I have just returned from running a landscape photography workshop based at Birchwood. The house was an ideal venue for a small-sized group and it is surrounded by the superb Highland landscapes of Loch Maree, Glen Torridon, and Gairloch round to Gruinard Bay. All are within easy reach. The newly installed heating system meant the house was always warm and there was plenty of hot water as well. Providing replacement wellies when one of the photographers discovered a leak in theirs was appreciated, as was washing a set of clothes when one slipped into a loch. Importantly, the house was good value for the week. It’s not the Torridon Hotel, but that’s not what I wanted and I shall be returning for more of the same next year.
We stayed here with a group of friends and luxury accommodation it inst. The photographs speak for themselves. Don't waste your money and get somewhere else in beautiful Gairloch for the same price but better quality. The outside is nice, the inside is dated, bins broken, drawer handles falling off - the works...definitely not luxurious as advertised.
So the good things:
The location is fantastic.
The views are to die for.
The house is large enough for groups & parks 5 cars plus the owners.
The dining room & downstairs living room are ok.
The bad points:
The owners live adjoining the kitchen & you can't make noise after 10pm.
It is not an adjoining rentable space because I tried to rent it for our group.
The main entrance is woeful - You walk in the back corridor entrance through a utility room. Lighting is poor & it is not an appealing space. More like a mugging could happen & you couldn't see their face.
The weird layout brings you into a well equipped kitchen but drawer handles are falling off, crockery is all chipped & you get the general feeling that the owners (although living very close to you) just don't care. It's very unloved & doesn't appear to have ever been lived in.
It's a business & the owners are milking the cash while you stay in poor accommodation.
Then you go upstairs.
The bedrooms are clean but dirty.
Dirty but clean.
Dirty carpet stains, exposed pipe work, dirty 80's taps, dirty showers, stained grout, etc I could go on & on. It is not the luxury accommodation as advertised. The twin rooms are the worst. It's like a cheap hostel with awful showers & 1 has a stained dirty shower curtain. The 2 doubles are ok but stinky drains & dirty bathrooms let them down.
The bedding is cheap, felt dirty & was not easy to sleep in.
The interior is like student dorms & nothing works properly. There is no excuse.
The upstairs lounge is massive, has a distasteful book collection, weird furniture but a great balcony which turns into a midgyfest for 23.5hrs a day. Bring your midge protection.
There is not a lot of outdoor space.
All original features upstairs have been ripped out & replaced with low budget John Lewis maybe 10yrs ago...it needs some attention to say the least.
I would recommend to students wanting the hostel experience. Not families or groups with higher standards.
We left early because it is not a place we want to spend time in.
Gairloch on the other hand is fabulous with tons of great local amenities & better places to stay.
Excellent location, quiet, overlooking the harbour and close to the Old Inn. The house was clean, spacious, comfortable, and with all the facilities required by a group including children.
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Lovely place to stay with kids - really nice house and lots of space. Great spot for getting out and doing things - lovely beach within walking distance and lots of good biking and walking.