I was recently invited to a friend’s country house in the Highlands.
I love the countryside. There, nature and lifestyle are intertwined, the pace slows down and the mind has time to wander free from interferences.
It was my first trip to the Highlands and on arrival we were greeted by an extraordinary and rare display of the Northern Lights. At that point you might be forgiven for thinking perhaps the trip would not get any better. Alas it did.
Built in 1862 by the Duke of Sutherland as part of a scheme for model farming, Linsidecroy sits on a hillside overlooking the Kyle with uninterrupted views up the strath to the mountains of the west, highlighted by the honeyed sunsets and ever changing light.
Linsidecroy is full of charm, inviting and homely. Delightful.
One of the many pleasures was to get up in the early hours to stunning views, fuelling my appetite for long walks. After a morning tea by the ever-warming Aga I would embark myself on long walks with the two family dogs (Sybil and Pidge) and Bindi, a beautifully silky soft and characterful Burmese cat.
The extremely convenient location of Linsidecroy also makes it equally suitable as a base to explore the Highlands. One of our trips included a visit to the fabulously romantic Ardvreck castle in Loch Assynt, an apt setting, no doubt, for Sir Walter Scott’s Lucia di Lamermoor. One imagines Maria Callas aloofly wandering amongst its ruins whilst singing the ‘mad scene’ of the eponymous Opera.
Letting the magnificent Suilven behind us, we then headed towards the Kylesku Hotel to enjoy a delicious freshly caught seafood lunch with breathtaking views across Loch Glendhu.
Despite still being winter, the weather was merciful and so, on our return we were able to enjoy a delicious BBQ of locally sourced lamb and a few glasses of Bordeaux on the beautifully manicured gardens of Linsidecroy, wrapped up in wool rugs amongst friends and lively conversation.
A trip to the renowned Glenmorangie distillery nearby to stock up on whiskies was an unavoidable destination. The choice: its delicious Nectar D’or, an exquisite 12 years old single malt extra matured in Sauternes casks.
A wonderful evening dram to remind us of this remarkably beautiful time amongst friends in ‘magical Scotland’.
Linsidecroy has two delightful self-catering cottages - Kyle cottage and Archway cottage - available all year round and Mr. and Mrs. Howden offer B&B to guests who wish to share their family home.
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