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Lochside Holiday Cottages by Loch Sunart, Ardnamurchan Peninsula

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Weekly prices (Saturday changeover) Low £565-£650 Mid £725-£775 High £850-£975 Festive £975
Short breaks £150 per day minimum 3 days        
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Vernon's review of Lochside Cottages
Self Catering Argyll


Lochside Holiday Cottages by Loch Sunart, Ardnamurchan - each sleeps 6

Sandy beaches, striking rocky headlands, stark mountains, bleak moorland and lush green woodland all form the contrasting landscape of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, dissected everywhere by lochans and inlets. Tiny, empty roads take us snaking along, now by the coast, now inland until finally we double back on ourselves along a small, winding track and our destination is in sight - just before the track ends and right above the seashore. Here by the sea, a matching pair of holiday cottages sit in perfect seclusion in the most idyllic spot overlooking Loch Sunart, a haven for holiday makers such as oursleves and for the rich abundance of wildlife whose habitat we are about to share.

Here, it's all about the location and the view - south across the loch to the far side of the peninsula, over sea and islets - then further off to the west, Mull, distant Coll and the Atlantic Ocean. That's not to say that the cottages aren't lovely too - they've been beautifully designed to provide very comfortable accommodation which makes the most of the wonderful views, with large windows looking straight out over the beach and beyond and spacious rooms in which to spread out and relax.

We're all set for a holiday of walking, exploring and wildlife watching and I know we shall not be disapointed in any of these. There are plenty of places to explore without going far. At the far westernmost point of the British mainland, Ardnamurchan lighthouse has stood fast high above the rocks for over 170 years. We climb the 150 steps and two ladders to the top to marvel at the view and wonder how it must have been for the lighthouse keeper long ago. Although I'm not keen on heights, it's well worth it for the view and I'm restored by coffee and cake in the cafe downstairs.

A nostalgic boat trip to the isle of Staffa to see the cave and the puffins is another highlight for me. On a calm day you can go into the cave and try the accoustics, land on the island and see the tiny, stocky puffins up close, but even when there's a swell, it's well worth the trip to see the unusual rock formation and feel the atmosphere of the cave. A second nostalgic trip involves taking a small ferry from Kilchoan to Tobermory (leave the car behind) and a visit to the distillery. This was closed down when I last came here but is now producing five single malts, the lightly peated Tobermory and the very peaty Ledaig, providing me with evening entertainment for the rest of the holiday!

Back at the cottage when we sit quietly and keep our eyes open, regular vistors make their appearances - sea eagles soaring, a brief glimpse of otters running past early one morning, oblivious to us watching with breath held, red deer just outside the window, but the highlight was the pine martin. These attractive, nimble wee creatures are pretty rare in Britian these days but in this quiet spot, they are not entirely elusive - in fact they seem quite confident coming right up onto the decking outside the holiday cottage, looking for scraps of food - peanuts are apparently a favourite!

lochside cottages

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Further details about this accommodation

Kitchen/dining area fitted with all modern appliances including electric oven and hob, dishwasher, washer-dryer, microwave oven, large fridge/freezer and all kitchen utensils. Tea, coffee and basic essentials are provided and further supplies can be arranged if required.
Living area with magnificent views, cosy sofas, woodburning stove, satellite TV, DVD/CD player and selection of DVDs and CDs.
Twin bedroom with ensuite bath/shower.
Cloakroom off hallway.

Large gallery landing for sitting and relaxing away from the hustle-bustle of everyday life.
Two kingsize double bedrooms, each with ensuite bath/shower.

General Information:
All linen and towels are provided.
A cot and linen can be provided on request.
Heating and electricity is inclusive, but a charge amy be made for excessive use.
A telephone is supplied and calls paid for on an honesty basis. Mobile reception is poor.
Full wireless broadband access is available at no additional cost.
There is spacious decking outside the patio doors and full access to the loch is via the shore below.
Feel free to explore the 15 acres of grounds and private shoreline.
There is a very effective Midge-Eating Machine in the gardens.
Local shops are a short distance away.

Our top five things to do while staying at Lochside Cottages
self catering in scotland walking There are many charted walks ranging from an hour to a long half-day trip in the leaflet "Forty beautiful, varied walks in unspoilt Ardnamurchan", available locally. Hills, glens, castles, woods, lochs, the "singing sands" of Kentra, lead mines, deserted villages, coastal paths and magnificent views . . . all can be reached and explored by both casual and serious walkers.
self catering scotland loch

The unpolluted waters around Ardnamurchan are warmed by the Gulf Stream. The clear seawater can be enjoyed from many gently-sloping, spotlessly clean beaches such as those at Sanna, Kentra - the "singing sands" -, Ardtoe and Dorlin. If you haven't visited Highland beaches before, whether resting, viewing or bathing, you will be enchanted by the silver sands, subtly tinted by traces of colour from shoreline rocks.

family self catering scotland Birdlife is abundant on the peninsula and includes the rare golden and sea eagles. Birdwatching trips are available at the Nadurra Visitor Centre. Mammals too have a haven here and you might be lucky enough to see bottlenose dolphins, common seals, killer whales, minke whales, otters, red squirrels, red deer and even pine martins, which are visitors to the decking outside the cottages.
self catering scotland golf A boat trip is a must, whether to one of the nearby islands such as Mull and Iona, or a wildlife tour that takes in the Treshnish Isles and Fingal's Cave inside the island of Staffa, where puffins nest. Staffa Tours operate from Klichoan on Ardnamurchan.
self catering scotland good food The Salen Hotel in Acharacle does good pub grub; also in Acharacle, Jill Gosney at Ardschealach Lodge offers fabulous home cooking from a varied menu. The Boathouse in Kingairloch is amazingly good, with a lovely view in an unusual setting and lunch at CafeFish in Tobermory is well worth the ferry crossing.