A unique opportunity to stay at a beautifully preserved 18th Century villa with superb views; a lavish smuggler’s haunt with a fascinating history.
Gunsgreen House was built in 1753 to a design by renowned architect John Adam. More than just a luxurious family home, Adam’s design incorporated special requirements for the infamous Nisbet brothers, who smuggled cargos of tea and brandy directly into the purpose built cellars.
Today the lower two floors of Gunsgreen House are home to a museum whilst the elegant upper two floors which comprise the Merchant’s House, are available as a unique holiday let. The delightful quirky features that point to Gunsgreen’s exciting past are still very much in evidence including hidey holes for smuggled goods and a 'tea chute' running through the house where the leaves were kept dry.
The interior is beautifully preserved, with original cornicing and fireplaces and presented in a traditional style appropriate to its period with charming antique pieces, original stripped floorboards and some fabulous original artworks donated by a benefactor. A particular highlight is the beautifully proportioned double reception room with views over Eyemouth harbour and across to the rocks where seals can regularly be seen basking.
Eyemouth has been a fishing port since the 13th Century. Today, as well as being home to a fishing fleet of about 80 boats, the harbour is also the base for a diving school, boat trips around the coast and exhilarating rides in a high-powered RIB. There’s a surf school just up the road at pretty Coldingham Bay and guests can also try their hand at kite surfing and coasteering nearby. For those who prefer their holidays more relaxed, Eyemouth has a delightful sandy beach for walking, sandcastle building or just relaxing with a book. The stunning East Berwickshire coastline also provides superb walks along the 32 miles from Lamberton to Cockburnspath.
For golf fans, Eyemouth’s golf club is just minutes from the house and boasts a sixth hole voted as “Britain’s most extraordinary golf hole.” There are a number of other well-regarded courses nearby including links courses at Goswick and Dunbar or try the Championship Roxburghe course on the banks of the River Teviot. Some of Scotland's most challenging golf courses are only an hour drive from Eyemouth including Muirfield, North Berwick, Luffness and Gullane.
Eyemouth’s High Street has a good range of local shops, including a delicatessen, several fishmongers and an art gallery. A top favourite is supremely fresh fish and chips from Mackays followed by award-winning Giacopazzi's ice cream. Other excellent eateries nearby include the Craw Inn at Auchencrow and the Allanton Inn at Allanton.
Eyemouth is an ideal base for exploring the miles of deserted golden sands and secluded rocky coves that make up the stunning Berwickshire and Northumberland coastline. The cliffs at nearby St. Abbs, a designated Nature Reserve, are the prime breeding and nesting grounds for thousands of seabirds and seals are also common. To the south, some of our favourite spots nearby include the stunning beach at Bamburgh, miles of pristine sand, popular for walking, riding and surfing and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. This tiny, picturesque island linked at low tide to the mainland, is an overwhelmingly mystical place, home to the evocative remains of a ruined eleventh-century priory, a beautifully restored castle and the infamous Lindisfarne Mead.
The magnificent city of Edinburgh is a very easy day trip from the cottage either an hour by car or 45 minutes by train from nearby Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Guests have their own private entrance to the rear of the property with a lift directly to the Merchant’s House.
Superb, spacious sitting room with views across the harbour. TV with Freeview and DVD player. Please note the fireplace is decorative only.
Double doors through to the dining room (seats 10) with a view over the harbour.
Compact, well-equipped kitchen with dishwasher, fridge / freezer, double oven, electric hob and microwave. The washing machine is housed in a nearby laundry closet.
Bedroom 1 with 5’ double four poster bed.
Wet room with shower, basin and WC.
Stairs lead to the
Bedroom two with 4’ 6” double bed.
Bedroom three with 5’ double bed.
Bathroom with freestanding claw foot bath, basin and WC.
Bedroom four with two 3’ twin beds.
Bedroom five with two 3’ twin beds and charming built-in box bed suitable for a child.
Family bathroom with bath with shower over, basin and WC.
All the bedrooms are spacious with plenty of storage space. The beds are made up with high quality Egyptian cotton bed linen, with a combination of hypoallergenic and feather and duck down duvets and pillows. A hair dryer is supplied at the house. Luxurious bath sheets and hand towels are provided for all guests. Soaps by Arran Aromatics are provided. 2 travel cots (without sides) can be provided on request.
Babies and children
Children are very welcome but guests with small children must be aware that the house has a number of quirky original features, such as the original tea chute, that children may require supervision to enjoy. 2 travel cots (without sides) can be provided on request.
Suitability for mobility impaired guests
The first floor of the Merchant’s House is accessible directly from a lift suitable for wheelchairs and there is a double bedroom and wet room on this floor. Please contact us for further details.
There is no private outside space dedicated to Merchant’s House but guests are welcome to use the lawned area in front of Gunsgreen House with views across the harbour. There is also a grass area above and to the right of the house which provides a lovely spot to sit and admire the views.
Tour of Gunsgreen House
Guests receive a 10% discount on entry tickets for the visitor attraction: Gunsgreen House, as part of their stay. Children may visit free of charge. Gunsgreen House is open to the public between April and October and out with this period guests may still visit by prior arrangement.
Catering at the Merchant’s Tower is entirely flexible. The house can be taken on a purely self-catered basis, or a cook is available throughout guest’s stay, for breakfasts or dinners only or to provide one-off celebratory meals for a special occasion. A homemade meal delivery is available which is popular for guest’s first night and wine delivery is available in conjunction with renowned wine merchants Corney & Barrow.
Events and weddings
The elegant principle reception rooms on the ground floor of Gunsgreen House offer a unique venue for private and corporate events and weddings. For special occasions, the Home dining room or stunning blue paneled parlour provide a memorable setting for private dinners for up to 20 guests. The fabulous first floor drawing and dining room is also available for drinks receptions or can seat up to 60 guests. For something a little different, the smugglers’ beautifully preserved cellars provide a unique and atmospheric location wedding ceremonies! Please contact us for further information.
Parking for Merchant’s House is in the car park for Gunsgreen House where there is ample space.
On arrival guests are provided with a luxury seasonal welcome pack including a bottle of wine.
Two well-behaved dogs are welcome at Merchant's House for a fee of £15 per dog. Guests must respect that many of the floor coverings are original and dogs must be kept to the non carpeted areas and out of the bedrooms. Dog crates are preferred.
Wi fi and mobile coverage
There is wi fi in the house. Due to the thick walls, the signal does not work all over the house. Generally good coverage on O2, Orange and T-mobile networks but Vodafone coverage is patchy.
Important - guest privacy
Guests should be aware that Gunsgreen House is open to the public until 31st October 2013 five days a week (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) from 11am to 5pm. In 2014 the house will be open from 1st April to 31st October. The visitor’s tour is restricted to the ground and lower ground floors and does therefore not come up to the first and second floors on which the Merchant’s Tower is situated. Guests have their own private entrance at the rear of the building with a lift directly to the first floor. Staff at Gunsgreen House are on hand to ensure guests get their best from their stay but equally respect guests’ privacy.