Blissful isolation in the Highlands: Isle of Eriska Hotel review | Travel

Where is it? On its own 300-acre island with dramatic views of the Morvern mountains, a snow-capped slick of purple on the far side of the loch. It’s a truly magical spot tethered to the mainland via a narrow wooden bridge.

Best way to get there? Jump aboard the Caledonian Sleeper on a Friday night in London, Watford, Crewe or Preston – a much more relaxing and eco-friendly method of transport than flying – and wake up in Fort William, refreshed and ready to pick up your hire car. Drive the scenic one-hour route down the side of Loch Linnhe and you’re home and dry.

How to unwind Try the hotel spa, with its decent-sized pool, treatment rooms and a pleasantly unstuffy feel. Massages are reassuringly firm. It’s also a great place in which to chat with other residents (some of whom are repeat visitors from as far as America and New Zealand) and pick up local knowledge – such as where the best seafood is in nearby Oban.

Reflected glory: the hotel is set in stunning grounds, and has its own pier on the lochside

Reflected glory: the hotel is set in stunning grounds, and has its own pier on the lochside

Inside story? You may never want to leave the comforts of your room, but the grand oak-panelled hall with its roaring fire is perfect for tea and freshly made scones; or grab a whisky and a volume of the Waverley novels from the cosy book-lined bar. Staff are attentive and discreet, providing top-notch service.

Star attractions? Borrow a pair of wellies and stroll down to the beach (an amateur geologist’s dream), past the rickety pier for an afternoon of wildlife spotting – otters, cormorants and seals are regular visitors. Or hike from the heronry up to the cairn for a longer walk.

Where’s good to eat? No need to get the car out. The main restaurant is renowned for its cuisine – the cheese trolley being a particular talking point. For fabulous views towards the loch, the bistro above the spa offers more informal dining.

And don’t forget to visit… Historic Glencoe, with its spectacular mountain peaks, valleys and waterfalls. Campbells may want to keep a low profile …

The lowdown Doubles start from £189 a night,


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