At a glance

Sleeps 14 adults Bedrooms 7 Bathrooms 7 Pets Not accepted Region North West and Skye Town/village Ross and Cromarty
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Castellated Luxury Mansion, in Ross and Cromarty (032)

This former ‘Dower House’ once belonging to the ancestral seat of a nearby estate, is now an exceedingly well-appointed, spacious holiday home in the northern highlands. Neglected and then restored in 2005 by its current owners, the property has undergone a major transformation. Now, classified as a five star exclusive use venue by Visit Scotland, guests find the comfort and experience akin to a hotel stay with daily housekeeping and the option to upscale to catered.

Let on an exclusive use basis for up to 14 guests, Elizabeth and Graham have worked hard over the years to ensure guests feel there’s nothing wanting during they stay. Given one of them is a trained chef, catering is offered as an option for groups wishing to upscale their holiday.

With three reception rooms, a dining room, spacious kitchen and seven bedrooms with en-suites this luxury holiday home would be the perfect destination for those looking to explore the Scottish Highlands. With easy access to Inverness (voted in the top 5 happiest places to live in the UK) it’s an easy commute for domestic as well as international visitors.

Weekend and mid-week breaks and longer lets are welcomed for the majority of the year with flexibility over the changeover day.  Except from mid-August when bookings can only be accepted from Sunday to Sunday to stay in line with the fishing lets season. 

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Living Space

Reception rooms

Two of the three reception rooms are based on the ground floor. The third is a games room located on the lower ground floor.

Carefully curated wood is a big feature throughout, much of which originated from the grounds, was milled onsite and fitted by a local joiner. The wood panelled reception rooms and polished floors are one of many beautiful features of this historic home. There’s a carefully measured blend of period and contemporary furniture throughout giving it a light, spacious and peaceful finish.

The large wood panelled drawing room with open fire leads into a large wood panelled dining room with open fire. There’s also a comfortable TV room with DVD Player, board games, toys and books for those wishing to sneak away for a bit of screen time. Also an office for those who can’t quite tear themselves away from work or other commitments or indeed wish to tuck themselves away for an hour or two of quiet contemplation.

Weddings
Only a handful of weddings are accepted each year as it allows Elizabeth & Graham time to give you their absolute attention. There is no set ‘wedding package’ available. Your requirements will be discussed and then a quote provided taking into account your individual needs.

Kitchen / Dining

As Graham is a fully trained chef, the kitchen has been designed to be a large functional, beautiful space; there's all the kit available and plenty of worktops and cupboard space to cater for large groups. It has a breakfast table to seat 6-8.

A flexible catering service is available on request from basic everyday meals to more formal arrangements, ranging from full Scottish breakfasts, picnics to full banquets. Menus are designed with you to meet your specific requirements. Sample menus can be provided in advance of booking, on request. 

  • 5 Stars, Rated by Visit Scotland
  • Aga
  • BBQ
  • Cot
  • DVD Player
  • Garden Furniture
  • High chair
  • Open Fire
  • Luxury
  • Wifi
  • Assorted games, toys, books & DVDs
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Bedrooms & Bathrooms - Sleeps 14

There are 7 bedrooms and 7 ensuite bathrooms/shower rooms to accommodate a group of 14. 

Lower ground floor
Bedroom 1: Super king or twin (zip & link) bedroom with ensuite bathroom; shower
Bedroom 2: Super king or twin (zip & link) bedroom with ensuite bathroom; bath and shower
Bedroom 3: Super king bedroom with ensuite bathroom; spa bath and shower

Second floor
Bedroom 4: Super king or twin (zip & link) bedroom with ensuite bathroom; bath with shower over head
Bedroom 5: Super king or twin (zip & link) bedroom with ensuite bathroom; bath with shower over head
Bedroom 6: Super king bedroom with ensuite bathroom; bath with shower over head
Bedroom 7: Super king bedroom with ensuite bathroom; bath and shower

  • 4 Double Or Twin Bedroom/s With Ensuite Bathroom
  • 3 Double Bedroom/s With Ensuite Bathroom
  • 2 Child Beds Available On Request
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Grounds & Surrounds

This period holiday home sits within a curtilage of 6 acres consisting mainly of maintained formal lawns and mixed woodland. The owners live unobtrusively in a cottage nearby to be on hand when required. Garden furniture and a BBQ are available for al-fresco dining, as well as a selection of outdoor games sets (e.g croquet). Weather permitting, the gardens to the front of the house make a perfect setting for group entertainment.

