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holiday cottages Argyll - Ardlarach Lodge, Isle of Luing

  number of bedrooms 7+1 free wifi  
Weekly prices (Friday changeover) Low £850 Mid £995 High £1300 Festive £1500-£1750
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Vernon's review of Ardlarach Lodge
Self Catering Argyll

 

holiday cottages Argyll - Ardlarach Lodge, Isle of Luing - sleeps 7 + 1

Tucked in close to the Scottish mainland, the small Isle of Luing lies among tiny islets and sea lochs, easily accessible by ferry from North Cuan (a three minute crossing every half hour), only a 30 minute drive from Oban. The nearby islands of Scarba, Lunga and Mull and in the distance Colonsay and Jura make a stunning backdrop against the lovely blue and turquoise water and in the short time between boarding the ferry and arriving at our destination, we can see that we are going to be spoiled with fantastic views, wonderful walks, lazy beach days and activities on the water and as always on the west coast, some fantastic sunsets.

Ardlarach is a working farm rearing blackface sheep and the famous Luing cattle, a stocky and rugged Shorthorn/Highland cross, which are transported by barge to and from the neighbouring islands. Once the abode of the farm's head shepherd, Ardlarach Lodge has recently been completely refurbished and modernised to a luxurious standard. Warm oak and earthy tiled floors, cool cream, white and dove blue and green décor are relaxing and easy on the eye, brightened with subtle tartans, stripes and florals.

The kitchen is a joy to use, well equipped and gleaming smart black and white. We stocked up with supplies on the mainland, but the local shop by Cullipool is well stocked and there is an abundance of shellfish and lobster to be had direct from the local fishermen. I love the open plan design, which means we can all chat over a glass of wine while taking turns to flash fry some scallops or steam a lobster before settling down to enjoy an unhurried meal at the big oak table, looking out over the sea.

Despite all the culinary indulgences, I'm pretty sure we'll all leave here healthier and fitter then when we arrived. After all, seafood is good for you and we've earned it, too, with all the fresh air and (varying amounts of) exercise we've had. Luing is just six miles long and the all but empty roads are great for cycling; we've pretty much covered the whole island on foot too. Watersports are an obvious thing to do when on an island - we hired sea kayaks on neighbouring Seil for just £30 a day. The Sea Kayak centre was brilliant; the more intrepid kayakers amongst us (yes, that includes me, believe it or not!) headed off to try the notorious Grey Dogs tide race, while novices learnt the ropes in sheltered Clachan Sound. We even came as close as you're likely to get to grey seals, a real highlight of the trip.

Wildlife spotting has been a feature of the holiday, both on land - feral goats, hares, roe deer, peregrines and buzzards and on/in the water - seals, otters and dolphins, not surprising since we are in a marine conservation area. I've been trying out my wildlife photography skills and have some wonderful shots of rare birds - tiny specks disappearing off the corner of the screen - my reflexes must be slowing down!

Coming back to Ardlarach Lodge after a day of exploring or lazing on the beach has been bliss. What better way to end the day than relaxing comfortably with a well earned drink on the terrace, taking in the lovely views while mouth watering aromas drift from the barbecue...?

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Further details about this accommodation


Ardlarach Lodge has 4 bedrooms: the master bedroom has a superking bed facing the window and glorious views beyond and an en-suite shower room. There is a twin room upstairs that has the family bathroom beside it, again the southern views.
Downstairs there is a king size double room and a single bedroom with an extra pull out bed, both face north up the expanse of the Island, very rural and bucolic. Both are wheelchair friendly and are carpeted. They share a wet room.
The sitting room is open plan with the stairs and porch, and has a multi-fuel stove. There are oak floors and tiles with underfloor heating throughout downstairs.
The dining room has a large oak table that sits in front of one of the most panoramic window views ever to be found.
The kitchen has all the mod cons. There is a large range cooker, gas on top electric below, an American fridge freezer with cold water and ice machine, the usual dishwasher/microwaves/ washer machine/dryer.
There is a "lean to" at the back door fitted with pegs for wet jackets and plenty of room for muddy wellies; also good for a wet-day smoke!


Our top five things to do while staying at Ardlarach Lodge
self catering in scotland walking There are many low level beach walks on the island, as well as more challenging monroes within easy driving distance. The Luing Community trust has produced a leaflet showing the island walks, available at Luing Store.
For more walking ideas, visit http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/argyll/isle-of-luing.shtml
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Isle of Luing Boat Trips offers a variety of trips exploring the Firth of Lorn, Corryvreckan whirlpool, islands such as the Garvellachs, Lunga, Scarba, Belnahua and Fladda and the Isle of Luing itself. Visit lovely beaches, spot wildlife, go fishing or visit a local pub for a meal.

family self catering scotland The Isle of Luing is within the Firth of Lorn Marine Special Area of Conservation and is a great place to spot wildlife of many kinds, including otters, seals, porpoises and dolphins, buzzards, peregrines, hen harriers and occasionally eagles.
self catering scotland golf The Isle of Luing is six miles long and a mile wide and is ideal for exploring by bike, with lovely views and little traffic. You can hire bikes on the island.
self catering scotland good food As you might expect, this area is fantastic for seafood. For locally sourced, freshly prepared delicous food in a relaxed atmosphere, try the award winning Puffer Bar & Restaurant, a three minute ferry journey away on the nearby tiny island of Easdale. Further afield, Coast in Oban does a really special dinner - book ahead.