Nestled at the base of the cliffs on the west side of the Moray Firth, near Portmahomack in Ross-shire, is the peaceful fishing hamlet of Rockfield (Inverness 1 hour). At the south end of the settlement is Dolphin Cottage, an attractive and comfortable semi detached property with an extensive front garden that leads to its own beach.
Rockfield is made up of a single street of traditional fishermen's houses, facing east on the Tarbet Peninsula, with Ballone Castle standing guard over it in the distance. It is a truly magical situation to escape the stresses of modern day-to-day life.
Dolphin cottage, as it name implies, is perfectly positioned to experience the wide variety of wildlife in the area, including numerous types of sea birds, dolphins, seals, and otters. (There can be few houses where otters actually come into the garden or can be spotted ambling down the little street!) In autumn/winter, whooper swans come in to feed and any number of overwintering waders can be seen on the shoreline, so make sure you bring the binos. You walk from the front door, across the expanse of lawn and right to the water's edge.
The downstairs of the cottage comprises a warm and welcoming sitting room at the front of the property, a well equipped dining kitchen to the rear and a shower room. Upstairs the inviting double bedroom offers you the opportunity to gaze at a stunning seascape from its dormer window and, up a separate staircase, the cosy twin bedroom provides a view of the beautifully landscaped back garden. (Please note that the staircases are quite steep.)
Dolphin Cottage offers a further bonus in the form of a small wood cabin in the pretty terraced grounds to the back of the property. The cabin itself has a TV, CD player, barbecue and heater and its raised position means those gorgeous sea views are again on offer!
The house is only a mile from the pretty seaside village of Portmahomack (shops, pub, and hotel) with its picture-postcard harbour. The village boasts an award winning Pictish and Local Heritage Museum and 'The Oystercatcher' restaurant which specialises in locally caught shellfish. Unlike many east coast villages Portmahomack faces west, so it is the ideal place to experience magnificent sunsets which can admired from its natural sandy beach.
Ten miles to the west of Rockfield is the attractive town of Tain (all facilities). Close to the A9 it provides easy access to both the north and south, however Tain itself has plenty to offer. Tain Golf Club, which is fondly referred to as 'Old Tom Morris's Northern Jewel' in honour to the man who designed it in 1890, enjoys a sheltered location ensuring favourable weather for most of the year. The ruins of St Duthac's Chapel lie waiting to be explored on the north east side of the town. It is here that, during his exile, Robert the Bruce's family took shelter en route to Orkney and just a mile further west is the world famous Glenmorangie Distillery.
Dolphin Cottage and its location abound with opportunities for visitors, but perhaps most importantly it offers beauty, tranquillity and glorious views which make it very hard to beat!
Bed linen, oil CH and the first £15 of electricity are all included in the rental and towels may be hired. Sorry, no pets or smoking in the cottage.
Accommodation (sleeps 4):
- Sitting room with TV/DVD.
- Dining Kitchen with fridge freezer, washing machine, dishwasher, microwave etc.
- Shower room with WC and wash basin.
- Double bedroom.
- Twin bedroom.