Wee Tam's Review
Peace, luxury, an outstanding view - we hoped for all three and in all three our hopes have been surpassed. Our luxury Scottish lodge sits high up above the pretty fishing village of Lochinver which edges the loch below a backdrop of tree-clad hills and beyond, the Assynt mountain range characterised by stunningly shaped Suilven and Canisp.
Beautifully paved in local stone and featuring a large and luxurious hot tub, the outdoor area gives a very postive first impression as we approach the lodge and promises some decadent, outdoor relaxation. A huge Caithness slab table holds a firepit and makes a fabulous focal point for an evening spent cooking on the stone barbecue. Late evening is the ideal time to enjoy the contrast of cool air and warm bubbling water enhanced with a glass or two of bubbly and good company, while the mountains darken, the blue of the sky deepens and the lights in the distance twinkle on along the waterline.
When the time comes to go back indoors we step onto heated floors and settle for a while by the wood stove, cocooned in warmth and cosiness as the sky finally turns black through the huge windows. Upstairs, our master suite is superbly comfortable and the bed just perfect for a good night's sleep; in the morning a waterfall shower thoroughly spoils us and we open the curtains to more of the wonderful view from the windows and balcony.
Like everywhere else in this luxury lodge, the kitchen is beautifully designed and decorated (pale blue and white, blond wood, solid granite work top) and has only the best quality gadgets. We slide open the wide glass doors, instantly transforming the kitchen into a garden room and bringing the outside in - great for brunch (or anytime) on a sunny day.
I'm torn between whether to spend all our time here at home, enjoying the peace and quiet, the luxury and the view, or to tear ourselves away and do some exploring...The area is outstandingly beautiful; there couldn't be anywhere better to enjoy coastal or hill walking and I have a vague notion of climbing one of those fascinatingly shaped peaks that I've been admiring from my window...
In the end we start small, following the river through the woods before crossing a stretch of moorland to admire the mountains from a distance on one day, venturing across to the coast and enjoying the clear water and white dunes of Clachtoll and a view of the mountains from a different angle, on another. Then comes the time to bite the bullet and make a decision. We'll leave the twelve mile hike to the top of Suilven for the next time in favour of the shorter seven mile trek up and down Canisp.
Good weather and a map and compass were essential and it was hard going but the amazing view of Cul Mor, Stac Pollaidh and Suilven took our breath away and rewarded our efforts. Of course, there's nothing like another long, hot, bubbly soak at our luxury holiday lodge to soothe our well-used limbs.