Dornoch Firth View holds a truly one-of-a-kind position, situated just a short distance from both Dornoch Castle and the world-famous Royal Dornoch Golf Club. Located overlooking the Dornoch Firth and set within eight acres of private gardens, this makes the perfect choice for those looking for a truly tranquil escape. The Grade A listed house, dates back to the sixteenth century and is therefore steeped in history, it has benefitted from a recent refurbishment and today offers visitors contemporary interiors while still possessing plenty of character and charm.
The house has been modernised with high attention to detail and offers all the necessary amenities for a more than comfortable stay. On the ground floor is the extravagant entertaining space which comprises of a cedar-lined library, a cosy sitting room, a games room complete with bar, an opulent dining room and a modern kitchen which boasts all the tools a budding chef could possibly need! Dornoch View can comfortably accommodate up to sixteen guests across eight plush bedrooms, each of which comes complete with en-suite bathroom or access to a private bathroom. There are four super-king rooms, which can be set up as twin rooms on request, three king-size double rooms and one double room. Seven of the bedrooms boast beautiful sea views over the Firth!
Dornoch Firth View is set amongst 8.5 acres of wonderfully maintained private gardens with a large variety of flowers and a fantastic herb garden. In the summer, the garden overflows with homegrown raspberries, currants, strawberries and rhubarb, all of which the guests are welcome to enjoy! The terrace comes complete with dining facilities and a barbecue, making it the perfect place to dine al fresco on a warm evening. The summerhouse has been carefully positioned to catch the afternoon sun and is the ultimate spot from which to enjoy some peace and quiet, a good read and a cold glass of wine!
Dornoch Firth View boasts impressive sea views, situated just a mile north of the Royal Burgh of Dornoch. The historic town of Dornoch, is best known for it’s golf course, however, it boasts a selection of handy amenities, including shops and restaurants. The house is not only perfect for golfers but also birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, walkers and cyclists being ideally located between two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s) - The Dornoch Firth and Loch Fleet Nature Reserve.
From walking along the white sands of Dornoch or Embo Beach, to joining the fearsome Old Duke of Sutherland at the summit of Ben Bhraggie, there are walks around Dornoch for all abilities and inclinations.
The house is ideally situated for wildlife watchers:
Loch Fleet Nature Reserve, walking distance from the house, is a large tidal basin with sand dunes, mudflats, coastal heath and pinewoods. The pinewoods support Scottish crossbills, crested tits and pine martens, as well as woodland plants, such as one-flowered wintergreens. Highlights of the area include all kinds of wading birds plus otters, seals and wild orchids
The Dornoch Firth is a couple of miles south of the house and is another vast “Site of special scientific interest” (SSSI)
The Falls of Shin near Lairg. This spot is famous locally as it is great for watching Salmon leap the waterfall as they migrate upstream to their spawning grounds in the Summer. There is also a very nice coffee shop nearby.
Organised Whale and dolphin watching is available in the Cromarty and Moray Firths, between Dornoch and Inverness.
Birding, The South East of Sutherland has a good range of habitats making the area exceptionally bird rich, though this is especially true of the coast, with large numbers of ducks, geese, waders and gulls. Red and Black Grouse can be seen in the hills, as can a variety of raptors, although Golden Eagles are scarce.
Fishing can usually be arranged by the the owners with a bit of notice.
Lochs: The area around Dornoch is surrounded by numerous lochs, invariably in peaceful, beautiful and sometimes spectacular surrounds. Local licenses for the Dornoch area can be purchased by the day from the Eagle pub in Castle St, enabling them to be fished from bank or boat. Wild brown trout are a quarry common to all these lochs, but some are also stocked with rainbows and char. There is abundant fishing further afield, including at Loch Brora through which pass salmon and sea-trout, and at Loch Eye near Tain, where the nutrient rich waters sustain brown trout of 5lb or more.
Rivers: For the experienced fisherman it may be possible to arrange fishing for salmon or sea trout at one of the nearby rivers – such as the Fleet, Shin, Brora or Alness – or at the Kyle of Sutherland. Again, do call Jim to discuss your requirements and he will liaise with the local estates.
Sea: For those who fancy a walk down to the nearby shore, fish such as mackerel and skate can be caught from the beach. There are a couple of spare rods and tackle in the house for your use. And later on, at the right time of the year, you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights which were spotted from Embo beach a couple of times last year.
Sutherland’s roads are amongst the quietest in the entire UK, and mixed with breath-taking scenery, this makes for great cycling. Bikes can be hired from Grannie’s Heilan’ Hame in Embo, or they can be delivered to the house from Sam’s Bike Shed in Golspie.
Road Cycling. There are any number of Ordnance Survey maps in the house, for you to find your ideal cycling route. If you are feeling energetic, you might consider trying some or all of the increasingly famous “North Coast 500” route, which makes a huge, 500 mile circle around the north of Scotland.
Mountain Biking. Highland Wildcat Trails, Golspie, is a purpose-built mountain bike course set in magnificent Highland scenery, just north of Dornoch, while a little inland and to the west, the ‘Kyle of Sutherland’ mountain bike trail offers more of a woodland experience.
