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Achnahanat, Bonar Bridge, Sutherland

 

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Achnahanat is a traditional farmhouse situated overlooking one of the best salmon rivers in Scotland. In the heart of the highlands and on the western fringe of the Dornoch Firth National Scenic Area, it is ideally placed to explore east, west and far north coasts. Whether you want an active break, walking, biking and exploring, or are interested in wildlife, you will be spoilt for choice. Close enough to explore the amazing flat lands of the Flow Country in Caithness and Sutherland, one of Europe's last great wild places, the house is only a few miles away from Shin Falls and the Alladale Estate (BBC The Real Monarch of the Glen). Not surprisingly, wildlife abounds and you might see dolphins, seals, whales, eagles, deer and more.

The croft is a lovely place to relax, with hundreds of books and the opportunity to either eat out at some very good cafes and restaurants, or enjoy cooking in the well-equipped kitchen. If heritage is your thing, there are a number of grand houses and ruined castles to explore, as well as the exciting new Culloden Battlefield visitor centre and exhibition. This part of Sutherland is surrounded with great walks; from easy strolls along the beach to longer walks through the woods or challenging scrambles up Munroes and Corbetts.

Situated in a tranquil backwater, this relaxed highland holiday home is a calm retreat from the hurly burly of the modern world.

  • Sleeps - 8
  • Bedrooms - 4 (2 double, 2 twin)
  • Bathrooms - 2
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • Microwave
  • Aga
  • Woodburning stoves
  • WiFi Broadband
  • Phone for emergency calls
  • Good reception for Vodafone, Orange and O2
  • Heated outdoor store
  • Garden enclosed by a wall
  • Garden furniture
  • Travel cot, high chair, children’s crockery, steps for and child friendly toilet seats, stair gate and fireguards all available
  • 400 metres of farm track from the parking space at the top of the drive
  • Bonar Bridge, 11 miles
  • Airport - Inverness, 53 miles
  • Stations - Culrain, on the scenic Highland Line, 6 miles. Inverness, 46 miles
  • Rosehall Shop, 6 miles. Village shops, café, take away, bar and restaurant in Bonar Bridge, 11 miles
  • Very good restaurants at Dornoch, 23 miles, great fish restaurant (and beach) Portmahomack, 33 miles
  • Golf
  • Beaches
  • Birdwatching, boat trips, dolphin watching
  • Crafts, pottery, distilleries
  • Fishing, pony trekking, swimming
  • Walking – on your doorstep or the mountains of the West coast, only 40 miles, can be seen from the house
  • Sorry no pets

Accommodation:
Originally built in the 1800's as a farmhouse with a barn and byre (for cattle); the croft house has been extended to make a wonderful country getaway. Even in the depths of winter it is a particularly cosy place to return to after a walk. Sitting at the end of a private track the house is bounded by grazing land, with sheep and the occasional cow breakfasting right up to the kitchen window.

Entering through the porch (useful for hanging wet gear) the hall has plenty of space for wellies. The tiled floor extends into the first bathroom, where it is also heated. The study bedroom to the right has a king sized double bed and plenty of space, as well as a wood burning stove. Stairs lead up to two cosy, wood panelled, coombed twin bedrooms. Both of the upstairs bedrooms are double aspect, with views south and across the river. The beamed sitting room also has a Charnwood wood burning stove, armchairs and comfy sofas, as well as a games cupboard. Through to middle section of the house is the kitchen dining room.

The large kitchen/dining room comfortably seats eight. It is the ideal place to plan out the days activities, laze with a cup of coffee gazing cross the river, or to enjoy a long evening meal reminiscing over what has (or has not) been done. The four oven Aga is as good for drying clothes as it is for cooking and keeps the kitchen nice and warm. If you haven't cooked using an Aga before, don't worry, its easy; there are lots of recipes on agalinks.com and a number of good cookbooks at the house. With large, well lit, granite worktops in the kitchen area, there is plenty of space to prepare a meal and having a clearly defined cooking area, still be at the centre of things. The well equipped kitchen has all of the appliances you would expect, including fridge, freezer, 4 oven Aga, washing machine, dishwasher, microwave and CD radio (with MP3 input). All of the major appliances are A-rated for energy efficiency, except the Aga, which does however heat this part of the house. There is plenty of Denby crockery, which goes straight in the dishwasher, crystal wine glasses and quality cookware.

Beyond the kitchen is the second bathroom and the far end bedroom, a haven for couples or grandparents. The second bathroom also has heated tiled flooring and a bath, with shower over. The bedroom has a large panoramic window, with views across the river and has lots of space; with a king size double bed as well as a double sofa bed.

There is a heated store at the back of the house that can be used for bikes. The garden is walled and has seating. Beyond the garden are acres to explore, with the nearby stream and waterfalls flowing through ancient woodland. Whilst the house is an ideal place to relax we provide access to WiFi broadband. There is a phone for emergency calls and good reception for Orange, Vodafone and O2.

The track to the house, about 400 metres long, is a farm track. It is not accessible by the average car, other than four wheel drive. There is plenty of parking at the top of the drive. It is not a difficult walk, more part of the adventure and it makes Achnahanat a very quiet spot. The owners manage (with two small children) using a wheelbarrow, which is kept at the top of the drive, to transport bags.

Directions:
From Inverness (46 miles): A9 over Black Isle and Cromarty Bridge. At Skiach, bear left onto B9176 (signs for A836/Bonar Bridge/B9176/Lairg/Ardross). Join A386 to Ardgay. Follow signs from Ardgay to entrance of Carbisdale Castle Youth Hostel. Follow road past Youth Hostel, for 5 miles. Achnahanat drive and parking is on the right.

From west coast: Follow A837, Culag Road, east. 1 mile before Rosehall turn right, crossing river bridge. Follow road for 5 miles. Achnahanat drive and parking is on the left, 200 yards after telephone box.

What's included:
All heating and electricity, including logs for the wood burning stoves, and linen is included in the price. All of the beds have 13.5 tog duvets, which can be divided for summer use and two pillows per person. All linen is 100% cotton and the bedding, including pillows, is non-allergenic. Large cotton bath sheets, bath mats, hand towels and drying towels are also provided. Access to WiFi broadband.

Cost and availability.
Achnahanat operates on a Saturday to Saturday basis. Arrival after 3pm; departure by 10.00 am.
The owners recognise the quality of environment in the Highlands and their wider environmental responsibility. They are trying very hard to minimise the environmental impact of Achnahanat, by:
Water treatment - No chemicals are used to treat the water, only filtering and UV light.
Energy usage - All of the major appliances are A grade for energy efficiency. The night storage heaters use off-peak electricity.
Using energy saving lights they have, so far, reduced lighting power consumption by 55%
Using Ecover (biodegradable) products wherever practicable
Achnahanat is mostly double glazed
Minimising allergens, so no pets or smoking, sorry!

To book this eco-friendly, self-catering holiday cottage in Sutherland, click the enquiry button below and see the availability and prices.

Achnahanat, Strathkyle, Ardgay, Sutherland IV24 3DP Scotland

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