Couple thrilled with top accolade

Andrea and Stu McCormack at Kidcleugh Hide which won the gold award for Best holiday home in Scotland.
Andrea and Stu McCormack at Kidcleugh Hide which won the gold award for Best holiday home in Scotland.

Entrepreneurs Andrea and Stu McCormack are celebrating after their holiday home in the Lammermuir Hills scooped gold in a national travel awards scheme.

The Sykes Gem Awards celebrate excellence in holiday cottage accommodation and saw thousands of entries from across the UK.

Taking the top spot in the ‘Best in Scotland’ category, the stunning Kidcleugh Hide near Duns was bought by Andrea and her husband Stu after retiring from their careers in nursing and teaching.

Despite only being made available to holidaymakers earlier this year, the property has already become a popular bolthole for couples wanting to explore the Borders.

Having travelled around the world together, Andrea and Stu used their experience to create an ideal spot for a country escape. Located in a secluded spot in the Lammermuir Hills the property boasts panoramic views of the countryside and a modern, homely interior, designed by Andrea herself.

Judged by a panel of leading travel industry experts, Kidcleugh Hide was assessed on its style, suitability and facilities, as well as its occupancy rate and customer feedback on cleanliness, comfort, location and value for money.

Andrea said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won gold in the ‘Best in Scotland’ category – it just shows that if you really put your heart into something like Stu and I have, you will get noticed.

“Our main goal in doing this was to give others a perfect base to create memories. By creating a luxurious, relaxing environment in such an ideal location, we’ve done just that.

“I hope winning these awards mean a wider audience of people get to hear about Kidcleugh Hide in the future and I can welcome even more couples through its doors.”

Graham Donoghue, CEO of Sykes Cottages, added: “The Sykes Gem Awards have given us the chance to celebrate unique properties like Kidcleugh Hide and their owners. The awards uncover the best of the best in our portfolio of properties and make it even easier for holidaymakers to select the perfect break. Whether it’s about discovering the best walks, most beautiful beaches, or finding properties that suit large groups or families, there’s something to suit everyone.”

This year’s Sykes Gem Awards saw thousands of entries from around the UK across 27 categories – ranging from Best for Pets to Best for Walking and Most Eco-Friendly Property.