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Lighthousekeeper's Cottage 1, North Ronaldsay Lighthouse

£330.00 | 5th December 2014 - 12th December 2014
  • Dates available
  • 4 StarExcellent
  • Highlands, Western Isles & Northern Isles
  • 4
  • 2
  • Dogs allowed
Ferocious seas and windswept headlands give these remote Lighthousekeepers' Cottages their wonderful romantic feel. It's easy to imagine the kind of shipwrecks, treasure troves, rescues and skilful seamanship of Robert Louis Stevenson's tales while on North Ronaldsay, and indeed the Lighthouse adjacent to the cottages was designed by his uncle, Alan Stevenson in 1854. Read More >
Inside you'll find it warm and welcoming with an open fire. The cottage is all on one level and designed to be comfortable and accessible for disabled visitors.
 
Accommodation details

  • One storey

  • Sleeps 4 - 1 double, 1 twin

  • Kitchen with dishwasher, microwave and cooker

  • Bathroom with bath only

  • Shared laundry

  • Open fires

  • Oil central heating

  • Immersion water heating

  • Fully accessible toilet and shower

 
For larger groups Lighthousekeeper's Cottage 2 can also be booked.
 
About North Ronaldsay's Lighthouses
After a tragic shipwreck in 1740, North Ronaldsay was given one of the first four lighthouses in Scotland. The original Old Beacon was built and first lit in 1789, and shone until 1809 when it was considered redundant. After some years however it was decided that the island's perilous rocks did necessitate their own lighthouse. In 1852 Alan Stevenson recommended builder William Kinghorn of Leith to the Lighthouse Commissioners and the soaring red brick tower you see today was erected, the tallest land-based lighthouse in the British Isles.
 
About the area
Further north than the southern tip of Norway, North Ronaldsay's remoteness has helped to preserve its traditional way of life. The Norn language survived longer here than on any other Orkney isle and you'll find many of the 60 locals have Orcadian surnames that go back for generations. Common grazing on the seashore is still the custom and the local lambs feed off seaweed, giving their meat a rare flavour highly prized by chefs. The vibrant local community (who made the restoration of the Stevenson lighthouse, cottages and Mill possible) will make guests extremely welcome and should your visit coincide with one of the many concerts, dances and social gatherings that take place there, it is not to be missed. Birdwatching tours, island tours and trips up the lighthouse can also be arranged.
 
Things to do

  • 20 metres away from the cottages, the Lighthousekeeper's Office is a great place to learn about North Ronaldsay's maritime history.

  • Dine out at the bird observatory and join in with the bird log that takes place every night. You might spot arctic terns, redthroats, red-backed shrikes and rosefinches.

  • Felted and knitted crafts are available from the island's mill, where wool from the local sheep is processed.

 
Getting there
The houses are open all year round. Fifteen minute flight three times a day from Kirkwall operated by Loganair or a 3-hour ferry trip again from Kirkwall operated by Orkney Ferries. The ferry runs on a Friday, and therefore both properties are available Friday to Friday, though short breaks in the winter will be flexible on arrival and departure days.
 
Please note, during the winter months, guests are advised to fly to the island as opposed to sail as sailings can be disrupted.
 
Food orders can be taken (please give us two weeks notice) and it will be delivered to your fridge for your arrival. This could include local lamb, as well as general groceries.
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Pear Cottage, Priorwood Garden

£275.00 | 5th December 2014 - 8th December 2014
  • Dates available
  • 3 StarVery Good
  • Scottish Borders
  • 2
  • 1
  • Not allowed
This snug hideaway, in the heart of Melrose is perfect for plant-loving couples looking to escape to gardening heaven. The apartment is situated above Priorwood Dried Flower Shop and looks onto Priorwood's abundant greenery and is a stone's throw from the lush walled Harmony Garden. Read More >
Inside, the apartment is furnished in classic cottage style, while the building is a perfect example of traditional Borders sandstone houses.
Guests who are non-members staying at Pear Cottage will have free access to Priorwood Garden during normal opening hours.
Although Wi-Fi is not available at the property you are visiting, there is mobile network coverage provided by Orange, Vodafone and O2 which will give you internet access if you have a dongle or appropriate device. Charges for internet access and data usage are available from the network operator. Please note that we do not supply PCs or laptops and that the signal can vary in strength in more remote areas.
Accommodation details