The nearest town is Dingwall, a harbour town on the east coast lying near the head of the Cromarty Firth, a name that has become synonymous with the BBC’s shipping forecast! There’s plenty to see and do for all ages from museum outings, trips to Inverness, distillery tours or for those wanting to bag a Munro whilst on holiday, Ben Wyvis is a prominent feature on the lower moors of Easter Ross.

This area falls within the North Coast 500 route, ranked as being as one of the world’s best road trips and considered on a par with Route 66 and the Great Ocean Road.

Other ideas on things you could do whilst on holiday

  • Visit Glen Ord Distillery which is a half hour drive
  • Learn a little about the local history and people Dingwall Museum
  • After some rain, go for a walk up to Rogie Falls in Contin
  • Navigate your way through Touchstone Maze at Blackmuir woods
  • Explore Inverness Castle in the heart of Inverness City overlooking the River Ness

The 3 best things we like about this property 

- its wood pannelled interior; the craftsmanship is just beautiful and the rooms are stunning

- its proximity to Inverness; voted one of the happiest places to live in the UK!

- its owners; we think they're super hosts and the service they provide is excellent

Conditions

Security Bond

The owner requires a fully refundable security bond to be paid within 7 days of the holiday start date.
This owner has chosen to use our secure online payment service to collect this bond from guests.

Check in / Check out

Guests are welcome to arrive from 4:00pm and are asked to depart by 10:00am on the day of departure.

Cancellation Policy - Strict

Included in the rental

At a basic level, housekeeping, linen, towels, electricity, heating and fuel for the open fires will be included in the rental. 

Notes & Warnings

Good Housekeeping Deposit

Elizabeth & Graham prefer to collect a £500 security bond from guests directly. They will contact you after booking to confirm their collection & refund terms. Charges for any extra services they provide can also be deducted from this. 

Owners live nearby and offer in-house catering

The owners live on-site in a self-contained cottage in the grounds of the house and can assist with any additional requirement, in particular any manner of catering - with advance notice.

LocationRoss and Cromarty

Originally two shires, Ross-shire and Cromartyshire were joined to form one administrative county, called Ross and Cromarty. This new county spans the width of the Highlands, with coasts on the west and east. The Western side, know as Wester Ross is famous for its dramatic highland scenery, examples of which can be found at the Torridon Hills, popular with walkers and mountain bikers. The larger towns and villages of the county are found on the eastern side. The Market town of Dingwall, on the edge of the Cormarty Firth, and is a lovely and well equipped place to visit, with a rich history to discover, and plenty to see and do. Other towns and villages worth a look include  Alness, Tain, Invergordon and Kildary, home to the Balnagown Estate. If staying in the east of this region, day tripping to Inverness is a must, as the thriving city has much to offer. Dolphin watching tours are available in the Cromarty and Moray firths. The Black Isle Wildlife and Country Park in North Kessock is also a fun family day out. The Morangie Forest is popular with pony trekkers and walkers, there are plenty of DIstilleries to whet your whistle, include Glenmorangie in Tain. 

