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East Lodge, Crathes Castle Garden & Estate

£390.00 | 3rd November 2017 - 6th November 2017
  • Dates available
  • None
  • Royal Deeside
  • 4
  • 2
  • Dogs allowed
Opening October 2016. Read More >
Laced with gothic charm this Victorian gate lodge guards the entrance to Crathes Castle. Crathes is a Renaissance dream of winding turrets and pink-harled walls, set among acres of manicured gardens.
The lodge's arched latticed windows look out onto the castle driveway. An enclosed private garden with a picnic table is perfect for outdoor dining when the sun shines.
 
Accommodation details

  • Sleeps 4 - 1 double, 1 twin

  • Sitting room with dining area

  • Kitchen

  • Shower room with WC

  • Oil fired central heating

  • Immersion water heating

  • Parking available outside the cottage

  • EPC Rating: F34

 
About Crathes Castle
Crathes estate dates back to 1323 when King Robert the Bruce granted the lands of Leys to the ancient Burnett family. The jewelled ivory Horn of Leys, symbolic of the gift, now hangs in the castle's Great Hall. The castle you see today was completed in the late 16th century and retains ornate ceilings, family portraits and even a 'trick-step' designed to confuse attackers.
 
Six different trails lead round the 240 hectare (595 acre) estate. Crathes's grounds are known as a hotspot for spying bats, as well as buzzards, kingfishers and herons.
 
About the area
Crathes is a settlement of around 25 houses, spreading out into farms and countryside, close to Banchory in Royal Deeside.
 
Things to do

  • Steam-train enthusiasts will love the Royal Deeside Railway. Still undergoing a restoration project, the railway line currently runs for a mile along the River Dee.

  • Pack up a hamper and head to the Linn of Dee, a 300 metre rock gorge, part of Mar Lodge estate and one of Queen Victoria's beloved picnicking spots.

  • In the summer months, trace Scottish architectural history through the ages with a visit to
  • Drum Castle, the oldest intact building in the National Trust for Scotland's care. A medieval tower, a Jacobean mansion and Victorian extensions make this fortified ancestral home truly unique.

 
Getting there
Crathes Castle is off the A93, 15 miles west of Aberdeen and 3 miles east of Banchory. Aberdeen is the nearest railway station, and Aberdeen airport (Dyce) is 12 miles away. < Hide

An Gearasdan (The Barracks), An Gearasdan, Glenelg, near Kyle of Lochalsh

£770.00 | 3rd November 2017 - 6th November 2017
  • Dates available
  • 3 StarVery Good
  • Highlands, Western Isles & Northern Isles
  • 8
  • 4
  • Dogs allowed
This prize-winning contemporary home is privately owned and lies next to the ruined Hanoverian red-coat barracks that gave it its name. Literally 'the barracks' in Gaelic, An Gearasdan enjoys stunning vistas over Glenelg Bay and the Isle of Skye, and in 2008 was given the RIAS award for 'New Life for an Old Building.' Read More >
A picture-perfect setting, fresh interior design and centuries of history make this airy comfortable house a peaceful haven to escape to. With plenty of beds it has space enough for two families or a large group of friends.
 
Accommodation details

  • 2 storey

  • Sleeps 10 - 4 doubles plus double sofa bed

  • Cloakroom, utility room

  • WC

  • Shower room

  • Lounge (Sky TV)

  • Family shower room

  • En suite bathroom off master bedroom

  • Upstairs kitchen

  • Dining table to seat 10

  • Wood-burning stove with well stocked log shed

  • Eco-friendly air-source pump heating system

  • Picnic furniture and wooden verandah

  • Library of books and family games

  • EPC Rating: D67


 
About the area
Glenelg is a relaxed picturesque village, shielded by high mountains and looking out towards the sea. Its seclusion makes it a paradise for rare wildlife. Look out for pine martins and peregrine falcons inland or keep an eye on the sea for a glimpse of otters or minke whales. Glenelg has a good village shop and post office for essentials, and the famous Glenelg Inn serves delicious local produce.
 
Things to do

  • Cosy up with a copy of Ring of Brightwater, Gavin Maxwell's book about the otter he brought back from Iraq. Maxwell wrote the book from his cottage at nearby Sandaig. The whole area is still full of the wildlife he loved.

  • The Balmacara Estate is about an hour's drive away. Here you'll find acres of woodland walks as well as beautifully preserved 18th century farm steadings.

  • Visit the Iron Age brochs close to the barracks, inland along Gleann Beag. These tall Pictish towers are some of the best preserved in Britain.


 
Getting there
Take the main road to the Isle of Skye via Kyle of Lochalsh (A87). Turn off for Glenelg at Shiel Bridge. As you come into the village proper, on your right you will see a wooden gate with a sign saying ‘No Entry to Bernera Barracks' - An Gearasdan is just along this track about 100 metres. < Hide

Lighthousekeeper's Cottage 1, North Ronaldsay Lighthouse

£370.00 | 3rd November 2017 - 10th November 2017
  • Dates available
  • 3 StarVery 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. 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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