Dogs Allowed: Yes
Fire or Stove: Yes
Sleeps: 2

Beautifully restored and finished to an exceptionally high standard, this luxury self-catering historic property retains many original features alongside the latest modern conveniences.

Balker Lodge is one of the original Gate Houses on the Estate. The single storey building maintains many original features alongside modern comforts and is extremely accessible. The Lodge enjoys a peaceful aspect overlooking the Galloway Hills and a river tributary of Black Loch, one of the two idyllic and unspoiled freshwater Lochs on the Estate.

The centrally heated Lodge comprises a sunny, comfortable living/dining room with log burning stove, stylish fully equipped kitchen with a Belfast sink, quiet airy bedroom, well-appointed bathroom, luxurious bed linen and large towels from the White Company, flat screen TV, Wi-Fi and private car parking.

Guests are able to enjoy unlimited access to Castle Kennedy Gardens and the surrounding Lochinch Castle Country Estate, and all that they offer through-out the different seasons.

A welcome pack is provided for guests on arrival including milk, bread, jam, butter, tea, coffee and fresh flowers from the garden (when in season). The cottage is well equipped with the general basics from washing-up liquid to bin bags and loo roll.

This is a perfectly peaceful haven for a special occasion such as a honeymoon or just to relax and unwind.

At a glance, Balker Lodge offers:

  • Sleeps – 2
  • 1 Bedroom (double), 1 Bath (bath and shower)
  • Log Burning Stove (logs provided)
  • Cot and high chair available on request
  • Rear garden with barbeque area and outdoor furniture
  • All pets welcome with advanced notice
  • Private parking area
  • Kitchen Appliances: Gas hob, Electric Oven, Dishwasher, Microwave, Washer/Drier, Fridge/Freezer
  • Entertainment: Flat screen TV, Freeview Box, DVD player, wi-fi, iPod dock
  • The White Company bed linen and towels
  • Selection of CDs, board games, classic films and books
  • Pay phone and hair dryer
  • Cycling – 2 x adult bikes included at own risk




Map and Local Information

Located at the end of the North Drive from Lochinch Castle, and close to the home farm, Balker Farms, Balker Lodge is situated in a valley overlooking the Galloway Hills, approximately 3 miles from Stranraer.

Balker Lodge, Lochinch Castle, Stranraer, Wigtownshire, DG9 8RS

Detailed room description

A front hall leads to the main living area and bedroom.

The pretty double bedroom contains a superb quality king size bed with an elegant canopy above. The bedroom is prepared with the finest cotton bed linen and luxuriously indulgent soft towels from The White Company.

The sunny and welcoming living room has a wood burning stove, plenty of comfortable seating, TV, DVD and Freeview Digital receiver along with an iPod dock/speaker system and a midi sound system. A sofa bed can be used for extra guests if required. A selection of classic films, books and games should while away a few hours and a dining table that can seat up to 4 completes the room which overlooks the river, fields and hills beyond.

The stylish new kitchen has a dishwasher, fridge, freezer, breakfast area and a microwave oven and is equipped to satisfy the most accomplished cook!

The bathroom contains a new, traditional white bath, sink and w.c. with a powerful over bath shower.

Outside, there is a large, private rear garden that contains a patio area and log store. A laundry room can be accessed from the back patio, which contains a washer/dryer. There is a shed with a barbeque, 2 adult bicycles and garden furniture. There is ample private car parking at the side of the property.


February, 2020

A wonderful weekend in a perfect location for exploring the Mull of Galloway and Portpatrick. Castle Kennedy Gardens was a full day’s entertainment.  Amazing views, wildlife and cakes in the tearoom.  Hope to return shortly.  P.S. Homemade carrot cake was fantastic.  

November, 2019

B – Brilliant place to stay
A – Amazing views
L – Lovely walks
K – Kind of wished we’d stayed before
E – Earl and Countess met them.  They couldn’t be more helpful
R – Red squirrels seen on doorstep.=

L – Lovely with the weather.  Blue skies
O – Out of season (November)
D – Definitely visit Portpatrick and the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse
G – Gardener friendly and chatty
E – Everything was wonderful.  We’ll be back!

August, 2019

This green oasis of calm and beauty has worked its magic once again and refilled our souls. We have been treated to aeriel displays of up to 10 bats at a time, amazing number of partridges, pheasants, red deer, red kites, woodpeckers, nuthatches, robins and coal, blue and great tits. We highly recommend exploring the Galloway Forest and then a trip to down to Gatehouse of Fleet, Wigtown is a must for book lovers, in fact there was nowhere that we didn’t enjoy – beautifully scenic and rugged. However, we could happily spend the whole week just walking around the woods and the lochs that make up Lochinch Castle and Castle Kennedy Gardens. The diversity of the species, the beauty and tranquility – our bliss, and the fabulous Balker Lodge and garden to return to each day. Happy Days!

