Sea Otter Cottage
Cottage | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 7
Looking out north across sheltered Sinclair Bay towards Orkney and the Pentland Skerries lighthouse, this fully equipped, self-catering, semi-detached foreshore cottage has unforgettable sea views. As the tide comes in across the sheltered bay, you could be watching a living oil painting of the ocean surf. It might seem far north but is still south of all of Norway and is well worth the two hours scenic seaside journey on the road from lnverness. Orcas are regularly visible, seabirds and seals abound and guests even sometimes see our shy sea otter.
Two things which need to be noted. a) the main sitting room is small and only has easy room for 4 people (although more have been happy to squeeze in, and in summer most love to sit out on the decking anyway) and b) the two bedrooms with fantastic views of the sea can only be accessed up some very steep stairs.
Also occasionally during a severe winter storm the sea has been so noisy that guests have decided in the middle of the night to shift downstairs. Once sufficient guests have booked new wind-tight windows in Sea Otter are a priority expense and this should not be such a problem.
For those who enjoy eating out there are in Wick several excellent local hotels and even a gourmet French Restaurant & Italian restaurant. Don't miss the Guinness book of records "Shortest street in the world" at Mackays friendly hotel.
Further afield in Scrabster (20 miles) both the Upper Deck and the distinctively ethical Captain's Galley ("Which" Best Fish Restaurant in the UK: 2008) are highly recommended - The Castle of Mey and Gringoe / Sinclair castle ruins are well worth visits, while the hinterland is a major bird sanctuary. Thurso has a world class surfing beach. Wick has a regular sea boat/harbour festivals and sometimes even fly-ins for light aircraft. lf you love the sea and tranquillity this is the place for you to go for carefree and carfree shoreline walks, or relax while reading by an open fire. At high tide, with only the sea and the surf visible through the French doors; you could even be at sea without the seasickness. Being on the East coast, midges are virtually never a problem; yet, facing west, the view from the living room of the sun setting over the castle with every wave at high tide being tinged with pink has to be seen to be believed. If despite all this beauty you still need the Internet, there is free WiFi.
On the beautiful shoreline of Ackergill, only 5 minutes drive from Wick town centre, and even less from a Tesco superstore (Britain's largest eco-friendly store) So close to the high tide that you easily can toss a pebble into the sea.
We appreciate how difficult it is for renal patients to find a holiday destination: if you are on dialysis, please contact us as we might be able to help put you in touch with suitable facilities.
Check out should be no later than 10AM. Check in should be after 4PM and door can be left unlocked for late arrivals.
|Size||Sleeps up to 7, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||A Pebble Throw Away 10 m|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||2.5 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Wick 2.6 km, Nearest railway: Wick 3.2 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player, Sea view|
|General||Central heating, TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (2), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, Shared garden, BBQ, Bicycles available|
The Scottish Highlands region
Ackergill is a small village 2 miles north of Wick with stunning sunsets and a beautiful location for star gazers thanks to the very low light pollution.
The place to visit.. Breathtaking views.
Ideal stopover for travellers to or from Orkney
Fantastic place to unwind after Cycling Land's End to John o'Groats!
Places of interest Include The Castle of Mey, Camster Cairns, Waligoe Steps, Wick's refurbished Harbour, Hill of Many Stones, Old Pulteney Whisky Distillery, Sinclair Girnigoe Castle
Activities include Horse Riding, Archery, Target Shooting, Fishing, Paintball, Off-roading Experiences, Sea Kayaking, Surfing, Sea Angling, Bird watching, Rambling + More
Guest reviewsPowered by TripAdvisor
Guest reviews Powered by TripAdvisor
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- 1 star
16 Mar 2014
"Ideal place to relax or explore"
The location of the cottage was amazing, waking up to sea views each morning pure bliss and so relaxing listening to the waves. The cottage was equipped with everything you could need, it needs a lit… More
6 Nov 2013
"A perfect base"
I found the cottage quite by accident buried deep in Trip Advisors faults, but I am so glad I kept digging around or I would most definitely have missed out.If you're the kind of person that like… More
Thank you greatly for providing so much feedback after just a short stay. Greatly appreciated.
A brief scenario:
“One early sunny morning in 2006 out walking before going in to work, I heard from the man cutting the lawn
“Sale fallen through. Reduced fixed price in two weeks”
Too fantastic a location to become a private home, I took a major risk;
Far greater than I realised since the seller in retrospect was not a builder but a builder's labourer,
and the house survey had been incredibly superficial.