North West and Skye

About the Area

The northern section of Scotland provides some of the most dramatic scenery that the country has to offer with stunning natural beauty. The options include travelling up the east coast, through the central region or via the western section. Choosing the east coast, from Inverness to John o’ Groats, is a distance of 120 miles. This takes in the “Black Isle” which has the Moray Firth and the Cromarty Firth on either side. Continuing on the A9 through Easter Ross, and the scenery starts to get more dramatic with the peak Ben Wyvis dominating the area. The towns that you pass through include Dornoch, Golspie, Brora and Helmsdale, with the historic cathedral at Dornoch a highlight. Beyond and you enter the sparsely populated region of Sutherland, where there are vast open spaces of moorland and heather, which meets the high cliffs to the east. There are two main towns in the northern section and they are Thurso and Wick. The north east section is the county of Caithness, and there are a lot of Norse influence in this area, having been the closest point of contact to Norway and Viking invasions. It is a favourite for tourists who like to go to John o’Groats, and it is historically known as the “start of Great Britain”, being one end of the longest distance between two inhabited points in the UK, Land's End being the other. John o' Groats is 876 miles (1409.78 km) away from Land's End in Cornwall. At the north coast is the Pentland Firth, which looks out to Orkney and a car ferry can be caught from Scrabster to Stromness. Both Orkney and Shetland have amazing historical sites and are well worth visiting. Travelling along the north coast takes you to Tongue, and it is here that the central route can be taken using the A836. This follows Loch Loyal, past Ben Loyal, Loch Naver and through Strath Vagastie and Strath Tiffy before reaching Lairg. The road is a single track road with passing places and as it is so scenic, there is no hurry. Travelling from the west coast, from the great glen of Scotland and the magnificence of Loch Ness, along the A87, this is a route that is well trodden by tourists, as this is the “road to the isles”. Along the way, it is lochs and glens, with Loch Lochy, Loch Garry, Loch Cluanie, the Five Sisters mountain range, before reaching Loch Duich and one of the most photographed and iconic castles in Scotland, Eilean Donan Castle. From here, the road leads to the Isle of Skye and access onto many of the other islands, or north. Travelling north, takes in a perennial favourite, Plockton, and continuing on you travel through Lochcarron, Kinlochewe, Ullapool and Scourie, with harbour villages of Lochinver and Kinlochbervie, well worth visiting. Once you get to the top of Scotland, you reach Durness and the most north westerly region which is Cape Wrath, and this section of Scotland is covered.

Attractions

In the North Highlands and Skye, there are many attractions, but it is the geography that is the most appreciated. The line of the well known verse states “speed bonny boat, over the sea to Skye”; but nowadays, there is a bridge for the main west coast route onto the island. However, the West Highland Line links Mallaig railway station by rail to Fort William, Oban and Glasgow. This rail line, which is in use through the summer only, has been frequently voted the top rail journey in the world. Once on Skye, it is dominated by the range of mountains through the spine of the island which are the Cuillins, which is a haven for walkers. To the north near Uig, is Dunvegan Castle, the clan seat of the Macleods, which is open to the public. Whilst Skye can easily occupy a visitor for weeks, there is also access to many of the other islands, including Raasay, Uist and Harris. Back on the mainland, it continues to be all about lochs and glens. From the great glen and Loch Ness, travelling north, it a series of straths, glens, mountains and vast open spaces. In fact 40% of all the Munro’s, mountains that are above 3,000 feet in height, are in this region. Some of the more prominent ones include Ben Wyvis, Ben Hope and Ben More Assynt. The clan history of this area is fascinating and includes well known clans such as Mackay, Sinclair, Sutherland, Munro, Urquhart, Mackenzie, Fraser, Mackinnon and Macleod. On Skye, Dunvegan Castle is the clan seat and nearby can be found Macleod's Tables, which are two curious flat-topped hills that are prominent from many parts of Skye. The ascent to the top is a straightforward but rough moorland walk. Apart from travelling the region and enjoying its natural beauty, there are many castles to visit. The iconic Eilean Donan Castle is the most visited castle in this region and definitely worth seeing, even if you see nothing else in Scotland. Castle Urquhart at Loch Ness, Dunrobin Castle, Castle of Mey, Dornoch Cathedral and Dunvegan Castle and Castle Armadale on Skye are all worth visiting, along with the many historical sites on Orkney. Many signposts are written in both English and Gaelic, the Scottish language, and it is in this region where the language is kept alive. Shinty is the local sport, which to an outsider is the equivalent of hockey without rules, and if you have a chance to see a game, then it is an exciting fast paced game, which comes with crunching tackles. With regard to weather, it can be a mixed bag. Traditionally, in general the west is wetter than the east, but there are pockets that have micro climates. In the west, the gulf stream keeps the climate milder and there are a number of well known gardens, like Inverewe Gardens in the North West, which are world class. All-in-all, there are plenty of interesting attractions to visit in this region.

