Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Hill Crest - Seaside Clifftop Cottage - Panoramic Views of Fabulous Cullen Bay

Bedrooms 4
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 - 5 nights


About the property

Cottage in Cullen, Grampian, Scotland - Direct Access To Walking Paths And 10 Minutes To The Harbour, The Beach & Cullen Golf Club

Hill Crest Holiday Cottage is a traditional stonebuilt period property superbly located in a prime elevated site with panoramic, unobstructed views overlooking Cullen Bay in the Royal Burgh of Cullen, a charming and historic village on the Moray Firth in Scotland. Hill Crest is a spacious and comfortable 4 bedroom cottage with all the modern conveniences as well as having the benefits of a lovely private and enclosed patio garden, gazebo and large decked area overlooking the bay. This cliff top cottage is only steps from a walking path which leads directly to the harbour, the beach and the local links golf course to the west. The coastal trail to the east will take you through incredible scenery, with opportunities to view a variety of wildlife, to the ancients ruins of Findlater Castle. Dolphin watching, boating, fishing, surfing and cycling are only a few of the many activities available for visitors to this delightful area. Make your holiday escape one to remember!

Selma & Rob Nicol
Member since: 2013
Premier Partner

This HomeAway partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english
Calendar last updated:
February 23, 2018

About Selma & Rob Nicol

The Owners of this special property are Selma and Rob Nicol. We are both Canadian, although Rob grew up in Buckie which is a short distance from Cullen. We met in Canada in 1991 and eventually married in Scotland in 1998 at Eilean Donan Castle (very romantic!) and moved to a lovely little farmhouse just outside of Buckie on the Moray Coast. I nursed at the local hospital and Rob had an upholstery business. In 2005 family obligations necessitated a return to Canada but we continued to regularly return to Scotland to visit family with the intention of some day moving back. During our time on the Moray Coast, and when we visited from Canada, we were regular visitors to Cullen as loved its village charm, beautiful beach and of course the ice cream! We began to dream of some day having a holiday cottage here. During a holiday visit late in 2011, while walking the trails around Cullen, we spotted Hill Crest with a For Sale sign and knew we had found our cottage.

Selma & Rob Nicol purchased this cottage in 2011

Why Selma & Rob Nicol chose Cullen

We purchased the cottage only a few days before returning to Canada. Rob returned a few months later and began an extensive renovation and I joined him a few months after that to handle the furnishing and decorating component. It was a crazy time but with lots of support from local tradespeople and family and friends we managed to complete the job. In August of 2012 we returned to Scotland permanently and had the pleasure of living in Hill Crest ourselves while looking for a new home. We loved every minute and actually I had a difficult time leaving for our new house. Hill Crest is so charming, the views are stunning, the local people are absolutely lovely and it was a privilege to stay there in my eyes.

What makes this cottage unique

It is peaceful, serene and nature is at your doorstep every day. The sea and skies are different every day and I have never seen such beautiful sunsets. We saw the dolphins in the bay from the bench looking out to sea, which is in front of the house, the first week we were there and I knew we had picked a very special place to live. I can only hope our visitors enjoy Hill Crest as much as we have!

Guestbook comments from the owner

Some excerpts from our Guest Book:

"What a lovely cottage! I couldn't find anything that was missing! Made the most of the lovely terrace and relaxed a lot, so I haven't done half the things I wanted to do. Two weeks were not enough so I have to come back."

"What a wonderful week we have had in Cullen - warmth and sunshine every day, great walks, lots to do - but most of all we greatly enjoyed the comfort and amenities of your cottage."

"We knew we were going to have a great time the minute we walked through the door."

"A fabulous house with everything you might need. A stunning location with views second to none. We have had an amazing time."
Feb 2013
  • 1 of 1


