Friendly, welcoming and sublimely comfortable, The Bellachroy is the oldest inn on the Isle of Mull. It was established in 1608 for drovers. Now it offers the perfect, dog friendly base for holidaymakers to explore the remarkable landscapes, wildlife and activities of Mull in particular and the Hebrides in general.
The Bellachroy is less than 15 minutes’ drive from beautiful Calgary Beach in one direction and under 20 minutes’ from the island ‘capital’ of Tobermory in the other. It is the hub of community life in the village of Dervaig with a restaurant serving delicious Scottish specialities and a bar which is a natural gathering place.
It has seven en suite bed & breakfast rooms catering for couples or families, all with TV, Wi-Fi and tea and coffee making facilities. Guests also have their own lounge.
Hosting regular ceilidhs, quiz nights and other events, The Bellachroy is the perfect place to meet the locals and enjoy a taste of authentic island life as well as fabulous Scottish breakfasts.
Hannah Spotwood, who runs the premises with her partner, Tom Walsh, says: “We overlook Loch Cuin and it’s a great place for an outdoorsy holiday. The bird watching and wildlife is really special here. You can see many species including seals, otters and puffins and there is a lot of ancient history here, too.”
House at Glenbarr
Amid the rugged landscape of the Kintyre Peninsular, just a stone’s throw from world class golf courses, sandy beaches, Campbeltown malts and breathtaking scenery, lies the House at Glenbarr.
The House offers four bedrooms and one suite to guests on a bed & breakfast basis. Each room has all the facilities you would expect to ensure a relaxing stay after exploring the local area.
Luxurious beds and attention to detail ensure a good night’s sleep in very comfortable surroundings. Alongside The House is a small local shop with an award-winning garden centre and café. The emphasis is on quality local produce throughout. Highland beef from the nearby farm of owners Paul and Zofia is a staple in the café and shop, among a range of other locally sourced products which include Kintyre gin, Skipness smoked salmon, Inverloch cheese, Isle of Gigha milk & ice cream as well as homemade cakes and meals to tempt any appetite.
In 2015 Zofia and Paul took over the business and now they offer a uniquely different and stylish bed & breakfast to their guests. The location is also very convenient, just 2½ hours’ drive from Glasgow, 30 minutes from Campbeltown Airport or a ferry ride from Ayrshire.
“A warm welcome awaits you at our Hidden Gem here in Kintyre,” says Zofia.
Book direct for discounted stays at www.glenbarrstores.com
Grandeur, style and seclusion come together to form a spectacular holiday retreat at Linndhu House, a country mansion set in 27 beautiful acres of private grounds on the memorable Isle of Mull.
In the early 1900s the property was built as the family home of the Allans, who founded and ran the famous transatlantic shipping line. Now it is bed & breakfast perfection for guests who want luxury and refinement while answering their call to the wilds of the Hebrides.
While keeping many original period features, Linndhu House has been lovingly renovated to high modern standards by present day owners Nick and Allison Robb. Each of the five guest bedrooms has been individually designed and furnished to maximise comfort and enjoyment from the super king sized beds to the spacious en suite facilities.
Grandest of all is the Allan room, with a bay window from which they can watch ships sail by on the Sound of Mull. It is an extra special room for an extra special occasion such as a honeymoon.
Guests are served a breakfast of locally sourced produce in the delightful Edwardian dining room. The grounds include a trout stream and woodland with access to the beautiful Aros Park, all within two miles of Tobermory, the principal town of Mull.
Manor House Hotel
Exceptional accommodation, fine dining and a harbourside location set the scene for an enthralling break based at The Manor House Hotel in Oban, a resort town with the scenic islands of Mull, Staffa and Iona easy to reach.
This 4 Star Georgian villa built for the Duke of Argyll oozes history, elegance and quality and yet offers a relaxed, informal atmosphere in its modern role a privately owned hotel. Guests can expect exemplary service and opulent standards of comfort and cuisine.
There are 11 en suite guest bedrooms, some with superb views over Oban Bay, others overlooking the garden. Each is individually decorated with many lovely touches included, such as radio, wi-fi, crisp sheets, soft towels and complimentary refreshments and toiletries.
The Manor House restaurant holds two AA rosettes and is where guests enjoy the very best food that Scotland can offer. Meals are expertly prepared to mouthwatering effect under the guidance of head chef Gerard McCluskey and most guests dine in at night, relishing a unique and imaginative menu, as well as partaking of spectacular breakfasts. They also enjoy use of a licenced bar, a coffee lounge and a beautiful conservatory.
General Manager Gregor MacKinnon says: “We are in a very quiet area of town and yet we are close enough to walk in to the shops and amenities.”
Guests revel in unrivalled Highland beauty and perfect seclusion while staying in the magnificent holiday properties of the Crispie Estate, on Argyll’s stunning ‘Secret Coast’.
The Crispie location is simply stunning, with grounds leading down to the sea lake of Loch Fyne. The self catering accommodation comes with unlimited use of a private beach and even a power boat for guests suitably qualified to pilot it.
Crispie House is a roomy, rambling, historic house which sleeps 16 and has amenities including an indoor swimming pool and a games room equipped for pool and table tennis. Crispie Lodge sleeps eight and has an alluring hot tub overlooking gardens often visited by red squirrels.
Both properties are fully furnished for comfort, convenience and cosiness, with log fires and stretch out sofas. They each have private grounds leading down to the beach where visitors can enjoy congenial walks and activities such as swimming and fishing.
