We booked this because we both had birthdays during the weeks stay. Sadly my partner was diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year , so, we wanted an escape from reality. However, sometimes life throws curveballs all at once and in the middle of the week I slipped and hurt my back rather badly. We had to abort in the middle of the week to get me some medical attention. Okay, having said all of that our first thought now that I am recovering is to try and book for next year. I believe that says it all in respect of the cottage.
This is my second visit to Clachtoll Cottage.What an amazing and quirky house! It has a very personal touch,which makes you feel very at home.
It is a fabulous place to unwind. My friend and I, were fortunate to have a lovely sunny week,so spent most of our time in garden,taking in the amazing views, we even had a bbq!! Words cannot describe the spectacular scenery in the surrounding area. Thank you Bill,for letting us share your lovely house.
Wonderful cottage with stunning views. Warm, comfortable cottage. Beds comfortable and well equipped.
Stayed here for a week for the first time with family, 2 friends and 1 dog. Browsing the website, the cottage looked excellent with lots of interesting features. It exceeded all our expectations. Looking out over the bay either from the lounge,towards the Split Rock, or better still from the garden, is one of the best views on the West Coast. A 2000 year old Broch is approx. 1 km away, well worth the stroll over the hill. You may be lucky enough, if Bill is around, to get a ride in his RIB. We saw a school of around 40 Dolphin swim across the Bay virtually every day. Lochinver the nearest town has plenty of places to eat or drink and a well stocked Mini-Market. Facilities include use of Canadian Canoes and other craft, Explored the local coastline with my wife and 4 year old grandson Charlie, neither had ever been in a canoe. We found the "secret" beach.
In conclusion, for 30 years or more, my favourite area on the West Coast has been Torridon/Gairloch. It has been overtaken by Clachtoll.
This cottage truly takes your breath away; I’ve stayed in cottages in Scotland every year for over 25 years and this really does beat the lot. Here’s my five top reasons why you should book this Cottage:
The Location: Okay, it is about as far north and west as you can get so if you’re driving from England or even further afield, it’s a fair old trek, but boy is it worth it! You are on the edge of the Atlantic and it feels like it. Endlessly changing ocean vistas just mean you never want to take your eyes from the windows. It’s the only cottage I’ve stayed in where it doesn’t matter if it rains for the fortnight. And when the sun does shine, walk straight from the cottage to the stunning beaches at Achmelvich, explore Clachtoll’s Iron Age Broch or turn your hand to a spot of sea-fishing/canoeing/snorkelling.
The Cottage Itself: This is NOT your average holiday cottage, indeed I’m pretty sure it’s like no other rental out there. Quirky doesn’t really cover it, as the cottage is just bursting with unique objects that Bill (the cottage owner) has collected from all over the world. This is complemented by an enormous library of books (I won’t bother taking the cheap holiday read next year!) covering an enormous range of subjects. A well-stocked kitchen, comfy beds and the log-burner really mean you consider not leaving the cottage. If it weren’t for....
The Wildlife and Landscape: Within an hour of arriving, we had a school of over 100 common dolphin leaping across the bay. We also saw otters on the shore in front of the cottage, as well as the usual deer, eagles, etc. The unique knochan and lochan landscape of the Assynt coupled with mountains that emerge from nothing are a continual surprise - although it is quintessentially Scottish, it is also like nowhere else in Scotland! There’s walking for everyone, whether you like a gentle ramble or a serious mountain climb.
Local Facilities: If you’re hoping for a McDonalds, or even a Tescos, this probably isn’t the cottage for you; but you really do have everything you need for a fortnight’s stay within a short radius of the cottage. Lochinver’s shops are clearly kitted out to ensure the locals can survive the winter (make sure you find Lochinver Stores) including a good range of fresh veg, fresh meat and many cupboard ingredients you struggle to find in big cities! The local pub, The Caberfeidh, serves a cracking, well-kept pint of the local ale (an Teallach Ale Company) and the food is fantastic (hearty, but with a modern edge). There’s also posher (fine dining) restaurants available in Lochinver, although we didn’t get past the Caberfeidh. Make sure you check out Flossie’s Beach Store in Clachtoll too!
Bill: We were lucky enough to meet Bill briefly on our last day. As a Polar Guide he has some amazing stories to tell, and he exudes the personality so manifest in the cottage. Despite his travels to the far-flung corners of the planet, when you meet him, you really appreciate his passion for continually returning to Scotland.
I’m aware I’ve used a lot of superlatives and you may be wondering if this is a genuine review, but Clachtoll Cottage was so truly awesome that it should be shared. Which thankfully, was Bill’s answer, when we asked him why on Earth he doesn’t live there all year round!
We keep returning to Clachtoll Cottage year after year because we just love the atmosphere and comfort of the house and the beautiful location, right on the shore with lovely sand beaches nearby. The seascape from the large lounge is mesmerising, constantly changing, with opportunities to see wildlife galore. The garden surrounds the house with a huge grass play area for children and there is great walking from the doorstep. Inside, the house is warm and very well equipped with a good kitchen, great shower, interesting artwork, hundreds of books and quirky upstairs loft area. Bill the owner is very friendly and and can tell you everything you need to know about the area. We're going again in April, can't wait!
Despite our late arrival (11pm) owner Bill was on hand to open the gates and lead us to a welcoming fire in the cottage. That welcome lasted all week; with Bill introducing us to the varied features of the house, its extensive gardens and the general area.
As others have said, the location is fantastic: The house was built around optimum views of the islands beyond whilst retaining a sense of total privacy. You need not worry about being overlooked during your stay. Clachtoll itself is conveniently located for many attractions and amenities within a half hour drive.
One of the biggest hits for our holiday was the abundance of wildlife in the area - particularly well timed for new offspring. Plenty of evidence for sea otters on Clachtoll beach - but they sadly eluded us. Whales had also been spotted North of Clachtoll but again... We did see plenty on Handa Island bird sanctuary with the benefit of hired binoculars (bring your own!).
The weather proved to be a bonus for us - with mostly glorious days throughout. However, I'm sure the house holds enough art, books, curios, games and entertainment to keep any family occupied irrespective of the weather!
Daughters are 11 and 13 - and not a whine all week! Can thoroughly recommend the Clachtoll experience to any family.
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