The Old Kilmun House
House | 8 bedrooms | sleeps 18
Old Kilmun House is a lovely, luxurious holiday home picturesquely situated in two and a half acres of private gardens at the side of the Holy Loch in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park in Argyllshire.
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. Jamie Oliver stayed in it last year and featured it in his "Around Britain" TV series.
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, and 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 are loads to do in the area, and some great local pubs and restaurants.
We've also tried to make it comfy enough for people who don't want to go anywhere else.
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 / convertable entertainment thingy with table football, air hockey, table tennis, mini-snooker etc. Or you can go and play in the sauna.
We've supplied Monopoly, Outburst, Pictionary, Scrabble, Backgammon, Chess, a few jigsaws etc for days or evenings when you don't fancy anything more energetic. There's a pretty decent library with loads of Scottish authors represented, and over 100 CDs. The snug features 32” widescreen telly with CD surround-sound plus a variety of videos and DVDs. Our package includes Sky Sports and Movies.
Another option is to use our friends at Osprey Catering to cook a celebration meal for you so you can make the most of the opportunity to relax in our gorgeous panneled dining room They can do anything from a kitchen supper for the Aga to a full-blown formal four course dinner.
After nine seasons, now, we hope we are getting nearer to our aim of making it the most comfortable and best-equipped holiday house available in the West of Scotland. We've got 4 stars from the STB and a fifth is apparently pending if we want it…
|Size||Sleeps up to 18, 8 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Jacuzzi or hot tub, Sauna, Log fire, Internet access, DVD player, Sea view|
|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||8 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms of which 3 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (8), Double beds (5), Dining seats for 16, Lounge seats for 15|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available, Trampoline|
|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.
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.
Generally You are fantastically positioned to see some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. The views aren’t bad from the house itself, but drive up to Loch Fyne and down to Loch Lomond, or into the Kyles of Bute, or down the Maccrahanish / Mull of Kintyre peninsula, and you’ll see vistas to take your breath away. Enjoy the local area on foot or by bike, but if you don’t know this area of Scotland well, and you have better than 50 yard visibility, we’d really recommend you do spend a bit of time exploring it (and not just because people use fewer of our logs when they are out the house and wear the furniture out less). If the weather’s rubbish, you are 75mins from Glasgow by Ferry and M8, and less than 2 hours from Edinburgh if the traffic’s okay. They are both great cities to visit.
The walking all around Kilmun is absolutely fantastic, and from the house itself there are half a dozen spectacular routes that take you into some magical places in the Forest Park. Puck’s Glen is unmissable, but the Ardnadam Heritage Trail, Glen Finnairt, Ardentinny Forest, and Cowal Way are also all decently marked and come highly recommended. You can do circular routes that take anything from an hour and a half to eight or nine hours. We’ve left you maps and guides in the sitting room, and more details are available from the tourist office in Dunoon.
It really is a great way to see the scenery in the area – and the topography is such that you don’t need to do much back-breaking hill work. The trips up Loch Eck, round the corner to Ardentinny, and through the pass to the Kyles of Bute are all lovely. The circular route turning left out of the house, past Strone and Ardentinny on the coast road and then through the forest to Sligrachan sees you joining the A815 on Loch Eck at the Whistlefield Inn. 15 miles or so as a round trip; there’s one steep climb of about a mile which’ll test all but the fittest, but then it’s downhill to the pub! We’ve equipped the house with 6 kid’s bikes of different sizes and a couple for grown ups.
- Benmore Botanic Gardens:
Only three miles away towards Loch Eck, absolutely amazing set of gardens planted and cared for originally by the Younger family (beer-age and politics) who owned Old Kilmun House for ages, and added the Victorian additions on the end of the house which we don’t own. Benmore gardens are a branch of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. Awesome trees, including the tallest in Britain, and lots related to our own here; a great tea shop at the gates, too. Dogs on leads only.