Cullen Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Beach
  • Near The Ocean
  • Village
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Ensuite Shower Room - toilet , shower , On Main Floor
    Family Bathroom - toilet , combination tub/shower , On First Floor
  • Ensuite bathroom to bedroom 1 with w/c, sink and shower, Bathroom with w/c, sink & bath/shower over for bedrooms 2, 3 & 4
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , 1 baby crib
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 1 twin/ single
    Bedroom 4 - 1 twin/ single
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 6 (4 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1 with king size bed & ensuite, Bedroom 2 with king size bed, Bedroom 3 with single bed, Bedroom 4 with single bed plus infant cot on request. All bedrooms have sea or garden views with the upstairs double having sea views on three sides.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Video Library
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • bay/sound
  • churches
  • library
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing
Notes on accommodation: Hill Crest Holiday Cottage is a very special place to unwind, relax and take a well-deserved break in Bonnie Scotland! It is a spacious comfortable family home with all the modern conveniences plus period charm. Hill Crest is a no-smoking holiday home. Some pets considered. Contact the owner for more information. Outside: Hill Crest Holiday Cottage has a fabulous cliff top location with a patio garden in the back of the house which is in a very sheltered area and has a table with parasol that seats 6. The paths are gravelled and lead across the garden to our newly decked area which has a lovely covered timber gazebo with a table and bench seating. There are also a further 4 timber deck chairs for sunning and enjoying dolphin watching in Cullen Bay! It is the feature of this property of which we are most proud and hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Utility Room: Large capacity washing machine, condenser dryer, drying rack, outdoor drying facilities. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Egyptian cotton towels and beach towels are provided plus all high quality bed linens. Property is cleaned weekly at changeover on Saturday and on request on changeover day for longer visits. Extra linens, blankets and pillows are available on request. Other: Separate dining room with gas fire, extendable dining room table and sea views from three windows. Cosy reading nook beside the fire.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(32 traveler reviews)

100% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
Hill Crest - Seaside Clifftop Cottage - Panoramic Views of Fabulous Cullen Bay
average rating of 5.0 based on 33 reviews

Beautifully appointed house in a perfect location.

  • 5 of 5

Fantastic house in beautiful location overlooking the sea. Well equipped garden to enjoy the views from. House was perfect, clean, comfy, homely but very beautifully furnished and everything you might need was there. So many amazing beaches close by and lots to do. Ice cream from Cullen or Portsoy is a must! One of the best I have stayed in and there have been many! Will definitely go back.

  • Submitted: Oct 17, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so very much for providing a review of your stay at Hill Crest. We do our best to provide our guests with a comfortable home away from home. The location is superb we agree and we look forward to your return. Selma & Rob
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

A Beautiful Cottage

  • 5 of 5

This is a wonderful place to stay! The views are amazing and breathtaking, the cottage itself is high quality and we loved it!

Thank you for the treats you left for us and our dog! It was very thoughtful and really added to what was already a fantastic experience!

When we come again to this part of Bonnie Scotland, would not consider staying anywhere else!

  • Submitted: Nov 8, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you very much for the review of the your recent stay at HillCrest. We enjoyed having you visit and look forward to seeing you again for your next holiday in our area. Selma & Rob
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Nothing short of Perfection!

  • 5 of 5

Our five night stay at Hill Crest could not be improved upon. The cottage itself was so beautiful with care taken in every aspect. The kitchen was fully equipped with every necessary item to cook any meal! The island was a great space to sit around during dinner prep. The views of the sunsets from the kitchen window were amazing. The bedrooms were large with super cozy pillows and linens and the dining area and living room were equally lovely with views from all windows. Selma and Rob had a great variety of reading material from the area. We spent relaxing time in the yard and on the porch overlooking the North Atlantic and this space was so safe for our seventeen month old grand daughter. We even had breakfast in the gazebo because the weather was fantastic! Parking was never an issue. Hill Crest provided us with the perfect place for day trips to distilleries, Loch Ness, and castle exploring. Cullen itself, the harbour, the beach and hikes, all close by was a real Scottish experience. Selma's decorating made Hill Crest feel like a home and I can only say, "You will be captivated."


  • Submitted: Jun 12, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: What a fabuous review - thank you so very much! You painted a picture of Hill Crest that made me want to stay there myself! Hill Crest is a lovely old home in a stunning location and we really treasure being able to share it with our visitors. We would love to have you back any time. Best wishes, Selma & Rob
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0

Lovely cottage in perfect location

  • 5 of 5

We arrived half an hour late on a blustery day, and so were very glad still to find a warm welcome from Rob and Selma - literally warm, the house was like toast - and a lovely, thoughtful basket of traditional goodies encompassing everything from Glenfiddich to 'tablet'. (For the sake of your waistline, if you don't know what tablet is, don't ask). The gift of six eggs from their own chickens and a bottle of milk in the fridge was also very welcome!

A brief tour/intro, an assurance they would be on hand if needed, and we were left to enjoy ourselves in what is, even on a mad March day, a superbly cosy retreat with lovely views from windows overlooking the bay.

We had great luck with the weather that week, but I think even if it had been bad we would have relished all the comfort Hillcrest has to offer. As it was, the location was perfect for us - equally easy to stroll down to the harbour and onto the beach, or up into town for a mooch around the antiques shops. Okay...slightly harder to go up into town because Cullen is hilly! but nothing that would challenge anyone.

