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  • Iona Cottage - Scottish Lowlands - 1000362 - photo 1

Iona Cottage

(Ref. 1000362)

Duns, Scottish Borders Show on map


Sykes rating

  • 5 Guests

  • 3 Bedrooms

  • 3 Bathrooms

  • Pets Yes


  • Ground floor accommodation
  • Ground floor bedroom
  • Garden / Patio
  • Cot available
  • Highchair available
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Broadband / WiFi

Reviews & Ratings

Accuracy of the listing
Facilities and Maintenance
  • All reviews
  • cottage (27)
  • lovely (15)
  • stay (11)
  • our (10)
  • great (10)
  • clean (9)

33 Customer Reviews

  • "Internet connection very poor Kitchen cleanliness poor Bedding poor Access to upstairs bedrooms poor No communication with key holder other than me phoning due to no Internet."

    We didn't stay at the cottage for the full week due to lack of comfort and facilities.

    Reviewed by Deborah1.9Oct 2023

  • "A lovely cottage, could do with a good deep clean, and a spruce up, also there are a couple of “Lengths of wood within the pebbles” at the front of the property, which has a few long bolts in them-protruding upwards,we were just grateful that it was daylight when we arrived as if we had driven on to them it would have ruined a couple of the car tyres, also dangerous to walk on,as could be a tripping hazard, if you could let the owners know I am sure they can easily rectify this."

    Thank you for your comments. We were aware of this issue . It has now been sorted. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Peter3.1Sep 2023

  • "I have sent you feedback twice both times expressing my dissapointment in Iona cottage ."

    It was poorly maintained , not very clean , items which should have been in the cottage had to be purchased by ourselves ie bin liners . toilet rolls , washing up liquid . All in all a very expensive holiday with little in return .

    Thank you Judith. I have just stayed at our cottage . I agree with your comments and will be asking the cleaning agency to provide bins, washing up liquid. I have also done various maintenance jobs and have copied your comments to the cleaning company. Sorry that things were not satisfactory for you. Property Owner

    Reviewed by Judith2.2Sep 2023

  • "Iona Cottage is a lovely place to stay, welcoming, spacious and well-equipped, and Gavinton makes a peaceful and convenient base for exploring the Borders."

    There were a couple of minor issues with a loose bed bolt and lack of somewhere to dry laundry, which the agent responded to quickly.

    Reviewed by Fiona4.7Aug 2023

  • "Would have benefited with a shower in the upstairs bathroom but a lovely cottage ..."

    Would have benefited with a shower in the upstairs bathroom but a lovely cottage and friendly neighbours great location for reaching lots of towns

    Reviewed by Diane3.8Jul 2023

  • "Everything was great on arrival."

    Had to go out immediately for basic essentials - milk, bread etc - usually have a small welcome pack in Sykes cottages but no biggie. Everything was as described and a lovely area to stay with amenities very local in Duns. Very easy to get to Berwick, Edinburgh and down to Alnwick, Durham etc.. WIFI was intermittent but no deter from a great break and onto our next Sykes Cottage in October - returning to Bank end Barn in Cumbria again after another great break last year

    Reviewed by Jackie5.0Jul 2023

  • "The property was a great base to visit the Borders."

    The property is a true reflection of the photos, however, the garden has become a bit overgrown and could do with some TLC to make it more enjoyable. We had a slight issue with wasps, but it was sorted very quickly by the property agents, which we're grateful. The village is peaceful and the locals are friendly. There are lots of walks around the property, which our dog loved. We made good use of the football fields too. The Blackadder restaurant, which is 8 miles away is worth a visit too. Overall, we enjoyed our stay and would recommend the property and surrounding area for a visit.

    Reviewed by Jacqueline4.7Jun 2023

  • "The garden could do with attention, untidy and overgrown."

    Cooker oven not heating up on convection, disappointing as we had taken food to cook. Called the helpline in their brochure but nobody called back. No instructions, other than the tv, were there to help with the other equipment which makes it difficult to use. Otherwise the cottage was ok and we enjoyed our stay.

    Reviewed by Lynne3.1Jun 2023

  • "We really enjoyed our stay at Iona cottage."

