House | 13 bedrooms | sleeps 30
The house is well situated for sight-seeing around the West Coast. The immediate area is renowned for some of the best walking in Scotland, and it’s a great base for fishing, riding, shooting, golf, sailing or cycling. We’ve put in 6 fishing rods, 8 bikes for different sizes (with helmets), and 4 bags of golf clubs.
There’s loads to do in the area, and some great local pubs and restaurants, but we’ve also tried to make it comfy enough for people who don’t want to go anywhere else.
Ormidale House was built as a seat of Clan Campbell in 1696. After ongoing minor changes through the centuries, in 1900 the house was substantially extended by the renowned Scottish architect Robert Lorimer to form the well-laid out, comfortable, bright, light, and spacious 13 bedroomed “laird’s house” that is available for weekend or weekly rent today.
It’s been pretty luxuriously equipped and nicely furnished, mostly with antiques. The new, comfy beds feature fabulous quality goose-down and feather duvets and gorgeous bed-linen, we’ve put some original Scottish art on the walls, bought half decent crystal for the table and generally tried to ensure that it’s as comfortable and well-equipped a place to stay as you’ll find in Scotland, without having any of the formality or grandeur of a castle or stately home. The house has a lovely, relaxing feel.
With a drawing room, TV room / snug, full-size Billiard Room, playroom, large kitchen with AGA and breakfast room downstairs - as well as the impressive dining hall seating 22 - Ormidale has sufficient accommodation to cater for any large house party. We have laid out the bedrooms to offer real flexibility; two rooms are set up as twins, three as king-size doubles, and one as a quadruple bunk room. The other seven bedrooms can be set up either as super-kingsize doubles, as twins, or even sometimes as triples. All bar two of the bedrooms have either an en suite bathroom or a basin. There are four further bathrooms, two separate loos, and a sauna. Altogether, the house has nine showers and ten wc's.
We now have an indoor heated swimming pool which is shared between the three houses on the estate. Each house gets their own hour of exclusive swimming time in the morning and in the afternoon – outside those six hours, it is a “free for all” in the pool.
|Size||Sleeps up to 30, 13 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||Private indoor pool, Jacuzzi or hot tub, Sauna, Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|Pool||Private indoor pool|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV, Video player, 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||13 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms of which 8 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (16), Double beds (7)|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Private indoor pool, Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available, Trampoline|
|Access||Parking, Wheelchair users|
|Further details indoors|
With a large sitting room with open fire, wood-panelled dining room with open fire, kitchen-breakfast room with Aga, downstairs snug with big TV, DVD and wood-burner, plus a games room and a separate snooker room, the living accommodation is flexible enough and comfortable enough to suit most types of parties – and at most times of year.
We’ve tried to make it more luxurious and better equipped than our own house, so that even a wet weekend will be a comfortable and memorable one.
|Further details outdoors|
The 2.5 acre garden, like the house, is absolutely unique. Originally built by the family of the Duke of Argyll in 1693 – the Campbells have a family mausoleum next door at Old Kilmun Church – the house was owned in Victorian times by the Younger family, who founded the amazing Benmore Gardens a couple of miles away, which still contain the tallest trees in the UK.
They also planted a huge variety in ours. With streams and waterfalls and a huge variety of plants, it’s a stunning garden. Our immediate neighbour (who lives in the Victorian wing which the Youngers added to the house) makes occasional use of one small private bit of lawn, but your party will generally have the run of all the gardens and the woods.
There’s a croquet set, football goal, cricket and badminton sets, plus the 13 foot trampoline, barbecue and all important “midge machine” in the garden. As well as the ¾ sized billiard table in its own room, there is a little games room downstairs with a dartboard plus a multifunction / convertible entertainment thingy with table football, air hockey, table tennis, mini-snooker etc. Or you can go and play in the sauna.
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.