The Ormidale House
House | 13 bedrooms | sleeps 30
A fabulous, luxurious, historic "laird's house" with 13 bedrooms and ample space for a house party of up to 35. Ormidale House sits in 22 acres of private grounds in beautiful scenery. The house is brilliantly 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, 12 bikes for different sizes (with helmets), and 8 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 24 - 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 triples, three as king-size doubles, one as a quadruple bunk room and another as a family room for up to six bodies!! The other six 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.
As well as a private hot tub for each house, 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. There's a football pitch and a tennis court, a games cottage and a bouncy castle. With thousands of acres of forestry on our doorstep, the property is idea for explorers of all ages, on two legs or four!!!
|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, Staffed property|
|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 4 Family bathrooms and 4 En suites|
|Furniture||Single beds (18), Double beds (7), Cots (3), Dining seats for 35, Lounge seats for 26|
|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 drawing room with open fire, huge dining hall, play-cum-TV room, extra TV room snug, breakfast room, games room with full size billiard table, kitchen with 4 oven Aga, 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 22 acre garden, like the house, is absolutely unique, having been laid out by horticulturalist and arborealist Sir Thomas Mawson of Kendal over 100 years ago. It features a grade A listed historic sundial, as well as the tallest Canadian Blue fir in Britain. Originally built by the family of the Duke of Argyll in 1696, the house was remodelled under the famous Scottish architect Robert Lorimer in the early 1900s. .
With streams and waterfalls and a huge variety of plants, it's a stunning garden.
There's a scruffy tennis court, croquet set, football pitch, cricket and badminton sets, plus the 13 foot trampoline, two barbecues and all important “midge machines” in the garden. As well as the full sized billiard table in its own room, and air hockey, table football, etc, there is a (shared) games cottage with a dartboard, table tennis table, pool table, and bouncy castlel in the garden. , Or you can go and play in the swimming pool. Or the hot tub. or 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.
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12 Aug 2014
"Fabulous House and Stunning Location"
We booked the house for a hen weekend and it was absolutely perfect. We were a party of 24 adults and the house accommodated us all very comfortably with room to spare. The bedrooms are lovely and t… More
Thank you so much for the kind words. The staff work so hard to make everyone's stay just as perfect as it can be - it is lovely when it is appreciated. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
16 Jul 2014
"Excellent all round- unbeatable location"
We stayed for a best friends hen weekend and it was flawless. We stayed in the millhouse. The place is perfect- easy checkin, Ian in particular was extremely helpful and laid back. Huge common area wh… More
It is lovely to hear such fulsome unsolicited praise. We do try very hard to merit five star reviews and it is a pleasure for us to read them. (And helpful for future guests, as they try and assess us against the competition!!)
24 Sep 2013
"Our Amazing 25th Wedding Anniversary at Ormidale House"
I booked Ormidale House and the small cottage for our 25th Wedding anniversary.We took 31 family and friends away for the weekend for this really special occasion. The whole weekend from start to fini… More
What a lovely write-up. What a fantastic weekend. What a lovely party... please send us some photos and please come back soon!
31 Jul 2013
"Brilliant place and setting"
Amazing country manor with everything you could want for party or week away. Set in idyllic glen with mountain and forest backdrop. The house itself is huge and very well appointed.… More
We sometimes take our scenery and surroundings for granted. You are right. It is breathtaking. We are very lucky indeed..... glad you found the house up to scratch.
5 Apr 2013
"Great place to stay with large family"
21 of us descended upon Ormidale for an Easter weekend getaway, from the ages of 5 to 78. We stayed in the old barn but also hired the cottage for the teenage boys. They loved having their own place,… More
11 Mar 2013
"lovely location shame about the quality of the house"
We recently attended a friends wedding at Ormidale and have to say we agree with the last review about the shabby condition of the house. It was in a beautiful location but when we arrived the heatin… More
We cant agree all of the criticims are fair, but some are. We had real staff problems at the time this review was posted - and some of what is said here is fair comment. We issued an apology and a significant refund to the couple getting married, and to all other guests at around this time. They actually promised us a positive review because they appreciated what we had been through, staff-wise, and how we responded to the problems. Sadly, that hasn't been forthcoming. We have new staff, now. And we have had a series of very positive guest feedbacks since my new team started in March. We have shutters not curtains. All bedroom doors can be locked if guests request that. The swimming pool is open and clean. The heating is working fine. The two star rating is really a little harsh, even for then. the wedding hosts said they were paying for four star from us and only got a three star experience. We strive to do a lot better, and we usually do. We are almost always full, with loads of repeat business, and lots of our confidential internal surveys give us a 5 out of 5 rating from guests. A bad couple of months under a wrongly-appointed estate management team. We are over that now. Apologies issued. Improvements in place.
24 Jun 2012
"wonderful atmospheric old house"
Ormidale House was a great place to stay for a large group of us. It's perfectly kitted out with games rooms, plasma tv, wi-fi, snooker and every mod con you can think of in the kitchen. But it… More
28 May 2012
"Truly amazing, best wedding venue ever"
Coming back down to earth after a truly amazing stay at Ormidale House.Just had our wedding day (12th of May ) followed the next day by my 40th on a fantastic weekend. From booking the holiday with th… More
15 May 2012
"Drawing Room - The Creative Holiday I needed"
I needed a creative, relaxing holiday. That is exactly what I got! I met a wonderful group of people, the other participants, the wonderful art tutor and the house owner John. I saw some amazingly bea… More
31 Mar 2012
"Room for improvement"
Recently returned from a Drawing Course at Ormidale House and I had a great time. However, the house was somewhat shabbier than it looked on its website, a lot of debris around outside, filthy kitchen… More
It was a shame that we only had this one comment from the Drawing Room posted, because the other feedback we received from participants was really positive. Words like magical, enchanting, and luxurious were used and we routinely get people saying that our facilities are much better in reality than on the web-site. We don't pretend we are Downton Abbey, but I think describing us as shabby is more than a bit harsh...
The kitchen was certainly spotless when the course participants arrived, and the "young lad" referred to was a salon cuilinaire gold medal winning chef. We did have a bit of a mess-up on catering arrangements on the second night with both chefs unexpectedly unavailable and the cobbled together meal was not up to our usual standards.
In mitigation, may I point out that the reviewer has reviewed three establishments this year and we have had the highest marks she has awarded. We do set high standards and in some ways didn't hit them on this occasion, but the overall feedback we get on our courses, and especially on the catering element, is extremely high. The other guests described the first night food as delicious and as exceptional. We made a point of offering great hospitality, and the atmosphere is meant to be that of an informal house-party; so I am sorry that an invitation to help yourself to drinks was considered unprofessional!
We have had cancellations for the future Drawing Room courses since this review appeared, which I think is a great shame, because the rest of the comments we received from guests were enthusiastic in the extreme.
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