It seems a lifetime ago since we stayed at Homelands Trust in Fife. In reality, it was only last December, but as you know, so much has happened since then.
Having read previous reviews I was expecting Homelands to be accessible, but I don’t think I was expecting it to be so fantastically luxurious.
If I was going to retire to write my memoirs, it’d be somewhere like this I’d base myself, imagine a swanky villa or luxury lodge, like what you see in a lifestyle magazine.
As always, I made a meal of the journey up to Scotland and took far too many detours along the way.
This meant, we arrived late in the evening and I couldn’t help notice how dark Scottish skies are at night (who knew). I mentioned this to Jan who’s a trustee at Homelands, I think I said “isn’t the sky dark at night” she must have thought I was a bit strange.
After a warm welcome from Jan and quick tour, we arranged a breakfast meeting with bacon butties then Jan left us to get acquainted with Cardy, our home for the next few days.
Homelands Trust in Fife, Scotland
Homelands Trust is a registered charity in the seaside village of Lundin Links, Fife. The charity owns and manages 4 luxury lodges and a drop-in centre known as The Paxton Centre.
The Paxton Centre was named in honour of its generous benefactor Miss Isabel Paxton. The centre is a communal space where everyone is welcome.
We had the pleasure of eating bacon butties in the main room whilst overlooking the local golf course and Forth Estuary… it’s a tough life!!!
Apologies for the photo but the sun was in our eyes…
The centre is a hub, an accessible place where the local community can come together to relax, take part in activities, enjoy alternative therapies and make use of the facilities for training and meetings.
I took a guided tour and given the level of accessibility and facilities; I can see why it’s so popular in the area, take a look:
The Local Area
Instead of spending more time in the local area, we foolishly wasted a day by taking a drive into Edinburgh. For one reason or another, Edinburgh always beats us, you can read all about it in Edinburgh Beat us Again.
What we should have done was spend more time on the Fife coast, you live and learn and I know we’ll be visiting again, hopefully later this year.
The area is understandably popular with golfers as Lundin Links has two golf courses. Being a non-sporty type, I opted for a trip into the nearby town of Leven for the chippy and extra supplies.
Whilst we were in Fife we took a drive along the coast, popped into St Andrews and called into Lower Largo and Elie along the way.
If you want to explore Fife, there is a comprehensive list of things to do and places to visit on the Homelands website.
Accessible Holiday Lodges at Homelands Trust
In addition to the equipment inbuilt into the lodges there are a number of pieces of specialist equipment included at no extra charge:
- Rise/ recline armchair
- Over bed table (height adjustable)
- Friedland flashing doorbell
- Vibrating smoke alarm
- Wet room with non-slip flooring
- Perching stool (height adjustable)
- Toilet raiser
There is also an extensive list of equipment which can be hired free of charge (subject to availability) when booking a lodge:
- Etac Turner stand aid (non-electric)
- Electric stand Aid – Oxford Journey
- Electric mobile hoist – Oxford Advance
- Assisted wheelchair
- Manual wheelchair
- Perching stool (height adjustable)
- Infrared TV listening system: hearing aid users
- Infrared TV listening system: non-hearing aid users
- Static bedroom commode
- Freeway shower chair/ commode (self-propelled)
- Freeway shower chair/ commode (assisted)
- Shower trolley
- Bed lever
- Side bumpers for electric profiling bed.
Our Lodge – Cardy which sleeps up to 6 people
Outside Cardy Lodge
You are able to park directly outside the lodge in the parking bays adjacent to the front door. The car park is well lit at night, and the surface is compacted gravel in a grid which makes it easy for wheelchair users and the road surface is block paving.
The parking bays are close to the front door of the lodges. We parked approximately 12 foot from the entrance to Cardy which meant Bridget could stretch her legs rather than use her chair.
As you enter the modern holiday lodge there is a large porch area. The porch space is ideal for parking your chair or scooter if you can move around without it.
Also, the porch is great for leaving your mucky boots and wet clothing when you return to the lodge after a day out in the Scottish weather.
I was impressed with the attention to detail as there were a complimentary umbrella and torch. For me, it’s these little things that tell you how important your safety and comfort are to Homelands.
