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“Great location, but the needs some work!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Dry Island

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Dry Island
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Badachro, Gairloch IV21 2AB, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great location, but the needs some work!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Don't be afraid to ask the owners what they have done to resolve the problems we had before you...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
www.dryisland.co.uk, Owner at Dry Island, responded to this review, August 25, 2013
Thanks very much for your comments

The toilet bolts were broken, they have been replaced and silicon renewed. A plumber has also been to check toilet and all is fine

Mattress was only a year old. It has been upgraded with a Silent Night King Size bed
And complete set of new duvet etc and linen.

The Bridge is built to Health and Safety standards. It has hand rails on both sides. Our two daughters now aged 4 and 6 cross daily. They have not missed a day’s school in 2 years due to the bridge. There had not been any incident involving the bridge and people’s safety in its 20 year history.

Apologies for the welcome basket not being available. This was discontinued in April. The web designer did not remove this information when emailed and has done now.

We now offer free shellfish or fish and this has been very popular and fits in more with the island stay.

A medium saucepan and flat baking tray have been added to the kitchen. The kitchen was fitted in March 2013. The induction hob and oven are brand new.
The electrician when contacted said there is no problem at all with water dripping near controls. He suggested that perhaps pans were left too long without lids. He and we were unable to hear any noise from the oven.

The south facing suntrap is completely secluded. The grass had become a little long. Ian has had a serious health problem and has been in hospital. He is getting better now. It has been weeded and strimmed regularly since.

There is an additional shared decking area only 5 metres from the water’s edge. Early morning and late evening otters and pine martens have been seen from here, usually early morning and around 8 - 10pm. We wish you had asked for some midge repellent as we would have been happy to lend you some.
The Shellfish Safari trip which you partook in and gave us a lovely review for leaves from the pier which is 40 m from the decking area. During your stay four lots of less than 6 people came on a trip. They walk down to the pier. This is between 10 and 530 when most of our guests are hill walking or sight seeing. No one has ever mentioned this as a problem before. In fact many guests have commented on how interesting it is to see a working fishing boat in action. Beats sitting near a road

We apologise sincerely for some of the valid complaints you have had and have rectified them immediately and to the best of our abilities with expense and professionals being involved. We only wish you had contacted us during our stay. We always say as we meet guests that if they need anything just let us know. We would have been more than happy to lend a bottle of midge repellent or a flat baking tray. The toilet problem and even the bed could have been rectified during your stay and the electrician could have reassured you.
Best wishes Ian and Jess
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25 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Dunfermline, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Firstly I would like to get the negatives dealt with.

It feels like the locals are out to get every penny they can, turned up at the Inn waiting for the boat to take our baggage across and the barman was a little guy who took around 5 minutes to acknowledge me. He then tried to give me a lecture on whisky prices( they were selling laphroaig for 4 pound something a measure, its £1.85 in my local in Dunfermline) then assumed that we would have dinner their one evening because we were staying close by, needless to say we never. I have seen advertised that this area has great hospitality, I would say this is nonsense as I wasn't made to feel that welcome in any way.

Dry Island - this is our 2nd visit and still we never received our welcome package - please Ian and Jess if you advertise it then deliver it. It's a little bit of the holiday we were looking forward to.

Again hospitality - Jess didn't seem interested at all in conversation, didn't even know our bill due. Maybe she had a bad cold but she seemed to cater for the french couple staying in their their private residence quite well.

No Wi-fi in the cabin, this didn't matter last time but I guess time changes and I do actually need a internet connection these days just to check emails.


The additions to the cabin were nice and the patio doors give a really good outlook on to the bay.

Island is so reclusive and private, just like last time - this is good.

The only reason that this got 4 stars was the location, it really is gods country.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

Just come back from a week at Creel (now otter) cabin, and can only endorse other people's very favourable comments about the cabin and everything the area offers. We brought out bikes with us, and had great cycling along the roads to Rhua Rheidh and to Cove - the panoramic views coming back from which were particularly fine - all the way from Stac Pollaidh in the North to the Torridon hills in the south. The weather was hot and sunny, so we spent much time on the outside decking looking at herons, a seal, oyster catchers, jumping salmon, hills, including the mighty Slioch, or on Badachro Inn's outside patio, only a few minutes cycle ride away. We crammed in hillwalking and ceilidh dancing too, investigated the island opposite at low tide on Ian's well constructed path, finishing up the week with a trip out in Ian's boat and in the evening cooking some squat lobsters and langoustines What a sublime experience eating spanking fresh seafood is. We also learned about the crazy journey Ian's shellfish and others from the west coast have from Badachro to Barcelona and other places in the "real" Mediterranean.

Even if the weather had been bad, there are plenty of books and pamphlets, including many on the area's history, to read, a Cd player and TV, and the view would still be there - or some of it would. If you're desperate for Wifi you can take your device nearer to the house, just round the corner, where there's reception.