Bare wires in the bathroom floor, danger of door lintels collapsing, incredibly poor quality roofing etc., etc.
Seven years later, after 200 bookings, a third of whom have indicated their plans to return,
and after a complete 'back to the foundations' re-build
of what used to be a shabby annexe with minute windows and no proper sea views,
there is at last some light at the end of a long moneypit tunnel.
As finances slowly start to improve be assured
that fixing the badly installed upstairs windows
together with remaking a proper footpath down to the private beach are extremely high priorities.
Major rebuilding of the french doors has already allowed a dramatic reduction in the noise in the tiny sitting room
and we are sure the same quietness
will eventually stop it being necessary for some guests to move downstairs at 2 am because of the noise of the sea.
TLC in progress as fast as possible, especially since our cleaner Leighanne
has moved back from Devon into her granny's house close by in Tower Square.
Her granny Carol, our beloved local jewel, whom many of our guests will remember for her spotless cleaning,
having sadly and suddenly joined her invalid husband.
We greatly miss her and hope to join her family in funding a bench just outside the cottages
so that anyone can sit and enjoy the unbeatable view.
Although the vast majority of our guests are couples, before the spring weather allows
more seats on the decking area will be provided.
In these austerity days “bits left behind” are usually used
so no-one should feel that everything must be thrown away at the time of departure.
Sea Otter is a holiday home not a hotel!
Sorry about the lack of a VHS player,
we have one that we will bring up to Scotland as soon as possible
otherwise we'll need to keep our eyes open in a local charity shop.
Sorry also about the dog hair, one of the problems of allowing guests with pets
but the location is so wonderful for dog walks that the risk seems worthwhile,
and a high proportion of our guests now have dogs.
In future Leighanne has assured me that she will be making quite sure that behind the sofa gets hoovered.
Thanks again for your comments.
Hope you will be back someday soon to enjoy the improvements.
5 Nov 2013
"Fantastic home from home ~ highly recommend ~ we will return"
''who goes to Scotland in Novemeber?'' my kept saying ~ME ~ fantastic location fantastic accomodation. OK there are a few ''wear and tare'' issues with the cott… More
Quite agree about “wear and tear” issues
See our comprehensive response to “A perfect base” feedback.
We will look out for an old VHS player (if there isn't already one stored in the shed.)
Sorry about the personally biased selection of books.
Hopefully guests will pick up and leave behind alternatives from local charity shops.
Looking forward to your return sometime.
27 Sep 2013
Wonderful location on coast. Cottage is well-equipped although insufficent seating in sitting room for more than 4; the condition of the cottage is in need of some further attention. I think it should… More
Sadly these guests were preceded by the worst guest out of the 150 guests we have had over the past 7 years! Not only did he, despite all the notices, smoke heavily, but having claimed that he had two parrots which would be kept in cages, he allowed them mess all over the room and in his two days the coal bunker was mysteriously completely emptied. For many years we used to ask for a deposit which we returned but never had to keep itt and had finally decided that deposits were not worth the effort. We may now have think again. The final straw was a note from him to complain about the smell of smoke - which had in fact not been there when the house was cleaned before he arrived. Regarding the other comments these have not previously been a source of any complaints but we have now added a comment to the website concerning the steepness of the stairs and the relatively small size of the living room (not usually a problem in summer as most guests prefer to sit on the outside decking)
17 Aug 2013
Sea Otter cottage has a truly wonderful view over Sinclair Bay...the setting is perfect, being 5 yards from the seashore. The sunsets were lovely. It is well situated for trips to the Orkney Isles (40… More
Heartily agree "that Sea Otter needs some work on it". If only the Sea Otter annexe had been properly renovated in the past. Three years ago it was starting to collapse completely into a potential ruin. Matters were so bad that it has taken 3 times as long and cost three times as planned to make it habitable. However once it had been gutted right down to bare thick stone walls it has proved possible to totally re-build and re-equip what used to be the pokey one bedroom annexe with tiny windows into a very high standard new holiday cottage at the same fantastic location (Totally new floors and roof, bigger windows everywhere, roof height raised, two bedrooms, new kitchen, new shower & toilet, superb insulation etc) Once the re-mortgage is through funds will at last start to become available to bring Sea Otter up to the high standard the location requires. Watch this space. I promise you it will indeed "be unbeatable" again in the near future.
