It is rare that an advert or promotion is exceeded by reality. But in the case of Leac a Ghradain ('Leac') that is precisely the case. We were drawn to Leac by the website with the promise of lovely views and a comfortable house in a beautiful part of the North Western Highlands. So there was much anticipation as we left Torridon village and drove the 5 miles along Upper Loch Torridon to Wester Alligin. The scenery got better and better (it helps if you arrive in the sun!) and on arrival we were simply overwhelmed. The setting is stunning and the house spacious and very well equipped, with panoramic views from every room.
We had a wonderful week exploring the beautiful countryside and, despite some variable weather, enjoying some great walks. We were very pleased we had invested in some wet weather gear!
Finally, a special mention for Teresa, the owner, who could not have been more helpful in ensuring our 5 star stay in Leac was memorable. We will definitely return.
Philip, Sarah, Charlotte and Anya, Kent, October 2019
Such a wonderful stay on a beautiful location! We have visited Torridon before, staying in the village, but to be so high up with such fabulous views was amazing.
The garden is special and we loved it - after 10 days of very mixed weather, it was even hot enough to sit outside on our last day, which was great and made it even harder to come home. The house is bright, comfortable and well-equipped, and sitting in the living room watching the changing light made us dash out and take photos every day.
Late one morning we walked from the house, over the top to Inveralligin and on to Fasag and had lunch in the lovely cafe at Jo’s shop. Duly refreshed, on the return leg, we saw an otter and her cub as we walked along the road to Torridon House, picked some soft fruit for our breakfast from the community garden in Inveralligin, then watched two peregrines as we drew close to the house, where a hind was close to the gate. What a day. We can’t wait to come back!
L & G, Staffordshire, September 2019
We enjoyed staying at Leac a Ghradain very much. Such a fabulous position, with wonderful views down Torridon loch, and a really special garden to enjoy as well, full of birdlife.
The house is warm and comfortable and well equipped and in good location to access the mountains.
H & C, Cumbria, September 2019
This was paradise on Earth, both the house and the garden. And superbly equipped and organised. Thanks again: we’ve had a fantastic week and would have done so even if we’d never gone beyond the garden fence, such is the sense of space and so nourished are all the senses there. We've stayed in many fantastic places round Loch Torridon, and have been blown away by most of them: often we've felt the intensity and comfort of just being there was beyond our wildest dreams, and would have spent more time in or in the immediate environs of where we were staying, were it not for the fact that our time in Torridon is limited, and there is so much to see and do. We never imagined the existence of anything even more fulfilling!
But there's something extra special, and extra complete, about Leac a'Ghradain. To be able to see, from the garden, so many of our familiar and much loved skylines in an uninterrupted circle, and down to the Loch and the Narrows, was fabulous. Yet we never felt exposed or uneasy there: such is this wonderful garden - it shelters without shutting you in: this isn't just about sightlines: the garden blends into the surrounding hills, and nearer grazings, seamlessly: the trees are varied and reflect what one sees in the forests round here. The garden's placed rocks are all of a piece with its natural rock outcrops, and the great sandstone slab on which the house is built, and after which it is named: warm-hued and very ancient, the sandstones that are one layer of Torridon's essence. The mixture of harmonious woodland, heather and the plants that naturally grow with it here, fruit, herbs, garden flowers, and more - it was truly lovely. Such places one can easily see are great at all times of year: vibrant, deep orange rowanberries, heather and scabious flowers were some of the August highlights. And being able to partake of some of the fruit and herbs was a great bonus.
We did of course venture out, and deepen our experience, of Alligin in particular, and of Torridon more widely. With only bicycles for transport, we had been worried about the extra effort involved in getting to Jo's shop and café in Fasag (Torridon village) - such a vibrant centrepoint for the community here. We normally stay quite near there. But the effort was rewarded manyfold: the journey, whether on the high road, or on the shore path through Rechullin, is so absorbing, so diverse, beautiful, and spectacular, it made a superb excursion in itself: we should have known! We've cycled and walked both routes many times, and they simply get better each time.
