Old Free Church
Lybster, Wick, Caithness
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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.
Lybster is the perfect base for exploring wonderful Caithness. Just 500 yards from the church, you will find Lybster's very own 9 hole golf course with
fantastic views over the heathland. Lybster offers heritage, coastal scenery, a small cove pebble beach and picturesque harbour, museum, shops and
restaurants. Across the road is the excellent Portland Arms offering a welcoming atmosphere, with quality daytime and evening menus
(including children's menus and toddler toys). Lybster's Waterlines Visitor Centre gives a fascinating insight into the town's unique role in the
once vibrant fishing industry.
For the active angler, naturalist, ornithologist or photographer there are castles, historical sites, lochs and
rivers all within easy reach. There's an abundance of wildlife and countryside to enjoy with coastal and forest walking opportunities. A local country
spa offers a range of pamper packages, treatments, a sauna and a steam room. Caithness has a variety of restaurants, to suit all budgets and tastes
from award winning seafood restaurants to bars and bistros.
Caithness is renowned for its unusual light and extraordinary skies, remarkable
coastline and spectacular countryside. Famous John O'Groats with its breath-taking scenery and unrivalled coastline is only a 40 minute drive away.
Here there are daily ferries along the coast and regular sailings to Orkney. You can see the world famous Duncansby Stacks from the top of
John O'Groats. The Castle of Mey, lovingly restored by the late Queen Mother, the Dunbeath Heritage Centre and Pulteney Distillery in Wick are
among many of the visitor attractions. Wick has a large Tesco Superstore and petrol station, Haldanes, Weatherspoons and the usual variety of
takeaways, restaurants, shops, parks and a swimming pool. Thurso also offers a variety of supermarkets, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants as
well as a swimming pool. Caithness Horizons in Thurso gives a fascinating insight into Caithness's past and present. Flybe and Eastern Airways
offer daily flights to Wick, flying from both Edinburgh and Aberdeen (Sunday to Friday flights).
- Sleeps - 6 + cot
- Bedrooms - 3 (1 x 4 poster king, 1 double, 1 twin or superking - all with ensuite shower rooms)
- Bathrooms - 3
- Washing machine and separate tumble dryer
- TV (Sky+), DVD, CD player in sitting room, X-Box 360 (with own flat screen) in study recess
- Flat screen Digital TVs in each of the bedrooms
- Lots of board games and jigsaws
- Pine cot and high chair (plus toddler toys)
- Excellent WiFi throughout the property - free
- Pets at owner's discretion - please enquire
- Short breaks available, minimum 3 nights
- Wick - 13 miles
- Wick Airport and station - 13 miles
- Excellent hotel and bar just across the road!
- Many hotels and restaurants in Thurso and Wick
- 9 hole golf course - 500 yards
- Country Spa 1 mile away
- John O'Groats - 40 minute drive
- Castle of Mey
- Pulteney Distillery in Wick
- Ferries to Orkney
- Caithness Horizons in Thurso
- Fabulous beaches
- Bird and wildlife watching
The property has been designed for practicality and comfort. The large gallery living room has been sympathetically divided to ensure the room lends itself to making sure everyone is able to do their own thing - there is a study recess with toys, books, DVDs, games and its own flat screen for the X Box 360 and DVDs for the youngsters, a seating area with 2 large sofas for those squishy sofa days and a designated TV corner, with its very own corner sofa. Free WiFi is fast and effective - available throughout the entire property for those guests wishing to bring their own laptop. The X Box 360, situated in the study recess has its own flat screen, which means that others in the holiday party can watch uninterrupted TV/DVDs in the living room (Sky+) while the children are occupied watching their preferred film or playing their games.
There are no guests below or above and the thick stone walls make the Church apartment very quiet - guests are assured total privacy.
The bedrooms capture the ambience of this wonderful church conversion - The Plum Room, with its rich colours, imposing original church beam, deep window recesses and staged platform housing the double bed; The Brodie Room, sleeping 2 people with its simple understated and delicate furniture and sumptuous woollen plaid, offering flexible sleeping arrangements with a super-kingsize bed or two singles; and The Oak Room, with its magnificent kingsize four poster, coordinated oak furniture, rich indulgent fabrics and commanding arched floor-to-ceiling window. A full-sized wooden cot is situated in the Oak Room - but please bring the baby's own preferred bedding. All of the bedrooms have their own independent en-suite shower rooms with large shower enclosures and each bedroom has a flat screen digital TVs (with Freeview).
A spacious and secure entrance hall for the exclusive use of guests (where an array of tourist information materials and leaflets are provided) can be used to safely store pushchairs, bikes, etc.
This is very spacious accommodation that is child-friendly with a well-designed layout. It is luxurious, yet practical and comfortable. There are beautiful open country views from the living room.
From Inverness (90 miles. Approx just under a 2 hour drive). Take the A9 north, following signs for John O'Groats. After 86 miles, take the A99 (straight on), signposted John O'Groats. When you come into the village of Lybster, you will see the Portland Arms Hotel on your left. Take the right hand turn and you will see the Church on your immediate right hand side on Quatre Braes.
Heating is included in the price and quality bed linen is provided.
There is a generous supply of towels and bath robes and a welcome pack with local malt whisky, shortbread, Highland Toffees, Scottish Fine Soaps toiletries and sparkling wine.
Cost and availability:
The Old Free Church is available to rent throughout the year. Change over day is flexible, check in is after 4pm and departure is by 11am.
Short breaks are available, but must be of a minimum of 3 nights.
Enquire about Late Availability Special Rates and Couples Discounts (on weekly stays only).
The Old Free Church at Lybster offers a unique self-catering holiday experience. It is important, in offering such high standard accommodation, that nothing has been left to chance, and therefore attention has been made to even the smallest details. Local malt can be savoured from the finest crystal, luxurious toiletries, robes and quality linen and fluffy towels ensure you know you're on holiday and for the ultimate indulgence, there's even a country spa just over a mile away!
To book this spacious and extremely well appointed church conversion in Lybster, click the enquiry button below to see availability and prices.
Old Free Church, Lybster, Wick, Caithness, Scottish Highlands KW3 6BN