29 Jul 2013
Stunning location but cottage could do with some TLC especially on the outside seating area. Bathroom window didn't open and no extractor fan in there. Not enough towels for 3 people let alone 7 … More
Now that we have, at last, finished totally re-building the shabby, dark annexe - which never had proper sea views through it high small windows - into a totally separate high quality holiday cottage, funds can at last be released to bring Sea Otter up to the standard it deserves.
We have taken note of the need to make it clear on the website that Sea Shore and Sea Otter are technically "semi-detached” - although those who have stayed there know that, due to the layout and the thickness of the stone walls, guests in one dwelling are virtually never aware that there is anyone next door.
I also agree that it might need to be made clearer that both dwellings share a single surrounding fence and main gate with a place for cars along the side of the building just outside Sea Otter's front door, and with plenty of space for three more cars in the main area in front of Sea Shore's front door.
Watch this space.
Sea Otter will again very soon be up to a standard that fully matches it's unforgettable location.
15 May 2013
"Amazing weekend retreat, beautiful place and fantastic, quaint cottage we didn't want to leave!!! Cant wait to go back!!"
This place was totally worth the long drive!! The cottage had everything we needed after stocking up on food and drink supplies from Tesco down the road, we basically did'nt need to leave the cottage!!
The fire is grand but use logs rather than coal as it blackens the glass. The owner is always on hand and is very helpful and friendly!! We were made to feel very welcome indeed.
Sunsets from the balcony are amazing and the tide literally comes up the balcony wall at high tide!! We saw the northern lights from the balcony as the cottage apparently is in a prime spot away from town lights etc.
We done the wild life cruise in wick which is highly recommended we saw loads of sea birds and even Puffins and seals!! There are some great castles and sights to be seen and there are also great fishing spots!!
We hope to visit again very soon!!! Thanks again!!
No owners response needed!
21 Jan 2013
"Sea Otter Cottage is Ackergill Heaven"
I flew from Birmingham to Wick, leaving 9am and arriving 12 midday. Sea Otter Cottage is just a few minutes' drive from Wick airport and there's a local car rental place. Plenty of room for parking at the Cottage.
Lovely and warm inside - you really wouldn't mind if there were a howling gale or thick snow. Just nice to enjoy a quiet break.
The kitchen is spacious; the view through the window across to Ackergill Tower makes washing up a pleasure rather than a chore!
There's a clock on the living room wall that shows the times of the high and low tide - though the tides can clearly be seen while sitting on the sofa anyway.
I made one excursion to Thurso and then visited Dunnet Head to see the most northerly point of the British mainland (I think John O'Groats is all hype and just a big car park with nothing to recommend it at all). Most of the rest of my 3-day stay I just wandered around the beach and surroundings of the Cottage taking photographs. It was all very relaxing.
Sea views were even more spectacular in real life than in any of the publicity.
While much of the English Midlands was gripped in a freeze with snow, etc., I had the most glorious sunny weather throughout the majority of my stay. Even when it did get cloudy, it was romantic and atmospheric, rather than dull and miserable. Like something out of a movie.
Shopping etc. - Tesco is a mile or so away. There's also a remarkably good Lidl on the other side of Wick. I didn't get a chance to visit the Old Pulteney Distillery, but on another visit (and I plan to come back with friends) will definitely go there. The Alexander Bain (Wetherspoons) in Wick town centre has a good selection of real ales at cheap prices, including one from Orkney that was rather nice.
No owners response needed
10 Jan 2013
"Breathtaking views across Sinclair Bay, cosy, comfortable cottage in quiet location."
Sea Otter Cottage is located on the shore of Sinclair Bay with breathtaking views. It is in a quiet, peaceful, secluded location about 2 miles from Wick where there is aTesco superstore, good pubs and restaurants, coffee bars and shops.
We were a family of four with two teenage children and found the cottage to be well equipped and comfortable and was an excellent base to explore Caithness and Orkney.
We particularly liked that we could walk down a few steps from the garden onto the secluded beach. The children particularly liked having wi-fi so they could keep in touch with their friends.
We enjoyed it so much that we stayed twice in 2012 and have booked again for 2013.
No owners response needed!
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