Unique west-coast guesthouse helps create special memories
What makes a holiday special is being able to do something out of the ordinary, totally different to your everyday life.
That becomes a fond memory, and a great talking point, long after the suitcases have been packed away for another year.
Special memories are guaranteed with a stay at Rua Reidh Lighthouse near Gairloch.
Built in 1912 by David A. Stevenson, cousin of author Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island/Kidnapped), the working lighthouse stands at the entrance to Loch Ewe, at one of the most dramatic locations on the north-west coast of Scotland.
From here, there are stunning views across the Minch to the Isle of Skye, the Shiant Isles and the Outer Hebrides.
Lodging is offered in the historic former Lighthouse Keepers’ Quarters, where hosts Roger and Tracy McLachlan welcome guests looking to appreciate the peace, tranquillity and beauty of this remote but stunning location that’s teeming with wildlife.
It’s not a hotel; they simply invite guests to share their unique home for a minimum of two nights on a bed and breakfast basis – there’s an option to have tasty, home-cooked evening meals cooked from scratch and made using local products.
If you prefer to eat out, there are some excellent restaurants in nearby Melvaig and Gairloch.
Guests enjoy unlimited free tea, coffee, hot chocolate and herbal teas and there are always home-made cakes available.
If you prefer your own space, there’s a three bedroom self-catering apartment at the west end of the building nearest the lighthouse tower.
Rua Reidh Lighthouse is truly special.
It sits at the end of a single-track private road, three miles from the nearest house which makes it ideal for those who love remote places, walking, wildlife, peace and solitude.
The wildlife around the lighthouse is phenomenal, with whales, dolphins, basking sharks, otters, seals, sea eagles and thousands of seabirds all regularly seen at this very special place.
The accommodation includes five cosy bedrooms, a comfortable guest lounge, and a light, airy dining conservatory while laundry and drying facilities are available by arrangement.
Well-behaved dogs and families with quiet school-age children are welcome here.
Although Rua Reidh sits on the edge of Europe’s last great wilderness, there’s no shortage of things to do.
Guided wildlife safaris, birdwatching, rock climbing and hill walking, strolls along picturesque beaches, kayaking and fishing, museums and galleries are all within easy reach.
Beautiful in the summer months, it’s spectacular in autumn and after a bracing walk along the cliffs it’s lovely to return to relax in the lounge in front of the cosy wood-burning stove.
Why not treat yourself to an autumn break – there is a special offer during October when guests booking three nights will get a fourth free.
The guesthouse is open between Easter and the end of October, while the apartment is open all year round.
Another red-letter day at the lighthouse is December 31, when Roger and Tracy are opening up their home for a three-night Hogmanay house party.
Imagine taking in the New Year with a glass of Champagne in hand, with nothing but the stars and the sweeping light above you, perhaps even a chance to see the Aurora Borealis too.
Seeing in 2015 at the edge of the world – memories don’t get any more special than that.