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Natural Retreats West Highlands
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Reviewed June 16, 2011

Can't believe I'm the first to write a review for this place. Will have to make it a good one now.

This place was brilliant. I could live there. I've stayed at the Cornish cottages before which was what made me decide to try Scotland despite the lack of reviews (normally I read the reviews before deciding). After spending the last May Bank Holiday at the Scotland cottage (the old school house) I'm definitely going to be trying some of their other places! Visited with my sister and three mates as I'm a Harry Potter fan. Usually I prefer to go abroad but after missing my last holiday because of the ash cloud wanted to go for something a bit more secure and more last-minute.

Accommodation: Looked just like the photos! Lovely cottage with big rooms. My bedroom even had a bookcase, lots of wardrobe space. Cooked two meals in the kitchen and on the last day discovered that what I thought was a cupboard door was actually a little utility room. Plenty of kitchen equipment, games and magazines available. There's a telescope so we were able to starwatch at night and since it's surrounded by nature there wasn't a lot of interference. I loved it though I wish I knew which constallations were which. Welcome Hamper in the kitchen when we arrived which had wine, cheese, butter, milk, bread, eggs etc inside. Really useful since we travelled up after work and arrived really late. Last thing I wanted to do at that point was try and find an open shop. It took about 6 hours to drive up from Manchester with two stops anyway.

The hall is bigger than my lounge at home. Only negative is that in Winter they might need to provide more blankets because I think it would be cold at night since it's so remote. Maybe take some hot water bottles with you! There might be a log fire in the lounge but I'm not sure since we didn't need to use it.

Location: Felt a bit like I was in Red Riding Hood with all the trees and mountains. Five minutes walk from train station but views from cottage give it a remote feel. A few times we spotted deer in the distance but they fled when we tried to get closer for a photo.

Food & Drink: Mostly ate in because the facilities were really good and it was raining (lots of activities around for rainy days so didn't spoil our fun - the travel agent sent us a list just in case). Went on what felt like a very random train ride to a youth hostel in the middle of nowhere. They had a tiny cafe which apparently gets booked up for evening meals months in advance in summer. That's probably because they only have about six tables though. The travel agent recommended it because the food's so good and the by travel company.

Activities: We travelled up on the Thursday night so on the Friday we went straight to the main reason for our trip, the Harry Potter train. It only runs on weekdays so we had to take a day off work. I am a major Harry Potter train so was really looking forward to it. We hadn't been able to get tickets in advance because it was booked fully up but Liz (travel agent) said that if we turned up early they would have some available on the day. She warned up to make sure we got tickets on the left side because they get the best views over the viaduct. Despite the rain we still got some great photos.

On the Saturday we went on a boat trip on one of the Lochs. Saw a few seals but wouldn't bother with it again. Definitely a dry weather only activity. For the rest of the time we explored a lot of the local little towns, went to a castle, visited Loch Ness but didn't see the monster, sent the guys to a brewery (which we went shopping) and on the last day we went on the highest Gondola ride I've ever been on up a mountain. So glad it didn't break down as it would have been a long climb down. People were walking it though and it seemed to be set up for some kind of crazy cycle race. Views were amazing.

Would definitely stay again if I was looking for a laid back relaxing holiday. Didn't go out to any pubs so not sure what the nightlife is like but think you would have to drive out. Would go back with my family again. I think my parents (60s) would really love it as well.

Room Tip: Ask for the cottage with telescope
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JenUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.