We were incredibly lucky this Christmas to be invited to stay at the beautiful Thurston Manor, in Dunbar.
It was not only a perfect time to stay at Christmas, but a beautiful place to visit all year round. From the youngest at one to the eldest at 82, we universally had a wonderful time.
So what did we Love About Thurston Manor?
Incredible, friendly staff who really couldn’t do enough to help. With special mention going to the very kind gentleman who rescued us from getting lost and showed us the way to our log cabin.
The setting, the scenery was beyond stunning. It felt a bit like we were in an enchanted glade with all the trees surrounding us. I can only begin to imagine how stunning it must be in the summer months.
The lodges themselves, which were impeccably clean and utterly pristine. Open plan living meant we could cook Christmas dinner without missing any of the present opening action. Whilst the master bedroom even had an on-suite and walk in wardrobe – perfect for hiding away Christmas presents.
Comfortable beds and a cosy living area meant we truly did feel as though we were home for home. Both the grandparents and the children settled in quickly and everyone had a peaceful night’s sleep. You literally couldn’t hear anything other than the wind in the trees.
Delicious and very reasonably priced food, which could be eaten in either a cosy pub or beautiful rustic cafe setting. The many choices on offer meant that both plainer and more adventurous tastes were both well catered for, as were the children. The flexibility of the children’s menu was particularly appreciated when travelling with two very fussy toddlers.
The location, perfectly placed and only a few minutes from the A1 Thurston Manor was easy to find, yet rural in setting. The sea views as you came down from the park were stunning. Yet despite feeling as though you were in a rural idyll we were only a five minute drive from a large supermarket and garden centre. Perfect for stocking up on holiday essentials, without wasting any of your break.
Play areas designed with safety in mind. All the children loved the two play areas at Thurston Manor. My two in particular loved being able to swing side by side as the baby swing was juxtaposed with a standard one. With eight years between them, it’s the first time they’ve been able to do that so it really did delight them.
Beautiful walks around the park, we thoroughly enjoyed strolling past the lake and watching incredibly tame wildlife. No zoom lenses were required as the swans let you walk right up to them to take photos, and the Lion was more than a little excited to see ducks frequently strolling past the lodge. In fact. I would go as far as to say that it was the highlight of his holiday.
The ability to holiday as a family without being on top of each other was ideal, ten of us together in one house for Christmas would have been a challenge especially with the needs of all the children to take into account. But being in separate lodges only a few doors away from each other really was the perfect compromise. We could be together and enjoy each other’s Company, yet escape when we (or the children) needed some down time.
What Would We Change?
It would have been lovely to stay longer and explore the surrounding area, with Edinburgh only thirty minutes away on the train it would have been fantastic to pop in for a visit.
But in terms of the park or accommodation there would be nothing we would alter, it really was beautiful in every way.
How About From An Autism Point Of View?
From an autism standpoint Thurston Manor really was perfect. It meant that the Bear could be around people as much or as little as she liked.
The safety of the park meant that she was given much more freedom than at home, and she loved being able to walk freely between the two cabins.
The fact that she could escape to her bedroom for downtime whenever she needed it was fantastic and definitely lessened the number of meltdowns she would otherwise have had, over the Christmas period.
Being there over a quiet period for the park meant that the eating areas and play areas were really quiet, which meant that they could be truly enjoyed. But to be honest, I suspect even in the height of summer the spacious way the cabins are laid out would mean that she enjoyed it just as much with a little adjustment to the activities that we did.
Who Would We Recommend It To?
Anyone looking to escape from it all, either as a couple, a family or with extended family. If you are looking for a tranquil base to soak up nature, which isn’t too far away from the beaten track Thurston Manor really is the perfect choice.
Would We Visit Again?
Absolutely, in fact the Other Half and I have already been talking about it. We would love to take the children to the penguin parade at Edinburgh Zoo, and Thurston Manor would be the perfect base to explore from