House | 9 bedrooms | sleeps 22
The Mill House at Ormidale has taken us two and a half years to restore, and was christened by its first guests as “the wow factory.” With rooms on four levels, it will accommodate up to 14 adults, and up to 22 guests in total, in real style and luxury.
The main feature is the open plan 80m2 ground floor reception area which opens up from a fabulous kitchen, through the dining area with vaulted ceiling, into a generous living / lounging area with open fireplace. The dining and lounge areas feature the original exposed stone wall and light floods through a large glass archway incorporating the main house entrance into the courtyard.
It’s a stunning room, and the natural communal gathering place for any parties. The two matching dining tables can be placed end to end to enable you to sit down and eat in one place as a party of 24. The contemporary staircase in the centre of the arch gives a natural focus and pulpit like performance space for speeches!
All the reception areas on ground and mezzanine levels are tiled in a natural riven slate which goes beautifully with the old stone walls and new white plaster walls, with underfloor heating throughout the house provided by an environmentally sustainable ground source heat pump. The stone fireplace features the saw bench from the original mill, as the mantelpiece.
|Size||Sleeps up to 22, 9 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Access||Car advised, Wheelchair users|
|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||Jacuzzi or hot tub, Sauna, Log fire, Internet access, DVD player, Staffed property|
|Pool||Shared indoor pool|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV, CD player, Telephone, Pool or snooker table, Table tennis, Games room, Safe, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||9 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms of which 3 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (10), Double beds (5), Dining seats for 24, Lounge seats for 24|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Shared indoor pool, Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available, Trampoline|
|Access||Parking, Wheelchair users|
|Further details indoors|
There are nine bedrooms altogether, each offering double or twin accommodation. The bedroom layout makes the most of the available space to maximize the number of guests we can accommodate, so while none of the rooms are enormous, four of them have either additional bunks or fold-away beds to increase the overall capacity to 22 including children.
The six main bedrooms all have stylish contemporary wash-handbasins. Four bedrooms feature raised platform beds with storage underneath. There are three stunning bathrooms, with wall to wall travertine marble walls and slate floors, two of which feature jacuzzi baths, and a separate sauna.
The large stylish contemporary kitchen area features a granite work surface throughout, twin stainless steel sinks and two dishwashers, two electric ovens, a large American style fridge freezer, and gadgets galore.
There’s a kitchen table for eight – expandable to sit a comfortable 12 – and a breakfast bar for up to six. The separate utility room features washing machine and drier, an additional large fridge and freezer, and extra storage.
As well as the stunning main open plan reception area, the ground floor also features a utility room, a loo, and a separate TV room-cum-play room with 42 inch flat screen LCD TV with full Sky plus package; this room has its own access to the garden and to a sandstone terrace facing the river.
An additional South-facing sitting room on the mezzanine floor, again with slate floor and original exposed stone wall, gives access through a pair of French doors onto another terrace with hot tub, garden furniture and to the private rear garden, river and woods.
So, with two separate reception rooms as well as the large open plan communal area, the Mill House living accommodation is generous and flexible. Guests also have access to a separate games cottage with snooker, darts and table tennis.
|Further details outdoors|
The gardens are gorgeous – lovely to explore and relaxing to be in. At the same time as the Scottish architect Robert Lorimer started on the house at the end of the nineteenth century, the gardens and grounds were laid out and landscaped by Thomas Mawson of Kendal, a major figure in Victorian Landscape gardening.
Set amidst the 20 acres of woodland, and enjoying lovely views across the glen and up the mountain, the gardens he designed are mainly laid to lawn and terrace with hydrangeas, rhododendron and azalea, as well as reputedly the tallest Grecian fir in Scotland.
Our own woods feature numerous tree species and adjoin thousands of acres of forestry commission land through which guests are welcome to wander. One of our terraces features a Grade A listed sundial.
A tributary of the river Ruel runs through the gardens, from the Lochen that supplies Ormidale’s private water supply. There is a lovely waterfall walk within the garden, and a rope-assisted climb down to a pool for outdoor bathing. It’s a fabulous location for kids.
We’ve added a trampoline, croquet set and football goal to what nature has provided as a playground, and we’ve installed two midge machines to keep the other type of annoying wee bu$$ers at bay!!
Any start date, any finish date, any length of stay. No smoking in any properties. Pets welcome downstairs only. Housekeepig deposit for single sex or corporate parties by arrangement but usually £50 to £150 per person.
