like the shortbread biscuits and Tomintoul whiskey that was left for us to try. There were a few dog hairs around from the previous guest, but otherwise the property was left clean and tidy.
We stayed in The Grain Store in 2014 and loved it so much we returned this year, although with a 2nd dog we needed the extra space of The Mill this time. These are excellent 'home from home' properties with commanding views down the glen. The wifi is a bit ropey so not suitable for taking any work away with you, so that's another thing in favour of staying here. Double bed could be doing with upgrading but it didn't affect sleep so not a big deal. There isn't an enclosed garden area to let dogs roam but a training line attached to sturdy fence post sorted that. Weather was fantastic again this year too letting us enjoy the peace and quiet outdoors as much as possible. Great walks in the area for dog lovers.
We have just returned from The Mill in the Scottish Highlands having stayed for a full week including the New Year period. Our stay could not have been better, the Steading is unbelievable and is certainly the best accomodation that we have come across having had many previous holidays in rental cottages. We had a wonderfull time and would recommend the Mill to anyone.
I would agreee with previous review, very good. The views are wonderful and accomodation good quality. We were there in winter and the place was very warm.
The Mill certainly has the "wow" factor. From the moment you arrive at the cottages and look at the amazing view down the valley to when you walk in the front door to the incredibly spacious, airy and comfortable open plan dining kitchen/living room. It continues with the stunning bathroom and the exceedingly spacious bedrooms. The cottage had everything we needed for a very enjoyable week's stay and we did not want to leave. The owners could not be more helpful which added to the pleasure.