    I only have one very small thing to mention . Given that there is no shop in the village, it would be useful to have a couple of dishwasher tablets and a couple of spare bin liners and if this isn't possible, to mention that guests bring some with them. I did buy some eventually and left them for the next people to use. Just one other small point... The front door was often very difficult to lock. We always managed it eventually, but it was exasperating. Apart from these two small points, we found the cottage comfortable and extremely well equipped. Would definitely book again. Thank you.

    Reviewed by Moira4.7Jun 2023

  • "Great cottage and intend to book again."

    Only problem was unmown lawn. Grass was 18inches high and hard to cut.

    Thank you Terry. I'm sorry about the garden and the grass. I have weeded the garden and mowed it again. Unfortunately we were let down by a local gardener who promised to regularly cut the grass. We are trying to find a replacement. I'm sure we will succeed soon. Thank you for your note. a few sheep would certainly sort it. Thank you for your excellent feedback. Phil and Clare Cox Property Owner

    Reviewed by Terry5.0May 2023

  • "We had a great family holiday."

    Iona is a lovely homely Cottage in the picturesque village of Gavinton, 5mins drive outside of Duns. The cottage is spacious and well equipped, the village is very quiet, with friendly locals and lots of bird song. There is a small play park in the village green with football goals, which our 7yo loved having so close. It’s a great base for exploring the Borders, we’ll hopefully be back soon.

    Reviewed by Stuart5.0Mar 2023

  • "Beautiful clean cottage with everything you need for your stay."

    Easy check in with clear instructions. I really enjoyed my stay.

    Reviewed by M I5.0Dec 2022

  • "Iona cottage is a beautiful place to stay and has a lovely garden that was perfect for our dog."

    Great location for exploring the Borders. Cottage was very homely, we really appreciated the welcome box. Such a nice touch. Just a lovely place to stay, quiet, peaceful and what we wanted. We had a great time. So thanks to the owners and to Sykes. We look forward to our next break with you. Kind regards Susan

    Reviewed by Susan5.0Sep 2022

  • "Excellent cottage had everything we needed, and the village was very close to the A68 was very handy for travelling to Edinburgh."

    Reviewed by Deborah5.0Aug 2022

  • "This is a lovely cottage."

    The broadband makes watching streamed Tv impossible and should be rectified as there is clearly a fault on the broadband. We tried to leave the cottage as clean as possible, but the vacuum cleaner that was left for use was not working, meaning we had to leave the carpet without vacuuming it. This is a lovely cottage in a lovely location. We’ve stayed here twice and would definitely return.

    Reviewed by Lee3.8Jul 2022

  • "Splendid, fully equipped cottage in very quiet area of Scotland."

    The garden was not overlooked and was ideal for sunning ourselves listening to chirping birds. We had to cut the lawn on arrival, but this was of little importance and we had problems getting the Wi-Fi to work but probably because our internet skills are poor. Several small shops and cafes in Duns, bigger ones in Kelso and supermarkets in Berwick.

    Reviewed by Terry5.0May 2022

  • "Booking with Sykes was very easy and the operatives were very helpful and an all round excellent service."

    The cottage was comfortable and suited the two of us.and although it was well equipped perhaps the bed mattresses could be upgraded!!! It was in an excellent position for visiting all the places we wanted to see especially St Abbs head. We have used Sykes before and will certainly be using them again.

    mattress replaced October 2021. Thanks for the feedback Property Owner

    Reviewed by Helen4.4Sep 2021

  • "Lovely comfortable cottage with easy parking in a quiet street."

    Good for running, walking and days out by car. Best equipped cottage I’ve ever rented.

    Reviewed by Marianne5.0Aug 2021

  • "I few more extra mugs and shorter tumbler glasses would have been useful."

    Mugs and tumbler glasses added . Thanks for the feedback Property Owner

    Reviewed by Simon4.7Jul 2021

  • "Cleanliness wasn't the best."

    Broken glass and items left in dishwasher. Chipped bowl. Dead spider and web under sofa throw. Cobwebs in places. Garden very overgrown. However, greeted with a lovely welcome box. Loads of hangers in all wardrobes and great selection of books. No point in having Netflix or prime as it doesn't have the WiFi to load it. Signal was shocking.

    Reviewed by Jane2.8Jul 2021

  • "A lovely, homely, country cottage set in a beautiful location."

