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 Olivr 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 the award-winning An Lochan in Tighnabruich to cook a celebration meal for you so you can make the most of the opportunity to relax in our gorgeous paneled dining room They can do anything from a kitchen supper for the Aga to a full-blown formal four course dinner.
After eight 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, 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.