  • First floor - 12 steps to front door with hand rail

  • Sleeps 2 - 1 double

  • Sitting room

  • Kitchen with dining area

  • Bathroom with bath and shower over bath

  • Gas central heating

  • Private parking


About the area
Melrose's history dates back to the Bronze Age, and there is still a scattering of brochs round about the town, possibly a legacy of the Romans for managing the rich sheep grazing on the moors.
The town has a good selection of shops including those selling knitwear, tweeds, books and antiques. There is also a variety of restaurants serving classic Scottish fare in cosy surroundings.
In June, Harmony Garden plays host to the annual Borders Book Festival, whose past attendees include Ian Rankin and Sir David Frost.
Things to do

  • A trip to Melrose isn't complete without a wander round the Abbey. Although portions of the 12th century structure survive, the magnificent rose-stone building dates from the 1385 rebuilding. Look out for the chapter house, where Robert the Bruce's heart is said to be buried, or the statue of Scottish medieval wizard, Michael Scott.

  • Visit nearby rustic Priorwood Garden to learn about the craft of dried flower work; pick your own blooms to order and take home.

  • Walk part of the St Cuthbert's Way, following in the footsteps of the eponymous saint. The whole route takes four days and leads across the mudflats to Lindisfarne. The Melrose to St Boswell's section is 7.5 miles each way. (stcuthbertsway.info)


Getting there
Melrose lies off the A6091. First Bus operates a route from Edinburgh and Peebles. < Hide

Cormack Lodge, Brodie Castle

£275.00 | 5th December 2014 - 8th December 2014
  • Dates available
  • 3 StarVery Good
  • Inverness, Nairn, Moray & The Black Isle
  • 4
  • 1
  • Dogs allowed
This romantic rural cottage is tucked away down a narrow lane, a short walk from Brodie Castle. Wander round the 16th century castle grounds then while away evenings in front of the wood-burning stove. Read More >
The dining room has views of the Brodie estate, and the cottage has its own private garden, perfect for alfresco breakfasts and impromptu picnics.
 
Accommodation details

  • 1 storey - a step leads down to the bedroom and bathroom

  • Sleeps 2/4 - 1 double, 1 sofa bed

  • Bathroom with bath and hand-held shower attachment

  • Sitting room with wood-burning stove

  • Dining room

  • Kitchen

  • Private garden

  • Oil-fired central heating (also heats water)

  • Parking available beside the cottage

  • Public transport accessible

 
 
Larger groups can also book South Lodge, a single-storey cottage just a short stroll from Brodie Castle, sleeping 2/4.
 
About Brodie Castle
The imposing turrets of Brodie Castle stand between Nairn and Forres, close to the beaches of the Moray Firth. The castle dates from the mid-16th century, and is filled with Dutch, English and early 20th-century art.
 
Famous for its extravagant display of daffodils in the spring, the extensive grounds also offer trails, bird hides and an adventure playground.
 
About the area
Forres is the closest town, and also one of Scotland's oldest, having been a Royal Burgh since 1140. There are plenty of shops on offer for stocking up.
 
Brodie Castle is also an excellent base for exploring the Cairngorm mountains, the Black Isle and the Moray Firth, Loch Ness and Glen Affric.
 
Things to do

  • The Moray Firth has stunning beaches. Try Cullen Bay for dolphin watching or Findhorn for its laid back atmosphere.

  • Visit the Sueno Stone on the north-eastern edge of Forres. The 21ft high stone is Scotland's largest and most intricate piece of Pictish carving.

  • At Brodie, you'll be staying just half-an hour's drive from the battlefield at Culloden. Discover the story behind the Jacobite uprising and the last battle to be fought on Scottish soil.

 
 
Getting there
Brodie Castle is off the A96, 4½ miles west of Forres and 24 miles east of Inverness. < Hide
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