Cape Wrath Lodge, Durness, Sutherland

Cape Wrath Lodge

Key Information

8 bedrooms sleeping 16 
5 Reception Rooms
Cinema Room, Billiard Room, Sauna
Stunning loch and mountain views
5 Star rated by Visit Scotland 
Self-Catering from £3,500 per week

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Property Description

Cape Wrath Lodge is a luxurious holiday home full of high-end facilities and offers a unique chance to stay in one of the most north westerly self-catering properties in Britain. The drive up to the tip of the Highlands takes you through some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in Scotland. Your journey's end is resoundingly rewarded by the lodge's splendid location looking out over the Kyle of Durness (a sea loch) and the rugged mountains beyond.

Once part of the Duke of Sutherland's estate, Cape Wrath Lodge was previously most well known for being a sporting hotel patronised by shooting, hunting and fishing guests. The property is now a spacious private residence which is available for exclusive hire. The current owners have extensively renovated the property. While retaining much of its original character the refurbishments and extension have created a top quality homely modern design. There are thoughtful touches throughout all the rooms and delightful surprises round every corner.

The rich wood panelling in the L-shaped Lounge and Dining areas give the room a traditional feel perfect for unwinding and mulling over a glass of malt whisky, coffee or other refreshments. The views of the loch from this room are quite beguiling. The Dining Room area leads to a cosy Sitting Room with comfortable armchairs and wood burning stove. The room also incorporates a very convenient breakfast / serving bar with a 'bean-to-cup' coffee machine, constant hot water facility, dishwasher, fridge, toaster, small sink and cupboards full of lovely crockery and crystal glassware.

Spend an evening being entertained in the high spec surround sound Cinema Room. Children of all ages can have fun on the Wii Console in the Play Room which is kitted out with a good selection of games and toys.

The impressive Main Living Room / Billiard Room has two large floor to ceiling windows giving expansive views of the surrounding moorlands and mountains. There is also a great hi-fi system.

After an energetic day out on the hills what better way to soothe your aching limbs than with a restorative sauna that is also fitted with infrared heaters. Relaxing treatments in the Far Eastern themed spa room can be arranged with a local masseur.

A stylish contemporary kitchen, that would impress the most professional of cooks, benefits from multiple ovens and gas hobs, 2 dishwashers and 2 sinks, a fantastic selection of catering and cooking appliances and plenty of storage in adjoining larder rooms.

As with the rest of the lodge, the hallways, staircases, and entrance hall are adorned with interesting art work, chests and tables displaying tasteful ornaments, interesting objects and attractive lamps.

The high standard of décor can also be seen in the bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. There is 1 en-suite king size bedroom on the ground floor and upstairs a total of 5 boutique-styled bedrooms that include 4 king size and 1 twin. Plus a smaller twin bedroom and second floor double bedroom that share a bathroom and are ideal for use by a family. 

The Garden

The well kept, mainly lawned garden, covers about 2 acres and leads down to the road and shoreline where otters are sometimes spotted. Enjoy a game of croquet or bowls on the lawn or some outdoor dining in the sheltered patio area at the side of the lodge. There is a circular walled garden which has a domed greenhouse.

There is an outside heated kennel for dogs (pets are not permitted in the house) and plenty of parking space with additional undercover parking at the rear where there is a back door into the lodge.

The Area and Activities

Located in the far north west of Sutherland, surrounded by one of Europe's last great wildernesses, Cape Wrath Lodge offers a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Access to this northern corner is by road (unless you wish to arrive by helicopter which should be possible by prior arrangement). It is about 100 miles from Inverness, the capital of the Highlands.

There are endless possibilities in the area for hiking, with captivating coastal and hill walks for all levels of fitness. The most northerly Munro, Ben Hope, is a challenging mountain to climb or ascend the summit of Foinaven and look down on a myriad of lochans. The area is well known for its superb fishing. The owner can put guests in touch with a local contact who can help arrange trout fishing on the famous Durness limestone lochs during the fishing season (April to September).

You'll find some spectacular sandy beaches with clear waters and fantastic views out over the North Atlantic Ocean. Days out on Balnakeil, Oldshoremore, Ceannabeinne and Sango beaches are great for all the family to enjoy. Walk along the cliffs to Sandwood Bay, often voted one of Britain's most beautiful beaches, and relish its wild unspoilt beauty.

Keep a lookout during coastal walks for sightings of seals, dolphins or whales. Visit Smoo Cave with its dramatic chambers where Neolithic, Iron Age and Norse artefacts have been found. Catch the ferry over to Handa Island Nature Reserve to see one of the largest seabird colonies in north west Europe and peer over the steep cliffs to see kittiwakes, great skuas, fulmars and colourful puffins.

A trip to Cape Wrath lighthouse is a must. It stands atop one of the tallest cliffs on the British mainland. The area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area for the colonies of nesting seabirds. A trip to the lighthouse is an adventure in itself involving a short ferry crossing and a very bumpy hour long minibus ride. Steeped in Viking lore, it is a humbling experience to look out over the vast seascape from this iconic landmark.

Sutherland is rich in history and culture. There are ancient brochs and cairns, ruined settlements and a fascinating museum at Bettyhill detailing the Highland Clearances. The museum is also the starting point of the Strathnaver Trail that includes 29 archaeological sites.

Northern Scotland is a great place to observe the night skies and when the conditions are right in the autumn and winter months to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) which can be an unforgettable experience.

The village of Durness, a thriving crofting community, is just over 2 miles away. It has a petrol station and a couple of small shops. The well established Balnakeil Craft Village, close to Durness, showcases an eclectic mix of arts and crafts, as well as having a book shop and chocolaterie. There is a 9-hole golf course at Balnakeil with tremendous sea views.

Our Comment

As you approach Cape Wrath Lodge its location really does take your breath away. It is situated in the hamlet of Keodale with a handful of other properties spread along the shore line. The entrance is off the single track no through road that leads to the Cape Wrath Ferry Pier. The lodge is south facing with outstanding uninterrupted views of the loch, moorlands and mountains beyond.

This 5 Star property (as rated by Visit Scotland) is a great destination for families and groups of friends looking for a luxury, get away from it all, holiday. The recent renovation has been very tastefully done and evokes the atmosphere of an upmarket Highland sporting lodge. The interior has a lovely feel, the rooms are airy, bright and inviting. There is certainly plenty of entertainment in the lodge for all ages and plenty of places to relax and just take in the ever-changing views. There are many little extras, such as laundry bags and hot water bottles in each of the bedrooms, to make you feel at home.

In our opinion, having lived and travelled around the Highlands for over 25 years, North West Sutherland has an allure all of its own. Once visited it will surely capture your heart. The vast open spaces and sparse habitation give it a timeless feel and there is a real sense of freedom. Cape Wrath Lodge provides a wonderful base from which to explore this exceptional area.