Apparently, Boris Johnson wanted to build a treehouse at Checkers for his son.
At £150k, it would be funded by a Tory donor rather than the taxpayer – small mercies – but they couldn’t get security clearance for the project. Boo hoo.
This sort of indulgence is a far cry from the plastic Wendy houses that children of the Seventies and Eighties would play in, until the snails moved in and spiders made webs in all of the windows.
Anyway, if you want to get the upmarket treehouse experience, here are a few of Scotland’s finest to holiday in. No bulletproof glass required.
The Treehouses at Lanrick
You won’t get any splinters if you stay in one of these five luxury eco-friendly treehouses, which opened in 2020 and are located on the banks of the River Teith in Perthshire. There’s too high a finish for that. As part of a green manifesto, each of them is made from wood that was sourced nearby and runs on an air source heat pump. They also all feature a log burning stove, for that couthy feel, as well as a beautiful balcony, so you can drink coffee or barbecue among the oak and birch. However, the piece of resistance is an outside copper tub (or shower). Although they say they’re off grid and there’s no WiFi, you can easily get 4G, if a digital detox isn’t your thing and you can’t do without Netflix for a weekend. If you want to remain on site, and can’t be bothered venturing to the Trossachs National Park or Loch Lomond, there are plenty of woodland walks around the estate. It’s just a few minutes to the riverside hut, which is festooned with sheepskins, and the perfect spot to shelter and decant your picnic if it’s raining. They also say otters can be spotted in the Well Pool part of the river and red squirrel sightings are pretty much guaranteed. You’ll get blase about them after the tenth appearance of Mr Nutkins and Ms Acorn. Prices for a one night stay start from £210.
It doesn’t get more exclusive than this fancy place, which is part of a five-star Argyll hotel. It was built in 2004, overlooks the loch and appears to almost merge with the craggy Scots Pine that grows out of its roof. You can get married in this romantic space, or book it for an overnight stay or corporate retreat, though prices are on application so are likely to be, cough, pretty steep. Since the opening, it’s been a set for various shoots, including a Visit Scotland advert and a film location for 2018’s romantic flick Then Came You, and has had guests including Graham Nash from Crosby, Stills and Nash.
These Dunbar treehouses are a bit more rustic and authentic than your luxury double-glazed versions. It’s glamping, rather than a fancy house hoisted into a leafy canopy. Also, for those who are squeamish about heights, they’re a bit closer to the ground than your average treehouse. Although they’re more open to the elements, they did recently add electricity, so you don’t have to spend an hour boiling a kettle over the stove. This destination is hugely popular with families, since there are animals, including hens, alpacas and pygmy goats, on site, swings beside some of the treehouses and you’re practically on the beach. Each of them sleeps five people, and you can add an additional two thanks to the drop down bed in the living space, with prices starting from £780 for a week. If you forget to take anything with you, they also have an honesty shop, where you can get eggs and other essentials. Also, if you’ve been there before and fancy a change, the business has just launched additional Beach Cabins, which sleep six to eight, next to Tyninghame Beach.
Calling all Hobbits. This Dunblane destination is where you go if you want to fulfill your fantasy of being Samwise Gamgee for the weekend. Get your hairy feet along to one of their Burrows, which are built into the hillside, or the Wee Tree Howf, which is made for a couple and was the first of their glamping projects when this place opened back in 2014. It overlooks the pond , and has a cool interior, with a Belfast sink, slipper bath and wood burning stove. This space is quite unique, among treehouses, in that it’s a double decker built across two levels. Prices start from £195 per night.
This “boutique eco retreat”, situated in a bluebell wood on a 190 acre farm in Castle Douglas, is designed for two people and is the most unique looking and futuristic of all the treehouses, with an oval body on long spindly trunks. It reminds us of a Trojan horse, or pony at least. We love the tiny windows, which look like castle crenels, and the sunken bathtub. Just like Dr Who’s gaff, it looks very small from the outside, but is remarkably spacious indoors. This is one of the few that’s off grid, with a small kitchen area that has a two ring gas hob and a small fridge, presumably powered by their solar panels. Stay for a week for £750. The site also features Brockloch Bothy – a “contemporary micro timber-framed building”.