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  • Writer's pictureJake Escapes

Take Me To Church

A tale of tiny wellness worship, wandering cows, burning embers, an orchestra of torrential rain

If you are someone like me who enjoys finding a tiny house where you don’t want to pay for any more space than you need, but don’t want to sacrifice the view, the atmosphere and the odd touch of luxury then there is a special little haven tucked away in the heart of Ayrshire.

Until I stayed here, Minishant to me was a place you travelled through to get to somewhere else, a stop on the school bus route. But actually look further and it is a charming little village with a restaurant, local shop, countryside walks and an old Church tucked away upon entry.

Two lodges – Kyle and Carrick - are part of The Old Church and Lodges development at Minishant. I immediately chose Kyle as my favourite and opted to spend some time here when I needed to be close to home but also needed a retreat to work, rest and play.

The Old Church itself has been converted into an exclusive venue for weddings and other gatherings. It has bedrooms, entertainment and snug areas, a catering kitchen and perhaps most impressively a beautiful outdoor decking area. Even a secret treehouse to be found!

But my stay was a solo one and The Kyle Lodge was exactly what I was looking for. After heading down a short decked and fairy lit private path, I turned a corner to reach my destination. You cannot see the other lodge from here and they cannot see you. Perfect.

The inside is really well designed with a large super comfy bed taking up most of the room, a small sofa facing outwards and a deep bath for soaking up the atmosphere. I chose to couple bath time with the record player transporting me out of the norm with crackly classic tunes.

The kitchen area is compact enough that it doesn’t impose at all on the space but with enough equipment to cook. A separate wc and shower are separated by a sliding door. The entire frontage of the lodge is glass allowing for vista daydreams from the comfort of bed. At night the room is cosy and private with the curtains closed. There is an easy self check in.

But the top reason for me choosing this place was the outdoor space. You have your own cute little decked balcony area covered by a rooftop and camouflaged by nature. On it is a mini picnic table and craftily stored deckchair. Firewood and a wood burning stove complete the dream. This was Grizzly Adams life but with a serious upgrade!

Open countryside is the view and every now and again a herd of cows wander past curiously looking upwards. I used every piece of wood to make the most of the fire. There was a lot of torrential rain during my time here, creating an orchestra on the rooftop as you courie in and embrace all of the elements at once. Minishant - the rainforest - was incredibly calming.

This could definitely be a romantic weekend, a solo retreat or even a family trip if you don’t mind togetherness. It’s adjacent to the A77 but tucked far enough away to not be bothered by traffic. There is a regular bus service running through and within reach of most of the larger tourist attractions in the area so ideal as a quirky base from which to explore.

But mostly this little church lodge felt like it was nowhere near anything, like you were floating in your own little world of thoughts. Embracing solitude but yet somehow feeling very safe on your own. The nature and weather created all the drama and noise you could need. After that - stillness, cosiness and quiet combined in a haven of whatever you seek …

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