March, 2019

This was our first visit to Balker Lodge.  Beautiful place for ourselves and our 2 dogs who loved the place and their beds that were provided.  The cottage is so well laid out and very comfortable and clean.  We loved the wildlife around.  We saw deer, hares, pheasants and an abundance of birds. The cake you gave us was delicious and the bottle of wine a very nice touch.

September, 2018

We loved Balker Lodge. It is beautifully decorated, very comfortable and had everything we needed.  We loved the extra touches with the provisions and the home-made cake too – delicious treat!  We loved that we could bring our dog.  We thought the castle grounds and the gardens were beautiful too.  I would definitely visit again and have already recommended the place to friends and family.  Thank you for your hospitality.  

June, 2018

Thank you very much! This must be the best holiday cottage we’ve ever stayed in. Comfortable bed, lovely shower, good sofa, pretty garden surrounded by spectacular wildlife and walks.

Please thank everyone at the gardens entrance and tea-room for their welcome and friendliness and also the Head Gardener for his information and a very pleasant tour. We will be back.

David and Emma Wildgoose, Banchory
June, 2017

Balker is indeed first class as a holiday cottage, in every respect. My wife and I were impressed by the initial on-line marketing information and found the follow-up contact with office and housekeeper very efficient and friendly.

Our stay has lived up to all our expectations. The cottage is very comfortable and well equipped. We particularly enjoyed exploring the lovely gardens and nearby by-ways on foot or bicycle. Further afield, a highlight was morning coffee and a cliff top walk at Callie Craig’s, at the southern point of the Mull of Galloway, besides the lighthouse.

Our stay has been a memorable part of our Golden Wedding Celebrations.

Thanks to all concerned.

Arnando and Donna Vela, Michigan, USA
May, 2016

We can’t say enough about the beauty of this area, the wonderful cottage, and the people here!

Thank you all of you on the Estate for everything! We don’t want to leave! Beautiful weather, beautiful garden, beautiful cottage, beautiful people! Loved the cows! 

Gill, Huddersfield
May, 2016

Wonderful cottage and beautiful surroundings. Everything we needed. And the welcome pack was much appreciated, especially the cake and wine.

The weather was changeable but we had cosy evenings enjoying the log fire. Having never been to this area before, we really enjoyed the spectacular scenery and the friendliness of the Scottish people.

The grounds are equally superb with clear lochs and rolling pastures, sprinkled with wonderful wildlife.

Adam and Stella Carradice, Cumbria
January, 2016

We have stayed in many holiday cottages in the UK, but Balker Lodge is up there with the best.

We have particularly enjoyed our walks around the grounds(beautiful) and watching the various wildlife from the lodge window – not a bad view while having breakfast!

The lodge itself is very impressive, well equipped with modern and traditional facilities, with fantastic views. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would love to return one day.

Paul and Nargus, Derby
Christmas, 2015

Balker Lodge : a truly magical place, warm, comfortable, with staff to match.  A wonderful place to celebrate Christmas – thank you!

Sue Precious
October, 2015

We came back! And had an equally splendid week. Great to see the Estate at a different time of year – it is perfect.  Great walking and much relaxing has been enjoyed. Thank you.

Ann and John Kennedy
September 2014

We have had a wonderful week with great weather, wonderful wildlife and have enjoyed staying in your delightful cottage.   There has been so much to enjoy including cycling around Castle Kennedy Gardens, as well as visiting Portpatrick, the Ayrshire Coast, Isle of Whithorn and much more.

Many thanks for the welcome pack and delicious cake.

Allan and Frieda Sheldon
September 2014

We have had an amazing week, and have enjoyed seeing the deer down at the Loch having a drink, the red squirrels and all the birds on the feeder.

The cottage is so wonderful with everything and more for what you need.  Thank you for the welcome pack.  The cake was a lovely treat.  Thank you for letting us share this wonderful experience.

September 2014

The cottage is beautiful beyond words; it exceeds even its beautiful photos on the net.   The grounds are so gorgeous that it is a spiritual and physical wrench to leave.  However the hospitality, the care and kindness, the attention to detail is hard to describe adequately.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Mark and Sandra English
August 2014

We have had the most amazing week in Balker Lodge, one of the most tasteful and will equipped properties we have stayed in.  Walking everyday with such free access has been wonderful and Dexter has loved it.  What dog wouldn’t?  The Lochs, Castle Kennedy Gardens and our lodge garden have been an every changing sight with the changes in the weather and all the visitors – hares, deer, butterflies, bats and birds.

