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The view from Eagle Lodge
Want a Hogmanay with a difference? There is still time to book your new year break so you can experience a different kind of celebration, whether it’s a party with friends or a quiet reflective evening by yourself. All these properties still have availability but with interest high you had better be quick.
Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations are justifiably famous the world over but the crowds and noise are not for everyone. A complete antidote to the organised chaos of the annual street party would be to take in the New Year on a quiet beach with a loved one.
To really get away from it all, the isolation of Taigh Gorm would be ideal. The long sandy beach here is about a 15 minute walk from the cottage so it goes without saying that you should wrap up well and bring a torch. You should be able to see the lights of Balivanich twinkling in the distance and if it is a clear night the light from the lighthouse on the Monach Isles is visible due west. A hip flask with some single malt to sip at the stroke of midnight when the only sound you can hear is the waves would make things perfect. The cottage itself is newly built and luxurious, with a woodburning stove to make the island winter evenings warm and cosy.
For the middle ground, between the city centre Hogmanay revelry and the remote beach option, a ceilidh in a village hall or cosy local pub would be a grand way to celebrate. Tigh en Leigh is in the scenic village of Shieldaig, which has one of the best local pubs in the north west.
Unlike many in the north west, this pub and restaurant does not close over the winter and instead it provides a vital focus for community social life after the tourists have left for the season. There is regular traditional live music here and the pub prides itself on serving local ales as well classic winter warmers such as venison stew. It’s only a few minutes’ walk from Tigh en Leigh, which sleeps 7 so makes a fab location for large families. Two dogs are welcome here (and also in the pub) and there is a large wood burning stove where all can gather round after winter days outside.
A relatively recent Scottish tradition is the New Year’s Day loony dook. In many towns and villages this is large scale organised event where people dress up and run into the water together for a splash around but it is also now common for people to go in on their own in any accessible loch or inlet.
Seashell Cottage in Cromarty is a short stroll from the water so would make an ideal location to run to afterwards to warm up. In the past there has been a locally organised event here on the 1st with a large chunk of the village taking the plunge but in recent years this has morphed into an unofficial community get together with a succession of brave souls attempting to ease their hangovers by immersing themselves in the icy waters of the firth. Using a wetsuit is not considered cheating and you may even spot some dolphins. After such intense reinvigoration you will be glad to know it’s only a short walk to Seashell Cottage and its home comforts. A big old-fashioned bath and a hot cup of tea awaits you.
A glass of champagne, a snowy mountain view and a hot tub sounds like a very appealing way to welcome in 2020.
Eagle Lodge has all of the above, as well as an impressive sound system for blasting out party tunes on the stroke of midnight. Some people like to spend New Year with family and the lodge here sleeps 10 in comfort so all of the extended clan can join in the celebration (although they may have to fight so see who gets into the hot tub).
For a New Year’s Day walk, the Uig hills are enticing, but if too much revelry has sapped your energy then a revitalising walk along the nearby Uig sands will do the trick. As a recent addition to the LHH portfolio, Eagle Lodge is our only large house to have availability left for new year. Book now to secure your dates.