out of 10
Although it sounds as if the Cottage is well-hidden away, it is actually fairly easy to locate. The numerous signs for "Beware of the Dog(s)" might cause a little trepidation but their collective bark - 4 of them at times - was much worse than any bite! The surroundings were as anticipated, very leafy, close to nature - the biggest peanut feeder for birds and squirrels that we´ve ever seen, and watching them all feeding was great compensation for the erratic TV reception in the lounge-diner! - and the view across the garden to the River Dee and the bridge across to Aboyne, with the wooded hills beyond, was spectacular. The kitchen was well-stocked, to the point that we had to move some items around just to make some space for our food in the cupboards and on the shelves, which was how we eventually managed to locate the folders for information about the cottage and the local area, which apparently the previous guests had hidden. The fridge was efficient, if a little loud at times, and the toaster positively nuclear-powered, our first slice of bread blackened just on setting 2/3 out of 6! The adjoining door to the owners house next door at the kitchen end of the lounge-diner was woefully sound-proofed. At times we could hear conversation, dogs being let in and out of the garden door, the ping of the microwave, dishes being cleaned and something that sounded like a towel-rail fitted to the owners side of the door being used and making such a noise that you´d think somebody was about to walk in through it? Other than fitting a new door or bricking it up entirely, I can only suggest some hanging tapestry or something similar on both sides of the door, perhaps a thick mat on the floor on either side, and probably removing the towel-rack or whatever it was that was making the loudest noise? Otherwise, the bed was good and firm, plenty of storage space, the TV in there worked fine, and the bathroom, though perhaps a little dated - a plastic wash basin and a loo flush handle that was somewhat idiosyncratic - was perfectly usable with plenty of hot water for the shower. Our hosts were very friendly and helpful, and took an interest in our stay without being at all intrusive, and despite the misgivings mentioned above, we can only think that anybody seeking some rest in wonderful countryside surroundings would be happy with their stay?