Vatersay is one of three former canal worker cottages making up a pretty hamlet of holiday homes at Kytra Lock, a tranquil and secluded waterside spot just outside Fort Augustus on the Caledonian Canal. The cottages boast polished wood floors downstairs and period fireplaces. The use of traditional fabrics also adds to the delightful ambience of these lock keepers' cottages, which have been recently restored by Scottish Canals. Vatersay Cottage is positioned on the west side of the canal and provides accommodation for five. Upstairs there is a single bedroom plus a spacious twin bedroom with a delightful window seat overlooking the canal, so you can watch the world sail by. There is a further double bedroom on the ground floor, a bathroom and a compact, yet well-equipped kitchen. Also downstairs, there is a sitting/dining room with a wood-burning stove and a second sitting room, ideal for curling up with a good book or enjoying the canalside views. The cottage has a private garden area with outdoor furniture, overlooking the canal The cottages at Kytra can be rented individually or booked together in order to cater for larger groups. A 5% discount will apply when booking two cottages together and a 10% discount for reserving all three.
|Size||Sleeps up to 5, 3 bedrooms|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 family bathroom|
|Check in time:||16:00|
|Check out time:||10:00|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Inverness 70 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Fireplace, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV, CD player|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Double Beds (1), Single Beds (3), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 5|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair available|
|Outdoors||Private garden, BBQ|
|Access||Parking, Not suitable for wheelchair users|
A route for a ship canal through the Great Glen was considered as early as 1726, but it was not until 1773-4 that it was surveyed for the same reasons, and by the same engineer, as the Crinan. Further plans were produced, but in assessing the wider problem of Highland emigration ('The Clearances') in 1801-2, Thomas Telford recommended that, as well as helping fishing, agriculture and industry, a canal would provide much-needed employment.
Work began in 1804 as a government initiative managed by a board of commissioners; uniquely amongst the Scottish canals, the Caledonian has always been a public venture. Experienced foremen (from the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct for example) were brought in to oversee the works but had to manage a local workforce absent during harvests and fisheries. This, coupled with rising costs and lack of funds, meant slow progress. In order to permit the largest ships the locks were 170 by 40ft (52 by 12 m) and 'clustered' to save money - thus the magnificent lock flights at Banavie (Neptune's Staircase), Fort Augustus and Muirtown (Inverness) were built.
As well as over 21 miles of man-made canal, Lochs Oich and Dochfour had to be deepened and, to assist the passage of masted vessels, swing bridges rather than draw-bridges were planned. The canal was finally opened in 1822 and although the Baltic Trade it was built to serve had already declined, it was of immediate benefit to the fishing industry. Journey times improved after the lock gates were mechanised in 1964-69 and cruise businesses have responded to interest in the Loch Ness Monster.
The Caledonian represents a triumph of British civil engineering innovation, is littered with iconic features and makes a significant contribution to the breath-taking landscape of the Great Glen. Its cultural significance should be regarded as being of international, not just national, importance.
Quiet and seclusion are guaranteed at this location.
One of three lockkeepers cottage, Vatersay is the largest, sleeping 5.
Nearby Fort Augustus and Loch Ness offer everything a tourist could want and more.