During our Northcoast500 adventure we’ve experienced the ‘same same, but different’ features of the guesthouses we’ve stayed in. From luxurious window seat views in Myrtle Bank at Fort William; to characterful local warmth and hospitality offered at The old Manse in Lochcarron; to the efficiency of the tartan carpeted Corriness House at PoolEwe, by Loch Ewe; to the spaciousness and comfort in The Old Surgery in Ullapool; to the magnificence of the scrumptious breakfast and stunning scenery at Aiden House in Durness; all the places we’ve stayed in have been good. Some have been excellent, going the extra mile to ensure we’ve had a very enjoyable stay. Drawing on our experiences of this holiday here is my checklist of what a good guesthouse should have.
Great Guesthouse Checklist
Eco-Friendly Approach. At The Old Manse we loved the provision of every breakfast jam under the sun in their original sized jars from which we could help ourselves. This was waste free and far preferable to peeling open small packets of butter, jam and marmalade, for the waste to end up in landfills. In the same vein the refillable shampoo and conditioner receptacles were welcomed at Aiden House and are less likely to be taken as a 'souvenir' too I imagine!
Staying in guesthouses has not been a stuffy or staid option and has enabled us to travel round a lot, whilst having a little bit of luxury to compensate for bumping in around in a landrover for several hours a day. I’ve been quite envious of the bikers roaring off on their luxurious triumphs and Harley Davidsons, but let’s face it I couldn’t update my blog from the backseat of a bike and I haven’t seen any four seater motorbikes. We’ve seen some amazing places, along our Northcoast500 route and Lazarus the Landrover has served us well squeezing into places that campervans can’t access. Most notably the magnificent Bealach Na Bar pass between Lochcarron and Applecross - I wasn’t at all scared by the single pass traffic and the very steep drops!
The guesthouses we chose are considered quite good value for money and typically priced for the NorthCoast500 route. Travelling with grown up kids needing their own space does bump up costs, but what can you do… we don’t want to leave them at home and gone are the days when we’d all bunk up together. Would I come back and do it all again? Definitely. Have I got a favourite guesthouse from the above. Yes, but it wouldn't be fair to say which it is.
(Since posting this article I have come across a great travel guide about Ulllapool that one of my readers,Graham Grieve has written, Do check it out here.)
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