Topping the crest of the hill, one has images of a tweed-clad figure, pipe clenched in his teeth, carefully surveying his next shot at Carnoustie, the links course properly laid out in 1834. The vision of Scotland fades as the links are split in two by the road which leads to Glenlaurel, a luxurious Hocking Hills Scottish Country Inn and its gathering of cottages and crofts, all nestled on 140 acres of peaceful woodlands a scant hour from Columbus, Ohio. There is much to explore on a network of trails through a diversity of habitats, highlighting some of its plant assemblages and wildlife denizens, waterfalls and the private, scenic gorge. Our home for a couple of long weekends…
One with my three sisters for a girl getaway, one with my husband to celebrate his birthday. And they were entirely different experiences. My sisters and I stayed in the MacLeod Cottage--spacious and well appointed. We checked in and hiked the on-site Camusfearna Gorge that very afternoon. It was March but still wintry--and gorgeous. Back in the cottage, we relaxed over a glass of wine by the fire before treating ourselves to the Friday night six-course seafood dinner. It was fabulous! Gazing at the stars from the hot tub on the deck of our cottage topped off a thoroughly memorable day together. After an absolutely delicious breakfast in the manor house the following morning, we set out to see a few of the Hocking Hills sites. There are many, but we selected Old Man’s Cave, Conkles Hollow and Rock House and enjoyed several hours of hiking and marveling at the local natural wonders. Impressive! We ate in the cottage that evening and, after our active afternoon, slept like babies in our very comfortable beds. Early mornings were especially nice, watching the sun rise over the woods through our big east-facing picture window while sipping our coffee. Another delicious breakfast and we, regretfully, bade our farewells and departed this tranquil, woodsy little piece of heaven for home, glowing in the warmth of our time together and memories made.
A few weeks later, my husband and I arrived to a much quieter weekend. We checked in to the Elliot croft, unpacked our bags, and immediately indulged in the height of luxury—an afternoon nap. As my husband slept on, I ventured onto the deck and enjoyed a leisurely hour in the hot tub, listening to and watching the birds in the bare trees. Wrapped in the luxurious Glenlaurel bathrobes, my husband and I sipped a glass of wine while taking in the sounds of the woods just outside our screened porch prior to another exceptional seafood dining experience in the beautiful manor house. An absolutely delightful day. We did not leave the property the entire weekend. Short walks, naps, afternoon hot tub retreats, pleasure reading, and relishing the sounds of the woods from the screened-in porch (wild turkeys, quail, songbirds, squirrels, the rushing water in the gorge below) were the absolutely-demand-free order of our days. The quietude was blissful. Meals in the manor house were a special treat, including interacting with the very gracious and pleasant staff. Glenlaurel is a haven, indeed. We hope to return often.
Deb and George Rogerson