Strone’s pretty, 9 hole course which was designed by James Braid, is well-signposted, just over a mile away. Innellan is another nice 9 holes course, about 15 minutes away. Cowal has 18 holes and is a bit closer just above Dunoon. There’s also a 9 hole course 25 minutes away at Tighnabruich with lovely views up the Kyles of Bute. Visitors are welcome any time there isn’t a match on all three courses. You are welcome to use the four sets of golf clubs we’ve left for guests.
The River Eck is one of the most expensive trout stretches in the West of Scotland and mostly carved up by timeshare. Fortunately, though, there’s a mass of very good value options for both loch and river fishing locally, with daily and some weekly permits available from Purdies on Argyll St (open 9am to 5pm; 01369 703232). Under 16 permits are all half price. We’ve supplied half a dozen rods and some basic kit – spinning and casting – which is kept on rafters of the bike shed. Rivers – Cur (£10 a day per rod, weekly ticket available for £30), Masson (£10 a day), Ruel (£12), and Finnart (£6 per day, weekly ticket available for £18) – any legal lure, no maggots. Lochs - Dunoon Reservoir (rainbow trout £15), Loch Loskin (brown trout, £10 including boat), Loch Tarsan (brown trout £10 per rod plus another £10 for boat if you want it, weekly ticket available for £30) – all fly fishing only, all open 7 days. Loch Eck is also available.
- Eating Out:
We are really well-served (by Scottish standards anyway) for good pubs. Whistlefield Inn and Coylet Inn, up the side of Loch Eck at 10 and 5 minutes respectively, are both well-recommended – we’ve included menus in the house information pack. Children, but not dogs, are welcome at both. The more easily walkable pubs are both fine, too, providing big portions of good basic pub food. The Cot House, with a playground for kids, is probably the more attractive and traditional pub of the two, but it’s exactly a mile away and the Old Kilmun Hotel is a wee bit closer and a bit quieter in the high summer. Dunoon has dozens of cafes, bars, takeaways and restaurants. The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar trades a bit on reputation price-wise but is a landmark destination in these parts and only about 35 minutes away
- Food Shopping:
The Cot House service station on the main road has a good convenience store attached, selling papers, basic groceries etc and is open long hours every day. The diner there is not really recommended, but the shop is fine, like the pub. It’s a mile away (if you are walking, take the pretty little footbridge over the river off the road to the left, 150 yards from the main road junction). Dunoon is a busy little town all through the year, and has lots of traditional shops including butcher, bakeries, hardware, little galleries, etc. Its two main supermarkets are both open seven days - Safeways on John Street till 8pm weekdays, and the Co-op on Queen St till 10pm.
Availability Your dates are available
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15 Sep 2014
"Perfect place to celebrate 40th"
Booked Old Kilmun and stayed the weekend with family and friends celebrating my 40th birthday. We all had a blast. It's an old house, but modernisation would take away what makes it so grand. We … More
Thank you so much. Delighted that you had such a great time and appreciated the house as much as you did. We love it and we do our best to keep it in the best condition to be enjoyed by everyone!!! I hope we will see you soon again.
3 Jul 2014
"Beautiful and comfortable old house in a spectacular setting"
We just finished a wonderful week at Old Kilmun House. We were here with extended family from teens to grandparents and everyone had a great time. The house is lovely and well equipped with somethin… More
I am so pleased you enjoyed it. We never stop spending money on the house and gardens to try and ensure guests have the best time possible. It is great that you had such a lovely time. The four floors of accommodation certainly work well for multi-generational families, with children confining themselves to games room, billiard room, cinema room and gardens and adults left with civilised space. It works for us!!!! Thanks so much for positing a review; not every satisfied customer does and it is nice to read such truthtful, positive, unsolicited praise.
14 Apr 2014
"Fab old House"
Stayed here for 3 night. 10 adults and 7 kids. The house was perfect for us. Loads of room for us all. The kids loved the snug and enjoyed playing pool. We adults spent most of our time in the kitchen… More
Thanks so much fr taking the time to post a review - not every satisfied customer does!!! So glad you liked it and we look forward to welcoming you back.
