Review of Bluebell Croft, West Highlands of Scotland
> For contact details and availability, see greentraveller's full listing of Bluebell Croft
Honeysuckle house sleeps 8+. It is made with natural brick and has solid oak furniture. All the rooms have fantastic light. Roaring wood fires, beds with duvets (up to 13.5 togs) to keep you warm on the cold nights, as well as a selection of cookery books, magazines and DVD's. There’s free wifi if you feel the need to connect with the outside world. There’s gorgeous cane furniture in a conservatory, and original works of art of the Scottish landscape are scattered throughout the house. The adjacent Rose Cottage (sleeps 4) can be rented separately. Both Honeysuckle House and Rose Cottage have wheelchair access and can be rented together to create a huge house for up to 16 guests.
Kids will love it here – it’s a unique combination of a holiday home and living on a small scale working organic croft. The family dogs -Lucy and Tilly are a joy to play with plus there are other friends on the farm waiting for you to drop by and feed them: pigs, ducks, chicken and even Daisy the cow.
The eggs, bacon, cheese, baked ham and organic bread is made/reared organically within the premises so expect lots of homemade and/or local produce, such as homegrown pork steaks with wild mushrooms and fresh veg, with masses of home-grown fruit and vegetables in season, or one of Sukie’s signature dishes like her Aga slow cooked casseroles or smoked mackerel (freshly caught from nearby Loch Sunnart) souffle with spinach and hollandaise sauce, and her legendary Vanilla Ice Cream.
Bluebell Croft is a birdwatchers paradise: oystercathers, herons, ptarmingans, red throated divers, buzzards, kestrels, and golden eagles.
Ardnamurchan Peninsula provides a wealth of natural beauty and great variety of outdoor pursuits. Touch UK's most westerly point at the lighthouse on Ardnamurchan Point. On a good day with clear blue skies you can get clear view to the small isles of Muck Rum and Eigg. Go fishing for mackerel on Loch Sunnart, roam wild on the beautiful white sand beaches of Sanna Bay. Owner Sukie might lend you her guide to discovering her ‘secret beach’ (where you can see seals) on the condition that you keep it a secret!
Further afield you can take the ferry from Lochaline to Mull and enjoy a day out in the picture postcard village of Tobermory. Alternatively, head up the road to the isles to Arisaig and spending the day at the beach exploring rock pools.
The Barber family has a 'One Planet Living' Philosophy and they encourage guests to muck in and help out with the croft and the composting or encouraging them to taking home some vegetable plants to enlarge their plot, or to take on the commitment to keep their own hens.
Bluebell Croft is also equipped with wood burning stoves and energy saving lightblubs are fitted throughout the premises. A wind turbine is up and running and powering almost all of their needs with the rest of the electricity on the estate is sourced from Good Energy. There is also a free pick up service from Fort William Train Station as well as bike loan service for guests to encourage a car-free stay.
Bag one of the front facing bedrooms to wake up to an amazing sunrise: early morning see the white fluffy clouds rest dolefully on the mountain peaks before a spectacular burst of sunshine arouses from your deep, restful slumber. Also, don’t miss the hot tub – guests come from hundreds of miles just to sink into this hot tub and enjoy the views of the soaring mountain peaks (including views of Strontian glen to Sgurr Dhomhuill) and the Milky Way at night. Sunday Times Travel Magazine rightly praises the hot tub as ‘the best sited in Europe’.
Take the Virgin Trains service to Glasgow from London (4 ½ hours) and hop onto the First Scotrail Glasgow- Fort William service (3 ¾ hrs ) which forms part of the scenic, West Highland Railway. To book your train ticket go to thetrainline's booking system: Train to Glasgow/Fort William.
Bill and Sukie are the perfect hosts and created a holiday dream - this is more than just a home away from home. This is 5 star, responsible luxury - the chance to sample sustainable working croft in action within the stunning natural environment of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula.
For contact details and availability, see greentraveller's full listing of Bluebell Croft