A Highland retreat for garden lovers
A gem – relaxed, timeless, gay welcoming and set amongst the wild beauty of the Highlands on the edge of Loch Linnhe. The two bedroomed self catering accommodation is perfect for four, but there’s also the contemporary studio within the garden ideal for two extra guests. On arriving, it only takes a few minutes before you feel like you are a million miles away thanks to the seductive charm of this place.
Ard Daraich is on the west coast of Scotland approximately nine miles south of Fort William. Arrive via a long drive around the Loch or, better still, take the small car ferry at Corran which will transport you across in a matter of minutes. The house, once the holiday home of gardener Constance Spry, is set in eight acres of landscaped gardens which are in keeping with the wild beauty of the location and which have views across to Ben Nevis and Glen Coe.
Two and half hours drive from Glasgow and three hours from Edinburgh.
- the sheer charm of the home and its lack of pretension. The furniture, the rugs, the paintings all make for a classically timeless place to stay combined with its history with Constance Spry and all that she was known for!
- the warm welcome offered by Anna and Norrie, who live in part of the house but are separate but on-hand if you need anything
- the Corron Ferry which, along with the landscape, deceives you into thinking you are travelling much further afield than you actually are
- the garden and its history. This is not the traditional clipped hedge variety but instead a garden to reflect its landscape, tamed at times with a spectacular collection of plants but at its core still wild at heart
- Anna and Norrie can provide local produce (some actually from the garden) so everything is organised when you arrive
- two large doubles – one with huge four poster bed
- the first floor bathroom is bright and has free standing cast iron bath designed for that perfect soak and there’s a second shower room downstairs
- the sitting room is adorned with art which has been collected over many years and which add an even deeper dimension to this tranquil Highland home
- acres of gardens include an impressive collection of rhododendrons, and acers and guests are encouraged to explore either on their own or on a guided tour. Norrie will point out the often overlooked rare plant specimens and bring to life the history of the garden and explain their plans for its future – this is very much a living project
- the location lends itself for exploring and the most immediate draw are the banks of Loch Linnhe which is a very short stroll from the front gate beyond Ben Nevis and Glen Coe invite you further into the landscape
- the option of booking the open plan studio for two more guests
In addition to Ard Daraich, Norrie continues to be a filmmaker and Anna an artist often taking inspiration from the time and place in which the house is set. They both share a love for gardening and horticulture and it was Norrie’s parents who, after Constance, added to the design of the gardens. Anna and Norrie accepted the baton and are now taking this living project to the next stage.
They know the area well and have been instrumental in setting up a local producers market. With their knowledge of the area and their connections they are the perfect hosts to help you plan your stay or are equally pleased to simply let you enjoy the garden.
ReviewsLeave your own
Deb Gibbs - June 2015
We stayed for a restorative and enriching week, thanks to the warm hospitality and delightful surroundings at Ard Daraich. The house and gardens have the charm that comes from years of genuine care and artful living and Norrie and Anna are welcoming and considerate hosts. We had anticipated spending much of our time on the opposite side of the loch, but their local knowledge, experience and advice persuaded us otherwise and we easily and happily filled our days "off the beaten track". One highlight was watching otters in a nearby loch (exactly where they said we'd find them!) 5 stars plus!
Cameron Munro - July 2011
We booked to stay with Norrie and Anna at Ard Darraich as part of our honeymoon holiday after our civil partnership ceremony. We spent three nights there having spent three nights in Argyll which was very special but from the moment we arrived their personal yet not intrusive touches were very welcome and warmly received. We had an email from Anna advising us of places to eat before our arrival and the time of the last ferry across was in order to avoid the longer drive round when the ferry is closed. Both Norrie and Anna have the knack of unobtrusively touching base with their customers every day at some time and imparting ideas and information but only when this is requested, working out in an uncanny way what people might like to do with their day and also what they had been up to since last seen, this is a wonderful skill.
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