Things To Do 

Once you have seen the scenery and visited the castles, there are many interesting activities in this region. The food, especially the seafood is world renowned and if you can find a local restaurant or hotel that offers the seafood dish of the day, then it will be a worthwhile experience. The Kinloch Hotel and The Three chimneys, both on the Isle of Skye have excellent reputations, whilst the following 3 restaurants are also well known; 1, Fishmarket restaurant, Mallaig; 2, Captains Galley, Scrabster; 3, Plockton Shores, Plockton. Whilst this area is not the heartland of the whisky industry, there are a number of distilleries, which are well worth visiting. On the mainland they include Dalmore, Glenmorangie, Loch Ewe, Clynelish, Glen Ord and Pulteney. On Orkney there is Highland Park and on the Isle of Skye there is the Talkisker distillery. Visitor Centres, include the Falls of Shin, Assynt, Bright Water, Glengarry and Torridon. Of sporting interests, there are many rivers to fish for salmon, including the rivers Naver, Lochy, Helmsdale, Carron, Glass, Oykel and many more, not forgetting the numerous hill lochs for wild brown trout. Deep sea diving is a popular past-time, particularly off the west coast and places like Ullapool offer charter trips, where sea-fishing is readily available too. In this area, the golf courses are not as many, but the stand out golf courses are at Royal Dornoch and Skibo, though the 9-hole golf course at Durness, is a wonderful challenge and is the most north westerly golf course on mainland Scotland. Interestingly enough a young John Lennon used to holiday in the north west of Scotland and there is a memorial garden in his memory at Durness. Wildlife abounds in these more remote areas and there are opportunities to see otters, golden eagles and red deer in the wild. To see red kites and sea birds in more detail, the RSPB have a number of centres, including Tollie, Fairy Glen and Dunnet Head. For marine life, there is a dolphin and seal visitor centre at North Kessock or you can go on one of the many dolphin watch boats that monitor the Cromarty and Moray Firths. Chanonry Point being one of the most popular locations to spot the dolphins. For even more active activities, there are a number of outdoor centres and water specialists, to cater for any thrill seeking need, whether it be white water rafting or canyoning. For the surfer, the beach at Thurso East is regarded as Scotland’s prime surfing venue in the north of Scotland and has held major championships. For children, the beaches can be sandy and private havens, and there are excellent ones at Nigg, Whiteness, Dornoch, Dunnet Bay, Torrisdale Bay, Balnakiel Bay, Glenelg Bay and Barrisdale Bay. From the mountain biker to bird watcher, the Munro bagger to the garden enthusiast, there are many activities in the North of Scotland. The natural beauty is outstanding and those that make the time and effort to travel are well rewarded.

Highlands and Islands

This region takes in Inverness-shire, Ross-shire, Sutherland, Caithness and the islands include the Inner and Outer Hebrides as well as Orkney and the Shetland islands. For spectacular scenery the Highlands of Scotland provides some of the best, with a huge expanse of area full of mountains, lochs and glens full of romance, wildlife and scenic beauty. The heritage of this area includes Culloden, taking the ferry to the Isle of Skye or just taking in one of the many castles like Eilean Donan. There is also an immense range of wildlife to be found. 



 

Area North West and Skye Type of location Private Estate Nearest shop 2 miles Nearest supermarket 4 miles Nearest pub 2 miles
Nearest Airport
Inverness 21 miles
Nearest Train Station
Alness 4 miles
Inverness 18 miles

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