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 it would be so incredibly luxurious.
If I were going to retire to write my memoirs, I’d base myself somewhere like this: 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, a trustee at Homelands. I think I said, “isn’t the sky dark at night” she must have thought I was strange.
After a warm welcome from Jan and a 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 four 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 enjoyed 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, participate in activities, enjoy alternative therapies and make use of the facilities for training and meetings.
I took a guided tour, and given the accessibility and facilities, I can see why it’s so popular. 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. Edinburgh always beats us for one reason or another, and 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 to 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.
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 several pieces of specialist equipment included at no extra charge:
- Rise/ recline armchair
- Overbed 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 that 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 can park directly outside the lodge in the parking bays adjacent to the front door. The car park is well lit at night, the surface is compacted gravel in a grid, making 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 feet 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 muddy 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 a complimentary umbrella and torch were there. For me, these little things tell you how important your safety and comfort are to Homelands.
Inside Cardy lodge
The first thing that hits you as you step inside 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 we don’t need 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 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 vast 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 looks out over the garden through substantial patio windows. It includes a two-seater couch, a rise and recline chair, TV with Freeview, Blu-ray player and discs,iPod docking station, and 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, and 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, and it also has access to the garden straight from the bedroom.
The twin bedroom had an 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 bathroom with multiple grab rails and a hand basin.
When I stay in a hotel, I hate having to ask for an iron. In Cardy’s utility room, I had the iron and the complete 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 bit of help from me) to sleep upstairs.
We 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 that are not overlooked and the best sunrise of morning you’ll ever see.
The upstairs bathroom included a low-level bath, although not advertised as accessible. Bridget could not use the tub, 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 washbasin and toilet.
The large garden is accessed through the patio doors in the living and downstairs bedroom. Although we did not benefit from it being December, I can imagine sitting out on a hot summer’s evening, cold drink in hand and looking out over the Forth Estuary.
Overall Feel and Would We Recommend Homelands
When I review a holiday property, I want my review to be more than a list of features.
Who 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 went 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 enjoyed the lodge, the area and, of course, time with Bridget.
Massive thanks to Jan and the team at Homelands for hosting us and making we stay a great one. And, special thanks to Jan and Kitty for a delicious 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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