We stayed in The Old Curing Station
First the good stuff...
The location is unique and charming. The view from the cottage is lovely and the position is quiet and relaxing. The Shellfish Safaris run by Ian from the island are brilliant (reviewed under separate section).
The not so good stuff...
1) The first thing we noticed on entering the cottage was a strong smell of damp. This is particularly strong and unpleasant in the bedroom and bathroom (also the toilet is not fixed to the floor so sit still unless you want the waste pipe to leak).
2) The mattress is knackered! We could feel all the springs coming through so we tried turning it over only to find that where it had been sat against the wooded bed slats that it was visibly mouldy!
3) As mentioned in somebody else's review the floating footbridge to the island is needlessly dangerous when both the tide is in and it is windy. Waves break over the walkway making the surface slippery (even in grippy shoes). In strong wind the bridge leans worryingly to one side and moves with the action of the waves. The only handrail on the bridge is at waist height and offset outside of the foot boards and as such if you slipped you would likely end up in the tidal loch! I had severe concerns crossing in these conditions for my own safety and would not take a young child across.
4) As mentioned in another review there was no welcome basket as stated on the owners website. A lot of the basics (e.g. oil and tea) that the cottage is stated as coming with were also missing
5) The kitchen is generally good, but does lack some basics (normal sized saucepans, baking trays etc). The hob/oven is old and not an induction as stated on the website. The oven makes a loud screeching noise when in use. The extractor hood drips water from the control switches if used to extract steam from pans of boiling water (something of an electrical safety concern)
6) The owners and young family live on the floor above the cottage and as such noise from above is inevitable and at times loud.
7) The private sun-trap seating area was overgrown at best and visible to the regular groups walking past to get onto the Shellfish Safaris boat trip (not that you would likely want to sit outside as the midges make it unbearable within seconds. Give up the idea of G&Ts outside waiting for an otter to swim past!).
This place has the potential to be brilliant, but I get the impression that it has been neglected of late. I am concerned that the owners were building what looked like another cabin on the island. Not only will this significantly reduce the isolated feel of this very small island, but will further dilute the owners time for the much needed maintenance of the existing accommodation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dry island is a unique place to stay. It is situated in Badachro bay and linked to the mainland from a private car park by a floating bridge. The high standard accommodation consists of 2 self-catering places that sleep two and one double ensuite bed and breakfast room. There is an excellent restaurant and also a good pub 10mins walk away. Amazing sea views and great for otter watching. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Dry Island Gairloch, Scotland