The Cathair Dhubh Estate is tucked into the rugged Sutherland coastline on the NC500 between the villages of Lochinver and Clachtoll.
Nestling in the heart of the spectacular Assynt countryside, it is a haven for wildlife lovers, hikers, fishermen, photographers and outdoor enthusiasts, not to mention those families looking for white, sandy beaches and crystal blue waters.
Whether it’s to explore the beautiful, secluded beaches on your doorstep, to stride out into the rugged wilderness, to marvel at the abundance of wildlife or to simply relax and enjoy the panoramic seascapes from your window, the cottages at Cathair Dhubh will give you a place to escape the hustle and bustle and recharge your batteries, while serving as the perfect base to explore Assynt.
Cathair Dhubh estate contains 5 lovely self catering cottages and the views from all of them are simply amazing! Bring your binoculars and you could be watching whales, basking sharks, porpoises and dolphins all from your window!
One double bedroom, one twin bedroom and a sofa bed in the open plan living area. Sofa bed primarily suitable for extra children
Orchid is a cosy semi-detached cottage looking out over Achmelvich Bay. The cottage has two bedrooms upstairs; a double and a twin. On the ground floor, it has a good sized family bathroom. There is a fully-fitted and well-equipped kitchen, incorporating an oven, hob and microwave, together with a fridge/freezer, dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer. The open plan lounge and dining area provides a comfy place to relax and is equipped with satellite TV and DVD player and CD radio. We do have Wifi, but in the spirit of getting away from it all, it is quite basic and at times, elusive!
There are patios leading to outside seating where you can experience the breathtaking views.
The quality of our Wifi service is limited by local infrastructure and affected by weather conditions. It can be intermittent and very slow. We therefore do not recommend that you rely on it.
Unfortunately, Orchid Cottage is not very suitable for people with mobility difficulties. The bedrooms must all be accessed by the stairs and we do not have an adapted bathroom.
From Inverness (by car)
From Inverness, take the A9 north across the Kessock suspension bridge.
At the first roundabout (Tore), take the second exit onto the A835 to Ullapool. At the next roundabout, continue ahead on the A835 signposted to Ullapool. This road will take you through the small hamlets of Contin, Tarvie and Garve and then along the side of Loch Glascarnoch.
Once in Ullapool, the A835 takes a sharp right turn after the filling station. Continue north on this road signposted to Lochinver. After approximately 19 miles, you will reach Ledmore Junction where you turn left, continuing on the A835 to Lochinver.
About half a mile outside Lochinver, turn right onto the B869 signposted to Clachtoll, Stoer and Drumbeg. Continue along this road for approximately 3 miles, ignoring the left turn signposted to Achmelvich at the stony bridge. Continue up the hill, past the spectacular view point and down the other side. You will soon see a sign for the Cathair Dhubh Estate on your left next to our private driveway, which leads away from the road to where the cottages are nestled by the sea.
From Durness (by car)
Take the A838 south to Laxford Bridge where the road continues as the A894 to Scourie. Continue south through Scourie and Kylesku and on to the junction with the A835. Turn right here following the signposts to Lochinver and directions as above.
Inverness airport is approximately two hours drive away and there are a variety of low cost hire car options available at the airport. There are regular flights from Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Luton through Easyjet and Flybe.
Inverness is the nearest railway station and there is a direct daily service from London Euston, plus a sleeper service. There are also frequent trains from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Car hire is available at Inverness.
We have a small shared carpark for all our guests with ample parking.
Taken from the Gaelic for ‘Black Chair’, Cathair Dhubh derives its name from the dramatic hillside to the east of our cottages. Established in 1993, the small, secluded estate is situated a few miles north of the well-serviced and attractive fishing village of Lochinver, directly on the Route NC 500 (North Coast 500). The cottages themselves are situated in the valley, well away from the public road and are ideally placed to enjoy the tranquillity and the breath-taking, panoramic coastal views.
Cathair Dhubh looks out over Achmelvich Bay and is set against an awesome backdrop of sandstone mountains, with names that trip from the tongue of any walker – Quinag, Suilven, Canisp. These ancient hills are formed from some of the oldest rocks in the world and create a timeless wilderness.
In the hills around the estate, wildlife and birdlife abound. Black throated divers, otters, red deer, seals, porpoise and sea birds are but a few of our neighbours. With a touch of extra vigilance, you may even happen to spot minke and pilot whales, orca and sea eagles – binoculars are a must!
At the entrance to the estate, lies Loch an Ordain allegedly haunted by the mythical Black dog of Creag an Ordain – a two-headed, horned beast belching fire, with a human face and eyes that glow like burning peats – you might not find him listed in many of the nature books but he abounds in local legend!! For those anglers undeterred by the prospect of the Black Dog, the hills behind Loch an Ordain cradle a network of lochs and lochans teeming with brown trout. Some lochs further afield, even have migratory Sea Trout and salmon passing through them – there are indeed a wealth of fishing opportunities.
The picturesque fishing village of Lochinver is approximately 4 miles away and provides a good range of local amenities, including:-
• Two mini supermarkets
• Post office
• Ships’ Chandlers and hardware store
• Mobile fishmonger (Wednesdays)
• 24 hour fuel
• RBS cashpoint (located at Village Hall)
• Various craft shops and picture galleries
• A good selection of cafes and restaurants
• Highland Stoneware pottery
• Assynt Medical Centre
• Leisure Centre
• Lifeboat Station with RNLI shop
• Tourist Information Centre
For a wider range of amenities, including a Tesco’s supermarket, it is worth visiting the beautiful village of Ullapool, nestling on the shores of Loch Broom. Ullapool is approximately 40 miles from Cathair Dhubh and is en route when travelling up from Inverness, making it a great place for a pit stop!
We would also heartily recommend visiting our friends at the award winning Drumbeg Stores. This is a licensed grocers shop which aside from stocking all your general provisions, also provides an excellent range of home baking and locally sourced fine foods and deli treats, including local whisky! Even better, they provide a free home delivery service and a tailor made food pack can be prearranged to coincide with your arrival.