Inside Cardy lodge
As you step inside, the first thing that hits you is the space. The sheer size of the lodge is impressive, clever open plan design, high ceilings, light wooden floors, bright decoration and large windows all work in harmony to give you the feeling of freedom.
Although I’m a bit weird, the second thing I noticed was the smell. And by smell, I mean it smelt like home. I hate going on holiday and compromising, yes we need an accessible property, but what we don’t need is a sterile environment and I’ve spent enough time in hospitals to smell the difference.
As you know, I’ve got Fibromyalgia, it would be impossible for me to type a report of every single appliance, facility and quirk, my arms just couldn’t take it. So take a look at the photos and let me say this – it is equipped with everything you need and some stuff you didn’t know you needed.
The stunning open plan living area is a cavernous space. The sheer height of the ceiling is impressive. I was particularly fond of standing on the first-floor viewing gallery and surveying my Kingdom.
On more than one occasion, much to Bridget’s disgust, I stood on the balcony and recited Romeo and Juliet and told the story of Rapunzel, anyway I digress!
The living area which looks out over the garden through huge patio windows and includes a two-seater couch, a rise and recline chair, TV with Freeview, Blu-Ray player and discs,iPod docking station and of course the all important super fast wifi.
Bridget and I played a little game, we tried to think of an appliance or utensil that wasn’t already supplied in the kitchen, we couldn’t think of any. I was particularly taken with the ice dispensing American style fridge and luckily for me, it came with instructions.
The downstairs bedroom is accessible through sliding doors in the living area. It also has access to the garden straight from the bedroom. The twin bedroom with Invacare Medley Ergo electric profiling bed with pressure relief Airflow mattress plus Guldmann H-frame ceiling tracking hoist (looped slings for hoist are not provided).
Wetroom with Toilet
The spacious wet room features a Guldmann H-frame ceiling tracking hoist (no sling provided and a ‘Clos-o-mat’ ® toilet.
Ground Floor Toilet
The separate toilet on the ground floor features a toilet with multiple grab rails and hand basin.
When I stay in a hotel I hate having to ask for an iron. In Cardy’s utility room, I had not only the iron but the full works to do the washing, the drying and ironing. And the great news is, it’s all in a separate room so it doesn’t interfere with your comfort in the living area.
Ordinarily, Bridget wouldn’t entertain climbing stairs, but as she wanted to lay in bed and stargaze she pushed herself (with a little help from me) to sleep upstairs.
We basically did everything downstairs and made sure she only had to climb them once a day, it worked out fine and I’m glad it did because we got to sleep in the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in.
The large bedroom featured a super king size bed with quality linen, beanbag and chair, plenty of wardrobe space, floor to ceiling windows which are not overlooked and the best sunrise of a morning you’ll ever see.
The upstairs bathroom included a bath which was a low level although not advertised as accessible. Bridget was unable to use the bath, but I loved it because we had to get rid of our bath at home to make way for the wet room.
The bathroom also included a wash basin and toilet.
The large garden is accessed through the patio doors in the living and downstairs bedroom. Although we did not benefit with it being December, I can imagine sitting out on a hot summers evening, cold drink in hand and looking out over the Forth Estuary.
Overall Feel and Would We Recommend Homelands
You know, when I review a holiday property I want my review to be more than a list of features.
Be honest, who really goes on holiday for the features?
Instead, I like to talk about the benefits and a stay at Homelands Trust in Fife is full of them. Some I have touched on, cleanliness, comfort, homeliness and accessibility to name a few but the main benefit for me was relaxation.
We go on holiday to relax and boy was I able to relax in Homelands. Functionally, everything we needed was already there so I wasn’t lugging “stuff” with me. This meant I was able to enjoy the lodge, the area and of course time with Bridget.
Massive thanks to Jan and the team at Homelands for hosting us and making our stay a great one. And, special thanks to Jan and Kitty for a very tasty breakfast, it was a pleasure to meet you both and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Website: Homelands Trust in Fife
Facebook: Homelands Trust on Facebook
Twitter: Homelands Trust on Twitter
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