Gardenstown on the Moray Coast in north-east Scotland is arguably the most picturesque village on a coastline famous for its quaint fishing settlements. It comprises a network of narrow lanes and stepped walkways (it is built on cliff ledges) with tantalising views of the sea between its old fishermens' houses, some of which can only be accessed on foot. Along the narrow sea wall which leads only to the sandy beach and car park, and just a few yards from the rocky shore, is Seatown Cottage, a family home now offering snug and comfortable holiday accommodation for 4 people.
The house was built by the present owner's grandfather and has now been quite spectacularly refurbished on three levels, with a kitchen-dining room with wood burner and a shower room on the ground floor, a spacious sitting room on the first floor and two bedrooms and bathroom above. Externally there is a terrace extension, so that guests can relax and enjoy a sea view.
The village has a pub serving excellent meals and a further characterful restaurant (Sunday lunch served at 1pm sharp - be there or starve!) and a general store.
Gardenstown is on Gamrie Bay, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and noted for its seabird colonies, dolphins, ancient rocks and seaside plants and flowers. In fact there is a dolphin and whale rescue and research centre in the town. This is a region which until recently has remained relatively undiscovered and yet has so much to offer. (It also has the huge benefit, in Scotland, of being largely midge-free!) There are any number of scenic golf courses to play in the surrounding area, and castles, stately homes - among them Duff House, an outpost of the National Gallery for Scotland - and beaches to visit. Walk along under the cliffs to the wee village of Crovie, where a single row of little cottages clings to the shore, or climb to St John's Chapel, site of a battle with Danish invaders. Also nearby is Pennan, another little ex-fishing village at the foot of the cliffs, its additional claim to fame being that it is the site of the telephone box immortalised in the film 'Local Hero'. The cave at sandy Cullykhan Beach is worth a visit and the modern Whisky Trail with its numerous distilleries is not far away.
The nearby town of Macduff (8m) has all facilities and a Marine Aquarium with its living display of local sea-life, and the attractive cathedral 'city' of Elgin is only 44 miles away. There, you can visit the 13th century cathedral, ruined Spynie Palace and nearby Pluscarden Abbey. In the other direction, there is an award-winning Lighthouse Museum at Fraserburgh (15m).
Heating is by electricity is included. Bed linen and towels are also included. One pet is welcome. There is a telephone for incoming and emergency calls. Wi-fi is available, subject to provider.
Accommodation (sleeps 4):
- Dining kitchen with fridge feezer, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher and tumble drier, and woodburning stove, etc.
- Sitting room with TV/DVD, iPod docking station, and electric stove.
- Double-bed room.
- Twin-bed room.
- Bathroom with bath, shower, WC and basin.