Coastline and Islands

For many of our guests, a holiday just isn't complete without the sea. If you are among them, this selection offers you a choice of delightful properties where the ocean is on your doorstep. Step out of Port Donnel Cottage on to your very own beach on the Solway Firth; experience a traditional way of life in Beaton's Croft House in the north of the Isle of Skye; or enjoy fabulous sea views at Craggan Cottage and Ferry Cottage at Balmacara.

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Garden Lodge, Inverewe Garden

  • Dates Available
  • 4 Star Excellent
  • Highlands, Western Isles & Northern Isles
  • 6
  • 3
  • Not allowed
Osgood Mackenzie, the man who created the horticultural Shangri-la of Inverewe Gardens, spent his final years living in this bright spacious lodge. With views of eucalyptus, Chinese lantern flowers and Californian lilac trailing down to the shores of Loch Ewe, Garden Lodge is an intoxicatingly beautiful place to relax among hundreds of rare and exotic plants.
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You'll have free run of the gardens after sunset when they are deserted, or first thing in the morning when the light is perfect. The cottage is furnished in contemporary Scottish style.

 

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Accommodation details



  • 1 storey


  • Sleeps 6 - 1 double and 2 twin bedroom


  • Sitting room with wood burning stove and dining table


  • Kitchen with dining area


  • Bathroom


  • Shower room


  • Oil-fired central heating


  • Private garden


  • Parking available


  • EPC Rating: D61


 

With effect from 31 October 2015, the property will sleep 6. There will be 3 bedrooms - 1 double and 2 twins.

 

About Inverewe Gardens

Osgood Mackenzie's plan to create a 54-acre garden from windswept moorland on a rocky peninsula beside Loch Ewe raised a few eyebrows in its day. His vision is still astonishing today, with some of the worlds largest growing trees planted into holes hewn out of the bedrock, nurtured by the warm currents of the North Atlantic Drift. In 2009, Inverewe's gardeners were delighted to introduce the world's most northerly planting of eight Wollemi Pines. A three mile network of paths weaves around the garden, and the surrounding landscape is rich with wildlife and spectacular views.

 

About the area

With glassy lochs, paths carving through moorland and vast beaches this corner of Wester Ross is a place to reconnect with nature. Poolewe is the nearest village, within walking distance from the lodge, with a hotel restaurant, a weekly market, and a post office. Gairloch lies 6 miles away; the butchers shop is a good place to stock up on local game, eggs and sausages.

 

Things to do



  • Take advantage of the gardens at dusk when they come alive with scents (don't forget your midge repellent!) or get up early for an alfresco breakfast on the lawn and photograph the opening buds.


  • Try the generous seafood platters at the Fish Box Bar in Gairloch then walk off your indulgence on the stony beach that looks across to the Isle of Skye.


  • There are a number of walks round the estate and further afield where you may bump into pine martins, buzzards or even stags.


 

Getting there

The Inverewe Estate is off the A832 by Poolewe, 6 miles from Gairloch. Achnasheen is the nearest railway station, 35 miles away. D&E Coaches offer a connection during high season (01463 222 444). Westerbus run a connection from Inverness to Poolewe Mon - Sat all year (01445 712 255).

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Beaton's Croft, Isle of Skye

  • Dates Available
  • 3 Star Very Good
  • Highlands, Western Isles & Northern Isles
  • 2
  • 1
  • Dogs allowed
There is no better place from which to explore the enchanting Isle of Skye than an original thatched cottage. 'A'-listed for its historic importance, and nestled in a landscape of rolling hills and Hebridean views, Beaton's Croft is a dream hideaway from everyday life.
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Come home to a wood-burning stove after long walks and soak up the atmosphere of traditional croft life mixed with modern amenities.

 

Although Wi-Fi is not available at the property you are visiting, there is mobile network coverage provided by Vodafone & 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



  • single storey


  • Sleeps 2 - 1 twin


  • Sitting room with wood-burning stove


  • Kitchen


  • Shower room with WC


  • Night storage heaters


  • Electric water heater


  • Parking available at rear of cottage


  • Public transport accessible


  • EPC Rating: F34


 

Only full weeks (Saturday to Saturday) available.

 

About Beaton's Croft

Beaton's Croft lies in the township of Bornesketaig at the north end of Skye. In the late 19th century it was built and then occupied as one of a row of four by the four Gillies brothers. Bornesketaig at that time was known as Pennicille and was most likely established as a settlement by the old church, now a ruin which stands above the township. Superb views across to the Isles of Harris, Lewis and North Uist are the icing on the cake of this authentic historic croft.

 

About the area

Skye combines spectacular mountains, views to make the heart soar, and a rich heritage of historically significant events to enthral visitors of any age, from every part of the world.

 

The awe-inspiring peaks of the Cuillin mountains rise at the centre and provide some of the most challenging walking and climbing in Britain. Seafood is abundant and world-class cuisine is available at the famous Three Chimneys restaurant. In Portree, just over 20 miles away you'll find most amenities. Kilmuir is the burial site for Flora MacDonald, who escorted Bonnie Prince Charlie 'over the sea to Skye', while Dunvegan Castle holds more than 800 years of dramatic island history within its walls.

 

Things to do



  • Stock up on Talisker whisky from the local distillery, then enjoy a picnic on the beach at nearby Talisker Bay, where it's said the Irish Giant Cuillin once waded ashore to do battle.


  • Hike up to the entrancing peaks of the Quiraing. The unusual mountain shapes were formed by a series of landslips. Look out for 'the needle', 'the table' and 'the prison'.


  • The Whitewave Outdoor Centre offers kayaking, windsurfing, archery and guided walks to make the most of Skye's landscape.


 

Getting there

After crossing the Skye bridge, at Kyleakin Roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the A87 for

Portree, Uig. Join the A87, then take the A855 for Staffin. Bornesketaig will be on your left. < Hide

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Lighthousekeeper's Cottage 1, North Ronaldsay Lighthouse

  • Dates Available
  • 3 Star Very Good
  • 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.
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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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