Views extend to the famously beautiful Mull of Kintyre and although the properties are only two hours’ drive from Glasgow they are a million miles from the concrete jungle and perfect for either extended families or groups of friends to enjoy each other’s company in blissful solitude.
Estate managers Sophie and Andy Gayner took holidays on the estate for 15 years and snapped up the chance to become the managers in August. Both highly experienced in the hospitality industry, they now live in Crispie Cottage and go beyond the norm in self catering circles, for example providing their own click & collect shopping service because of the remoteness of the location.
Sophie says: “It really is idyllic! The houses are all very, very private. You can’t see any of them from any of the others. People come here to relax, escape the cities and reconnect with themselves and nature.”
Visitors soon wind down and enjoy the more relaxed pace of life and a taste of ‘Real Scotland’ at St Ebba Bed & Breakfast in Rothesay, the principal town on the beautiful island of Bute.
St Ebba’s is a large Victorian villa with eight spacious twin, double and family guest rooms, all en suite and with individual character. Guests have the use of a lounge and gardens with exquisite views across Rothesay Bay to the Cowal Peninsula and Loch Striven. They often enjoy sightings of the last ocean-going paddle steamer, Waverley.
Owners Kristine and David Watt make everyone feel at home with their welcoming manner and lots of lovely touches including complimentary Scottish-made toiletries. Breakfast is a splendid affair with varied choices, not only a traditional cooked breakfast but also smoked salmon or kippers. The premises hold a Scottish Taste Our Best Award for 2017/’18 and have received numerous ‘excellent’ ratings from the travel websites TripAdvisor and Booking.com.
Says Kristine: “There are lovely walks and cycle rides and our island wildlife attracts many visitors, including roe deer like Bambi, sea otters, porpoises, ospreys and eagles.
“This is the perfect place for a more traditional kind of holiday. Rothesay has lots of pubs and eating places, a cinema, fish & chips, ice-cream … but no nightclubs.
“It’s lovely and very relaxing.”
Tralee Bay Cottages
All new luxury glamping accommodation comes with amenities including hot tubs, fire pits and even dog pods for the family pets at Highfield Holidays. This brand new campsite is just two minutes’ walk from gorgeous Tralee Beach, near the popular Scottish resort of Oban.
Highfields Highland holiday paradise provides not only upmarket glamping pods but also 50 spacious pitches for motorhomes and touring caravans on seven acres of croft land with a pond, woods and fabulous scenery.
All the pitches, whether grass or hardstanding, have electricity and 41 have water points. Onsite amenities include a new shower and toilet block with four separate rooms fully equipped for ablutions and a disabled friendly wetroom. Over the road 200 yards away, guests can make use of amenities offered by the 5 Star static caravan site of Highfields’ sister company, Tralee Bay Holidays, including a putting green, chip shop, laundry room, fly fishing and slipway for boat launching.
The Highfield glamping pods are the first of their kind in Scotland, in three levels of luxury, sleeping two or four people. All have fitted kitchens, en suite bathrooms, decking areas with hot tubs, fire pits and central heating with linen included. Half a mile away, Benderloch has a garage, shop and other amenities while Oban is known as the Seafood Capital of Scotland.
An Sabhal Cottages
People who love walking with wildlife, fishing and downing the odd dram of good scotch will find ideal holiday location at An Sabhal Cottage on the idyllic Isle of Islay.
An Sabhal Cottage was formerly part of the local minister’s stabling and threshing barn but now provides cosy accommodation for up to six people in a peaceful spot between the fishing villages of Portnahaven and Port Wemyss.
The property has ground floor bedrooms and a comfortable upstairs lounge with views over the sea to the famous Rhinns lighthouse and Irish coast one way and over farmland the other. It is centrally heated and fully equipped for families or groups
This is a wonderful spot from which to enjoy the island’s special qualities including eight whisky distilleries with two more on the way.
Portnahaven has a harbour famous for the grey seals which lounge around the rocks and for the rare birds which visit annually, including the chough and the Greenland white fronted goose. Portnahaven has a family friendly beach and, together with Port Wemyss, provides useful amenities and ample opportunity to be sociable in a Scottish kind of way.
Mona MacArthur, who runs An Sabhal Cottage with her husband, Seumas, says: “There are a lot of places to eat out and the pubs are very busy. They provide music and often a ceilidh.”
The pace of life echoes that of the past but the accommodation is very much of the here & now at Gartartan, superior contemporary self catering accommodation for eight people on the stunning island of Islay, ‘Queen of the Hebrides’.
Gartartan has sea views towards Kilnaughton Bay, a short walk away, which has a superb, family friendly beach. Islay is blessed with a beautiful coast, wonderful walks and exquisite wildlife, not to mention multiple whisky distilleries and ferry services.
The property is stylishly designed with up-to-the-minute appliances and amenities including underfloor heating, a wood burning stove, a light filled living area and wooden flooring throughout. The master bedroom has an en suite wetroom. Three more double bedrooms share two more bathrooms. There is a Smart LED TV in the living room and all bedrooms, with access to Sky+, broadband and wi-fi. There are films, books and games to entertain all indoors. Outdoors there is a large garden, ample parking plus bikes, golf clubs and boogie boards for guests’ use. Civilised dogs are welcome.
Rona MacFarlane, who owns the property with her husband, Alasdair, says: “It’s a great place to get away from it all.”
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