In Conversation With: Charlie Gladstone of Glen Dye Cabins and Cottages

In Conversation With: Charlie Gladstone of Glen Dye Cabins and Cottages

We sit down with Charlie Gladstone, to talk about the small details, the big picture, and the long road ahead

First off tell us a little about yourselves and the overarching philosophy behind Glen Dye Cabins?

We are outdoors people with an interest in design. Our careers (in music, design, food, retail and hospitality) are primarily urban but our hearts are in the country and we have spent most of the last 30 years in the Highlands at Glen Dye. The Cabins and Cottages is a project that our careers have been leading to, even if we didn’t know it until a few years ago; they mix beautifully designed spaces with incredible countryside. The idea is to offer the best, most luxurious, most original accommodation in an incredible place and to do so as sustainably as possible.

With all the chaos that modern life entails, do you think it’s more important than ever to ditch the city and embrace the countryside every now and again?

If you can, then I do think you should try to. There are few better cures than deep immersion in the countryside, and time away from city life also removes us from the constant burden of buying stuff. And at Glen Dye, we have the added (and increasingly rare) benefit of no mobile phone signal unless you’re on top of a mountain. So, if you want to check your texts you need to go for a proper walk.

Glen Dye Cabins and Cottages offer such a great mix of rugged adventure and luxury escape. Was it a challenge to strike the balance between the two?

It came quite easily to us because we understood that amazing accommodation is possible wherever you are. We live in a beautifully-designed home, high above a river in a very remote place, so this is second nature. It’s funny how few really good holiday cottages there are in Britain; design often seems like an afterthought to location. But our careers gave us the skills to mix the two and that’s what we did.

From Camp Glen Dye to the Good Life Experience, the concepts of shared experience and connection seem particularly important to you guys. What drives that passion?

CG: Our main interests are people and community. We profoundly believe that belonging to a community is at the heart of living a good and fulfilled life. And before we started doing things, certain parts of our community (makers, food people, retailers, musicians, thinkers) weren’t connected so we used the opportunities we have to connect them. It’s worked so well and now we have a growing community of super friendly and engaged people forming around these ventures.

Each of your cottages offers something a little different and each is an absolute feast of smaller finer details. Do you have any personal favourite spots, details or furnishings that you’re particularly proud of?

CG: I think we’re getting better the more we do. Caroline, my wife, does colours, fabrics and lighting and I do the pictures, furniture and that sort of thing. Practise really does make perfect, so I am going to say our latest property, The Hayloft, is the best.

Do you have any immediate plans to add new cabins and cottages to the line-up?

CG: Yes, we are. We’ll have a new area called The Garden Camp ready for Christmas. The central feature of that will be an immaculate 1958 Showman’s caravan. Then we have an amazing new cottage – our biggest yet – opening in the spring and if we can get planning permission, we have an incredible structure in the works for next year. It will be a one-off and totally unique to Britain.

And finally, what does the idea of luxury mean to you both personally? How do you guys treat yourselves after a long day, busy week, or creative milestone?

CG: More than anything, I think it’s a good bottle of red wine and a decent novel for me. For Caroline it’s the same sort of book, but the wine is white.


Interview by Will Halbert of The Essential Journal

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