We had a great and relaxing time. We're not really "walkers" in the proper sense but it's impossible not to do a teeny bit of coastal trail when it's literally on your doorstep. Magnificent birdlife, and we believe we saw a seal one day. We enjoyed the well-appointed kitchen, but if you want a fish-and-chip supper (we did), or even a Chinese or Indian takeaway, Cullen can offer the lot within fairly compact radius.

We had a perfect holiday. I would recommend this cottage unreservedly.

  • Submitted: Mar 26, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your very comprehensive review of your recent stay at HillCrest. It is a great reward to us personally when we receive great feedback for our efforts. Hope to see you again soon! Selma & Rob
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Well-appointed and beautifully organised, warm, comfortable, and very pretty.

  • 5 of 5

Everything was here for a trouble-free visit. The cottage itself is charming and perfectly situated - sea views from the windows but within easy walking distance of town. Cullen harbour and coastal walks are barely two minutes away down an (admittedly steep!) track.

  • Submitted: Mar 12, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you very much for your review. We're pleased you found the cottage suited you and that Cullen had everything to offer for an enjoyable seaside break. We hope to see you again for another visit! Selma & Rob
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

A fabulous property in a fabulous location!

  • 5 of 5

Everything about our stay at HillCrest was perfect. The elevated location overlooking the bay gives this property "something special." The breathtaking views from so many of HillCrest's windows are awesome, and the gorgeous garden decking area takes full advantage of this idyllic spot.

The property itself is finished to a exceptionally high standard throughout, with beautifully appointed and spacious rooms, public areas and bedrooms alike. Attention to detail has been paramount and you will be guaranteed a top class holiday in this stunning home.

Our first visit to HillCrest most certainly won't be our last!

Thank you, Rob and Selma!

Fiona xx

  • Submitted: Feb 19, 2017
  • Stayed: February 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so very much for that wonderful review of your experience at Hill Crest. We agree it is a stunning location for a seaside holiday and we strive to keep the property the best it can be. We look forward to your next visit! Selma & Rob
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0


Nearest Airport
50 Metres
Aberdeen or Inverness
Nearest Golf
100 Metres
Cullen Golf Club
Nearest Train
10 Miles
Nearest Beach
100 Metres
Cullen Beach
Car: recommended


Clifftop location in a seaside village on the coast with walking path beside property to the harbour and beach below. The harbour is a 5 minute descent and the beach only a few minutes more. Trails are then available in either direction along the coastline.


Walking is appropriate in the village but a car would be recommended for outings further away. Car rentals are available in neighbouring towns. There are local buses which travel between the towns. There is a train station 15 miles away in Keith. The airports are located in either Inverness or Aberdeen with the about the same length of journey to each (50 miles).


Portsoy - 5 miles

Banff - 11 miles

Buckie - 6 miles

Elgin - 23 miles

Aberdeen & Inverness - 55 miles each (airports)

Keith - 10 miles (nearest train station)

Further Details:

Amenities within Cullen are a 5 to 10 minute walk from the cottage in the town centre and include a small grocery store, bank, post office, chemist, GP's surgery, several cafes, pubs, the Fish & Chip shop and local Ice Cream Shop. A variety of antique and craft shops are also available as well as the local library. There are several larger towns within a 10 minute to 30 minute drive along the coast which have a wide variety of resources and activities available. The renowned Speyside Scottish Whisky Trail and Castle Trails are both within easy reach by car from Cullen. Locally there are many opportunities to walk or cycle on the many available trails along the coastline.




Additional information about rental rates

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
A 50% deposit is due at the time of booking with the balance due 4 weeks before the holiday. If a booking is made less than 4 weeks before the holiday the full rent is due immediately. Deposits are non-refundable for cancellations less than 4 weeks before holiday. Should the property, subsequent to booking, become unavailable through any cause, the owner's liability is limited to the repayment of any rent already paid.

Changeover Day:
Changeover day is Saturday unless otherwise previously arranged with arrivals at 4:00 p.m. and departures by 10:00 a.m. Guests are requested not to arrive before 4:00 p.m. to allow cleaning to be completed. Keys will be provided on arrival.

Notes on prices:
Short breaks will be considered during non-peak periods with a minimum three night stay. Please contact the owner to obtain rates for short breaks. We reserve the right to offer late deals on unsold breaks at reduced prices. Discounts may be offered for bookings of 2 or fewer guests during off peak season.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

You might like these similar properties