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An oak frame holiday lodge in a Scottish riverside setting

Iain and Karen wanted to branch into the UK staycation market and increase interest in Scotland as a top destination for British, as well as overseas, holidaymakers. They planned to obtain planning permission for a selection of unique cabins and lodges on the edge of a forest with views over the beautiful River Ayr.

They opted to include a luxury oak framed two-bedroom lodge at the centre of the resort offering character and luxury.

Project Details

  • Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Barn style
  • £2,100/m²
  • Self build
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Finding the perfect plot

Having owned the Gadgirth Estate since 1993, Iain and Karen Hendry selected a clearing on the banks of the River Ayr to create an exclusive and idyllic holiday resort featuring six unique properties. Working with Thomson Hunter, our Regional Architectural Designers in Scotland, the team put together the planning application for the holiday cabins and oak frame lodge.

The process was challenging due to the rural location; however, the quality of the accommodation and the clever design appeased the planners and clearly benefited the local economy with the creation of jobs associated with tourism.

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Choosing to build with oak

Experienced builder, Iain, joined our team here at Oakwrights in 2014, creating our Scottish division.

Having built a beautiful oak framed home in 2018/19 for his family, Karen and Iain wanted to include an oak framed lodge as a “flagship” property at their holiday resort, in part to offer guests the opportunity to stay in and fully experience the beauty of an oak framed home. ‘Woodcutters Lodge’ offers guests the top level of luxury at their resort.

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Key design features

Thomson Hunter designed Woodcutters Lodge using the oak frame as the principal structure while incorporating face glazing to create a light and airy living space. The lodge sleeps four guests comfortably and offers all the necessities you would expect to find at home, such as a fully fitted kitchen, underfloor heating and modern bathrooms, along with the luxuries of super king beds, a wood burner and amazing views.

The ground floor consists of a spacious, open-plan kitchen/dining/living room. The face glazed corner section frames views down to the River and welcomes streams of natural light into Iain and Karen’s lodge. The full-height windows allow guests to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather!

The oak frame rises to create a vaulted ceiling above the open-plan ground floor and continues across the mezzanine bedroom and en-suite bathroom.

The second king-sized bedroom, featuring further oak frame detailing, is located downstairs and sits adjacent to the family bathroom. The bathroom is designed especially to be accessed from both the outside from the hot tub, as well as the inside.

Attention to detail continues outside where there’s a spacious decked area, sheltered by a glass balustrade, which creates an ideal location for dining and relaxing. The hot tub is tucked away for privacy while still enjoying the woodland and River views.

Groundworks began in February 2021 and the oak frame arrived in April, achieving a dry shell in just four weeks. The whole project took four months to build, and the first guests arrived in August.

"Guest feedback about the oak framed lodge has been excellent and bookings are in excellent health…"

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Iain Hendry

A booming oak frame staycation business

“We are really pleased with the performance of Woodcutters Lodge. In terms of the all-important occupancy rate, we achieved 79% in the 2021-2022 season, against a national average of 59%. We are seeing a return on investment of 16%. Guests are looking for high-quality accommodation that is a different style to their home and is fully kitted out with super king beds, all the appliances you would find at home and luxuries such as a hot tub.

“Guest feedback about the oak framed lodge has been excellent and bookings are in excellent health,” concludes Iain.

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