It is exactly the sort of property which springs to mind when we hear that more people than ever are considering a move to a seaside town, particularly since our priorities may have changed over the last couple of years.
Will and Claire Spencer bought Forest Lodge in 2020, and while an opportunity to build their own home has since meant their Longniddry house hasn’t turned out to be a long-time base, it has been exactly the right spot for the couple to ride out the pandemic.
Will says: “It came on the market in the New Year of 2020. We were living in Edinburgh and knew we wanted to move out to East Lothian – we just wanted access to the beaches and countryside and everything that the area can offer after living in the city.
“So we were renting short-term until we were able to find the right house, and put an offer in on Forest Lodge in February.
The couple have a seven-year-old daughter, and a large dog, Archie the Hungarian Vizsla. The Spencers both work from home, in the energy sector, and so Forest Lodge with its abundant outside area, and plenty of room for an office and a study on the inside, was perfect.
Will continues: “I’m not actually a golfer, but we appreciated the views of the golf course. I’m a keen cyclist and we are an active family, so the house suited our needs, right down to having a big garage to store our equipment for watersports and bikes.”
Arranging a move during lockdown had its anxious moments, but the family had a very happy couple of years in Longniddry.
During their time, the Spencers have carried out an extensive redecoration programme, to modernize and freshen the decor.
Forest Lodge was built in the 1970s, with a garden room extension completed by the previous owner about six years ago. The interior is characterful, with large arched windows, elaborate ceiling cornicing and an impressive maple staircase.
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The main living space is open-plan and includes a Clive Christian kitchen complete with Aga, a dining area and the garden room which has a wood-burning stove.
Two bedrooms and a bathroom are also on the ground floor, while upstairs a drawing room has spectacular panoramic views from a wall of full-height windows. There is a library off this room with French doors to a raised terrace and steps to the garden.
Off the upper landing lies the master bedroom with ensuite, walk-in wardrobe and balcony, plus a fourth bedroom and another bathroom.
The garden is a good size with fantastic views from the rear over the sea to Fife.
Will says: “There is direct access to the golf course via steps over the wall. There are three lovely stretches of sandy beach on the doorstep.”
“The garden is fairly low maintenance, the beds are well stocked and colorful year-round. You can enjoy it without being a gardening expert.”
The Forest Lodge plot was originally an orchard for the house next door, and there are still very productive plum and apple trees.
A favorite spot for the Spencers is the garden room. Will says: “It looks over onto the sea, and because it is elevated you actually look down and watch the kite surfers and see everything from the golf course to what is going on on the beach. We see the weather coming in from Fife, so it is a dramatic outlook.
“We are so fortunate to be able to spend the last two years in this perfect spot.”
Area Longniddry lies 12 miles east of Edinburgh. The village has good local shops, a library and a bank. Haddington and North Berwick to the east and Straiton to the north-west offer larger supermarkets. Championship golf courses, nature reserves and fine beaches are all close by.
schools The village has an excellent primary school which feeds into Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans. There is also private primary schooling at The Compass School in Haddington. Further independent schooling is available at Loretto in Musselburgh, Belhaven Hill in Dunbar and in Edinburgh.
Inside Four bedrooms, three bathrooms and three public rooms, plus a double garage.
Exterior A half-acre garden, with specimen shrubs and plenty of fruit trees. A large raised terrace enjoys views over the golf course.
Forest Lodge, Gosford Road, Longniddry, is priced at offers over £1,075m.
For more information, contact Rettie & Co. on 0131-220 4160.
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