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There are many reasons travelers often gravitate toward vacation rentals by owner, and the Dalriada Guest House, situated in Achachork on Isle of Skye, Scotland reminded me of these reasons once again. It always feels like you’re coming home.
About Dalriada, a Bed & Breakfast on Isle of Skye in Scotland
The owners, Robin and Sally, purchased Dalriada two years ago and clearly take great pride and care in looking after their new venture. All of the rooms have been completely refurbished, and they are currently spicing up the external fabric of the guest house. There is a large garden on the property where you can take in views of the surrounding Cuillin Mountain range.
Robin and Sally provide the most delicious assortment for a continental breakfast that’s included with your stay. My husband and I looked forward to sitting in the common dining area every morning sharing stories with fellow guests and seeing the owner’s smiling faces.
The fresh eggs come from their own chickens. These lovely feathered ladies enjoy some nice helpings of blueberries which Sally gave me to feed them out back. Their names are as delightful as the eggs they provide–Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. We even met the frisky resident cat named Stanley.
Robin and Sally are both lovers of art and music, each playing their own instruments, and Robin is quite the handyman and craftsman. You can see his ceramic tile and woodworking skills all throughout the guest house.
They are both extremely knowledgeable about the local area, keeping us well-informed about the attractions of Skye, and even the little hidden gems that tourists sometimes miss. After returning from our daily adventures, Robin and Sally would often be out in the garden as if waiting for their guests to arrive to hear all about their day.
Sally greeted us at the front door with a warm smile and showed us to our guest room on the first floor. There we found everything needed for a cheerful, relaxing stay. Fresh white towels were folded on the cozy double bed with fluffy pillows and lovely toiletries. A coffee/tea pot was available with an assortment of flavors to choose from accompanied by caramel sweets and slices of homemade banana bread with strawberry jam.
We would soon discover that Sally is also an amazing baker, as the next evening we found fresh raspberry muffins outside our door. After a day of adventure and exploring, it was a perfect treat to come home to.
Beautiful Common Area
Breakfast is served each morning from 8:00am to 9:00am in a common area which also houses a lovely wood-burning stove surrounded by brick and an extraordinary-crafted wood mantel. There are charming little details throughout the house like soft leather couches, artwork on the walls, and those special touches that reminded us we’re in Scotland. Scottish music is even played during breakfast!
Five Different Room Accommodations
The guest house features five rooms–three doubles and two twins. Four are located on the main level and one has its own outside entrance to the upstairs. Every evening provided a quiet, tranquil slumber–just what the doctor ordered.
I’ve been traveling for many years, through different countries, cities and villages and have stayed in every accommodation imaginable, and it ultimately comes down to how comfy the bed is. Am I right?
Location and Nearby Attractions
Situated just 1.5 miles outside of Portree, the capital of Skye, Dalriada is in the perfect location for dining out, shopping, and sightseeing in this delightful harbor town. The island is a hiker’s paradise and you’ll never run out of places to explore.
The Isle of Skye Fairy Pools
The famous Fairy Pools make for a beautiful day trip, and a hike that can be enjoyed by most skill levels. It’s about a 20-minute trek to the first pool, with several more pools and waterfalls along the trail. The entire hike takes about 40 minutes. There are some river crossings and loose gravel, so just use caution. Because the pools attract visitors from all over the world, early arrival is recommended. It’s great for a swim in the wild if you’re brave enough to take this very chilly plunge. Otherwise, it makes for some outstanding photographs.
Old Man of Storr
The Old Man of Storr is also a must-see. Even through the early morning fog, we took in some spectacular sights. It’s an incredible contrast of steep, rocky hills surrounded by gentle, grassy slopes.
Ancient landslides created one of the most scenic landscapes in the world, and certainly one of the most photographed. The hike is definitely a leg burner, as it’s mostly uphill, but worth every step. The panoramic views of the countryside, the sea, and Storr Lochs makes this a breathtaking journey in more ways than one. The hike takes approximately two hours to complete. But you’ll find plenty of fish and chip shops to satisfy your much-earned hunger.
Neist Point Lighthouse
Another spectacular attraction is the lighthouse at Neist Point. It’s nestled in the rugged cliffs along the northwest tip of Skye and offers excellent views over Moonen Bay, Waterstein Head, and out over the strait to the Western Isles. The point is regarded as the best place on Skye to see dolphins, porpoises, whales and plenty of seabirds.
Meet some Highland Cows
If Highland Cows are on your bucket list, as they were on mine, Skye will not disappoint. There are a few locations where hairy “Heilan Coos,” as the Scots call them, are sure to be seen roaming. We discovered a wonderful field just a few miles up the road from Dalriada and captured the most enduring photos of these gentle giants. I told my husband that I’d not be leaving Scotland without seeing these furry creatures with their amazing bangs. Thankfully, he made it happen.
You will never find a shortage of things to do and see on the island and having a welcoming home-away-from-home like Dalriada Guest House will only enhance your Scotland experience.
Vacation rentals offer personal touches, a connection with the hosts and other guests and the feeling of familiarity and ease. This is what keeps us coming back for more, and with hosts like Robin and Sally, we don’t see that changing any time soon.