    Easy travelling distance to explore the Scottish Borders

    Reviewed by Elaine4.7Jul 2021

  • "Excellent base for exploring the Scottish Border area ."

    The cottage was spacious, clean and with everything you need for an good holiday . Particularly important to us was the fully enclosed garden area which meant we could relax when letting our dog outside. Very likely to book this accommodation in the future as we still have places in this area we would wish to visit again .

    Reviewed by Neil5.0Jun 2021

  • "Lovely spacious cottage with ample bathroom facilities for full occupancy."

    Upstairs twin room is small and cosy but adequate for sleeping in, my grown up daughter and I had this room and it was fine. Quiet location, ideal for exploring the Borders Northumberland and Edinburgh.

    Reviewed by Deborah5.0Aug 2020

  • "Amazing stay loved the cottage will definitely book again in the future with out a dout."

    Reviewed by Matty5.0Nov 2019

  • "It was warm, quiet and peaceful, very well equipped and well looked after."

    A lovely welcome basket. Would definitely recommend.

    Reviewed by Jane5.0Oct 2019

  • "We expected, because we've never been disappointed, to have a lovely clean property."

    This property surpassed all expectations. We were left a lovely welcome basket which was greatly appreciated. The property was situated in a lovely part of the borders and was convenient to both Scotland and Northumberland. We could not fault this property at all. Absolutely wonderful.

    Reviewed by Gladys5.0Sep 2019

  • "Lovely cottage in a beautiful peaceful area."

    Well equipped. Welcome pack much appreciated. Ideally situated for exploration of the Borders. Had a very relaxing break and hope to return. Note access to twin bedroom up a steep narrow stair, not suitable for elderly or very young children.

    Reviewed by Rona5.0Sep 2019

  • "We had a really great time."

    Cottage is in a good place for seeing most places Alnwick, holy Island, Edinburgh, all north east and Scottish attractions Bamburgh Castle to name a few. Cottage was spotlessly clean and cosy. Good facilities and welcome basket on arrival. Nice little garden for the summer. Would recommend.

    Reviewed by Sharon4.7Sep 2019



    Reviewed by Brian5.0Sep 2019

  • "A couple of disappointments, poor internet and unusable freezer."

    I will also mention, the single bedroom smells damp and musty!

    Reviewed by Teri3.4Aug 2019

  • "Lovely cottage, tastefully decorated and a fully equipped kitchen."

    (unfortunately when we got there someone had not closed the freezer door properly so it was all frozen over and we couldn’t use it) It was very clean. Very easy to find from directions. However, there didn’t seem to be an outside bin or at least we couldn’t find one and there was no information about recycling etc. We would have like some more information on walks that could be taken from the cottage, maybe directions etc. We had a nice time though.

    Reviewed by Julie3.8Aug 2019

  • "Wonderful cottage - we really enjoyed our stay."

    It's a shame the garden isn't better kept, more open and a larger area of grass with a washing line would have been great.

    Reviewed by Gordon5.0Jul 2019

  • "It appeared that Iona Cottage had only been open for a short time this year as there were only a few entries in the visitors book however we were delighted with the cottage, the fixtures and fittings and location."

    The layout of the rooms is very good and definitely suits families and our two granddaughters loved the twin room in the eves with the on suite facilities. As we are experienced in booking this type of accommodation we woul like to offer the following constructive comments that we are sure would enhance the experience even further. First the frontage of the cottage is very attractive apart from the wooden board and gravel immediately in fron of the steps to the front door. This we believe is a potential trip hazard especially for anyone who has mobility issues. The mattress protector and fitted sheet for the double bed is too small as the kept coming away from the mattress which made sleeping a little uncomfortable and the mattress itself could be of a better quality as you could feel the springs when laying down. The washing machine is a great fixture, especially for anyone staying for more than a few days however there isn't a clothes line in the back garden so this is something that we would recommend is corrected quickly. The Red Book in the dining room needs to have more and clear information about how to operate the White Goods and the central heating making it easier for clients to operate these safely. As the property is rural, which is great, it would help if the owners could provide, in the Red book, information regarding local facilities, such as shops, and things to see and do in the area. Finally we would congratulate the owners on the overall experience and we would recommend the cottage to family and friends. Mr & Mrs Smith, Glenrothes, Fife Finally although it's nice to have a county style rear garden that is dog friendly and saceure the garden does need urgent maintenance to make the space more usable for the stay.

