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Corsbie Villas Guest House (Newton Stewart)

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Corsbie Road, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland, DG8 6JB, UK.

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      15.09.2009 09:02
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      Stay here and be truly cared for. The most relaxing place I have visited.

      Corsbie Villa is a guest house with a difference! More than one difference to be truthful. Where else could you stay that has a live in (or out) menagerie?

      Where else could you stay where an enormous tortoise would lumber through the breakfast room? Or six hedgehogs wander around the back gardens? Or ducks come looking for scraps, watched over by the house cats? Or a parakeet can chatter to you whilst you help yourself to fresh coffee? I love animals, so Corsbie Villas was heaven for me.

      Apart from the animals, which were a very pleasant suprise, the whole of the guest house emanated comfort and welcome. It was spotless inside and well decorated and cared for. It wasn't so pristine that you were afraid to breathe, in fact odd bits of things left around let you know that this was a house where you were joining the owners for a visit, it felt lived in, in the best way. A bit of wood carving on a side table, a cabinet full of handicrafts, the fact that some blinds were being repaired on the table, all these little things made Corsbie Villas feel like a home that you were invited into and being trusted whilst there.

      I had taken my Mum up to Scotland for a few days holiday. She is 82 and a little infirm and a little shy. The owners, Eddie and Phyl' couldn't have been more helpful or more mindful of her needs. They managed to do this without being overpowering. Their care for her was just there. And for the other guests too, one evening found Phyl' fretting over the whereabouts of two young German girls who were late back. Advice and offers of help with lifts etc were plentiful. They went out of their way to make sure we all had what we needed for a pleasant holiday.

      The Villas have eight bedrooms of which six are en-suite. I stayed on the ground floor to be closer to my Mum's room and my room was not en-suite. I did have a private bathroom next door to my room so it was absolutely fine for me. My Mum's room was perfect for a disabled person with a walk in shower, good lighting and uncluttered. She had been nervous about staying in a strange place but she absolutely loved her room! She also felt at home enough to wander round and talk to the people and animals which showed me that she was enjoying herself. So I could relax too.

      The rooms are spacious and comfortable. There was plenty of storage space, bedside lights, comfy beds, nice pictures, a decent sized colour tv, (which I had to get Eddy to show me how to work the remote!) central heating and beautiful matching soft furnishings made by Phil.

      The residents lounge is large and contains a little private bar, an aquarium and in one corner a big box like thing that was home to the most wonderful Leopard tortoise called Molly! I had never seen one before and they are beautiful! (and big!) This one was half grown and at least eighteen inches long. (My Mum is now determined to buy a tortoise and has ordered the house and hot pad for it!)

      The breakfast room looks out onto the back gardens. It seats about eighteen people comfortably. The furniture is modern and comfortable. It is possible to have evening meals cooked for you and if they are of the same quality as the cooked breakfasts, then they will be worth eating.

      There is a good range of food for breakfast. On offer were cereals, fruits and juices, toast, local marmalade and jams, porridge, kippers, or the more traditional full Scottish Breakfast. This breakfast was superb! All fresh produce and enough of it to sustain an Olympic Caber Tosser! It really was a feast! My Mum asked for a full breakfast one morning but Eddy talked her out of it and made her a mini breakfast instead. (Eating a full one would have rendered her incapable of moving for the rest of the week!) There were some archaeologists staying who were working in the area, they reckoned that the breakfasts alone were worth staying for. I had to agree!

      The Guest house is in Newton Stewart, Galloway. The town itself is a great place to be and very handy for a lot of activities. Corsbie Villa is about a five minute uphill walk from the main street. It's at the end of a cul-de-sac so it's very quiet and restfully situated. The directions Eddy gave me on the phone made it easy to find. Parking is free and there is a disabled parking space right next to the front door.

      The area is rich in opportunities for outdoor pursuits such as walking and cycling but caters for the gentler pastimes of sightseeing and shopping too. Galloway is an area of outstanding natural beauty. I also think it's one of the friendliest and most unspoilt areas of Britain. People are welcoming and helpful. What more could you want?
      Incidentally, my Mum had hitherto unsuspected capabilities and stamina for looking at little souvenir shops and whilst it nearly sent me silly, she had a great time looking at them all! And I mean all!

      Eddy and Phil offer a lot of facilities for guests. I didn't use all of them but here is a list of some of what's on offer. Copied from their website.

      # Tea/Coffee Making Facilities
      # Colour Television
      # Private, off street, parking
      # Wheelchair access to all ground floor areas
      # Home baking and cooking
      # Clothes drying facility
      # Private licensed bar
      # Spacious TV lounge
      # Pets welcome by arrangement
      # Family rooms
      # Reduced rates for children
      # Cycle storage & Cycle Cleaning Facilities
      # Fishing equipment storage
      # Bait fridge and freezer

      A quick look down the list tells you that the virtually every holiday maker's need is catered for. I have a feeling that if it wasn't on the list and you asked, they would do their best to get it for you anyway!

      The best thing for me about the place was that when my Mum went to her early bed, there was always something for me to do or see to entertain me until my bedtime. Whether it was sitting having a drink and a natter with Eddy in the lounge or sitting in the garden watching the hedgehogs foraging. (Two of which were injured or blind and rescued by the couple) Or talking to the cats or parakeet, or admiring the Koi carp in the lovely pond, or just lying in my room watching the television. I could have gone down into the town had I wanted too, secure in the knowlege that Eddy or Phil would keep an eye on Mum and ring me if she had a problem. Not many people would be thoughtful enough to offer that. It was a totally relaxing place to be. The menagerie was not intrusive but it was definitely the icing on the cake for me!

      You can find more information and prices on their website.
      http://www.corsbievilla.com/index.html

      It is the best guest house I have stayed in in my travels up and down the UK. It epitomises good quality, home from home accomodation for a holiday break at a very reasonable price.

      I don't usually return to places, preferring to try new ones, but I will definitely be going back again.

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