We are currently converting what has been an abandoned site of barns, outbuildings and land into usable spaces for glamping and alpaca trekking. As we undertake these changes we are striving to return Balmichael's infamous traditional charm with contemporary style and sustainable choices. As various projects finish, we will add lots more photos.
As you arrive on site from the car park, you will be welcomed into The Courtyard. Steeped in history, this area hosts a collection of beautiful farm buildings including an old mill (yet to be refurbished) and we have some traditional farm machinery on display. Arran Alpacas runs from The Courtyard and there are a couple of outbuilding WCs that are available for alpaca trekkers and those utilising The Courtyard for events. Check-in at the owner's residence in the far left corner (Old Byre Cottage). You will find we are always around or contactable to give help, advice or for a friendly chat.
The Ben is our multi-purpose room and is available to hire for a small fee for private use or functions. A large, converted barn with wooden floors, it can be used for exercise classes and retreats, club activities, social gatherings or corporate events. Please see our section Groups, Celebrations & Events or contact us for more information regarding your requirements. The Ben can be hired to groups not staying on site.
The Ben is currently being set up as a simple takeaway area for alpaca trekkers to purchase tea, coffees, refreshments and a small selection of home-baking.
Reusable beeswax food wraps, art cards, gift cards and locally sourced or fair-traded gifts will be on display and are available for purchase.
When the weather does not allow our alpacas to be outside grazing in their paddocks, you will find them in their indoor barn. This is located within The Courtyard and was once the farm stables as you will see from existing features. If you would like to join us on an alpaca trek, we have a sister website for bookings and do advise early booking to avoid disappointment. Please be aware there may be alpaca trekkers passing your accommodation or communal areas.
As with all animals at Balmichael Glamping, we kindly ask that you refrain from feeding the alpacas any extra food during your stay. If you would like to help feed any of our animals, please let us know and we will happily arrange for you to help out.
The Studio is currently closed as is a small communal area. Instead we have opted to utilise The Ben and windows of our other barns to display leaflets and information about Arran and activities on offer.
We will keep this info up-to-date as phases progress and businesses and activities re-open on the island.
The Studio another barn that has been set up from 100% re-cycled and re-used materials and furniture. The original farm bothy, this quaint barn showcases original features we uncovered when converting it.
**Due to COVID-19 The Bothy will not be available for use as it is a communal area. Instead we have provided outdoor kitchens next to each glamping pod**
The Bothy is our sustainable communal hub and open to all guests. It is complete with sofas and a larger social space. All fittings and furniture have been re-used and up-cycled to save from landfill and give them another lease of life. Here you will find a selection of second-hand books and board games which you welcome to borrow and return. The Bothy overlooks the children’s playground so whilst the kids run off energy, parents can sit peacefully with a cuppa. Bliss!
Children will have hours of fun playing at the wooden structure play area with trim trail and slide. It is positioned on a grass area next to a fenced-off duck pond. There is a small football area with goals - you might even get our own kids joining in a game or two.
Our resident ducks, Morecambe and Wise will no-doubt be around to say hello. We inherited them when we moved here.
We have also re-homed three beautiful Pekin ducks called Mr D, Iris and Sophia (as named by the local school children). Iris and Sophia lay eggs for eating during their laying season - we will pop any eggs in the honesty box outside 'The Ben' to purchase.
If not in their pond, you may see our ducks waddling about on site. They do love to try catch a drip out the water tap, splashing in puddles and raking about the alpaca paddock and shed for any grub our alpacas have missed.
Our own children have set up a little enterprise and duck food can be purchased for 50p a bag which will also ensure they aren’t over-fed. They can be a little greedy!
We ask that parents supervise their children at all times in the play areas and request people do not access the pond area.
For your own convenience and to add to your outdoor getaway, each barrel pod is provided with an en-suite wash hut complete with shower, compost toilet and sink. These are located right next to each accommodation for the exclusive use of your group and will be cleaned at the end of your stay. Arran Aromatic hand-wash, hand towels and biodegradable loo roll are provided.
Please note bath towels are not provided.
Due to COVID-19, we are building outdoor kitchens beside the wash huts, meaning you can be sure to maintain social distance and there are no communal glamping areas at this point in time. Although simple, they add some rustic charm to your experience.
As well as our resident animals we are lucky enough to have many visitors to our site which you may be able to spot during your stay. In the evening you may hear Barn Owls as there are two nesting in the vicinity. They are a spectacular sight to behold, gliding white through the night sky. We have a heron who is forever looking for fish in the duck pond (don’t tell him but there aren’t any)! Frequent visitors include: Buzzards, Fieldfare, Cuckoos, Sparrow Hawks, Kestrels and if you are lucky then you can see the Hen Harrier. We also have a friendly Robin that likes to come and say hello when we are working outside. As well as birds we also have some rabbits that like to explore the site.
You are also likely to meet Rosa, our super-friendly springer spaniel puppy who moved to Arran with us. If you ever want to win her over just rub her belly!