Horseshoe Cottage and Ruby


Sleeps 4, minimum stay 3 nights

The best of both worlds – enjoy the comforts of Horseshoe Cottage and the romance of Ruby, the Bowtop (Romany caravan), in the woodland garden. Let us delight you with the magic and tranquility of this special combination to offer space and timelessness where you can enjoy sleeping under the stars and travel without traveling….

See where Horseshoe Cottage and Ruby live.

Horseshoe Cottage

Originally stables for the horses used to plough the surrounding farmland Horseshoe Cottage is now converted into a colourful, romantic hideaway. This delightful cottage is now freshly decorated in beautiful jewel like shades. Eco-friendly paint brings a healthy glow to the cottage walls and reflects the authentic colours of the vardo beneath the pine trees in the woodland garden.

Offering a spacious, bright sitting room with a view of the Eildon Hills, the accommodation also comprises galley kitchen, bathroom with shower, double and twin bedroom.

The cottage is warm and cosy with central heating as well as the ambience of the open fire with wood burning stove.

The cottage is well equipped with dishwasher, washing machine, small combo tv/dvd, cd player and radio. Games, books and toys are there for your pleasure.

There is a spacious wild woodland garden in front and a colourful ‘pot plant’ entrance, Provencal style at the back. There is woodland car parking for two cars.

Children are very welcome in Horseshoe Cottage but Ruby the Bowtop is unsuitable for children on their own.

Up to two dogs are welcome in the cottage but not in Ruby the Bowtop. (Please see notes in Terms and Conditions for Horseshoe Cottage). Price for dogs: £10.00 per dog per day.

Contact us re Prices for Horseshoe Cottage and Ruby Bowtop for 4 people. There is a possibility we can accommodate 6 people, just ask.

To Book Horseshoe Cottage and Ruby please contact us directly by phone or email.

Ruby, the Bowtop

In the woodland garden in the front of the cottage is a secret hideaway…. beneath the trees, as if time stood still, rests an authentic 1930’s Romany Caravan. Ruby is a Bowtop (Bow Top) and is also known as a living wagon or Gypsy caravan.

Experience the romance of sleeping under the stars in a lovingly restored Bowtop, originally painted by the famous Master Vardo Painter, Jim Berry (also a distant relative of Avril). 

Step up into bed and immerse yourselves in the maroon and deep pink lace which cascades around you as you enter another world. We can let you into a little secret……… the beautiful lace adorning Ruby is actually “lingerie lace” – which seems just perfect!

With room for two, escape into the magic of the nomadic life and recapture the essence of being free and living amongst nature.

Bow Top Caravan


Horseshoe Cottage and Ruby, the Gypsy Bowtop are nestled within a family of Scots Pine trees facing over the meadow towards the Eildon Hills. The cottage is situated near the Roulotte Retreat owners’ house but has its own private woodland garden and car parking.

Stephanie and James who stayed with us recently wrote this beautiful poem about their visit to Horseshoe Cottage and Ruby the Bowtop which sums up a stay here wonderfully ....

"Escape to a place where the faerie folk stay.

Escape from the world and let stress melt away.

Tucked away inside 'Ruby', Romany home,

You're tucked up in a world where fantasies roam.

Walk up the steep hills and down valleys of old.

Stumble upon abbeys of limestone stained gold.

Enjoy the quiet hush and the birdsong each day,

and thank Avril and Alan for your magical stay."


Further Reading...

Our caravan is known as a Bowtop/Bow Top, and there are many other types, including, Brush, Reading, Ledger, Bowtop, Open Lot and Burton.

In the original Bowtop caravan the space was small but well utilized, with a bed at the far end of the living space, which could be pulled out a little more to create more space. Underneath the bed was a huge ventilated cupboard which was used as a bedroom space for children. Older children could sleep under the wagon, where drapes were sometimes hung around.

Cupboards were plentiful inside and seating with cupboard space underneath made good use of all available space.

Heating was in the form of the Queenie Stove, which was always placed on the left hand side as you enter. The reason for this is because of the position of the chimney so it wouldn’t touch the trees as the horse and vardo meandered along the road. Incidentally in France, the stoves are on the right hand side for the very same reason. Food preparation, cooking and washing up all took place outside as was personal cleaning and washing clothes. Although all eiderdowns, blankets and clothes were kept inside, kitchen utensils however were stored outside.

With a hay rack for the horse at the back and a box underneath for the pots and pans, the caravan was both a home, a form of transport and a sacred place for living.