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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 25/03/2024

Braeside of Lindores farm in Fife is a third generation working farm. The Black family diversified in the late 1980s to incorporate a cross-country horse training site, which has run successfully as a business now for 35 years.

Anna and Richard returned to the farm in 2014, after university and travel. They were keen to build a business that would enhance and improve their farm for the next generation, running it sustainably and for the benefit of the local community.

Read on to find out how they have diversified their family farm as a food and drink tourism destination and collaborated with neighbouring businesses to build a new circular local supply chain.

How they got started

They decided to build Lindores Lodge, a holiday rental property, on the land. At the time, they were advised they might achieve a 51% occupancy, but it quickly exceeded this target. This gave them the confidence to build and develop another three sites.

In 2020, they partnered with a local chef, Andrew Wilkie, to offer catering for guests. This was their first entry into food and drink.

They started with supper boxes, delivered to guests. The menu was very short, offering classic dishes that proved clear winners with visitors. This gave them the confidence to look at expanding their food and drink offering.


They then decided to build The Hide in 2021, as a food-focused venue situated on a particularly special site on Lindores Hill, overlooking the Tay.

The aim was to create a venue that would make the most of the views and deliver an experience that would immerse visitors in the farm environment and the production of the food and drink they would enjoy.

Partnering with a chef and sommelier, they custom-designed a cabin to accommodate a live fire cooking experience with an option for a chef to cook the meal for a small number of visitors.

How the business started to grow

Once built, The Hide attracted bookings from visitors looking for a special place for a group gathering. A central value of the business is to ensure their experiences are inclusive and accessible.

To attract visitors with a range of budgets, they developed three packages for visitors. These flexible options help to keep occupancy levels healthy. The options include:

  • self-catering with use of the facilities
  • a semi-catered package with a prepared meal left for guests to serve themselves
  • a fully catered option with a private chef, preparing and serving the best produce from Fife and beyond

To service these options and ensure they could offer great food to guests, they have worked with a number of experienced local chefs on a freelance basis.

Anna and Richard Black, owners of Braeside of Lindores farm. Credit: Lindores

  • Connecting with travel trade

    By collaborating with Scotland’s Tay Country, Anna received dedicated travel trade training from a specialist which provided valuable feedback to refine their experience.

    The training, along with support in creating a brochure and pricing pack, proved invaluable.

    They learned that their location was ideal for securing business from the travel trade. This was because they could be included in an itinerary combining major sites nearby.

  • Forging relationships

    Forging relationships locally has been critical. Welcome to Fife,  Business Gateway Fife, and VisitScotland have been supportive in getting behind initiatives and helping to make connections.

    Anna emphasises the importance in talking to people locally and trying to work together.

  • Local connections

    The Lindores Abbey Distillery has been very generous with their advice and support. The distillery has developed a wonderful relationship in buying their barley to use to make whisky.

    The sheep on the farm are finished on the draff. This is returned after distilling and used as a protein enhancer and fed to their sheep.

  • National recognition

    On winning a Scottish Thistle Award 2023 for Best Self Catering Accommodation Experience in the Central Region, they were commended for their sustainable and circular approach.

    This experience is authentic and original. It helps to tell the story of farming and food and drink production. Visitors can taste and experience this local ecosystem in action.

Developing the customer experience

“We want people to leave Lindores happy. Pleasing people is our business.”

There’s a focus on smaller visitor numbers and a high quality experience. Flexibility has been key to offer tailored, memorable experiences. Some overseas visitors want a "Scottish" experience, and, so, they will even get a piper in to add these touches.

Using hyper-local produce where possible and working with nearby businesses helps to offer a sense of place.


Lindores lamb being cooked on a fire

Lindores lamb being cooked over the fire. Image credit: Lindores

What has been the key to their success?

“Go with your gut” 

Building a layered business, with the risk spread out has been helpful. They recently expanded the team, taking it to four on payroll and one seasonal team member. Staff work across the business to meet daily demands.

Growth is organised into bitesize chunks, one at a time. Partnering with the right like-minded businesses and building sustainable relationships with others has been essential, too.

Visit the Lindores website

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