So Leac a'Ghradain is in a great position practically, too, being on the Diabaig road, but well set back from it (not that there's much traffic anyway!): it's also ideally placed for exploring the hills to the north, or anywhere towards Diabaig, without being too far from Fasag. And Alligin, of course. Several times in previous years, we've parked the bicycles by the letter box and noticeboard, before walking on into the gneiss wilderness to the west of the road. We had no idea what lay the other side of the fence, let alone that we'd have the privilege of staying in this amazing haven one day.
The house inside is every bit as lovely as the outside. It's beautifully light and comfortable, spacious, beautifully maintained, and beautifully clean. And the welcome pack was really nice, thank you.
Thanks again for taking so much care over everything, going way beyond the call of duty in making sure that we had all the information we needed - even ensuring that there were some emergency provisions in case we weren't able to buy food as we cycled across from the train. (We did, by the way - the Services at Kinlochewe, like Jo's in Fasag, is really excellent: another important heartbeat for the area).
There were so many superlatives about the whole experience of staying at Leac a'Ghradain, that it was difficult to know where to start a review, or where to finish. We can simply suggest that you stay at Leac a'Ghradain too! If you enjoy getting to know Torridon and its people, Leac a'Ghradain is absolutely stellar.
It's been a fabulous time for us - something to remember for always. Thank you so much.
C & D, Leeds, August 2019
We don’t want to leave!
We are coming to end of our 4 week stay at Leac a Ghradain. It is beautiful here.
Driving in, the house at the top of the hill. A backdrop of complete privacy provided by native trees and shrubs, protecting gardens and a truly amazing and unbroken view of the Loch and the mountains beyond. Gardens with flowers, fresh strawberries and mint tea every day for breakfast, and fresh herbs abound.
Well equipped kitchen with everything we need. Clean, clean, clean.
I will remember the view as I wake up every morning until we return.
R & W, NYC, June/July, 2019
Wow! Leac a Ghradain was absolutely perfect in so many ways. The main reason being the awesome vista in such a peaceful and tranquil setting, whether admiring from many of the rooms in the house, or from the very well thought out outdoor seating areas. From sunrise to sunset, the mountains just appeared to come alive when the sun bounced off them, but even in the dreich weather the vista was still awesome. An absolutely stunning setting to escape the city hustle and bustle.
The house itself was also perfect. I found the place to be very spacious, as well as being very comfortable and very well equipped. Outside had plenty of car parking space, with even an open shed and outside tap if required. The wildlife garden also being a gem and worth exploring each corner. All within a very short drive to Torridon to explore the area.
Also have to compliment Teresa, for being such a fantastic friendly and helpful host, going out of her way to ensure I had a comfortable and memorable stay. I will definitely be returning to this place.
Caroline, Aberdeen, June 2019
We thoroughly enjoyed our week in this beautiful, spacious bungalow. Everything was provided to ensure our stay was ‘home from home’. The setting is superb with breathtaking panoramic views of Loch Torridon and the surrounding hills. A view which will be hard to beat and will stay long in our memories.
The delightful, extensive garden has a wide variety of plants, trees, fruit bushes and herbs together with a number of water features - we loved exploring the different areas and spending time just sitting, admiring the views. Lots of wildlife spotting too - we were lucky enough to see a pair of sea otters nearby. We also caught sight of a peregrine falcon in the garden and a red deer dashed across our path on a nearby walk. All this plus a blackbird rearing its young in the back porch!
Thank you Teresa for all of your help in making this such a special place to stay. We hope to return again soon.
Alison & family, Perthshire, May 2019
Our first guest arrived in April with no booking, took up residence in the rear porch, and liked the house so much that she decided to stay. She is now a proud Mum. Over the course of just one week in May the featherless young blackbird chicks suddenly transformed into hungry, demanding fledglings. Many thanks to one of our guests for very kindly sending some photos of the young family.