|Minimum Stay||1 - 7 nights|
Oystercatchers is a charming self catering cottage with grounds running down to the shore of Loch Fleet, feeling as though it is on the edge of the wilds yet just three miles from Dornoch, one of Scotland’s prettiest villages. Guests often say that time slips away just watching the light changing on the hills that fill the view across the loch.
The cosy kitchen with its open fire at the heart of the cottage provides a welcoming refuge from any “weather” that happens to blow by (it occasionally does in this part of Scotland) and opens into the large, sunny sitting room with sofas drawing you to simply sit back and drink in the view. But this lovely corner of Sutherland isn’t just the ideal place to relax and soak up the peace and quiet of idyllic scenery. The landscape offers a host of opportunities to launch into activity and adventure; from climbing hills or mountain biking to kite surfing or pony trekking, nature has provided the perfect invitation for you to be as active as you could possibly wish. It’s all so close to home.
And the natural wonders are right on your doorstep. Oystercatchers sits within the Loch Fleet national nature reserve; an amazing collection of habitats - sand dunes, rocky shores, pebbly shores, sandy shores, mudflats, salt marsh, woodland, heath – each attracting remarkable wildlife at all times of the year. In spring and summer you can sit in the garden and watch ospreys fishing over the loch. In winter thousands of geese form patterns across the wide skies. Every day a large clan of seals beach themselves on the sandbanks to snooze away the low tide hours, as intrigued by you as you’ll be by them. Even if nature isn’t your thing, the ever changing tides and the fluctuating soundtrack of birdsong that they bring provides a very lovely backdrop to any holiday.
Walking down the mown path from the large enclosed garden through the pasture in front of the house brings you to the loch shore from where it is a short, beachcombing stroll to the open sea, sandy beaches and sand dunes running to Dornoch; you may even see dolphins cruising by.
Dornoch is unique. Not many villages can boast miles of sandy beaches, a cathedral, a bishop’s castle, an array of cafes and restaurants and, during the summer months, a pipe band parading on the main street every Saturday evening to provide a truly Highland welcome. But Dornoch isn’t just picture-postcard perfect, it’s also practical for shopping and supplying the things that you find yourself needing on holiday.
And Dornoch has a world famous golf course, invariably ranked as one of the finest in Great Britain and a place of pilgrimage for golfers from across the Atlantic. It is a wonderful course but it isn’t the only one. For the visiting golfer, Dornoch’s two courses combined with those at Brora, Tain and Golspie make up a set of seaside golfing gems all of which are very visitor friendly and all within ten to twenty minutes drive from Oystercatchers.
Or if your life is already overloaded with activity you could just stay at home. Lie on the lawn and read (there are loads of books). Play in the garden. Skim stones. Beachcomb for treasures. Look out for marauding Vikings. Toast your toes in front of the open fire, talk about the day’s adventures and plan tomorrow’s.
Oystercatchers is in a fantastic, peaceful and tranquil location with stunning views and is fairly well equipped. However, the first impression as you arrive is not brilliant as the gate is that rusty that it will only stay closed with the help of a bicycle bungee. The only door that we were given a key to was stiff and not easy to open (this was mentioned in the visitors book by more than one person).
We were very disappointed at the overall condition of the inside of the property and now fully understand why there are no photos of the kitchen area and both bathrooms.
The furniture was, in some cases, literally falling apart. One of the beds in the downstairs bedroom had a big hole in the paneling at the end of the bed. When opening a cupboard door the handle fell off and the same happened when opening a window. We also found the sofas to be itchy and found a hidden tear in one of them ,they were covered in feathers as were the cushions. There were marks on many of the walls and on practically all of the gloss work. Wall vents were covered with paper and held on with sellotape and some of the windows had duck tape over the vents at the top. The bread bin was rusty both inside and out.
Both of the bathrooms are extremely dated and the cupboard doors in the shower room were peeling. The only heating in the upstairs bathroom is a fan wall heater.
While most of the cottage had been cleaned adequately e.g. bathrooms and kitchen, there were many other areas of the cottage
that this had not been done to a good standard..
We very rarely have negative things to say about cottages in our 30 years of holiday cottage rentals but as there were so many things here, it did affect the enjoyment of our stay.
We feel that the cottage is in need of updating and some decorating and repairs carried out.
A very well equipped cottage, ideal location, and relaxing decor, would definately return with my family, perfect for all ages, we wish we could have stayed longer x
Really enjoyed our week at The Oystercatchers. Cosy when required, and airy when the sun did shine. Well equipped. Comfortable. Loved the ever changing view. Sunsets, moon rises. Telescope great addition. Nice to be able to walk straight down to beach. Lots of lovely memories. Thank you! Angie also very helpful throughout booking. Keys etc. So thanks to her.
The cottage was ideally located for the Loch Fleet nature reserve. There are good places to eat nearby.
The cottage's location was ideal for us to explore the north of Scotland where the scenery is stunning
Oystercatchers is a lovely quirky cottage in an fantastic setting with views of Loch Fleet, plenty of wildlife to watch (birds, seals and even an Osprey, although the otters remained elusive!) There was a variety of walks nearby and the sandy beaches are amazing. We only had one day of rain which didn't stop our enjoyment. The accommodation was just as described and if you want to get away from it all this is exactly the place to go.
Oystercatchers is situated on the east coast of Sutherland on the south shore of Loch Fleet, 3 miles north of Dornoch, 50 minutes drive north of Inverness, 1 hour from Inverness airport. Its address in Skelbo will be of little use as Skelbo consists of 4 houses and a ruined castle and appears on no signposts.
Approaching from the south you follow the A9 past the first right hand turning to Dornoch continuing for a further one and a half miles until at a left hand bend at the top of a long straight hill you pass a second sharp right turn signposted to Dornoch. Slow down and indicate right as you’ll need to take the unsignposted right turn 100 metres further on opposite the Trentham Hotel, (beware of oncoming traffic on this A9 bend).
Stay on this single track road for 1.5 miles until after coming down a small hill through trees you give way at a crossroads. Oystercatchers is facing you on the left with a timber garage and a prominent tree stump in the garden. Park in front of the garage.