The Cromarty Firth seemed to ripple into the horizon, a complete uninterrupted view glimmering into the distance beyond.
Great big breaths of fresh air, as we took in the Moray coastline, Black Isle and Great Glen.
And the best thing? Complete and utter silence.
Travelling from Aberdeenshire to Easter Ross in search of solitude might seem extreme, but I promise you that you won’t regret a stay at Castlecraig Clifftops.
As the name would suggest, luxury cabins are dotted along the clifftops at this gorgeous Highlands hideaway.
We were in two minds about taking our three-year-old, but we were so glad we did.
And Alfie, our Jack Russell, also came along for the ride, as the peaceful site is dog friendly – but perhaps not as peaceful after our arrival.
An interesting arrival
It made for an interesting car journey, particularly when we reached the scarily steep incline.
Common sense would tell you that if you’re staying on a clifftop, you’re going to need to head into the clouds at some point. But oh my goodness, first gear all the way as our humble family car chugged its way up, groaning in protest.
We arrived early evening, and easily accessed the key via a secure coded box, having parked up with ease.
We stayed in a two-bedroom cabin, complete with the rather lovely name of Cromarty.
The large glass entrance meant we had majestic views out over the water, and we immediately felt at home.
We loved the fact that both dog-waste bags and some doggy treats had been carefully left for us, and as dog owners it made us feel welcome.
A trip to plan for
There were also some delicious treats for human consumption, baked nearby by a wonderful company called Highland Home Cook.
We went on to order brownies and freshly baked bread during our stay, which arrived at our door via bicycle.
I would definitely recommend if you get the chance – tasty, and minimal food miles.
The kitchen was compact but had everything you need, and alongside the breakfast bar there was also a pull-out table where we chose to have our evening meal.
The twin bedroom and king bedroom were beautifully decorated, and our three-year-old claimed his bed within seconds of arrival.
If you’re planning a visit to Castlecraig Clifftops, do exactly that – plan.
I had but glanced at the welcome pack prior to our arrival, where there was a thorough list of restaurants in the surrounding areas.
We were very taken by the personal recommendation of 3 Caballeros catering company, as it would enable us to eat in and relax.
Having decided what we would order from the mouth-watering menu, we phoned only to be told that deliveries had already taken place and a return trip would not be possible.
Had we done our homework in advance, we would have saved ourselves rumbling tummies.
We cobbled together a dinner of snacks – a “picky” dinner is quite often the best dinner in my opinion – but it wasn’t the Mexican fiesta I had envisioned.
Our son did not care one jot however, because he only had one thing in his sights, the hot tub.
Relaxing in the hot tub
Oh yes, each cabin comes equipped with a hot tub, alongside simple instructions and safety guidelines.
Due to our son’s age, we only allowed him to go for quick dips, as hot tubs can be dangerous for young children. But after we settled him in bed for the night, we took complete advantage.
And we also felt completely confident in the knowledge that we could hear him if he were to wake, thanks both to a baby monitor, and the exceptionally close proximity.
I think a timed practice run came out at seven seconds, from hot tub to bedroom.
If you do go for an evening dip, look up. The complete lack of light pollution means that on a clear night, the stars really are something else. As is the solitude.
Despite the fact the remaining three cabins are reasonably close by, there’s plenty of privacy – unless you count the fact that you might be overlooked by some frolicking dolphins.
There’s also a seating area and a firepit for ultimate marshmallow roasting. You can’t get more idyllic than that.
We all slept well, and Alfie loved his walk the following morning.
A weekend well spent
One of the things we loved about Castlecraig is that it is a working family-run farm, indeed the Whiteford family have worked the land for more than 35 years.
Home to 100 cows and 600 sheep, be a responsible dog owner and keep your pooch on a lead.
We spent our weekend exploring, from Dornoch to the beautiful RSPB reserve at Nigg.
You’re in the perfect location if you like the outdoor life, and we headed back to our cabin tired but happy.
A stylish comfy base, and that view? I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a sad goodbye.
Prices vary depending on time of year, duration and stay, and whether you bring a dog due to a cleaning surcharge.
For more information, visit castlecraigfarm.com