West Coast Christmas
Photo: Hebridean Earth House
Traditionally New Year was the peak time for a winter break in the Highlands but in the last few years more and more people have been discovering the joys of spending Christmas away from home. Whether you are looking for a big family house where extended families can cater with easy and celebrate in style, or a romantic getaway to escape the pressures of the festive season then LHH has something for you.
Borrodale House sleeps 16 and is a stylish 18th century listed building that oozes character. It’s the type of place that is ideal for large family gatherings with the massive sitting/dining room able to seat everyone in comfort. The well equipped kitchen makes preparing Christmas dinner a breeze and the external barn converted into games room will keep the young ones amused. A wood burning stove and an open fire ensure that everyone will be able to feel that sense of hygge that comes from a real flame. To work off some of these Christmas pudding calories then it’s just a short walk to the beach which has white sand and spectacular views along the west coast. Sea kayaking is also available at nearby Arisaig all year round for the more adventurous.
Everyone has a different idea of what their ideal Christmas would be. The increased commercialization and ostentatious festive decorations of many cities has prompted many to seek more relaxing alternatives in the countryside. For a romantic way to get away from the stresses and obligations (and maybe some family members) then how about spending Christmas in a hole in the ground. Hebridean Earth House is the most luxurious hobbit hole you can imagine, constructed to blend into the landscape and be super cosy at any time of year. Escape from the pressures of the festive season (and the carol singers) and instead look forward to tranquil loch views and bracing walks on the nearby beach. The ferry connections to the islands are now much more reliable than ever and although snow on the islands is rare, the wild and bracing beaches on the west coast are at their atmospheric and spectacular best in the winter.
Peninsula Cottage offers the best of two worlds, it is located in a quiet and private spot right on the shore but at the same time only a short distance to the Christmas activities, shopping, bars and restaurants of Stornoway. In the past a lot of businesses in the islands closed over the winter but Stornoway is now a vibrant, modern town with plenty to offer at this time of year. It’s a sociable time to visit, when the locals choose to let their hair down after the hectic tourist season is over. There is also an influx of islanders who work on the mainland who journey home for the festivities and this makes the atmosphere in the pubs and cafes jovial and welcoming. Peninsula cottage even has a hot tub. What better way to take in the crisp winter air and a spectacular sunset? For those not brave enough then a hot toddy and a panoramic view from the sitting room is almost as good.
Instead of the traditional turkey more and more people are opting to have seafood for Christmas dinner. A freshly caught wild salmon, with lobster and hand dived scallops would make for a sustainable and locally sourced feast to remember. Lochinver is the seafood capital of the Highlands with an abundance of fresh produce on offer and some of the most renowned restaurants in the country. For festive indulgence it can’t be beat. Culkein Lodge sits just a short drive up the North Coast 500, the roads can be incredibly quiet at this time of year and the snow-capped peaks of Suilven and Canisp make this an incredibly picturesque journey. The house is a beautifully restored and recently refurbished getaway. A wood burning stove makes the ideal location for the family to gather round and open presents and afterwards watch telly on the big screen. There is even Sky TV for those who don’t fancy the queen’s speech.
All these houses and many more still have availability for Christmas, call LHH now to book and grab yourself a last minute winter bargain.