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Ardeonaig Lodge Near Killin

It was freezing cold.

Loch Tay, though only 50 feet away, was a cloudy smudge, the mountains beyond shrouded in a solid bank of low grey cloud.

But it didn't really matter: two families, including four children under the age of three, were happily - and aptly - sitting in front of Brave, which was playing on the large TV in the spacious living room of Ardeonaig Lodge. A toy box had been provided for the under twos while the three-year-olds were sunk into enormous cushions in front of a crackling fire.

During a wet weekend in early December, this profoundly comfortable and well-equipped lochside cottage, less than two hours drive from Glasgow and lying close to the south bank of Loch Tay, was a perfect bolt hole. In better weather, the property's remarkably large garden, decking area (perfect for barbecues) and private hot tub would have come into their own.

You can fish, too. Our forays into the icy blast with my sons and a fishing net, after we had walked down to the pretty private beach, resulted in no catch but that's because the fish were probably hiding from the cold too.

The lodge sleeps eight across four good-sized bedrooms and is magnificently warm. The double beds are very comfortable and have en-suite bathrooms. There is an entrance hall where muddy boots can be kicked off and wet clothes hung up. The key space is the kitchen/living room - a very large area perfect for children to eat, play and relax in. The kitchen is well equipped and the furnishings well chosen, and there is very fast wi-fi.

Apart from the comfort, the lodge is in a beautiful spot. When the clouds lifted, we saw towards Ben Lawers, and the privacy of the site means you have seclusion and comfort within a 15-minute drive of Killin. There are, of course, plenty of good walks too. Our visit involved less walking and more lounging but because of the squalls the hot tub remained unused.

Phil Miller was a guest at Ardeonaig Lodge, near Killin. A two-night break costs £650; weekly prices range from £850 in the low season to £1500 in the summer. Visit craggantoul.com or call 07977 485866.

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