Five Best: Distillery cottages
You don't have to be a whisky lover to get into the holiday spirit in these lodges. By Rhiannon Batten
Saturday 23 December 2006
Glenmorangie House, Ross-shire
Owned by one of Scotland's best-loved whisky producers, Glenmorangie House is set a few miles from the distillery but makes up for the distance with regular tasting events. Operated a bit like a country house hotel, dinner is eaten around a communal table and guests have access to a secluded beach. As well as rooms in the main house, there are cottages in the garden. These are let on a hotel basis and are larger than rooms in the main house.
Glenmorangie House, Cadboll, Fearn, by Tain, Ross-shire, Scotland (01862 871671; www.theglenmorangiehouse.com). Cottages sleep two and start at £165 per person per night, half board
Recently reopened after a thorough overhaul, these five, whitewashed cottages are set within or beside the Bowmore distillery, overlooking Loch Indaal on the Hebridean island of Islay. Each one is slightly different (they sleep between two and 12 people) but they're all four-star cottages, so are very comfortable. Guests also qualify for a free distillery tour. If that's not enough to quench your thirst, the island's best-known pub, the Harbour Inn, is just a few steps away - as is Bowmore's eerie-looking round church (designed so that the devil would have no corners to hide in).
Distillery Cottages, Bowmore, Islay, Scotland (01496 810 441; www.bowmore.co.uk). Cottages sleep two-12 people. Rental starts at £440 per week
Dan Y Bryn, Powys
The Welsh Whisky Company opened Penderyn Distillery in the Brecon Beacons six years ago. While it doesn't have its own accommodation, stylish sleeping is available close by at Dan Y Bryn. This four-bedroom family house has oak floors, real fires, simple decor and views of the valley; the River Mellte with its pools and waterfalls is just down the lane. It's around 11 miles by road to the distillery, but only three and a half cross-country if you go on foot.
Dan Y Bryn, Ystradfellte, Powys, Wales (01874 676446; www.breconcottages.com). The house sleeps eight and rental starts at £380 per week
Jura Lodge, Jura
You don't need a few drams to appreciate how glamorous the former master-distiller's house on the isle of Jura is. A recent revamp has given the five-bedroom Jura Lodge a new, and very chic, lease of life with vintage finds (including a fantastic reconditioned fridge from a Brazilian café). Romantic free-standing baths, modern appliances and sea views all combine to give an "Alice in Scottish Wonderland" feel. That the project was masterminded by a designer called Bambi is apt; one of the island's claims to fame is its 5,000 deer.
Jura Lodge, Craighouse, Jura, Scotland (01496 820 240; www.isleofjura.com/lodge). The lodge sleeps 10 and rental starts at £1,500 per week
The Drum Gatelodge, Co Antrim
This diminutive, quirky, two-storey lodge is only two miles from Bushmills, so within easy staggering distance of Northern Ireland's famous distillery. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in character. Built in 1800, it is shaped like a drum, with gothic architecture and a castellated parapet, and has a secluded setting at the end of a long avenue of beech trees at the western edge of the Ballylough Estate. Other attractions in the neighbourhood include the famous Giant's Causeway.
The Drum Gatelodge, Bushmills, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland (00 353 1 670 4733; www.irishlandmark.com). The Drum sleeps two and rental starts at £343 per week
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