Following the perfect week at Fisherman’s Cottage, Dora the Caravelle wound her way all the way across the great glen for a couple of nights just outside Fort William for a stopover to explore the West Coast of the Highlands.
Our host for the couple of nights was Knoll Lodge – actually in Spean Bridge, around 7 miles from Fort William.
Finding it is easy – it’s right on the A82 – and although we arrived as it was getting dark the Lodge (it’s a Bungalow really) was warm and inviting. We soon found our feet; had baggsied our bedrooms from the four available (1 double with en-suite shower room and toilet, 2 twin, one with en-suite shower room and toilet, 1 bunk room), the teen had found the wifi code, and dinner was in the oven.
The kitchen is an L-shaped kitchen diner, and has everything you’ll need for your stay. The utility room has full washer-dryer options too, which makes a big difference when you’re staying somewhere with such unpredictable weather! The family bathroom has a shower over the bath, and between it and the en-suites there’s plenty enough bathrooms for a family of 6.
The cottage was immaculately clean, and filled with small touches that made it feel homely rather than a sterile holiday property. There was even a big tin of shortbread waiting to welcome us :). The owners are really lovely – warm and helpful, but mot intrusive. They are on site in an adjoining annexe, but we didn’t see them during our stay except when they passed the kitchen window on their way out!
As a location the cottage isn’t in itself perfectly situated for us – the A82 is a busy road, and although the bungalow is set well back the traffic can be heard. And the garden runs onto the railway too!
However, it is tucked right under the mountain range that includes Ben Nevis, and you’d be hard pushed to find a more spectacular area of Scotland to stay in. Knoll Lodge is genuinely perfectly placed for exploring this part of the Highlands – we travelled North to the Kyle of Lochalsh, and travelled ‘over the sea to Skye’ (and yes, we were singing that for days…). The road bridge is just 65 miles away, and well worth a trip, the coast is amazing.
Heading south, you of course have Glencoe, which is just awe-inspiringly stunning. I don’t think I’ll ever forget sitting at the head of the glen, watching a rainbow move down the valley as we felt the crisp cold air that was sweeping off the snow-covered peaks. Just too beautiful.
The coast is within easy reach, of course, and if you turn inland and head east then before you know it you’ll be at the head of Loch Ness and the Great Glen. In fact it’s only 2 1/2 hours all the way across the inverness and the East Coast!
Knoll Lodge was a good stopover point for us – personally we’d choose somewhere in a little bit more of a remote location, but I know we like things wilder and more isolated than most!
For a touring and exploring family holiday, or as a comfortable well-equipped base for an activity holiday based around Fort William, Knoll Lodge is a really good choice. For busy families it’s a good, easily accessibly location – but book it soon, I know availability is limited for the coming summer season.
Property: Knoll Lodge – Reference W41550
Oil CH, gas, elec, bed linen and towels inc. Cot. DVD. CD. Gas cooker. M/wave. W/machine. T/dryer. D/washer. Freezer. Wi-fi. Lawned garden and furniture. Portable BBQ. Ample parking. No smoking. NB: There is an unfenced stream 10 yards from the property.
Contact: www.cottages4you.co.uk or call 0845 268 0760
Price: £455 for three night’s self-catered accommodation based on arrival 1st June 2014. Sleeps eight with room for one pet.*
*Prices accurate at time of writing and subject to availability. Property details are edited for space and booking conditions apply – please see website for full details.