We met Evelyn from Sandford Country Cottages in Wormit, Fife when she took a Photo Tour with us. Evelyn was keen to find out about the Tours to tell her guests but also she was one of the many people who have inherited a DSLA Camera and didn’t know how to use it. We were delighted she joined us and we were able to get her set up with her camera, and she experienced the Tour first hand. We were equally delighted when she invited us over to see the Sandford Estate for ourselves.
It was a dull and misty day but when we arrived at to the house, apart from the weather, you could almost believe that you’d arrived at a beautiful Mediterranean villa. The grounds and the courtyard are stunning and Evelyn told us that many brides have used the location for their wedding photography, it was easy to see why.
Evelyn glows with pride when discussing the huge renovation project undertaken by her and her partner, Ralph. From an almost derelict building with outhouses they have transformed the former Sandford Hotel into a stunning escape in the country. Touring the main house was a photographer’s dream, the attention to detail and the arts and crafts displayed set of the oak beams and large lead windows which let light bathe every room. We guarantee kitchen envy if you’re visiting and take advantage of the Arts & Crafts architecture guided tour of the house during your stay! Wow. The kitchen was originally the main dining room of the hotel and Evelyn told us that her and Ralph, used to enjoy a meal and a drink there and sit in the window table where there is still a small table and two chairs set today! There’s a photography connection to the house going much further back.
The house was designed and built in 1902 for the Valentine family. In Dundee itself, there’s little to show that Valentines of Dundee was ever here, unless, of course, you count the cards that are still eagerly snapped up by collectors all over the world, or the memories of the former Valentines staff. The firm became famous in the picture postcard industry and then moved into greeting card manufacturing, at one point over 60 million greeting cards were produced in Dundee every year. The University of St Andrews archives houses 120,000 images, held in a variety of formats and sizes: loose prints, proofs, albums, postcards, glass and film negatives. Much has been digitised and is in the process of being catalogued. But back to the house ……
It was built in 1902 and is one of only two houses in Scotland designed by the Arts and Crafts Architect Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott In 1910, following a devastating fire, it was reconstructed and use and ownership has changed over the years. In the main sitting room, previously Valentine’s library and den there are pictures taken of the Valentine family at the house on display, a beautiful historic record of that time. It fell into disrepair before Evelyn and Ralph bought it in 2007. They’ve worked hard to restore it to the original building and it was featured on the BBC’s “Restoration Homes”
The cottages themselves are beautiful with attention to details and a room with a view from every window
t’s that attention to detail along with the luxuries and home comforts that make Sandford Country Cottages a must for a stay in Tay Country. Each property has its own entrance door and outdoor terrace or balcony, with all properties sharing the large 7 acre garden with areas suitable for picnics, walking and relaxing. Check out the ginormous tree house on telegraph poles!! Each property has an open plan kitchen, living and dining room with wood-burning stove and they are all furnished in a boutique style to a really high standard with a mixture of contemporary and antique furniture.
They really have thought of everything with binoculars in every room to enjoy the scenery and Scottish Wildlife including deer and red squirrels which are an endangered species.
With lots to do and see in Fife and Dundee’s newest attraction the V&A Museum of Design only 5 miles away over the Tay Road Bridge, you won’t be stuck for choice. Dundee Photo Tours offers guests at Sandford Country Cottages a discount on our Tours.