We'll be back next year.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundee, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

Had been planning a trip to the far north west for ages, and wanted somewhere a bit special to stay that didn't break the bank...location was much more important than the actual accomodation....but finding Dry Island meant we didn't compromise on either! We stayed at Otter Cabin (previously Creel Cabin) and I cannot rate this place highly enough, it's location is unbelievable on a tidal island in Gairloch bay, attached to the mainland via a floating walkway which is fun to cross in all weathers! The cabin itself is small, but perfectly formed, comfy bed, good shower, dry room for gear, but the main event is a small combined (reasonably well kitted) living/kitchen area with double french doors overlooking the bay and mountains beyond....absolutely glorious!The island is surrounded by wildlife and is really private, peaceful and serene. Ian was really friendly and accomodating.....cheers for the langoustines! The area around Gairloch has to be one of the best in the UK, stunning and with masses to do....Torridon mountains, climbing, kayaking, great pubs, really really good cafes and places to eat out, and ridiculously friendly locals everywhere. Don't miss getting up the mountains, a pint of An Teallach by the sea in Sheildaig, a trip around Applecross and over the Bealach Na Ba and go climbing with Paul Tattersall a local instructor and bloomin nice guy....he is fantastic! Would recommend Dry Island to anyone who loves nature, the outdoors, beautiful views, comfy surroundings...and something a little unique. Just go...

Room Tip: Choose Otter Cabin....the privacy and views are absolutely amazing!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

When the west coast of Scotland is getting better weather than the rest of the UK, why head south! Which is how I found Dry Island. Bathed in sunshine, this is a very special place as a tidal isle and in the middle of beautiful Wester Ross. It is unique, away from it all, beautiful, and Ian's langoustine and crabs made the stay even better. Fantastic seafood every day. Badachro is a perfect highland village with a great pub, and within a couple of miles of Dry Island, there are long golden beaches (Red Point), mountains (Torridon..need I say more), lochs (Loch Maree and countless others) and everything you could want for a highland holiday as well as a bit of peace and quiet.

Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

The situation on Eilean Tioram, a tidal island, looked fantastic. The two little self catering bothies would be perfect for young/ fit couples. However, with a small child the causeway and rocky, bumpy path from the carpark - a good 7 minute walk - takes the gloss of things a bit.

We returned one night not realising that it was high tide. Between that and the strong wind the crossing from the shore to the island on the floating causeway was very dangerous and we regretted very much having had brought our child with us.

On the good side, the accomodation was mostly comfortable with all necessary appliances. The volunteers/ helpers were very friendly and helpful. The scenery is fantastic and during good weather the place would be very idyllic.

However, the toilet had bad smell and the flat was slightly damp with one of the storage heaters not working.

All-in-all we enjoyed our stay but potential visitors should be warned that it's for the fit and able only.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

After walking around our local port and watching a local fisherman land his catch, my wife decided to Google some places we could go fishing which would coincided with our anniversary. We found Ian's website and decided it looked perfect - lodgings and a chance to go out on a boat.
We arrived on the Monday evening after a good few hours on the road from Edinburgh. The roads and scenery once past Inverness are amazing. The closer you get to Badachro the roads get more remote and the less traffic you pass, with a large section of the road a single lane with 'passing' points along the way. Sat Nav was a must for us but it was fairly simple to find and it took us straight to Ian's car park off the road. You can spot the house and floating bridge as you enter the bay.
We grabbed our luggage and descended on the walk down to the house and island. It's a little bumpy but lots of it has been decked out so it's not too rough under foot. Then onto the floating bridge which is fantastic - tide in or out. Quite an experience crossing this, especially at high tide in the pitch dark full of wine.
Ian greeted us on arrival and directed us to Creel Cabin, leaving us to ourselves to unpack and put our feet up for 5 mins. The view from the cabin is breathtaking! The Cabin sits at he back of the island away from his house and over looks a lovely part of the water. The Cabin is as it says - a simple but very functional space to stay.
We freshened up and headed to the local Inn for dinner. A 15min walk around the water.
The weather was too wet & wild on our trip to do any fishing which was a shame but we took to the car on our second day and drove to Gairloch for breakfast and then drove to Ullapool stopping at the many viewing spots for a stretch of the legs and a look at the amazing scenery.
We had another night at the Inn for dinner before heading back to the cabin, using the road this time as it was pitch black and the tide was in. Once back in the cabin, the heater was put on as we looked out onto the water for a while before settling in bed . We had only booked two nights so we packed up and checked out collecting our island passports allowing us access for another time - hopefully sooner rather than later.
Thanks very much to Ian & Jess for letting us stay at their wonderful place for a few days!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dry Island

Address: Badachro, Gairloch IV21 2AB, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Gairloch
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Gairloch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
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

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