4 Apr 2014
"Lovely big house in fantastic location."
There were 18 people in our group ranging from 4 to 70 years old. We were very impressed with Old Kilmun house. It is spacious, comfortable and very well equipped. The location is excellent with stunn… More
Thank you so much. Delighted to hear such positive feedback.
22 Aug 2013
"picturesque and tranquil"
a beautiful old house with many characteristics and hidden gems, well equipped kitchen and facilities for the whole family to compensate for all types of weather. ideal for large groups with children,… More
I am really glad they had a good time and appreciated the house. I don't quite understand why this is a three star review. The party said they were delighted by the house and the facilities and that they had a lovely time. We were a bit inefficient issuing a receipt for the original deposit paid, but I am a bit confused as to why we have been scored so low!!!
13 Aug 2013
"Great place to recharge your batteries"
My family and I (two adults, a 5 year old boy and a 5 month old girl) stayed at old Kilmun house as part of a large family group of 16 and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We were lucky enough to have… More
You so clearly loved the house and the area. i am glad you will be coming back, even if we cant promise extra "table" from Anna. it is so nice when people take the time to review us on trip advisor, and let us and everyone else know what they thought!!! thank you.
7 Aug 2013
"Beautiful location(breathtaking)....excellent roomy house!"
I have stayed in scotland many times in the past...and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at old kilmun..there were plenty of things for the children and adults to do...and lots of information provided for … More
Glad you had such a good time. Hope we see you again!
1 Aug 2013
"Fabulous House... But needs a makeover!"
Don't get me wrong this house is situated in the most beautiful spot for stunning views and easy access to lochs and picturesque walks. The house itself is presented wonderfully and is very spaci… More
sorry there were some elements of imperfection. we would never knowingly present the house with two of the four hobs working, or an incomplete badminton set. new badminton set and hob now ordered (today 5th August, having read the review this morning). we get to paintwork before and after the season but cant really pick up problems on that between guests...glad you enjoyed and appreciated the house. we will make sure we dont pretend the trampoline is bigger than it is!!!
1 Aug 2013
"Celebrate my 50th birthday year"
An excellent property, perfect for all our needs and in an ideal location to explore a beautiful part of Scotland.Property was well equipped and felt very homely. Lots of indoor games, books etc to en… More
27 Feb 2013
"Great house but far from 4 star luxury billed. Needs a big upgrade."
13 of us and 4 dogs spent a great weekend at Kilmun in January for a family celebration. Super for kids, lovely garden and situation, nice bedrooms, but don't be fooled by the pictures. The decor… More
This party were very happy when they left and raised no issues. We then gradually fell out with them - a bit, unintentionally - over our insistence that they paid for the damage their dogs did. They also broke one of a set of old Spanish bowls, but we just wrote that off. I think their slightly unfair comments are generated through frustration about the damage and the fact that we wanted them to pay for the repair. Our decor isnt tired, because we do always make repairs of this sort!! We score at the very top of visitscotland's 4 star rating for excellence. And get consistently lovely reviews from guests. We have attracted more than 40 bookings in each of the last seven years.
The problem with this party was the four big dogs. They were trapped by their owners in a small area using some sort of large stair-gate contraption of their own devising, and between the dogs and the gate, they did a bit of damage. It took ages to sort out (Argyll being Argyll, and Argyll tradesmen being Argyll tradesmen.) The lady leading the party got more and more annoyed, thinking we were trying to hold onto more of the deposit than was justified. In fact, we ended up charging them £60 for the damage - less than many houses actually charge for 4 dogs. We make no charge for dogs. None of the other alleged problems were brought to our attention at the time, and they said they had had a lovely time. We have now corrected all the other issues mentioned, apart from the issue of en suite bathrooms - we don't advertise ourselves as having any. Of everything that they say, that's the fairest comment!!!
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