All of the estate staff have been really friendly and helpful and big thanks to them.  Rhins of Galloway is definitely worth a trip as is Portpatrick.  A great week and we are sure to be back.

August 2014

We had a terrific week in this absolutely gorgeous cottage, the loveliest we’ve stayed in.

The weather was patchy but it didn’t matter as you can get cosy in the cottage, and as soon as the weather perks up you can be in the beautiful woods and gardens of Lochinch and Castle Kennedy Gardens in minutes.  It was great for the dog and us.  We loved watching the deer and birds and we hate to leave.  The bikes are a great addition and the surrounding countryside is wonderful for cycling.  We’ll be recommending Balker Lodge to many.

August 2014

We’ve had a wonderful week, so have the dogs.  Best night time sky we have ever seen!  Galloway Forest Park is highly recommended.

John & Claire Clifford
June 2014

We’ve had a fantastic week in a beautiful cottage. It’s been such a pleasure and a privilege to stay in such a well maintained, well equipped and comfortable home. As for the wildlife we’ve seen red squirrels, rabbits, roe deer, woodpeckers all from the kitchen window (as well as countless chaffinches and blackbirds, a thrush, a wren, swallows, jays, great tits, blue tits and coal tits) and a pheasant. We’ve seen herons, buzzards and a red kite flying near the castle. Being able to walk around the estate and gardens was lovely.

Thank you for the delicious cake and the thoughtful things you left us.  We can’t wait to come back.

Aaron & Sam
May 2014

Watching Red Kites whilst having breakfast, heaven.  Didn’t want to leave, Joe cried.  We’ll definitely be back!

What you need to know about this property

Does this property allow dogs?

How is this property accessed?
Via a main road and an estate drive.

What is the nearest station and how far away is it?
Stranraer Station, 3 miles away

Is there a private car park?
Yes, adjacent to the property

What type of heating does this property have?
Central heating and a wood burning stove

How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?
Logs are provided at no additional cost

What are the kitchen facilities?
The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, and cooking implements.  There is a gas hob and an electric over, a dishwasher and a fridge freezer.

What are the bathroom facilities?
There is one bathroom, with a bath and shower attachments

Does this property have a steep staircase?
This is single storey property and there are no stairs.

Is linen provided?
Yes bed linen and towels are provided.  All the beds will be made up prior to your arrival.

Will there be a mobile signal?
Mobile coverage can be patchy and intermittent.  A payphone is available to use.

Is there WiFi?
Yes there is WiFi.

Is there a garden or outside space?
There is a private garden to the rear of the property.  Unlimited access is also given to Castle Kennedy Gardens and the surrounding Lochinch Castle Estate.  NB there are public footpaths through the Estate.

Booking and Payment

Can I pay a deposit?
If you stay starts more than two months from the date you make the booking you are required to make a deposit of 50% at the time of the booking.

How can I pay?
We accept Maestro, Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drown on a UK bank.  All payments must be made in sterling.

How do I pick up a key?
Our Housekeeper will be in touch with you the week before you arrive to confirm the arrangement.

How can I cancel or change my booking?
If you wish to cancel or change your booking please email or call the Estate Office on 01776 702 024.

What if I arrive late?
Please let our housekeeper know if you will be arriving late.

Do you accept payment in other currencies?
We only accept payment in sterling.

How far in advance do I need to book?
It depends.  Our properties can be booked up a long time in advance, but they can also be booked at short notice.  It’s worth checking our availability list.

Staying at our Holiday Cottages

Do you provide catering?
If required we can provide a tasty homemade meal ready to heat up, on arrival and/or breakfast ingredients for the following morning, particularly welcome if you are anticipating a late arrival. Wherever possible the above food items will be locally sourced.  For more information email

Do you allow dogs?
We welcome all well-behaved dogs, and permit a maximum of two per property.  They must be kept off furniture and be under proper control.

Insured if I break something?
We do not carry insurance for breakages.  However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen.  If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to withhold the deposit and to invoice you accordingly.

Is it suitable for children?
Yes, our properties are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover.  We positively encourage families to stay.

Is it accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?
Balker Lodge is suitable for people with limited mobility.  We recommend that you contact our housekeeper to confirm specific requirements.

Can I get married there?
Yes, Lochinch Castle and Castle Kennedy Gardens are licensed to hold weddings.

Can I hold a big party there?
Our properties are perfect for gatherings of family and friends.  You may invite an additional because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building.  In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified.  Should this be ignored we will make a retrospective charge per person per day.