    Reviewed by Peter4.7Jul 2019

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  • Three bedrooms; 1 x double, 1 x twin with en-suite basin and WC, 1 x ground-floor single bed with an en-suite shower, basin and WC
  • Bathroom with shower over bath, basin and WC
  • Kitchen
  • Dining room with an electric fire
  • Sitting room with electric fire.
  • Gas central heating and 2 x electric fire
  • Gas hob, electric oven, fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, selection of books and games, Smart TV
  • Bed linen and towels inc. in rent
  • Fuel and power inc. in rent
  • Travel cot and highchair available
  • Roadside parking
  • Garden with table and chairs
  • One well-behaved dog welcome
  • Sorry, no smoking allowed
  • Pub and shop within 2.4 miles

The property

A pretty, stone-built cottage resting within the peaceful settlement of Gavinton, a few miles away from the border town of Duns.

Iona Cottage is a heart-warming retreat for a family seeking a relaxing break to an area framed by rolling hills, beautiful lochs, historical landmarks and a vast array of attractions to explore.

Upon entering the property, be welcomed into the hallway, where you will find space to kick off your walking boots and hang your rain coats before relaxing into the evening within the charming interior.

Here, there are three bedrooms to choose from, including a ground-floor single bedroom with an en-suite, a double bedroom and a twin bedroom which occupies the eaves of the cottage and has its own en-suite basin and WC.

Stepping through the property, you will find a dining room, where you and your loved ones can gather to enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared within the amply-equipped, galley-style kitchen, which comes with all the essentials you could possibly need to cater for yourself during a week-long break, including a washing machine and a dishwasher.

After dinner, look forward to curling up on the sofa - which rests in front of a warming electric fire - and tune into the Smart TV or admire the well-kept garden from the patio doors.

If you are visiting during the summer months, spend a balmy afternoon within the garden, where a spot of alfresco dining can be enjoyed whilst your canine companion roams the lawn.

If you don’t feel like cooking one evening, venture into the nearby town of Duns, where you will be delighted to find a selection of pubs serving food, as well as restaurants and takeaways to choose from.

Whilst visiting the town, the Jim Clark Museum is worth a visit, as well as the 14th-century grand castle and the Manderston House.

Alternatively, head to the larger town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, where you will find further quality amenities and attractions including the museums in Berwick Barracks and The Main Guard, the golf course and the Royal Border Bridge.

Iona Cottage is an idyllic retreat for spending time within the picturesque location.

EPC Rating: Band D

EPC Rating: Band D

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About the location


Berwick-upon-Tweed 15 miles.

The small border town of Duns is set in a wide valley known as The Merse and was once the capital of the Scottish Borders, when the current capital, Berwick-upon-Tweed, was under English rule. The town offers a good range of shops, including an award-winning butchers and quality delicatessen, pubs and restaurants, whilst the Jim Clark Museum is open to the public in honour of the famous racing driver who lived in the area. Duns Castle sits within a nature reserve with well-marked woodland lakeside walks through the castle estate. There are many castles and historic houses scattered throughout the surrounding area, including Manderston House (home of Lord Palmer), Floors Castle and Gardens, the largest inhabited house in Scotland, Norham Castle situated on the River Tweed, Mellerstain House and Paxton House and Country Park. A short drive to the east coast offers the opportunity to explore the dog friendly beaches at Coldingham or for the more adventurous why not learn to surf at the local surf school. Widely acclaimed golfing is available at Duns and nearby Dunbar whilst fishing for trout and salmon on the Tweed and Whiteadder River is also available with permits available locally. The nearby walled town of Berwick-upon-Tweed is well worth a visit with weekly markets, town trails and a cinema. A short hop to Eyemouth to feed the resident harbour seals, enjoy award-winning fish and chips or take a boat trip for some coastal exploration. The sights and excitement of Edinburgh are just 45 miles away and numerous other destinations are within a short driving distance of this fantastic location providing a great base at any time of the year for exploring the beautiful Scottish Border region and the picturesque, exhilarating North Northumberland regions.