Croft 103 (Shore Cottage )
Luxury Highland Haven
Sensational architect designed luxury for two amongst breathtaking scenery in the remote northern Highlands of Scotland.
Incredible is the only way to describe this luxury Highland haven. Shore Cottage and it’s sister Hill Cottage are discreetly positioned on the remote shoreline of Loch Eriboll. This remoteness is the essence of the place. A place to breathe fresh air and recharge the batteries that busy modern lives drain so easily. Often remoteness comes with compromises, but this is not necessary at Croft 103 where you can feel very comfortable and cosseted indoors.
After we collected the keys from Mackays in Durness we drove the four miles in the darkness to Laid. It was difficult to find the private track off to the left and we did a number of u-turns. We should have listened more carefully to Fiona, but at least we remembered the key point, “If you get to Laid, you’ve gone too far”. No such route-finding issues would be encountered in daylight. We entered the private grounds via a secure gate driving past the road end for Hill Cottage first before sweeping round a bend to find ample and screened parking beside Shore Cottage. It is worth stressing how private the two properties are from each other.
The architecture of the cottage is awe-inspiring. The basic materials of steel, local stone, concrete and wood blended into curves and open plan space, however, it’s really the ceiling height glass windows which really help blend the indoors with the wonderful outdoors. Open views of Loch Eriboll and the mountains beyond from every window, whether that be from the kitchen, dining, lounge, bed, bath, shower or even the toilet. There are no neighbours.
High Quality Crockery, Cutlery and Glassware
The kitchen is very well-equipped, the best we’ve experienced, with lots of gadgets and high quality crockery, cutlery and glassware. The large fridge is an essential piece of equipment given the effort required to “pop out to the shops”. The icemaker is a bonus, perhaps an essential if you have a gin-aficionado with you. The induction hotplate works a treat. The champagne ice bucket is very handy, especially if you use the outside bath to do some stargazing like we did. When in Rome….
The rest of the open plan area is used for dining and for lounging in front of the wood burning stove. Not that it’s really required for heat given the effective underfloor heating, but it’s so pleasant on a winter’s evening to watch mesmerised as the flames leap and cajole over the supplied compressed wood blocks. Very comfortable chairs and sofa surround the scattered rugs.
An Incredible Luxury Experience
The bedroom is spacious, easily swallowing the superking-size bed frame that has been modelled from oak and steel. The mattress and topper is simply the best that we have ever had and must guarantee sleep even for the stress-junkies amongst us. The view from the bed is, of course, awesome. The ensuite is as large as many cottage bedrooms and the shower is effective, but the large double ended bath beside the window will convert many of us back to the pleasures of bathing.
Technology is quietly unobtrusive but the digital TV stations are a welcome addition to the DVD player. The sonos sound system was the first we’ve encountered and once we’d downloaded the app we found the ability to play the music stored on our phones through the high quality speakers in each zone was a real pleasure. The wifi was good enough to browse and check emails but advised not strong enough to stream, so it’s good to have music on your phone. If you are not technology aware, it might be best to get a run through from Fiona on site. We probably could have benefited from a run through of the dozens of separate light switches!
Fiona and Robbie keep themselves in the background to keep the privacy intact, but they are both responsive and happy to help with a quick call or visit to their home in Durness. We found that so much thoughtfulness and planning had been put in to Croft103 in terms of equipment (washing machine, iron, torch), fuel (logs, kindling, matches, firelighters) that we didn’t want for anything. They will also supply your grocery order if requested in advance.
Incredible Luxury Experience for Two
A week’s stay would be an ideal break, a few days to simply chill before experiencing all that the area has to offer with the comfort of knowing that you will be returning to your own private luxury pad in the wilderness.
ECO notes; very well insulated with stone, air and old tyres! (discreet) Power from solar panels and wind turbine (well away from cottages). Wood blocks are compressed from renewable sources.
Location notes; this is a remote location. Durness itself is a long way from anywhere. Don’t let this put you off, but come prepared to embrace the remoteness and what is available locally and you will be refreshed for your return to the big smoke, or you might just love it enough not to go back…
An incredible luxury experience for two surrounding by big skies and incredible landscapes. Croft 103 is amazing and an experience you will never forget.
The indoors will ultimately make you want to go outside…First time visitors to the far North Highlands will be amazed at how much there is to do in the varied and dramatic coastal landscape.
Smoo Cave is the main named attraction and certainly worth a visit; This is an unofficial site but we found it the most useful. The outside paths provide a good walk and help you build an appetite for a good lunch or dinner of shellfish or game Smoo Cave Hotel
Visit the excellent Dornaigil Broch near Atnaharra, for the uninitiated Brochs are dwelling structures from the Iron Age. The drive up the glen also presents great opportunities for spotting eagles and deer. The otters could be there too. Keep your binoculars at the ready
Tongue is worth a visit, even if it’s just an excuse to drive across the impressive causeway whilst you spot seals bobbing in the water, take a picnic if the weather is pleasant.
Going west will give you the opportunity (not in the Winter) to visit Cape Wrath, the furthest Northwest point of the UK Mainland. Take a bicycle on the ferry for a more personal and unique experience.
Take your boots, map and navigation skills up the northerly munros; Ben Hope and Ben Klibreck, or the fine Corbett Ben Loyal.
Or simply hang around on the extensive coastline looking to spot seals, dolphins or even whales. The main point though is don’t go too far, a holiday in Sutherland should not mean hour after hour in a car. You’ve done that already just to get there!
We found the local shop in Durness to be surprisingly well stocked, so don’t feel that you have to get everything from Tesco’s before you leave home. The 24 hour petrol station in Durness is a great development.
How to book
Call 01971 511202 or complete the form below.
- One Bedroom / Sleeps 2
- Credit Card Payment Welcome
- Minimum Price – £1500
- Maximum Price – £1880
- Pets Welcome
- Changeover Day – Saturday
- Short Breaks Welcome Off-Season -Min 3 nights
- Owners’ Website