The Highlands are rightly famous for their malt whiskies and Dornoch Firth View manor is happily placed in an area which allows you to learn as much as you want about Scotland’s national drink. Six famous distilleries are within an easy drive: Glenmorangie, Balblair, Clynelish, Dalmore, Glen Ord and Old Pulteney. It is easy to arrange a tour.
It’s not just the distilleries which are serving! Visit ‘The Whisky Bar’ in the Castle Hotel Dornoch. It has won many awards and has a vast collection of the finest whiskies in the land. The Carnegie Whisky Cellars in the Courthouse in Castle St. is happy to arrange tastings and pack you off with whisky which will last you the rest of the year, – or just sit and sip your own favourite in the House’s own Whisky bar (with honestly tab).
Dornoch runs an annual Whisky Festival in October, which includes, tastings, distillery tours, ceilidhs and lots more.
The name Sutherland dates from the era of Viking rule. So although this county contains some of the northernmost land in the UK, it was called Suðrland or “southern land” by its Norwegian rulers. Norse, Pictish and more recent Scottish history involving bloody battles and the notorious “Highland Clearances” of Victorian times are all around. We recommend visiting some or all of the following:
- “Historylinks” Museum in Dornoch and “Timespan” Museum in Helmsdale, to find out about The Clearances and the burning of the last witch it Scotland.
- Dunrobin Castle in Golspie, built by the notorious Duke of Sutherland
- Dornoch Cathedral, which dates from the 13th century
- The Tarbat Discovery Centre at Portmahomack for Pictish remains
- Culloden – Famous battle site near Inverness airport, and Fort George.
Dornoch contains a number of general grocery stores, plus specialist butchers, bakers, bookshop, hardware and electrical stores, amongst others. There is also a very good antique shop and a number of fantastic gift shops, most notably The Jail, situated in the middle of the village in…. the old town jail!
Just over the Dornoch Firth in Tain, there are a number of other interesting shops, not least Bannermans fish shop for local seafood and The Tain Pottery shop. (If you’re interested in Potteries, you also won’t want to miss the Anta Pottery, which is a little further south.) There are also a number of large supermarkets in Tain.
Aspen Spa at the Carnegie Courthouse (next to the Jail) is a haven of calm and a perfect retreat after a day on the golf course, or a break from a busy day sightseeing or shopping. They have a range of face, body and nail treatments for men and women
Eating and Drinking
Dornoch boasts a number of good restaurants and bars to suit a range of tastes. We have a number of up-to-date recommendations in the house, but would especially caution in the Summer or other popular times, that you book in advance if you want to secure a table, as there aren’t quite enough!
At Excellence Luxury Villas we pride ourselves on going that little bit further for our guests. From private chefs to babysitters we can help you arrange those little extras that make it a truly memorable holiday. Simply fill in the
concierge request form or contact Excellence Luxury Villas Concierge Team who will be happy to help. We can typically help you arrange any of the following:
- On arrival there will be a complimentary “welcome pack” including some essentials and local goodies.
- You can buy your own supplies from local shops in Dornoch or supermarkets in Tain.
- The kitchen is supplied with everything you would expect: cooker, microwave, fridge, freezer, coffee machine etc.
- Breakfasts. Would you like somebody to come in and cook your breakfast?
- Dinner. By advance arrangement, a local chef can be provided to cook dinner.
- Alternatively, there are some good restaurants in Dornoch which we can recommend. (Important to book in advance in the Summer & busy seasons)
- The house will be thoroughly cleaned before your arrival and after you depart. If you are staying for more than 1 week, it is possible to arrange for an extra clean at the end of the first week.
- Alternatively, if you would like a full housekeeping service, with beds made daily, this may be possible, given good notice.
- There is a washing machine, tumble drier and iron for your use in the utility room, as well as all kinds of other cleaning materials, should you need them.
- Most guests arrive in their own cars, but some come into Inverness airport or train station. It is easy to hire a car from the airport, which is about 1 hour 10 minutes from Dornoch Firth View.
- Drivers can be provided by prior arrangement to pick you up from the airport/golf courses and restaurants in town, if required.
- There is free WiFi throughout the house
- There are 3 TV’s of which one has Sky (Sport). Your own Netflix account etc can also be run on the televisions.
- There are sound systems in several rooms and in all of the bedrooms, through which you can run your own streaming service.
- The Whisky Bar is well stocked for your enjoyment and we just ask you record your drinks on the “honesty tab” so we can settle up at the end.
- There is a small pool table in the games room and other games, cards, jigsaws etc. available for your use.
- The Library is full of books which you are welcome to read
- There are also many maps which you can use to plan walks, cycling trips etc.
- If we are given sufficient notice, it may be possible to organise bespoke entertainments at the house, such as whisky tastings, yoga, pilates and spa treatments
Please note that all extras are subject to availability and must be requested in advance of the holiday (prices on request). Due to some rural/remote locations, not all services will be available at all properties. However, we will always do our best to fulfill your requests!