A country cottage in the Fife hamlet of Blebocraigs has been extended and modernised by its current owners.
Sat in three acres of garden and woodland, with countryside views to St Andrews and the sea it’s a tranquil haven.
The wind tears across the fields of Fife, snatching leaves from the trees, yet sat in Jay Newman’s garden not a hair moves on my head.
“The trees screen us quite well and we created a rockery to screen the garden from the wind,” the Texan explains. “It can get quite breezy here so we wanted to make the garden as sheltered as possible. You can sit here in a gale and barely know it’s windy.”
We’re in the garden of Clatto Broomside, a cottage on the edge of Blebocraigs. The hamlet is tucked on a hillside five miles inland from St Andrews and backs onto Kemback Woods.
Clatto Broomside dates from around 1850 and was extended in the 1990s and again by Jay and his wife Laura.
The couple moved to Scotland in 2008 after living and working in Asia. They bought Clatto Broomsite for its village location and ease of access to St Andrews, where Laura works at the university. Jay, 63, is freelance business consultant and works from the cottage.
The entry leads into a spacious wood-floored hall with a timber staircase that was installed when the couple extended into the loft in 2010.
Windows on three sides make it a light-filled room, while a wood burning stove keeps things warm in winter. The kitchen was also redone by the couple, opening up a dining area next to a large picture window. “When we bought it the house didn’t make much of its outlook to St Andrews – the brochure didn’t even mention the views – so we wanted to maximise them as much as possible,” Jay explains. “We much prefer it now you can sit and have your breakfast looking out towards the coast.”
A corridor leads down a wing where the house’s four bedrooms are. The master has a walk-in wardrobe and en suite, while a guest bedroom has an en suite and the two other bedrooms share a bathroom.
The upstairs loft conversion contains a large family room with exposed beams and Velux windows. Off this is Jay’s study – the windows are placed to enjoy the views while sitting at a desk – and this room could easily be used as a bedroom.
The couple also carried out dramatic changes to the garden, cutting down around 100 Cyprus trees, which had created a monoculture, and planting 300 new ones. Today, fruit trees are loaded with apples, while a belt of mature woodland still screens the house from the road.
The house was an idyllic place for the couple to raise their children. “There are woods to the back of the house, which they would head over and explore,” Jay says. “And Kemback Woods are very close – for birthdays they would often go camping there.”
With their children grown up, Jay and Laura are planning to downside. “We still want to stay in Fife,” Jay says. “We really like it here.”
Clatto Broomside, Blebocraigs, Cupar is on sale with Galbraith for o/o £645,000.