The Central Scotland/Strathclyde region
Although just an hour and a half from Glasgow, Ormidale sits in some of the loveliest scenery in Scotland. The Kyles of Bute are renowned amongst both walkers and sailors as amongst the most stunning bits of coast in Scotland. Whatever the weather in Argyll – and we do enjoy a remarkably mild micro-climate - this is great country for site seeing, with every corner revealing a new variation on the theme of mountain, loch, valley, sky, woodland, sea, rock, beach. The Cowal peninsula is a fabulous base for an active holiday with marvellous wildlife, numerous gardens and other tourist attractions to visit, and all sporting activities catered for.
Ormidale has grounds of 23 acres, and sits about a mile above the head of Loch Riddon, enjoying complete privacy and lovely views down the glen to the river Ruel. The Island of Bute itself is as little as 15 minutes away from the house – accessed via a ferry from Colintraive – and was a “must visit” destination long before Stella McCartney got married there or former racing driver Johnnie Dumfries moved into Mount Stuart House as the new Marquess of Bute.
Inverary with its famous Jail and Castle, seat of Clan Campbell for the last few hundred years, is only 45 minutes away, as is Loch Lomond. Dunoon is another tourist destination in its own right, and just under half an hour away. You can get to Glen Coe in an hour and a half, to Stirling, Oban or Fort William in under two. Loch Ness and Edinburgh are easy enough day trips – reachable in less than 2 and a half hours.
As well as general site-seeing and trips to the Island of Bute, Inverary and further afield, there are a host of other activities you can undertake around Glenaruel. It’s fabulous walking country and we’ve also provided twelve mountain bikes for those who want to explore on two wheels rather than four. There are some really excellent and quite varied routes direct from the house, involving all sorts of terrain and levels of strain!
Golf – there’s a lovely 9 hole pay and play course ten minutes away above Tighnabruaich. We’ve supplied five bags of golf clubs for the house and they probably won’t be too fussed about the usual rules re golf shoes provided you don’t arrive in jeans and carve the course up. The same applies to the almost equally spectacular nine hole course at Blairmore & Strone, half an hour away. Cowal Golf Club at Dunoon and Inellan are the 18 hole courses in the area that welcome visitors.
Fishing - too many options to go into here, but you can spend anything from £9 per day to over £1,000 for river fishing in the area. You can fish for trout in our own stream for nothing or in the Lochen at the head of the river. Mackerel on a line in a boat on the Kyles is a right of passage for hundreds of West of Scotland kids every year. They swim in shoals all around these waters – the mackerel, not the kids - and there’s no permit payable.
It’s a fabulous part of the world for water-sports of all sorts. Horse-riding, climbing, canoeing, caving, archery, quad biking, paint-balling, and clay pigeon shooting are also all available either on site or in the area. It’s not our thing, and the house ain’t full of antlers, but we can help you arrange a day’s grouse or pheasant shooting, or stalking in season, if some of your party want to do that.
There is a wee shop selling all the basics at the camp-site in the Glendaruel valley, about a mile’s walk away, beside the historic Kilmodan standing stones. You get a slightly bigger choice in the Spar at Tighnabruich five miles away, and all year round opening. Dunoon is 16 miles away and is a thriving market / harbour town with award-winning bakeries, cafes and butchers, as well as a big Co-Op and a big Somerfield supermarket.
Scotland isn’t really well served by pubs in general; this area is definitely an exception. The Glendaruel Hotel is a lovely wee pub, a two mile drive away – or about a mile and a quarter as the crow staggers – and serves good pub grub or better. The Colintraive Hotel and Tighnabruich Hotel are each a tad busier and a tad more ambitious in terms of menu. Chatters in Dunoon is highly recommended, and the Whistlefield and Coylet Inns on Loch Eck are also worth a visit. Our favourite restaurant in the entire universe is on Loch Fyne, overlooking the old Castle Lachlan. (The view from the Inver Cottage terrace is one of the Robbie Innes pictures on our drawing room wall.)
It’s less than half an hour away from the house. The Benmore Gardens tea room is not half bad, either, and the Otterferry Inn and Loch Fyne Oyster Bar have good reputations (on which, it might be said, they trade slightly…) All in all, though, there are few areas of Scotland where you can enjoy such a variety of excellent, reasonably priced menus.